Evans is also mother to 4-year-old Jace, who’s currently under the custody of his grandmother, Barbara. She and Griffith met in June on a dating app and bonded immediately over their similar parenting struggles (Griffith has a 2-year-old daughter named Emery).
“His ex-wife’s parents have guardianship [of Emery], kind of like the situation I’m in,” Jenelle explained. “He was like, ‘No one understands the situation I’m in and that I deal with,’ and I said that I could relate to him. We both have to deal with our parents to deal with our children.”
Jenelle recalled that the father of her future child almost didn’t give her a chance because of her recognizable name. “He thought that I was Catfishing him, and he wouldn’t meet me in person,” she revealed. “Eventually he came around, though, and the two had an instant connection. So much so that they began to seriously discuss trying for a baby a few months into their relationship.
“We just want a child of our own that we can raise together as a family, and we want a stable relationship for Jace and his daughter,” she said. “We just want to settle down.”
Evans, who’s struggled with drug abuse for years, seems confident that she and Nathan have a shot at going the distance, especially since, according to her, he doesn’t party like her exes. “It works because he doesn’t like drugs, barely drinks, nothing like that,” she proudly declared. They plan to tie the knot sometime next summer, after the baby is born. “I have to get divorced first, of course,” she said of her short-lived marriage to Courtland Rogers, who’s serving jail time until January. “I haven’t spoken to him since he got arrested last April, actually.”
Things seem to be looking up for Jenelle, and she assured us she’s ready for the huge turn her life is about to take. “I think it would scare me more if I was in the situation I was when I had Jace,” she reasoned. “Now I’m in a stable relationship and I have my own place, my own car, a job…I can pay my bills. I’m just happy with my life right now.”
Of course, Jenelle’s no stranger to public criticism, and she’s fully prepared for any backlash about the pregnancy that may fill her Twitter feed. Much has changed since people watched her succumb to the grips of heroin addiction on Season 4 of “Teen Mom 2,” which was filmed over one year ago, and she’s eager for others to take notice of how far she’s come.
“I’ve got my life together now, and I’m a different person from what they’ve seen,” she said. “I just can’t wait for them to see how much I’ve bettered my life. I understand if they judge me now, but they won’t judge me soon.”
+ For information about sexual health issues affecting young people, head to MTV’s It’s Your Sex Life website, and for a blast from the past, check out Jenelle’s “16 and Pregnant” episode from 2010.