MOM, DAD...I'M PREGNANT: When Your Daughter or Son Faces an Unplanned Pregnancy
Jayne E. Schooler
Parenting & Families
The whole day is fuzzy in my memory. The conversation between my sister and I is even a bit hazy around the edges. I think we were in the car on the way to Walgreens. But I do remember the date. Christmas Eve 1999. Nothing changed that day, but I learned that a lot of things would change soon. It was the day my little sister, then 19, told me she was pregnant.
I wasn't there when she broke the news to our parents a few weeks later, but I have been there over the last four years to see our family come together to cope with and then celebrate the addition of Morgan Mackenzie to our family. So it was with great personal interest that I picked up MOM, DAD…I'M PREGNANT: When Your Daughter or Son Faces an Unplanned Pregnancy.
The book is written by Jayne E. Schooler, whose own daughter, Kristy, got pregnant while she was a 21-year-old college student. She describes the experience this way, quoting from a story by Emily Perl Kingsley:
"A husband and wife planned and saved all of their lives for the trip of their dreams. They wanted to go to Italy. Carefully saving each spare dime or dollar, they prepared for the journey. They learned the language. They studied the culture. They purchased just the right clothes for the season they would be there. The day finally came and they boarded the plane. After many hours in the air, the flight attendant announced, 'We will soon be landing. Welcome to Holland.'
Startled, the woman frantically pushed the call button, shouting 'There's some mistake. We are supposed to be landing in Italy.'
The flight attendant, attempting to calm the woman, explained, 'This plane does not go to Italy.'
Quite sure that they had simply erred when boarding the plane, the husband asked when the next plane would leave for Italy. The flight attendant replied, 'Sir, I am sorry, there are no planes to Italy.'
Disappointed beyond belief, the husband and wife looked at each other. 'It wasn't supposed to be this way,' they cried.
It wasn't supposed to be this way… 'Holland' is not the place this couple planned to be. 'Holland' is not the place where hundreds of thousands of parents facing an unplanned pregnancy with a daughter or son want to be either."
She goes on to set up the premise for her book:
"Parents have two choices when they arrive in 'Holland.' They can remain disappointed, angry, and embittered, thus missing all that God has for them at this rerouted destination. Or they can, through God's mercy and grace, embrace all that God has for them as He is allowed to rebuild and restore the family."
It's the second decision that Schooler advocates, and her book is a detailed map to help parents navigate the streets of "Holland." She candidly shares her own experience with Kristy, who decided to keep her child with the help of her parents. But the book also thoroughly surveys all of the different options open to families caught off guard by an unplanned pregnancy.
Chapters explore issues such as the pros and cons of adoptions, the challenges of three-generational living, coping when grandparents become parents --- again, and the long-term impact of abortion on the family. Especially helpful is Schooler's inclusion of the issues specific to paternal grandparents. Unfortunately, the young man involved in the pregnancy, and his family, is often left out of discussions concerning what to do about an unplanned pregnancy.
Chock full of heartfelt stories, solid advice and helpful resources, MOM, DAD…I'M PREGNANT is a valuable book that is sure to provide much-needed information and encouragement for parents, and older sisters, who thought they were on their way to Italy only to find themselves in Holland.
--- Reviewed by Lisa Ann Cockrel
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