Today's post is written by guest blogger, Alicia M.
Take a teenage girl who gets pregnant, an over protective single mom, and a younger sister who feels out of the mix when her older sister gets pregnant and that is the situation that Jacey Jeffries (played by Danielle Panabaker), her mom Terry Jeffries (played by Mercedes Ruehl) and her sister Macy Jeffries (played by Clare Stone) find themselves in, in the Lifetime Original Movie, Mom at Sixteen.
Jacey gets pregnant at 15 years old by her boyfriend Brad, (played by Tyler Hynes). During her pregnancy, Jacey and her mom decide the best thing to do is place her baby for adoption. When Jacey is in the hospital with her son, she bonds with him and decides she can not place him for adoption. Jacey’s mother decides that they will keep the baby, whom they named Charlie, as long as she (the mom) tells everyone that Charlie is her son so Jacey can go back to school, go on her with her life, and fulfill all the dreams she has for her life.
They move to a new town where no one knows that Jacey had a baby. Jacey and her sister attend a new high school full of gossipy teens, where sex is as free wheeling as candy. She slowly starts to befriend her health/sex education teacher, Donna Cooper (played by Jane Krakowski). Mrs. Cooper and her husband Bob (played by Colin Ferguson), who is a coach at the school, have been trying to have a baby and even had a failed adoption. One day, Jacey faints at swim practice and has to go the emergency room. Mrs. Cooper goes to the hospital to check on her and finds Jacey holding Charlie while waiting on her Mom to finish the hospital paperwork. She talks to Jacey for a while and figures out that Charlie is Jacey’s son. .
Jacey and her Mom argue often and Jacey decides that she can handle being Charlie’s Mom – she doesn’t need her Mom to do it but Jacey struggles and turns to Mrs. Cooper for support learning that they (the Coopers) had a failed adoption placement and were struggling to have a child.
Jacey is beginning to realize that her Mom being Charlie’s Mom is not working and is still considering her options regarding placing Charlie for adoption. Jacey decides to join a group for young mothers and talks to the girls and learns more about open adoption versus raising their babies.
Time passes in the movie, and Mrs. Cooper excitedly runs into the gym telling her husband that she has just received a call from the adoption agency and that they have been chosen by a birthmom! At the adoption agency, they are told the birthmom has already had the baby and wants an open adoption. They agree and are anxiously waiting when Jacey walks in with her mother and Charlie. Jacey tells Mrs. Cooper that this is the hardest thing she will ever do.
In the last scene of the movie, Jacey is visiting the Coopers’ in their living room and Mr. Cooper is video taping them. He is asking Charlie, who appears to be about 5 years old, questions about what is new in his life. He says that he has a new baby sister and Mr. Cooper said "Where did she come from?' .Charlie tells him that his sister came from his mommy's tummy. And then Mr. Cooper asks Charlie where did he come from? And Charlie says, "From my Jacey's tummy." Mr. Cooper asks him, "Who is Jacey?" Charlie goes over to Jacey and hugs her. Mr. Cooper asks him, "What is so important about Jacey?" He says "I am the only one who knows how much she loves me." And Mr. Cooper says, "How is that?" Charlie says, "I am the only one who knows what her heart feels like from the inside." The movie ends with Charlie giving Jacey a big hug.
Mom at Sixteen is a touching, yet complex movie, which shows teenage pregnancy and open adoption in a very positive light. The birth mother and the adoptive family love each other deeply and they share their love for the child. I left out many endearing scenes and would recommend this movie to anyone who has not seen it, but be sure to bring a box of Kleenex.