When I realized I was pregnant, I remember feeling an incredible amount of emotions: shame, guilt, fear and worry to name a few. I remember feeling so alone thinking “How could an unplanned pregnancy happen to me?”
I was a Christian, a good student, a good daughter, and a good person. The most difficult part of this situation was knowing how terribly I would disappoint my parents, so, the father of this baby, my boyfriend (now husband) and I kept the pregnancy a secret.
The two of us did what anyone faced with an unplanned pregnancy does. We looked at all of our options. There was no denying that there was a little baby growing inside me – a new life – and we both knew that wholeheartedly.
Abortion – It’s the silent killer and no one would ever know I was pregnant. I wouldn’t have to face the judgment from family, friends, classmates, church members and community members. And as a pregnant teen in the late nineties, that was an incredibly hard thing to face. But, could I live with myself?
Adoption – People would know about my pregnancy and I would face the public judgment. But with adoption, this little baby would have a life with a loving family longing for a child. And I could continue my life in relatively the same way as before. But, could I give up this child to be raised by someone else?
Parenting – Can my boyfriend and I possibly raise a child at the ages of 16 and 17? We have to finish high school. We have no money. We are not yet adults ourselves. But, we are 100 percent in love, committed, and by each other’s side. We would have our parents by our side. And though it didn’t feel like it at the time, God never left our side. This little girl, who had grown inside my womb, kicked her little feet, had the cutest little hiccups, and developed the most beautiful little features – she’s our baby and she was ready to meet us in July 1999.
The narrative out there from pro-choice (really pro-death) groups is that unplanned babies ruin women’s lives. Unplanned babies are better off dead. Unplanned babies are not loved. Unplanned babies are not wanted by their own mother, not wanted by their father, and not wanted by loving families longing for a child of their own. Unplanned babies (and unborn babies) have no value.
Many from our small town, and even many from our own family will tell you that they thought our lives were “over”. The journey ahead looked incredibly difficult. But, it was ours to walk. Looking back, Jesus was most certainly there with us every step of the way.
With the help and support of family, my boyfriend and I went to high school full time. As soon as school was over each day, my boyfriend went to work at a local factory, working full-time hours, and I came home and took care of our little girl. It became our new normal, and we were better because of her. Because when you have a little one that you love deeply depending on you, you try to give them the world the best you know how. We were committed to making our little family the best it could possibly be, and would take the proper steps to ensure our family stayed a family of three until we were ready to have more children.
However, prepare as you may, my boyfriend and I were in for yet another surprise pregnancy. How did this happen? Can we do this? Can we raise another child? The emotions and fears come flooding back again.
At the ages of 18 and 19, a few days after receiving diplomas at our high school graduation ceremony, we became parents to another precious girl in May 2001. Three months later we married. My husband continued to work at the local factory full-time and also did construction full-time working incredibly hard to make ends meet. That fall, I went to college full-time, worked part-time, and was a full-time mom. Homework began late at night after the kids were fed, bathed, loved and tucked in bed and ended in the early morning hours. I graduated college and soon after got my first job. My career continued to progress, and when our girls were in middle school, while working full time, I went back and got my master’s degree. My husband became a full-time business owner growing and operating his own successful construction company.
Our daughters grew and developed into such special little girls who loved attending Sunday school and learning about Jesus, spending time with their doting grandparents and great-grandparents, playing sports and outside with daddy, barbies and books with mommy, and everything else little girls could love.
Does this sound like our lives were ruined? That these two babies would have been better off dead because they were unplanned? Our beautiful daughters gave us more strength than we ever knew we had and more love and joy than we ever knew was possible. They helped me and my husband dream and grow into who we are today – as Christians and as partners in marriage for over 18 years.
So yes, my life as I knew it before kids was indeed over. And you know what? That was an amazing thing! Our two incredible girls are without a doubt the best gifts and blessings from God that we could have ever received. My life, our lives, were filled with so much MORE than we could have ever imagined.
At times I look back and break down and cry thinking about the enormous hole my life would have in it if abortion would have been the choice. My life would have also been filled with more – more pain, more brokenness, more emptiness. It hurts my heart to think of any mother or father that has to live with those feelings, and I want you to know that just as God loves and forgives me, he loves and forgives you too no matter your choice.
Unplanned pregnancy, no matter how it happens, can fill your life with so much more than you ever imagine. Whether you choose to parent or place for adoption – when you choose life – you change so many lives for the better.
Our daughters are now both in college. They have touched so many lives already in their 18 and 20 years of life. They will go on to help others, love others, do amazing things, have families of their own and teach their children about the incredible love that Jesus has for them. God has a plan and purpose for them. This world needs our girls.
The world needs you. The world needs me. The world needs every little boy and girl in their mother’s womb to be born. The world needs MORE. More love. More life. More value placed on human life because God created each and every one of us for a reason, on purpose and with purpose.
Will you help young women experiencing unplanned pregnancy to choose life by supporting Lutheran Family Service financially? With your help, we make sure that vulnerable young women and their unborn babies are surrounded by Christian compassion, support services, counseling, and the love of Jesus to help them choose life through parenting or placing for adoption. Only through your support are we able to travel to them and offer our services at no cost to these young women. This program is 100 percent funded by people like you, that care. Please help this extremely important program continue so that this world can be filled with MORE – more little boys and girls that have the chance to be born and live their life of purpose.
Click HERE to help young women facing unplanned, crisis pregnancies by making a financial gift today.
May God bless your life with MORE.
Mollie Clark – Mom to Mara & Callie, whom I love with all my heart, and Director of Marketing for Lutheran Family Service