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Jennifer came to Options Clinic uncertain of her pregnancy decision. She was recently divorced from her husband, had a fling with a friend, and now suspected she might be pregnant. The potential father had left the state, and she had no intention of telling him about the pregnancy. Despite the complicated scenario, Jennifer had some very definite ideas about what she wanted to do.

“I knew I didn’t want to parent, and I always thought abortion was wrong. My friends and family encouraged me not to abort.”

Jennifer discussed her pregnancy options with her advocate at Options Clinic, Emily, who answered her questions about adoption. Emily encouraged Jennifer to think through all her options and not rush into a hasty decision. And Jennifer didn’t. With parenting not an option for her situation, she had only two choices. While she couldn’t be the parent the baby needed, she could make the brave choice to give the baby a loving family.

Jennifer came back for her sonogram appointment with her mind made up:  with the full backing of her support system, she had decided to place for adoption. She already had an appointment to meet with an adoption agency to discuss her plans and felt very confident that she was making the best decision for the baby and herself given her circumstances.

The sonogram revealed that she was seven weeks pregnant, and Options Clinic kept in contact with Jennifer throughout her pregnancy. The caseworker at the adoption agency supported her while she was pregnant, and Jennifer remained confident in her decision to place for adoption. She knew her road wouldn’t be easy, but it would give her baby a life with parents that wanted a baby more than anything but couldn’t have one without help.

Jennifer decided on an open adoption plan and selected a couple she was very excited about, calling them “the most precious people ever.” She referred to the baby as “their baby” and “their newborn,” and couldn’t wait to see the journey they were about to embark on.

Later that year, she delivered a baby boy and placed him in the arms of his adoptive parents. Seeing the love in the new parents’ eyes as they looked at their newborn son made every step of her journey worth it.

Two years later, Jennifer came back to Options Clinic for a pregnancy test. She and her husband were back together, and this baby was his. She continued to keep in contact with her biological son and his adoptive parents, and still felt she made the best decision for herself and the baby. Though her first baby was not her husband’s, he supported her decision to carry the pregnancy and make an adoption plan. Jennifer attended classes and received support at Grace House Pregnancy Center during her second pregnancy.

Around 45% of pregnancies in the U.S. are unplanned leaving many women struggling to prepare for a baby they weren’t quite ready for.1 Grace House provides classes like Preparing for Baby, Baby’s First Year, How to Dad, Breastfeeding, and Infant CPR, allowing parents-to-be to learn while also providing them an opportunity to earn credits to use in the Boutique, which offers maternity clothes, baby clothes, baby equipment, diapers, and formula.2

Only 5% of adoptions in the U.S. are closed adoptions, so Jennifer’s experience with getting to know prospective parents is not unusual, although the birth mother can choose the level of contact she is comfortable with.3 67% of privately adopted children have pre-adoption agreements.4

And since birth parents agree to the amount of contact with the adoptive family, they won’t need to worry about how their adopted child is doing. According to the 2007 National Survey of Adoptive Parents, most adopted children—85%—are in excellent or very good health.5 Information like this and her familiarity with the adoptive parents gave Jennifer peace of mind and confidence that she had made the best decision for herself and her baby.

It gave them both bright futures.

Sources

  1. Guttmacher Institute
  2. Grace House Ministries
  3. American Adoptions
  4. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  5. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

*Names were changed to protect the privacy of the former client.

A new dad walked into our center last week. His daughter was born a little early, and he needed a car seat. The baby’s mother had been attending classes and saving up points to get a new one, but since the baby came early, she didn’t quite have enough.

Just as Rosemary, our Pregnancy Center Coordinator, was about to give dad the car seat despite a credit shortage, another client stepped in. She had been talking with Rosemary when the dad walked in and overheard the story. “Just use my points,” she offered.

When Rosemary told her she would just use enough to cover the shortage, the client insisted, “Do it all on my account.”

 

After the new father thanked her and left to take the car seat back to the hospital, the client reminded Rosemary that another client had done the same thing for her a year ago when she needed a high-chair, and she had never forgotten it. Though she hadn’t met this new mother, she wanted to pay the kindness forward.

The car seat cost was 40 points, which equates to four one hour classes. Since most moms come to one class per week, this was a month’s worth of points the client had been saving up. Our point system is not a strict one, but it gives parents an incentive to come receive instruction and support while earning the things they need for their family. The client’s gift required a sacrifice.

This might not be the type of story you expect to hear from a Pregnancy Resource Center, but our classes are about so much more than healthy pregnancies and caring for a newborn. New moms and dads are taking part in community, building friendships, looking beyond their difficult circumstances to support one another.

This Mother’s Day, we are celebrating the selflessness that moms display, not only for their children, but also for each other!

The community we create at Grace House Pregnancy Center is possible only because of the faithful support of many churches, businesses, and individuals. Will you become a monthly partner and ensure our free services continue changing lives? Join us in promoting hope and life!

“The worst thing was that when I had the chance to do something, I just stood there.”

Abby Johnson’s life completely changed in 2009 when she assisted with an ultrasound-guided abortion at the Planned Parenthood facility where she worked. Horrified by what she saw, she stepped down from her position and devoted her future to pro-life advocacy.

We had the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A with the former abortion clinic director and hear her incredible story of redemption at our Gather event September 30.

“We need to talk now about what we can do to be part of the solution,” Abby said. “It’s easy to get stuck in your past because that’s where the enemy wants you to live. But God wants your future.”

Abby now travels the world sharing her story with millions. She has also founded a nonprofit that assists abortion clinic staff who are seeking a life change.

“I realized that there was nothing I could do to make up for what I had done,” she said in response to one guest’s question. “But I also realized that because of the scandalous mercy of Jesus Christ, I didn’t have to.”

Our staff also took the opportunity to share a behind-the-scenes look at Grace House and discuss how the ministry has affected them personally.

“The stories we hear are often deep, difficult, and heart-wrenching,” shared Rosemary Boswell, our Grace House Pregnancy Center Coordinator. “These new moms and dads have experienced things I couldn’t even fathom. They come to us for help, but they are braver and stronger than they realize. I am fully aware that I may be one of the only examples of Christ’s love they experience in their day. I also have the privilege of visiting our new moms in the hospital, and I get to hold their newborn babies, often just a few hours old. I have held 19 newborn babies this year! I thought I would come to Grace House and be a part of changing lives, but it has been a life-changer for me.”

Because of the generosity of our amazing community, over $75,000 was raised to continue the life-affirming work of Grace House Ministries!

Many thanks to all who made the evening a success and for giving us the opportunity to share with you what God is doing through this ministry because of partnerships like yours.

Grace House Ministries provides free, life-affirming services to the community through three branches: Options Clinic offers free pregnancy testing and pregnancy verification under the medical direction of Dr. Lindsay McBride; Grace House Pregnancy Center offers free parenting classes where clients can earn credit to spend on clothes and formula; Pure Truth in-school training program sends volunteers into local schools to teach an abstinence-based curriculum and awards a scholarship every spring to a deserving high school senior.

Interested in learning more about Grace House Ministries? Like us on Facebook, sign up for our mailing list, or see how you can get involved!

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