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Neglected and Rejected: A 16 Year Old Mama Trying to Find Her Way

Her chin quivered and her quiet, hesitant voice could barely be heard as she mustered up the
strength to say, “I don’t know where to go. My boyfriend doesn’t want us. I probably should
have had an abortion.” She was skin and bones, probably hadn’t eaten in days. Her hair was
matted and unkempt. But her sweet baby boy – oh he was perfect, sleeping soundly under the
blanket she had him wrapped in.

As we talked, she began to open up. Her upbringing was anything but pleasant. She told me
stories of moving from place to place because they were constantly being evicted; the filth, the
different men in and out of her life. No real father figure, and a mother addicted to drugs, always seeking the next fix. CPS was called multiple times but nothing changed.

One day, she found solace in the arms of a stranger – a man much older than her. She thought
he loved her. He offered her warmth, a safe place, and finally – love. A few short months later,
she found herself pregnant and ALONE. She didn’t know at first. She just thought she was
overly tired and a bit sick at times until she felt something…like a fluttering in her stomach. It
wasn’t unusual for her to go months without a period, but in that moment, utter, paralyzing fear
came over her. Could she be? Was it possible?

Several days passed as she pondered what to do. She couldn’t go home – to what? A drug
addict for a mother, and a different guy each week for a father. Would her boyfriend still love
her? She hid it as long as she could. She was 16. Walking along, she noticed a billboard for a
place called “LaVie” offering help for people like her.

She found the strength within herself to go there. Not knowing what to expect, she met a lovely
team of ladies who showed a different kind of compassion and kindness – genuine care and
concern. She felt safe there. She was already 6 months pregnant!! They gave her an
ultrasound and she got to hear her baby’s heartbeat and see his tiny feet and hands move. This,
she thought, was true love.

She told her boyfriend. At first, he seemed okay with it and somewhat supportive, but as the
months lingered and the time came, he left her. She had no one. Not one person was there
with her when she delivered her precious baby boy. Alone in that hospital room, she
remembers feeling judged and terrified. A friend had offered for her and the baby to come stay
for a while, but now, she’d worn her welcome.

There were so many things that stood out to me about her story, but one thing she mentioned
was never receiving a birthday gift – ever. Her birthday was approaching. She was about to turn
17, and she had never received a birthday gift. She went on to say, she had also never opened
a Christmas gift or had a Christmas tree. In fact, she hated the holidays because it wasn’t a
time of happiness for her.

THIS BROKE MY HEART!!!! THIS IS OUR WHY!! This is why we need the SONShine Home to
be open now. We were able to put this sweet girl in touch with the resources that were
available at the time. She was able to get medical care, proper food and nutrition for her and the baby, and as it turned out, she had a stable, safe relative in another town who took her and the baby in. Several people in the community rallied around her and gave her the birthday she so deserved. This was several years ago, and today, I’m happy to report that mama and her son are doing wonderful.

One of the most common things we hear from teen mothers who have emerged as success
stories is that they just wanted/needed for people to believe in them. And I would go even
further to say, they just need to be loved unconditionally, as Christ has loved us.

God is doing the impossible by breaking the generational cycles of poverty, neglect, abuse, and
addiction. Matthew 19:26, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

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