This is one of those post that I hope will not take on book form. I am not sure it can be done in one post . I have started to write it a dozen times and each time am overwhelmed with so many memories. I will do it in time periods and see how far I get and how many tears I shed.
First meet 18 year old Amanda, All-American cheerleader. Both of our kids were blessed to go to our church's private school, Evangel Christian Academy, a football giant! (for any of you across the US that love high school football, you have probably heard of it) !
It all begin on a very normal January day. Amanda was about to begin the spring semester of her senior year. Through tons of tears she told us she was pregnant. She had courageously carried that secret ALONE for four months. She had continued to cheer, was an awesome gymnast, and it was a year we had played football well into December winning the State Championship. Her words to me that day were "Mom, I just did not want to tell you during your tree decorating season. You had enough stress!"
She had gone to a Crisis Pregnancy Counseling Center in early October to take a pregnancy test. She was not in love with the Dad, she told me abortion was not even a thought, so she just decided to wait until after the holidays to tell us. Adoption, as wonderful as it is in some situations, was also something she never considered. She told our pastor/close friend first and then together on that January afternoon, they told us.
In the midst of our shock, our family had never stood so solidly together. Now when I think back on that day and think of all the things she was going to miss, the plans that were going to change, the changes that were coming to our home, I would tell you that my normal reaction, at least initially would have been to be angry, hurt, sick, devastated, and every other emotion on the hysteria scale. What I can tell you is that I had absolutely none of those feelings. The only emotion Jack and I both felt was just such profound sadness that she had carried that burden alone for 4 months. She was 5 months pregnant and had not gained a pound. (We call it the shortest pregnancy in history).
God's grace was just all over our home. I remember getting up the next day and looking in the mirror and wondering why I was fine. Why the peace? It must be shock..all these things running through my mind...and guess what? That peace never left, not for a day, not for an hour, not for a minute.
The school gave her the option to continue school or finishing up her work at home and graduating. She chose to stay home and was finished in just a couple of months. She and I began to plan the nursery immediately. That first week we got an ultrasound and knew the baby was a boy. Amanda took it upon herself to call all our family members,her grandparents,our friends, etc. I stood amazed at her strength.
The first week in May, Amanda graduated from high school and on May 27, Parker Benjamin Powell was born. It was a precious moment, a holy moment. I was in delivery with Amanda and after a very short, easy labor, the doctor handed me the scissors to cut the cord. There are moments in life that are seared in your memory as "The BEST"! This was one of those.
As I stepped out of the delivery room to introduce Parker, there were his great grandparents, his aunt and uncle and a multitude of friends. More tears and lots of celebration. He is a fifth generation and named after his two great, great grandfathers. His great, great grandmother Parker was still alive and he quickly became the king of the nursing home.
From that day until this day almost 10 years later, everyday we have told that little man that he is the best thing that ever happened to any of us. So much so that I can say "Hey Parker" and he will say "I know, I am the best thing that ever happened to you". I love it. Amanda was a teenager, but she was also SUPER MOM. There was never a day we were not proud of her. And the village was ready and willing to help her raise her baby. Parker had more close friends at one month than I had at 45.
Since this already looks like a book I will save some of the in between God stories of the next eight years. Amanda went to work for a group of doctors, who she still works for today. She could not ask for a better job. She went to college, traveled, visited her girlfriends away at college (sometimes Parker tagging along)...he was everyone's baby.
I work from home, so we were always able to keep him and at almost 10, he has never been to daycare or stayed with a babysitter. Amanda's number one focus has always been Parker. And there is no little boy more in love with his Mom. I never had to be the Mom, always Grammy Girlfriend..and I have loved every minute of it.
When Parker was almost eight, Amanda found the man God meant for her. She was madly in love, but she first had to be sure Micah had fallen in love with Parker. Wow, did he ever! That was another answer prayer.
She had several relationships during the 8 prior years, but never felt that any of them were right for Parker. We are so thankful she waited. So almost 2 years ago on a sweet day in July, her Dad and Parker walked her down the aisle and gave her away. There was not a dry eye in the church.
So today you meet the 28 year old,very happily married Amanda, MOM of 2 little boys, one 10 and one a year old. Life is good.
I don't want you to think that there were no hard issues, but that's another post for another day and during the pregnancy, it really did not matter. For the first years of Parker's life, the father was not ready to be a Dad, but I can say with great joy, because of many prayers he is in Parker's life today.
So along the way I will blog about some other God stories about Amanda and Parker. God has given us so many opportunities to encourage other parents that are facing their teenagers and unplanned pregnancies.
Amanda and Baby Jack