The blame, shame, and stereotypes expressed by so many others simply told Adrianna to give up.
“Stereotypes and blame do not stop teenagers from engaging in unprotected sex or discourage teenage pregnancy. They simply keep teenage parents from seeking the help and support they need.”
Most people, even within Adrianna’s family, assumed she wouldn’t be able to do anything and would be dependent on government assistance for the rest of her life. But Adrianna wanted to be someone her son could be proud of.
Every day, Adrianna motivated herself to go to school and continued pushing herself for both her and her son’s future. In the beginning, when she found out she was pregnant, she was shocked.
“I was scared. I cried because in my past relationship, I was pregnant and I had a miscarriage that affected me for so long and I didn’t know what to expect.”
Adrianna’s world fell apart. She had no motivation to do anything. Adrianna didn’t want to go to school or go out with friends, she just wanted to give up on life. One night, she sat in her room and prayed out loud for acceptance. Adrianna wanted to change, she’d been depressed for so long and she wanted to move on and do better for herself. “The next day it was like I was healed.” Adrianna felt relieved.
A new chapter had begun. Adrianna was blessed with her baby boy, Jeremiah Lindell Edwards. “He’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I was really happy when I had him. The first thing I felt was love. Unconditional love.” It was hard for Adrianna in the beginning because she was worried about her pregnancy, but the doctors always told her to take it easy and to breathe. Adrianna had a friend that recommended her to a group called “Young Lives”. This is a group of young teen moms who meet twice a week for help from one another, to have a good time, and to talk about setting goals for themselves. Everyone was so welcoming and helpful. I wasn’t scared to be myself at group, I was comfortable and it felt like home to me.”
Some advice Adrianna gives teen moms is to not let being pregnant stop you from getting your education. “You’re going to have a lot of negativity, even from your friends. They’re going to say how dumb or stupid you were. But you know what? Those weren’t true friends to begin with. Don’t let them hold you back from anything or doing anything. Be true to yourself and ALWAYS go with your gut feeling.” These bits of encouragement are what kept Adrianna going.
Whether you or someone you know is about to become a parent, just remember that every experience is different. People have it easy, people have it hard. You go through it alone, or you have all the support in the world.