I was only sixteen when I found out I was pregnant.
I was staying with my grandmother in California while my parents prepared for a move across the country. With my dad packing up the old house and my mom already preparing the new one, I was able to get away with just about anything I ever wanted. I was going out, having what I thought was the time of my life and making careless decisions.
When I found out I was pregnant, my entire world turned upside down. The baby’s father was no longer in the picture, my mom’s alcohol addiction spiraled out of control and my friends told me I should get an abortion. I didn’t know what to do. I felt alone. It was the most desperate place I’d ever been.
I came to Caris because I needed someone to talk to, someone to help make sense of how I was feeling.
I spent some time talking with a counselor, getting a chance to sort out my feelings and the pressure I felt from everyone around me. I walked into Caris feeling confused and scared, but I walked out with my mind made up and peace in my heart. I didn’t know how, but I knew I would survive this. I decided to love and raise my child.
A few weeks later, I received a call from the counselor inviting me to a join Caris Connection Group … it was exactly what I needed.
I couldn’t wait to go every week. Caris became a nurturing home, giving me the stability I lacked in my own disaster-filled family. The other women and I chose to make something beautiful out of our circumstances instead of listening to our culture tell us that we’d be “ruining more than own lives” by becoming moms. We became incredible, lifelong friends. The group’s love and support gave me hope to persevere through what was without a doubt the hardest and most trying time of my life.
It’s the craziest thing for me to look back on who I was prior to getting pregnant. I don’t recognize that girl anymore.
Caris showed me God’s love without judgment. They accepted me for who I was and supported me when I needed it most. Shortly after my time with Caris, I moved back to California with my son, Jesse, enrolled in nursing school and got a job in the medical field. Jesse is growing by leaps and bounds!
I believe that God is using Caris to turn despair and struggle into something beautiful and purpose-driven. Not a day goes by when I don’t reflect on how much I miss that home of mine and the fact that I wouldn’t be here today if it hadn’t been for Caris.