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Becoming a Father at Eighteen

Updated on April 23, 2019
Diego Varela profile image

I am now 20 years old and am the father of a beautiful daughter, Avaline. I'd love to share my story with you and help others in this place.

Paralyzing News

It has not been that long since this happened, only two years, but I can still vividly remember everything that I felt when I got the call. I remember where I was and what I did. I do not think this memory will fade from memory any time soon.

My adopted great grandma was in a recovery home at the time. She had been involved in car accident that left her very dependent and therefore had to spend time in this place. I went to visit her. My adopted grandma and my aunt where there and we chatted for a while as I visited with my great grandma. We called her Grandma Lu, for Lucile. We soon said our goodbyes and I walked out to my Honda Civic in the parking lot. Not long after I sat down in the driver's seat of the car, my phone began to vibrate. I never have my phone's ringer on because I find the noise quite bothersome. I then pulled the phone out of my pocket and read the name on the screen - Emma. This was not out of the ordinary yet, as we talked on the phone pretty frequently since she was in fact my girlfriend. Then I clicked the answer button.

My Reaction

She was crying as I lifted the phone to my ear. I knew immediately what that meant. There was no doubt in my mind that the next words that coming out of her mouth would tell me she was pregnant. Despite this assurance, I did not believe it. I could not let myself believe it.

Even after she was able to say the words I had this overwhelming sense of disbelief. That is the best way to describe what I was feeling. I didn't move. I don't remember if I couldn't or just wouldn't, but I didn't. My gaze stayed fixed straight ahead of me. My body was calm, but thoughts raced through my mind. What would happen next? How would life change? How would I tell my family and how would they react? So many questions ran through my head and I did not have an answer to a single one. It was hopelessness at it's max.

I tried to comfort Emma that best I could. I am sure it did not help in the slightest. Nothing anyone said could have made me feel better at that point either. We hung up a bit later and I sat there in my car for a very long time. I was completely lost, but luckily that is only the first part of the story.

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

— Isaiah 44:22 (KJV)

Other Half of the Story

The story never needs to end in the storm. There is always the possibility for redemption. In my case, I think I am still working on the redemption part of it. In either case, I can definitely say I am a lot happier now than I was two years ago. My daughter, Avaline, is growing way too fast and she is so incredibly smart. It amazes me how happy of a little person she is. I do not think I could have been blessed with a more perfect baby.

It definitely took some time for things to start looking up. Telling my family was one the hardest things I had to do up until that point. I had many problems with Emma an her family as well as time went by. It was by no means easy to get from there to here. I could not have done it without the help and encouragement from my family.


God is Smarter than I am

A large part of the story was an important realization that I thankfully came to. I realized that no matter how hard I tried to sail smoothly through life, my efforts simply were not enough. I don't mean that I have no confidence in myself. I am talking about the desire in our human nature for something greater than ourselves. Even though I was raised in a Christian family, it was not until now that I really began to seek God. Again, because I knew that I did not have the power within myself to keeps things in line. It was after this point when I really began to feel peace in tough situations more than I ever had before. Life has still brought along its hardships, but now I have something firm to lean on. If you are in a tough situation like mine or something unique to yourself, I encourage you to seek God. He is ultimately in control and I say that is someone I definitely want on my side; holding me up when I can no longer do it myself.

If you'd like to reach out and talk with me about any struggles you are facing, do not hesitate to reach out!

- Diego Varela

© 2019 Diego Varela


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