By Ada Gardner

At the age of 14 is when I lost my virginity. I started to date a guy who lived in the same housing community as I did. I was a straight A student in the 8th grade. I had been a straight A student and maintained the A/B honor roll all the while I had been in school.

Truthfully, I wasn’t even interested in sex or even making out until I met my daughter’s dad. He talked to me about how much he loved me and did little things for me. You know when you are missing something anything superficial makes you feel whole. My father had been arrested (drug dealer) when I was 13 and my parents hadn’t been together since I was 2.

My father got us every year during the summer and other than that my mom had no solid relationships until I got to be 14. I truly think I was looking for love in all the wrong places. Well, I found it. Or what I initially thought was love. I was having sex when ever he (my daughter’s dad) wanted to. As a teen we don’t really know what we won’t.

I remember when I found out. My step dad took me to Atlanta Medical Center for stomach pains. My mother had to work and he just happened to be off that day. He asked me on the way did I think I could be pregnant. I lied and said I wasn’t having sex. When we entered the hospital, I had this crazy feeling that it was just going to be stomach cramps or something.

My step dad waited in the lobby. The doctor that I saw asked me to undress and lay on the table. As I did what she asked me to do, she did a swab test and put applied pressure onto my tummy. It was a little bit awkward because this was the first time that I had been to the doctor with out my mother there. Well, the doctor asked me all the questions..

Are you sexually active? My answer, NO! Have you had any burning when you urinate? My answer, no!
Have you ever been pregnant? (She was trying to trip me up) My answer still no! She told me that I would need to give her urine and a blood sample for further test. I did both. She said that my discharge looked as though it may be trichomonas. Back then I didn’t know that this was a sexually transmitted disease.

She asked me to sit in the lobby and she would be with me shortly. My step dad asked what’s going on, I said to him.. Nothing she just wants’ to run some test and we can go. The nurse called me back in less than 30 minutes. With her came 2 doctors. Ada, they said, you are 12 weeks pregnant. I sat there, lonely, afraid, sad and wondering how I was going to tell me mom.

She had just said to me and my older sister. If you get pregnant I am going to put you out of here. Of course that meant I didn’t have a place to stay. My mom had already told us that. I just sat there and listen to the doctor’s take turns asking me questions. Do you know who your baby’s father is? How long have you been sexually involved? How do you expect to support a baby when you are only 14?

Can you tell my step dad for me? The nurse went to the front to get him and he just looked at me and shook his head. Is it that boy’s baby he asked? Who is going to tell your mother and when was all he could ask. My mother was at work and I preferred to tell her then, at least by the time she got off she could cool down and maybe I would still have a place to stay.

We went to her job and she just told me to get out of her face. I didn’t know what was going to happen so I went home. When I got home I saw my boyfriend now of only 4 months flirting with another girl. I wanted him to know, I wanted to tell him how I was feeling, he was having too much fun and I wanted him to feel the same shame, hurt and be as scared as I was.

When I called him all he could say was who’s baby is it. He knew that he was the only one I had slept with. What was I going to do now? My mom finally talked to me 3 days later and got me to the doctor for my first visit. We talked about abortion and adoption and what I was going to do to support this baby.

I had soo many decisions to think about. The bigger I got the worst it got. Everywhere I went people looked at me like I was nothing. My baby’s dad had yet to tell his mother. I was still in school and no one really wanted to be a part of what I was going through.

As the months went on I got bigger and family started to find out. Anyone who knew me wanted to tell me what I did to destroy my life and how I had ruined my mom’s life. She now was going to have to take care of 5 kids. As the time went on my baby’s soon to be grandmother found out. I kept attending school and maintained my grades. It was hard but I was determined to make it.

Five months later, my baby girl was born. Shakina was 6pds 1 oz and I knew that I could never love anything or anyone the way I loved my baby. She was perfect. Her dad was there and my entire family. I decided that this was it until I could get out of school and get married. We were doing fine and I had started back school after 4 weeks. This wasn’t going to be easy. Going to school and taking care of a baby. Late nights, long days.

I cried every day because it was an adjustment and my mom let me know that this was my child. My relationship with her dad started to deteriorate. We had been together off and on the entire pregnancy and he had shown me that he wasn’t going to be a 100%. Needless to say he caught me at a vulnerable time and we had sex again. I became pregnant almost immediately.

I didn’t know until I was 4 months pregnant that I had conceived. My cycle wasn’t coming on but I was on birth control and the doctor said this was normal. It wasn’t until my mother decided to take me to the clinic that I found out that at 15 I was about to be the parent of 2 babies. I was pregnant again!!! This time I knew I was going to have to have an abortion!

I told my baby’s father again and he says to me..That isn’t my baby! So here we go with the ignorance! Fine. I said. I will make do. During this time in my life I went through a deep depression stage, I even thought about suicide. I had a bright future and I never though that this was the plan for my life. I wanted to be a Pediatrician, a lawyer, a model, not a mother!!!

ShaKeriya was born 2 months early at 4pds 1 oz. When I saw her little fragile body, I knew I had to snap out of depression and become a strong mother for my daughters. She stayed in the hospital for 2 weeks. Long enough to gain weight. She was a fighter and gave me the strength to fight.

There were many nights that I got home from school and work and didn’t get into bed until 3-4 in the morning and I knew I had to be up in 2-3 hours to start the day all over again. I didn’t have a car and by this time my mom had moved us to a new house in Decatur, GA. There was this hill that I remember climbing many day’s and nights with my babies.

We had to catch the bus to get to daycare, school, and work and I cried each morning and EVERY afternoon that I had to climb that hill. Because I was able to maintain my grades and stay in school I was offered the opportunity to become a part of a program called a post secondary option that allows you to finish your high school credits while starting college courses at Dekalb College.

Please understand that there is no way that I can express how hard and challenging this journey was and still is for me. However I had the help of an organization toward the end of my high school years that help me to be a better mom and retain my motivation and self esteem. So you say what makes me qualified to start an organization?

I answer, I am saved and by the grace of God I have been through it all, I have felt the pain and more of being a young teen parent, I am the parent of 4 kids, Shakina is now 16 and Shakeriya is 15. Jayda(4) and James Jr. (2). Neither of my girls are sexually active and both are A/B honor roll students. I have currently been married for 9 years. I am a Bank Manager and I started this organization because I have a passion to assist our generation in becoming better parents and better individuals.

I’m not here to judge, but I am here to help!