DONNA VENNARD
May 11, 2017
    

“This photo was taken in 1992, shortly after I met my daughter Shauna for the first time. I gave her up for adoption when I was in Grade 10. The only people who knew I was pregnant at my high school were the guidance counsellor, Shauna’s father and a few of my friends. My father was madder than heck at me, like seriously mad. I started at Louise Dean Centre in January 1970 and had Shauna on March 18. That was 47 years ago! In 1970, being a pregnant teenager was a nightmare. At that time, more were giving their babies away for adoption than keeping them. We gave Shauna up for adoption, but her father and I remained really close friends all of our lives. She was adopted by a wonderful family in Edmonton. I met Shauna when she was 21. I used humour to break the ice, but I was pretty freaked out. It turns out Shauna and I have the same sense of humour, the same body and the same voice. Her biological father was a musician – he played at her wedding in 1994 and I was her Maid of Honour. Looking back, attending Louise Dean was a pivotal point in my life. Besides helping me academically and through my pregnancy, they helped me grow into a much kinder, much more resilient and open-minded human being.”