Fire for Life
Kendra found herself in a struggle of emotions. She had an intuition she was pregnant but was unsure. She was afraid and wrestled with the thoughts of having an abortion. It was that fear that led her to an abortion clinic. Her hope: that it would solve all her problems.
Amid her emotions and in sheer desperation, Kendra cried out to God. She asked Him to give her a sign not to do this. When she approached the clinic, she saw crowds of people fleeing and shouting, “there’s a fire!” Well, if she needed a sign from God, there it was.
It was an encounter here at COTH that would not only save Kendra, but also the lives of her unborn TWINS! You see, Kendra was our client in 2006. 15 years later, she found her way back to us. We fight the war for life every day and our clients never forget the seeds of hope we plant in their hearts. Kendra now has decided life for her twins and got to see her 19-week-old babies healthy and active on ultrasound.
I found out I was pregnant and I told my family right away about the situation and unfortunately they kind of put me to the side. They said “now that you’re pregnant the ball is in your court. You figure it out.” I lost my insurance. They took me off the insurance and they took me off basically everything. At the time I was only working at McDonald’s. I was a manager, which was great, but wasn’t much. My family basically said “you know as a young 18 year old, at the time, there’s no way that you’re going to be able to take care of a child and you should go get an abortion. This is going to ruin your life. You’re not going to be able to start college in the fall.” They made an appointment for me at one of these local clinics around.
I show up and I make my way into the procedure room. They do a quick ultrasound to see where the baby is I guess for positioning to for lack of a better word get rid of it. I’m laying back and they start the ultrasound and I see her heart beating just enough. The screen was facing me so I could see her heart beating and her spine a little bit and me as an 18-year-old I’m not familiar with ultrasound. I asked the lady, you know what is that right there? Is is that my baby’s arms? She says no. Those are are just buds, and in that moment they weren’t just buds to me. I took my legs out of the stirrups and get off the table. I literally said at the end of the day it’s me and her. I packed my stuff up. I left out of the room. The people in the clinic office were fine with me and said it’s OK, it’s your decision whatever you decide to do.
My parents were very unhappy with me, so I was on my own at the time; ball’s in my court as they say. I moved on. I figured it out. I packed up my stuff and stood up and moved forward. I found Choices of the Heart actually from a friend of mine’s grandmother who is familiar with the services here. I reached out to her because my parents turned their back on me. From the moment I called Choices of the Heart, they accepted me, unlike my family who turned their back on me. They became the family I needed.
The lady who answered the phone, she basically accepted me like I’m part of her family. She said, “honey we’re gonna get through this, when can you come in?” I think they were even able to see me that week. They made time for me and took me in. They gave me the information. They did my confirmation. They showed me my baby. It wasn’t just “buds” they showed me on the ultrasound, that this is your baby from head to toe. They showed me everything that I needed at that time. They took the time with me. They didn’t make me feel rushed. Any questions I had during the ultrasound they answered, every single one of them. Which was just what I needed. I needed somebody to say yes you’re 18 years old but you’ll be OK! You will be OK you and we’re gonna help you. They absolutely took care of me. Two weeks later I received postcards in the mail asking how I’m doing and just checking up on me. Even when I left the office they were right there. Always letting me know that we’re still thinking about me. We’re cheering you on! You’re gonna be ok.
I then went to Rutgers for my undergrad got my degree in nursing and now I’m a nurse. I work full-time and I’m still back in school for my doctorate so I’m currently doing my doctorate now and my nurse practitioner. My daughter now she’s actually a pre-Olympic gymnast and she’s just amazing. She’s just so well mannered and I’m so blessed. She’s just a joy. Everybody who’s around her just loves her. She’s such a good little princess. One thing I can say when I did come to Choices during one of our interviews or counseling sessions, we prayed and they said to me you don’t know what that little girl or boy is going to be. She could be the president. She wants to become a dermatologist because she wants to help people with skin problems and make them feel beautiful. She’s amazing and only 11 years old.
I first found myself in unplanned pregnancy in 2011. I was 15 years old. It was midterm season of high school. I was a sophomore and me and my friend were in the locker room and I was telling her that I thought that I was pregnant. Something I did not plan to ever say so young or thought that I would ever be saying. At that age you’re just kind of so naïve and you just think “not me.” We went home that day we took three pregnancy tests and they all came back positive. I was raised in a very Christian home; we were constantly praying and going to church, I knew that having sex outside of marriage was something I shouldn’t have been doing. I never thought that, like I said, I’d be in a position where I’d have to tell my mom who worked at a church and had to go to church job, and tell everybody there that her 15 year old daughter was pregnant. I never thought I would ever put my family in a situation like that, you know when you raise your children in a Christian environment and you know they’re brought up knowing God, you don’t think your child is going to be that child that’s going to be pregnant at 15 years old. You just you don’t believe it. Putting my family in that position was something that was one of the hardest parts of finding out I thought I was pregnant. When I told my mom that I was pregnant you know we knew that we weren’t going to do an abortion and we did talk about adoption but we didn’t know what we were going to do. We didn’t know who to go to. We didn’t know. I hadn’t even seen a doctor yet. I was so young and you typically don’t see a gynecologist until you’re like 17 or sometimes older, so we didn’t know where to begin.
