Mother’s Day is upon us. Many of us are preparing for a celebration with the moms in our lives. These wonderful souls come in different forms, but most of us have someone in our life that helped steer us into the man or woman we are today.
I can’t help but think about the patients at HOPE this week. Women of all ages looking down at a pregnancy test and receiving news that brings about every feeling and emotion imaginable. In a split second they enter into motherhood. In a moment they feel as if the entire weight of the world is on their shoulders. Fear and anxiety set in as they craft a plan to alert their parents, friends, and family. Our patients seldom look on the bright side, because, honestly, there is very little brightness occurring in this news.
I realize this seems like harsh language, but it is important that we meet these conversations head-on. There is no reason to sugarcoat what is going on with our patients. Fantasy may seem attractive to us and paint a pretty picture, but fantasy is not reality, and at HOPE we are in the reality business. Many of our patients are struggling with abusive relationships, finishing school, drug addiction, or a host of other obstacles that cloud out the excitement of a new pregnancy.
This is why our patients are so brave. Many of them, in the face of horrid obstacles, choose to parent their child, come to parenting class, and meet with a mentor. This isn’t easy for them, but they buckle down and put in the work as they prepare for a new journey. A journey, mind you, that involves another life. A life that will keep them up at night, test their patience, struggle in school, and cost them money.
Our patients are not unlike many of you. They focus on the negative aspects first as our mind tends to lead us down the dark paths that may be ahead of us. However, this dark path begins to see light as preparations are made. This is when our patients, after many conversations with HOPE staff and volunteers, begin to see the joy in motherhood.
Those late nights with our kids show us how much we can love another. The days where we lack patience actually helps us become more patient. Those tough days in school for our children creates leaders that will change the world. The money spent on our children is seen as an investment not a simple expense. This doesn’t mean that the path is obstacle free, but with the right tools those obstacles become manageable. This is when the bravery shines through and our inexperienced patients become wonderful moms!
I was reminded of this earlier in the week. We received a call from a former patient that found her way to HOPE 18 years ago. This patient faced many hurdles, but through HOPE’s assistance was able to see parenting as an option. She chose life for her child and this week that beautiful little girl born in 2000 becomes a high school honors graduate!
These are the brave women we get to serve every single day at HOPE. These stories are not always filled with positive news and don’t always have happy endings, but the bravery of those we serve is on clear display.
I am not asking you to neglect the moms in your life this week, but we would greatly appreciate your prayers for our patients that are entering motherhood unexpectedly. Remember them this week as you celebrate. After all, your support of HOPE helps make their dreams a reality.
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director