When hard times fall on a person, the question that quickly comes to mind is, “What good can come out of this situation?” This question overwhelms teenage girls, when they find out that they are pregnant and alone. Little did a woman, we will call Bethany, know that her story could help save the life of someone being born, almost twenty years later. Bethany had a daughter as a teenager. She faced countless struggles, as all teenage mothers do. In high school, Bethany’s daughter became friends with a girl named Klaudia, who was about to begin life as a teen mom. This is her story.
Klaudia was born in Poland and immigrated to the U.S. when she was only one year old. At eighteen, Klaudia moved out of her house to escape an abusive home. On her own, Klaudia worked and tried to sustain herself, while saving money to go to the college as she wanted to study English and Education. Sometime after the move, Klaudia learned that her father passed away from his battle with leukemia. This was so devastating, because now Klaudia felt as though she did not have a soul in the world that she could turn too. Communication was especially strained with her mom now. Not long after her father’s death, Klaudia found out that she was pregnant with her ex-boyfriend’s baby.
Fear overwhelmed her. She knew she was alone and had no one to support her. She did not know how to care for a baby, and her life was in such shambles that she decided to have an abortion. To her, an abortion would save the baby from a hard, dysfunctional life. Klaudia scheduled her abortion on the last legal day possible, hoping for a miracle. This is where Bethany comes into the story.
Bethany heard from her daughter the struggles that Klaudia was having. Through some gentle prodding, Klaudia agreed to meet with Bethany. Initially, Klaudia did not want to meet because she was so tired of being judged and told what to do. However, Bethany was different. She sat silently and just listened to what Klaudia had to say. She did not judge her, nor did she tell her what she “should” or “should not” do. However, Bethany did recount her story to Klaudia, emphasizing the overwhelming love a mother has for her baby after birth. After their conversation, Bethany offered to take Klaudia wherever she wanted to go. When the day came, Klaudia directed Bethany to the Obstetrician office, and not the abortion clinic. Klaudia recalls the ultrasound picture showing a baby girl, with hands raised, as if thanking her mom for allowing her to live.
Now that Klaudia decided to raise her baby, she had much to prepare. Bethany and other women lent their support. In addition to preparing for the baby, Klaudia moved in with the baby’s dad, and just as quickly moved out again. This relationship was definitely not going to work out, and again, the fear of being alone engulfed Klaudia. While sharing her feelings with a friend, Klaudia learned about a program for teen mothers.
Klaudia was accepted into the teen mother program when her daughter, Isabelle, was six months old and soon found a strong connection with her mentor, Amy. Amy had a baby girl about the same age as Isabelle. Klaudia was impressed with how much she could tell Amy without her getting nervous or upset. Amy helped Klaudia to enroll at the community college and coached her on other goals. She did not tell Klaudia what to do, rather she helped her think through situations and make her own decisions. This connection is what helped Klaudia the most.
Klaudia longed for friendship, and that is what she found most helpful from the teen mother program. Isabelle also loved coming to meetings because of Miss Carol, the child-care taker. The ministry also helped Klaudia with parenting advice, and she felt that her mentors held a wonderful standard to model.
Klaudia believes her biggest accomplishments are yet to come. She received a lot of emotional support and built confidence enough for her to enroll in school and establish a savings account. Klaudia now works at Isabelle’s day care as a toddler teacher and is beginning more college classes in January. Klaudia says, “If it wasn’t for their (mentors) love and counsel, I couldn’t be where I am…”
Isabelle turned four this past December, and is the love of her mother’s life. Klaudia desires that she quickly develop personal confidence and, “feel good in her own skin.” Klaudia is also modeling to not let life get her down, and working to protect her from the harsh world. So in answer to the question, “What good can come from a hard situation like this?” A beautiful little girl named Isabelle is the answer. Who knows, maybe someday, Klaudia can relate her story to another teen mom, and save another life, just like Isabelle’s.