God's Gift

There are many people who pass through our doors, and although we seek to love them all, the faces do blend as the months pass. Girls, women, mothers, daughters, friends come to the Pregnancy Care Center, each with her own story and experiences, each with her own hopes and fears. We are just one small part of her life. With the pregnancy, we usually only hear the beginning of the story. The rest is yet to be told. Maybe we will hear it; maybe we won’t. In the midst of this flurry of faces and stories, dreams and anxieties, there is one that stands out to me more than any other. I had a brief conversation with this mom over our front counter as she came to show us her beautiful baby girl. I had just started working at the Pregnancy Care Center, so was not here for her pregnancy test or ultrasound, but the story she told me I will never forget

This client was an immigrant. She came with a friend who translated for her, because she doesn’t speak English. When she first came to the United States, it was determined that due to her circumstances her children should be taken from her. Not understanding what the social workers were asking of her, she signed their papers and lost her two children. When she became pregnant again, she feared the same outcome and determined to have an abortion. She came through our doors, and after understanding the support our center offered, she decided to keep her baby, knowing now someone would be her advocate. Her fear almost prevented her from having the joy of a daughter she desperately wanted to keep; Pregnancy Care Center offered her the support to strengthen her so she could make the decision that was always in heart: to have a baby to love.

As we were hearing her friend translate bit by bit this story, she finally told us that the name she gave her daughter means “God’s Gift.” Hearing about her tragedy, I can only imagine how much more rarified, refined, precious this gift must have been to her who has lost so much.

Although I often think of this woman, her story came to mind more clearly and more potently to me because I recently watched the documentary, It’s a Girl, about gendercide. I cannot help but see the contrast between the perspectives on the birth of this baby girl: a gift not a curse; the memories you had lost returned to you, instead of fear of poverty; love and joy rather than abuse and suffering. This is why the work of Pregnancy Care Center is so important. We are here to lift up women, offer them strength, options, a future, and hope. We are, one by one, in a small but personal way, turning back the tide of inequality, of prejudice, of suffering, of loneliness, of abandonment, of abuse. Sometimes we forget how dark, how cruel, how unkind this world can be. I think of Matthew Arnold’s poem, “Dover Beach,” which says, “We are alone as on a darkling plain / Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,” but at Pregnancy Care Center we seek to be a place of light, of hope, of comfort, and of STRENGTH.