The following story comes from Gulf Coast Storks in Southwest Florida.
The gynecologist put her hand on mine as she told me I was pregnant. I was in shock. I couldn’t have a baby right now with everything that was happening in my life—large work commitments, a possible wedding in the future, and my mom’s health. I could think of a hundred more reasons why a baby just wouldn’t work.
My boyfriend, Dan, and I were both raised in very religious families. While our parents were loving and supportive, we knew no one would be happy about a baby coming before the marriage ceremony. We were taught to do things the “right” way and we knew this didn’t fit that mold. Until this point, I fit the role of “perfect daughter” and “perfect Christian.”
Being pregnant would mean that everyone would know who I really am.
I made an appointment at an abortion clinic outside of town—I couldn’t risk the chance of running into someone who knew my family. Dan came to the appointment with me, but made it clear that he didn’t support my decision. However, he loved me and wanted a future with me, so he was willing to put aside his own feelings and beliefs on the subject.
When we arrived at the clinic, we saw groups of people on the sidewalk holding signs. One sign in particular stood out. It said, “If You Believe, Leave.” It had a large cross on it. I did “believe,” so what was I doing here?
I wanted to turn around right then, but all I could think of was the shame and embarrassment that would come with being pregnant. I knew abortion was wrong, but it was a wrong that I could hide.
We parked and walked toward the clinic. Dan gripped my hand and reminded me that we didn’t need to go in. I just kept walking.
As I filled out paperwork in the office, I began to cry. Was I making the right decision? When my name was called I started to feel like I couldn’t breath. I got up, but instead of going down the clinic hallway, I walked right outside. Dan followed me. I was so confused. Through tears I told him that I didn’t think I could go through with the abortion, but that I also couldn’t go through with the shame of a pregnancy. It felt like I had no options.
At that moment, I looked up and saw a beautiful purple bus with images of flying birds covering the sides. In bold letters it said, “You Have Options.” A woman standing near the bus was watching me. She walked over and asked if she could do anything for me. She said that she might be able to help us.
She invited us into the mobile unit. The bus was so cool compared to the summer heat outside. She offered me Kleenex and gave Dan and me some cool bottled water. I began to calm down. For the next thirty minutes I shared my story with her.
We talked about my religious beliefs, my family, and my work situation. As we discussed these concerns, she wrote down the pros and cons of each and we discussed the possible outcomes. After we did this, I realized that all of my concerns were manageable. Some actually weren’t even legitimate.
I looked over at Dan. His head was hanging low and his hands were covering his face. He looked up and, with tears in his eyes, he firmly said, “We are not going to end the life of our child. We don’t kill our children.” He went on to challenge me by asking, “Why do we need to be so concerned about what others think anyways?” And that is exactly what I needed to hear in that moment. I realized that what God says about me was so much more important than what others say about me.
We decided to keep our baby! From that moment on, my heart has been filled with relief and peace. We are so thankful for the counsel we received on the Stork Bus and the continual support we have found in the local pregnancy center.
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