My name is Emilie and this is my New Life Story.
I was just a freshman in college, I was a high achiever with a plan for my life, which did not include getting pregnant. When I found out, I was in total shock. I told my parents and they were as shocked as I was. They were a little bit disappointed, but very supportive. They told me about a place called New Life Family Services where I could go and discuss my options.
My first meeting with Caitlin sticks out to me because we spent a lot of time talking about how I was feeling, what I was thinking, what I was concerned about. I’m wired by nature to want to know the information and make a plan and stick to the plan. Instead, my time at New Life caused me to dig into what was going on in my head and heart: what I wanted, what I was scared about, what I imagined for my future and how my options fit into that.
Caitlin provided me with helpful information and long term goals to think about. As I thought through it, I did consider adoption, but ultimately realized I wanted to raise my child and I knew I could do it because there was support available, even if my relationship with the baby’s father was complicated and difficult.
After I made that decision, I enrolled in Parenting Plus and attended once a week throughout my pregnancy. Through this program, I was able to learn about healthy development and growth as well as meet with Parenting Coaches who were genuinely interested in my life and how I was doing. I think this program helped me feel less anxious about becoming a mother and it also provided me with practical items, such as diapers and clothes for my baby.
Eli was born in May of 2015 and being his mom has been absolutely awesome. It hasn’t been without hardship, but the joys have far outweighed the hard days. Since then, I graduated Parenting Plus after two years in the program. I finished college with two degrees and I married the love of my life, a man who has been a part of Eli’s life since he was four months old.
I don’t think I realized the full magnitude of God’s work until I met my husband and through being in a healthy, Godly relationship I realized the darkness of my past relationship. Without the life-changing, pivotal moment of becoming pregnant, I don’t think I would have made the same choices for myself that have led me to today.
I am forever thankful for being surrounded by encouraged by Christian people – my family and friends, my husband and the volunteers and staff at New Life Family Services.
It really is true. Every good and perfect gift is from above.
I am thankful for how much I have grown—both in maturity and in my relationship with God. Despite the darkness that has surrounded moments of our story, there is so much light.
Emilie’s Advice for Others
If someone finds themselves in a similar situation and wants to walk through the doors of New Life, I say just do it. Everyone is so friendly, and they really genuinely want to help you and find out what is best for YOU. It is a safe place to talk about how you are feeling and thinking and not have to worry about everyone’s opinion. There really is no judgment or pressure. I am so thankful for my experience there and for being able to be Eli’s mom.