“My mom raised me to value all life; everyone is worth something. In the school parking lot with an older sister and two friends, she sat in the car feeling nervous and sick to her stomach."I had this white shirt on, and I had it tied over my stomach just to show, just to be very obvious about (the pregnancy) because I didn't want people to be like, 'Oh my God, is she?
Research shows most teen moms do not graduate from high school and live in poverty.
Griest's was not the typical teen pregnancy, nor is she the typical teen mother. I want to go work……provide for my daughter and be the best mom I can possibly be.”Still, the past two-and-a-half years haven't been what anyone would call easy. It wasn't like you would walk down a school hallway and talk about it, but it wasn't like you were ashamed for doing it.
For two hours, two-and-a-half-year-old Adalyn and her mom, 17-year-old Kennedy Griest, sit side-by-side making Play-doh sculptures while Kennedy talks candidly – spelling out words she deems unsuitable for small ears – about the shock of learning she was pregnant, about the classmates who bullied and harassed her, and about the everyday trials and triumphs as she balances motherhood with high school.
It was 2014, the summer leading up to her freshman year.
But she never considered terminating the pregnancy.
“I was scared out of my mind, but…I knew I had to do what was best for this child,” she said. It's killing a human.”Hammered by condemnation, name-calling and mostly-anonymous messages, Griest didn't go back to Brighton High School with her peers when school started that fall. In October, she decided it was time to stop hiding. If he was crowned king – and he was – she wanted to be there to see it.
Then came the grief over her daughter’s lost youth, umbrage toward those who spewed hurtful words or urged Kennedy to get an abortion, gratitude for those who were supportive — and worry, about her own future.
At the time, Kennedy was “very immature and into herself,” she said.
" she said, spelling out the word to spare Addie's young ears.
The students, she said, continued to shout insults.
In October 2014, she gave birth to a 6-pound, 9-ounce baby girl who wasted no time providing her 14-year-old mother with a welcome-to-parenthood gift. ”American teenagers are more than twice as likely to have a baby as those in Canada, four times more likely than teens in Germany or Norway and almost 10 times more likely than teens in Switzerland, according to the Michigan League for Public Policy.