So who am I? I'm Amstel (I actually don't like the beer). Amstel was a nickname I acquired during my college years (which are dwindling away as I type) when I began introducing myself as "Amstel" to strangers at parties, gatherings, what have you, simply to get a reaction. Some people believed me, and some did not...but the reaction was the best part of the recreational lie. It raised a lot of eyebrows...and I loved it. Speaking of raising eyebrows, I've done that a lot during the past five years of my life. I managed to be crowned homecoming queen, voted swim team captain, awarded powder puff mvp (over 100 rushing yards, byaaaa!), and get pregnant all in the same week during senior year of high school in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That's nearly impossible, and I'm pretty sure that it has never been done before. In June of 2005, after graduation and more than enough public humiliation, I moved to Raleigh, North Carolina to place my daughter in an open adoption with a couple who could not have children. When I placed Deanna with her family four years ago, I started over. I was no longer a humiliated unwed mother, but a college freshman who had a second chance to do all of the the things that an 18-year-old was supposed to be doing.I'm now a 22-year-old senior at NC State University, and I'm loving every second of it. I'm president of a student organization on campus, Real Choices, which is a group that advocates resources for pregnant, parenting, and post-abortive women on campus and in the community. I also serve as Arch Regent of The Golden Chain Society, an honor society for the top twelve rising seniors at NC State University. I work 20 hours a week as a Public Relations Representative for a neurologist, intern with the news desk at a local television station, teach Sunday School to a class of wonderful/rowdy/hilarious 8th graders, and I get to visit my beautiful 3 and a half year old daughter anytime that I want to. Perhaps it was a defense mechanism, but I did everything in my power to immerse myself in activities to prove that I made the right decision. I never really had the opportunity to share my experience with others. I'm finally ready to be honest about unplanned pregnancy, open adoption, and the loss of my daughter. A co-worker of mine told me about a new book that asks “famous people” to summarize their lives in just 6 words. The book: Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure by Rachel Fershleiser (Editor), Larry Smith (Editor). I struggled to capture the 22 years of my crazy life into just 6 words...then it came to me: "My failure was my greatest success"