At age 15, she found herself pregnant. With so many emotions running through her head, Jen remembers being concerned about what her mom was going to say and what her friends would think.
I felt scared, alone, hopeless and like a failure. I didn’t want to have an abortion, but I couldn’t possibly take care of the baby either. During that time I remember thinking, what in the world am I going to do?
Finding First Care
Within a few weeks after finding out she was pregnant, Jen found herself walking through the doors of First Care Pregnancy Center, looking for help. The staff welcomed her and listened to her as she tried to put into words the overwhelming emotions of her unplanned pregnancy. “They were amazing. I began meeting with a social worker regularly, and without judgement, she listened to me, loved on me and supported me, and it didn’t cost me a dime.”
Jen then began to go through decision making counseling at First Care where the social worker talked with her about all the options she had for her pregnancy. “My social worker told me about my choices without pressuring me in any one direction, and she waited patiently for me to make a decision that was best for me.” As Jen learned more about the possibility of adoption, she grew more and more interested.
I felt like adoption was the most loving decision I could make, but I didn’t know if I could do it. I was falling in love with this little baby growing inside of me, could I really just let her go?
A Selfless Choice
As Jen continued to look into adoption and talk to her social worker, she knew her heart was changing. “I began looking through profiles of prospective parents. I looked into the eyes of couples who, unlike me, were ready and longing to have a child they could not conceive.”
My heart was changing and I knew the most selfless, loving thing I could do for this baby was not only to give her life, but to give her the life she deserved.
Jen chose a waiting adoptive family to adopt her daughter. Jen and the family agreed on an open adoption, where they would maintain a relationship with each other by sending pictures and letters back and forth. On March 2nd, 1995, Jen’s beautiful daughter was born. “I am not going to lie, placing her in the arms of her adoptive parents was one of the hardest, most painful things I have ever done. But I knew it was right; I was giving her life.” Seventeen years later, in 2012, Jen had the opportunity to reunite with her daughter and her adoptive family, and is a day she remarks as a day she will treasure into eternity.
Today Jen feels blessed to be able to give back to New Life both personally and professionally. In 2012, the same year she reunited with her daughter, she ran her first marathon to benefit First Care. New Life also is proud to partner with Jen in selling her UrbanHalo headbands at events and fairs.
I think back to those early weeks of my unplanned pregnancy and I am beyond grateful New Life was there when I needed them. I am so happy that with their help I was able to choose adoption for my daughter.
Most recently, New Life Family Services hosted its 17th Annual Birth Mother Dinner in May where Jen shared her personal journey of growth since placing her daughter for adoption.
She challenged the birth moms in attendance to share their own adoption stories in order to bring hope and encouragement to others who are still struggling with the decision they made to place their children for adoption.
Visit us at the State Fair! Buy a headband and support life!
We are located on the second floor of the Grandstands on the south side.