This year was exciting for AdoptED. I felt that I had one year completed under my belt and was ready to make even deeper connections with students. Although our time in the classroom was cut short, I was still able to do just that. One student that really stands out was a senior at Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth. It was a full day of classes between two teachers who were true advocates for their students. After my first 3 presentations, it was time for a lunch break and I was asked to stay for chicken pot pie prepared by the nutrition class, no worries it was edible.
As I sat down with the two educators to learn more about their needs, they started to tell me about a senior who was in their class last year that just confided in her teacher she thought she was pregnant that morning. She was a foster child who was adopted as a teen in another state. Apparently in the state she was adopted from adoptive parents make more money for adopting teens and the family had told the girl multiple times that once she turns 18 she is out. The teachers were very upset when explaining how the student came to them that morning and said she was scared to go home. Because of previous issues with her parents, Mrs. Moren was concerned. They sent her to the school counselor’s office, who then sent her to intervention who was too busy that day and sent her back to class. This is another reason I am thankful we are in the classroom with at risk students who are not able to be heard by Counselors with extremely heavy caseloads.
Mrs. Moren decided that she was going to locate this student and invite her to sit in on one of my afternoon presentations to just listen and she did. After class ended, the sweet student approached me and said “I think I’m pregnant and I’m scared of my Mom.” After all students walked out
of the room, I asked if I could give her a hug and she replied, “please”. I tried to reassure her that whatever decision she made, she would be great at it and she can lean on Mrs. Moren and myself for support. I gave her a hotline card to call or text our Adoption Counselors and my personal phone number. She asked a few questions about how to choose a family and she said she was very happy to know that it would not cost birth mothers to place a child for adoption, a common misconception in the classroom. I can’t say I didn’t leave the classroom worried about her but I
was proud of her for being brave enough to reach out to her teachers and ask questions.
Her teacher was going to connect her with the Pregnant and Parenting Program at their school. We invited the Pregnant and Parenting leader to join us in the Spring when we returned for a second lesson but she was unable to attend due to Corona Virus.
This year I handed out several hotline cards to girls who approached me for their “friends” after class. I hope they can keep that as a resource in their pocket for future roommates, relatives, friends, and peers that might find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy but not ready to parent in their future.