We found out about Choices of the Heart from the church that my mom worked at. My mom thought “you know, there is an organization that we can go to to get help because we don’t know where to turn right now. We don’t know what doctor to see. We don’t know any resources at all.” We were at a standstill. We went to Choices of the Heart for an appointment. I had an ultrasound that day. I spoke to the doctor that day and the emotions were flowing in the ultrasound room. It was a very heavy time but we were so thankful that there was a place to go when we had nowhere.
When I was 19 years old I found out that I was pregnant again with my second daughter. I didn’t know that it was a girl at the time but I knew I was pregnant and at that point I knew that I was pregnant without even taking a test. When I took the test I was so in denial, I didnt believe that I was pregnant for about two weeks. I did not tell my mom for the longest time. This time because I couldn’t possibly tell her that I was pregnant again out of marriage and again so young. She was watching my baby for me because we were still living at her house and I headed off to an abortion clinic.
A place I thought I would NEVER be with my beliefs and my background. I was strongly against abortion but everything was wiped clean when I found out that I was pregnant again. Every thought went through my head on how I was going to afford for my daughter to do soccer or cheerleading or how I was going to pay for Christmases and birthdays and clothing and food. I already couldn’t afford it for one child; how was I going to do it for another one. All the impossible came flooding through my head and I felt that having this baby was going to hinder the baby that I already had. I knew that I had to go through with this abortion.
I went all the way to the clinic again; my mom had no idea. When I went to the clinic and I was sitting there I got the ultrasound done and they tried hiding it from me and I had looked over because deep in my heart I just wanted to see my baby. I was sitting in that chair and I said to myself, why am I not at Choices? Why am I not at Choices of the Heart? I knew God was telling me that I should’ve gone to Choices. I should’ve never gone to the abortion clinic but the fear just overcame me and I went to the abortion clinic. So as I’m sitting there I knew that if I had gone to Choices I would’ve seen my baby.
All I wanted to do was look at this ultrasound. When I looked over it was just a little tiny dot with two arrows and I knew that that was my baby but it was very, very tiny at the time so I walked out and went to the waiting room. I felt so heavy like “how can I possibly be doing this? How could I possibly be taking a sibling, a brother or sister, from my baby that I already have ? How can I take that from her?” So I went out to the parking lot. I was crying and crying and I made the decision that I was gonna go back in and pay for the ultrasound, which they made me do, and walk out. I went back in, I paid for the ultrasound. It was $75 and they tried to talk me out of leaving. They tried to say, oh well if you leave now you know that’s it. Your chart’s done; you gotta pay for this again , if you wait any longer you know… They just tried talking me out of it so I said I’m done I’m leaving. I paid and left.
I went home that day and told my mom. It was tears and tears and tears. I told her that I was at an abortion clinic and she was just crying. It was another heavy, heavy, heavy time, but let me tell you: walking out of that abortion clinic, God has never blessed me so abundantly in my life. He provided a home. He provided amazing jobs for both me and their dad so that we could provide for our children. We never ran into an issue. I had supportive parents who were there every step of the way. This made me want to help others because I know the feeling of being so terrified that you just have to go to an abortion clinic. I know that feeling coming from somebody who is 100% against it, somebody who would never in a million years think that she would ever be that girl in an abortion clinic. I was there! I know how these girls are feeling and I knew that God was going to use this to allow me to help other girls.
I needed a safe place to be able to talk to someone about how I was feeling, what my concerns were, and someone to tell me that I had choices.
From the moment I walked through the door, it was so welcoming. The staff walked me through everything they were going to do before they did it, and they made sure any questions that I had were answered.
I know now that I want to do everything just right. A big part of this was from having Choices of the Heart. I hope this is the start of a long relationship with Choices. I can’t believe I’m going to be a mom!
Thank you all so very much for all the education, opportunity, support and wonderful gifts you all have given me and my family. God bless you all.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I was still trying to adjust to life as new wife and as a mother. One difference between this pregnancy and my first, was that this time around I found the support of Choices of the Heart. The Equip program opened up a whole new world of resources for me. Not only did I have a chance to relate to other moms and moms-to-be, I learned so much from the classes and guest speakers each week. I enjoyed fellowship with other Christians and the generous spirits of the staff touched my heart. After the baby was born, volunteers came to our home with a beautiful gift bag and prayed for our family. It was truly a blessing. The adjustment to having two babies would have been a lot more difficult without the help of Choices of the Heart.
I wanted to thank you for helping me in the healing process. This was a sorrow and pain I thought I would never recover from. But with God’s help and yours, I was able to confront all the lies I was being fed and renounce them with truth. I still miss my baby, but when I think upon her I feel only a small ache instead of all consuming despair. I pray God continues to bless you.
I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me through the hardest time in my life. You saved my life. I thank God I met you.
Although there is not a day that passes that I don’t think about the baby I will never have, there is no more guilt and unforgiveness. God led me to you and I am able to accept His grace and forgiveness. Thank you for offering post abortion counseling. It saddens me to think of women out there that are living with such pain without knowing there is a place to come for help. Please know that you have been forever special in my heart and I appreciate your counseling.