I saw Jasmine in the hallway just coming out of the ultrasound room. She looked unsteady and a bit dazed. Already the mother of 5 children ranging in age from two to eight, including four-year-old twins, she was beyond stressed and appeared to be at the breaking point.
An ultrasound had just revealed that Jasmine was pregnant again with another set of twins.
When Jasmine first arrived for her appointment, she thought abortion was her only choice, not knowing how she could ever handle another baby and now there were two! During the counseling session, we also learned that Jasmine had a previous abortion using the abortion pill and was very traumatized by the experience. Jasmine received the love and support she needed while educating her on the abortion pill, surgical abortions, fetal development, parenting, and adoption.
Jasmine was still very vulnerable but was committed to carrying the babies to term. We were excited to learn a week later that she had just made her first pre-natal appointment at a local clinic. We will continue to walk with Jasmine and her family, supporting her with love and encouragement in the coming weeks and months as she further explores parenting and a possible adoption plan.
The last time we saw Julie was in September of last year. She was alone and afraid the day she had her ultrasound at Morning Star. She didn’t think she could have a baby and had an appointment already scheduled at the abortion clinic for the next day.
When she saw not just one but two babies that day, she began to cry. After the ultrasound, she said she didn’t think she could go through with it. When she left, we knew we were not totally out of the woods yet and we confirmed a week later that she had had her first prenatal care appointment. As sometimes happens, we lost track of Julie because of phone numbers and address changes.
So, we were elated when Julie called and requested formula for five-month-old twins. She stopped in on her way home from work to pick up the baby supplies and we scheduled a follow-up appointment to keep in-touch with Julie and the babies. She said having twins is hard, but that they are all doing great! She was very thankful for the help and we are very glad that she knew where to turn when she needed that help. Praise God!
Jessica cried at the realization that she was pregnant. She already had a child and felt that another was simply impossible. She was overwhelmed by her job, lack of support, childcare problems, and financial struggles. She had an ultrasound, saw her 3 month old baby on the screen, jumping and kicking around! As we talked she said, “If I hadn’t come here today I’d be at the abortion clinic. Something helped me find Morning Star.” She cried as she processed the lifestyle changes this baby would require, but continued to repeatedly express gratitude to us. This is just one of the stories we hear first hand. It’s such a privilege and gift to be present in these sacred moments.
We looked at brochures—abortion procedures, fetal development, and short and long term abortion risks. She was amazed.
We did an ultrasound and saw her baby at almost 9 weeks old. We saw the heart beat and the baby’s movements! Then she said, “I can’t get rid of that—it has a heartbeat and it moves!” She became excited and began to ask questions about how to take care of herself and protect her baby!
We gave her information on how to get health insurance, find a doctor, how to take care of herself and baby, and referrals for other agencies. And, of course, we made sure she knew that she could come to us for maternity clothes, baby clothes and furniture…or just if she needed to talk.
She came in for a pregnancy test. It was positive. She was OK with being pregnant, but she wasn’t married. She was living with her parents, but it was uncomfortable to live there. Her boyfriend lived with his mom. Because her situation wasn’t desirable, they planned to move in together as she saw no other way to manage financially.
We talked about relationships; discussed how future marriages fair better and survive longer when couples don’t live together. But she still thought it was the only option. I gave her some information to take home and read.
She returned for an ultrasound a short while later. Then she told us that she had decided to get a place to live by herself! Even though she was having difficulty finding a place that would accept her with her present salary, she had made her decision. She said, “I thought about what you said, and decided it was better.”
When we sow words of life and truth, they will reap fruit.
A woman from Africa came to Morning Star. She was brought by 2 women who had reached out to her on the street by the abortion clinic. She was pregnant, but wanted an abortion because of her difficult relationship and decisions she regretted. We listened as she shared her heart and concerns. On her ultrasound we saw her 9 week, 3 day old baby who moved around on the screen as if to show us she was alive and well! When the age of the baby was confirmed, Faith was relieved and very happy. Her tears of sadness turned to joy! Throughout the pregnancy she maintained contact with Morning Star. Then one day she visited with her new baby only 2 weeks after birth. She was so precious and beautiful!
She said, “Seeing my baby on ultrasound convinced me not to abort. Morning Star helped me a lot. I was so upset when I came, but they were kind and gentle. I fell in love with my baby when I saw her. Morning Star still helps me.”
When Donna came to Morning Star she needed a friend. She was 7 months pregnant and felt very alone. She wanted to end her life. Her boyfriend and family kept telling her that she’d be a lousy mother and to get rid of the baby. The pain of that verbal abuse was difficult to bear. At Morning Star Donna found the support, love and encouragement she needed. These are Donna’s own words - - “Following through with my decision to parent has been very hard at times but I always knew Morning Star was there to help me and to listen. My son is 11 months old and I love him very much.”
Jason is now one year old. At this point he knows nothing about the single mother who brought him into the world. One day he’ll learn of her loving sacrifice on his behalf. Like his adoptive parents, he will bless her for her gift of love.
“I could never give my baby away, I’d rather abort it than go through all of that.” We can’t count the number of times we’ve heard this said by women facing a crisis pregnancy. Women have been taught by our culture that death is better than personal sacrifice. We praise God for giving Morning Star to minister words of light and life to those we counsel. With God’s grace and the working of His power, we continue to see hearts and minds changed as more women are expressing renewed interest in making an adoption plan for their baby.
Allison came to Morning Star clearly upset. Her eyes were puffy and she kept her head down. Unfortunately, her emotional state was not an unusual sight for us. We’re used to young women facing intense emotional pain. She told us that if she were pregnant, she would end the pregnancy because she just couldn’t handle a baby at this time. About 45 minutes later, Alison left smiling. Her pregnancy test was negative. Allison listened when we told her how valuable and special she was.
She made a positive decision to refrain from sexual relations with her boyfriend. She even told us that she’s going to re-think her relationship with God. When leaving Allison said there was something different at Morning Star – people who really cared about her.
Carmen briskly made her way through the front door with her three year old son clinging to her pant leg. Her arms surrounded a large plastic bag of baby clothes. “This is to help someone else as much as it helped me. I wouldn’t have made it at all if it wasn’t for Morning Star. I just didn’t think I could go on. My life was a wreck. My counselor helped me make positive changes in my life. Now I feel good about myself. I am a good mother to my son and I understand how valuable his life is.”
Matthew came to Morning Star in dire need. His infant daughter Serena was born premature. Her mother, a crack and methadone addict, was unable to care for her. Matthew stayed by his daughter’s side while she spent two months in the neonatal intensive care unit being weaned off of drugs. “I was at the end of my rope. I spent all I had on medical bills. Morning Star gave me diapers, formula and a crib.” He is raising his beautiful, healthy daughter and is grateful for the support and encouragement he received at Morning Star.
* Names changed for client confidentiality