What has been one of the greatest struggles of your life so far?
“My daughter got pregnant when she was 16. My wife and I had been in the community for quite a long time and we were trying to encourage young men and women to make good decisions and to think about consequences for their choices. The freaky thing about it is that I didn’t even know she was pregnant until she was 8 months along. She hid it well, she hid it really well. We noticed she was getting bigger and my wife said Alan its just your genes in her, so we played it off. We were quite busy with work and we trusted our kids.
I remember being called home. My daughter came and sat next to me and started rubbing my hand, then said “Dad I’m pregnant”. I felt like a truck had run me over. She was only 16, we had plans for her, she was going to be our next social worker, she was a gifted speaker, topped her English class, she was amazing. In the back of my mind I could see the irony about how we preach this message to other young people and then our own kids do it. We felt we had failed her. But my wife and I made a vow that no matter what happened, we would raise the child ourselves. We found out later that her partner was a good man, he was a really good man. He would come over, sit on the floor and say nothing. He would come in change babies nappies before school and after, he did that everyday. I thought this guy is showing some commitment to my daughter. Eventually later on they got married and now they have 3 beautiful children but that was a really hard time for my wife and I.
My daughter has gone on to speak at a little mini conferences and I’ve heard her say, “Before I speak I just wanted to testify, it wasn’t my mother and fathers fault this happened, this was my choice. I chose to do this and my Mum and my Dad are my greatest inspirations. So when I hear that out of my kids mouth, it makes it kinda like wow, thank you Lord.”