Adilene as a freshman was finding high school to be everything that she had dreamed—classes, friends, homecoming dances. She was having a ball, and thought that this is how the high school years unfold. For some maybe, but for Adilene, she would be ending her freshman year with a baby in her arms.
She had no idea how she would break the news of her pregnancy to her parents, but finally, after two weeks, she told her mom about the baby. Both of her parents were extremely disappointed, and thankfully decided to support her regardless of her circumstances.
When Adilene first realized her pregnancy, her initial thoughts were, “My life is over… I have no future.” But she now realizes that her thinking was wrong. When the nurses let Adilene hold Brianna for the first time, at that moment, her life had only just begun. Adilene, now fifteen, was in love with her baby girl, but what now? Is love all it takes to raise a baby as a teenager? This is where Kindred Life Ministries enters the picture.
Adilene first heard about the program from a librarian at school. This librarian happened to have a friend who was a mentor at Kindred Life, and she suggested that Adilene meet with the branch director. Adilene was reluctant and wanted to say “no,” but the librarian insisted that Adilene just listen to what the director had to say. Adilene unenthusiastically took the librarian up on her offer and met with Kathy, from the Antioch branch. Kathy explained how Kindred Life could assist Adilene with the baby, help with child support, and many other program benefits. Adilene decided to give Kindred Life a try, and when Brianna, was just two months old, they attended their first meeting.
Adilene was apprehensive of the program at first, but she quickly came to look forward to those weekly meetings. During Adilene’s participation in the program she was fortunate enough to be matched with two different mentors who were able to model healthy relationships and parenting and provided the emotional support Adilene needed. Adilene took comfort in knowing that she had someone outside of her family that she could depend on. To Adilene, the mentors were not just an extra pair of hands they were women, ready and willing to help her in any way that they could.
Kindred Life became a place for Adilene to let down and breathe for a few hours. Once a week, she could feel like she was not the only one struggling with this life. She was able to connect with other girls going through the exact same struggles that she was experiencing. Not only was she able to get some one-on-one time with her mentor, she was also able to get some invaluable “life skills” education.
Each week, Kindred Life would cover different topics that were designed to help the teens become more independent. Adilene was especially impressed by the child development workshops. As a teenager, you hardly know what to expect of your own body, let alone how your child should be developing.
The most helpful lecture was on child custody issues and child support. Kindred Life brought in a lawyer that explained how child custody worked, what forms needed to be filled out for child support, and the process for getting custody. Previously, Adilene had no idea where to even begin with these issues, but with the help of her mentor, she was able to secure child support from the father.
With the program’s help, Adilene finish high school early in 2012, and even helped her apply for college. Right now, Adilene is attending college to be an ultrasound technician, and plans to complete her program next year. Brianna is now five years old and loves painting and playing with her pet the Chihuahua.
Adilene says that her life is pretty much complete with Brianna. Life is still hard at times, but even in perfect situations, life can be difficult. Adilene is strong and ready to meet the challenges that may pop up along the way. A lot of this confidence is due to the help, love, and support that Kindred Life showed to Adilene. She is now feels able to encourage other girls facing the same struggles. She says, “Don’t worry too much. Everything will be fine. You will meet people who will help you more than you can ever [know]. These ladies have impacted my life in so many ways. They are older, but they know what’s going on. There are other people out there that you will relate too. It’s scary now, but when you hold you baby in your hands, your world changes, for the better, not the worse.”