The summer of my sophomore year in high school was most likely the last summer I had as a kid, because once summer started at the end of my junior year was when my girlfriend Vanessa told me about her visit to the doctor’s office. We were so naïve and had the idea it wouldn’t happen to us; the thought had never even crossed my mind. But what could’ve happened is irrelevant; I was a high schooler going into my senior year with a child on the way.
The bulk of handling everything with Vanessa’s pregnancy consisted of missing school to take her to the monthly, and soon, weekly, visits to the OBGYN. I always hated missing school just to drive downtown to make sure the baby was developing normally. It made me feel like I was that cliché kid who was a father at age 17. Regardless of how I felt, all I knew and held true to myself was doing everything within my power to make sure Caitlyn came into this world safely and without any complications.
So I took Vanessa to every appointment, give or take a few that her mom took her to, and I stayed with Vanessa. It was my last intention to break up with her and have Caitlyn born with no father around. Even though Caitlyn (who is now Karter) is with the family she deserves to be with and has a mother, a father and siblings, I knew that sticking it out with Vanessa was where I had to be.
Caitlyn was given to Chad and Tara because Vanessa and I had come to the decision that two teenagers in school and trying to get our lives started wasn’t good enough for Caitlyn. We were just too young to have the ability to look after and raise a child while managing all of our other time-consuming obligations. Caitlyn had no say in where she wanted to be or who she was going to be with, and Vanessa and I knew that we weren’t enough for what Caitlyn deserved. And then we found Chad and Tara.
Both of them being some of the kindest and gentlest people I had ever met, Vanessa and I knew Chad and Tara were Caitlyn’s parents, not us. As painful as it was and even more for Vanessa, we signed every document and relinquished all rights Vanessa and I had to Caitlyn. Every tear shed with our signatures and second thoughts in the papers was with Caitlyn in mind.
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