Dear Becky — Writing this brings me to tears of happiness and joy. As a 14 year old freshmen in high school I was sexually assualted by a family friend and I got pregnant as a result. Many emotions went through my head about having an abortion, keeping my baby, and putting it up for adoption.

However with the help of my brother and sister-in-law I decided to keep it. I moved in with my brother, his wife, and their two kids and was able to get my education by the use of home bound instruction when I got too sick to go to school and on Christmas Day of 2003 Stetson Wayne made his arrival into the world weighing in at 6 lbs, 8 oz and was 21 inches long.

He will be 1 year old this year and as a fifteen year old raising a baby it is hard but to come home from a day of school and work and see his smiling face it is all worth it. I couldn’t imagine going through 9 months of pregnancy and not being able to get the rewards I have gotten.

I want to say to all the girls my age who are pregnant or have had kids, You can do it, Take life one step at a time and ALWAYS do whats best for your child.

Carli Anne

Dearest Carli,

How your e-mail touched my heart with joy! What a beautiful young woman you are Carli. I’m sure your baby boy is nothing but a bundle of loving joy to you. Thank you so very much for sharing your story. You truly are a “Stand-Up Girl”!

Thank you again for your e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Luv Lisa