Danelle’s Story, Part 1

Danelle in 2011

Written by Danelle Henden

The story for me will start at conception. It is a very long messy story up to that point so I will skip the details for now. I found myself pregnant, but I didn’t know I was pregnant for about 4 – 5 months (I was still getting my cycles — it was light and spotty, but it was there). However, feeling things moving in your stomach will make you think twice. When I went to the clinic to check, they told me I was pregnant — also, that I needed to go to a hospital because they could not give me a clear ultrasound for some reason. They said I was either too far along or was pregnant with twins. Turns out it was both!

The level of despondency I felt was crushing. I hadn’t finished college, I didn’t have a job, and I was now living with my mother again. I felt like a failure, the one thing I never wanted to be in life was a statistic. Now I was a single (wrong choice of partner), black, unemployed, non-degreed, plus sized, pregnant woman. All of those descriptors have been taught to have negative connotations in this country. I thought about my options but as someone who has battled depression since the age of 5, I knew emotionally and mentally I was not prepared to handle a baby, let alone two.

I wanted them though, I so wanted them.

Danelle and Darnell, 2011

I remember I prayed for them. When I was in 4th grade, I asked God to give me twins, a Boy and a Girl and my 9 – 10-year-old mind came up with the names Travon and Travona (LOL). So, when I found out I was pregnant with twins, I thought God gave me what I asked at the exact moment when I couldn’t give them what they needed. I felt like I was the butt of a cosmic joke, and it made me angry and even more sad, but I digress.

Since the college I was in before this happened was a Lutheran school, I was given a card to Lutheran Family Services as an option. Meeting with the agency was difficult. It was like admitting to myself that I was a failure. I cried and sobbed over the situation, alone and depressed. I finally went, though, and gave them a run down on what my requirements were. I wanted a loving two parent household, a couple that were open to open adoption, and one who believed in God.


Published by Danelle Henden & Stephanie Lundeen

Danelle: I am an HR professional with a keen interest in psychology and in adoption activiwsm. I work with a nonprofit that supports adoption, On Your Feet Foundation. Stephanie: I am a writer and editor with a background in education (I have taught English as a Second Language, college writing, and college literature courses).

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