Extravagant Joy

by Katie Shryer, Director of Client Services at the Pregnancy Resource Center in the New River Valley



*name changed to protect client confidentiality

Squeals of joy, laughter and the sound of feet jumping up and down echoed throughout the hallways of the center.

“What is going on?” a staff member asked. It was Grace*, one of our first time moms, receiving her layette basket full of baby clothes, a handmade diaper bag, diapers, blankets, and toiletries. She was ecstatic.

Around their due date, we give these layettes out to each of our clients who complete a section of our Earn While You Learn Program. We have never seen anyone so happy to receive one as Grace was! It was a party indeed as she hugged us, telling us she loved us and how she couldn’t thank us enough for everything. “I can’t tell you how much this has meant to me,” Grace said. “You’ve made this fun. You didn’t just treat me lke another girl who got pregnant.”

Grace had come to us months ago for her pregnancy test, and at that time she was very uncertain of her child’s future. She was a senior in college and had big plans. While the nurse performed an ultrasound to determine how far along she was, Grace asked anxiously, “Is it alive?” When the nurse replied that it was, Grace began to cry. As we talked afterward, it was evident that the excitement in her was beginning to build. She was seriously considering parenting, but wanted tot talk with her boyfriend before fully making a decision.

Within a few weeks Grace was back at the center to begin her Earn While You Learn classes. Now in her second trimester, she wanted to go back and make sure she watched all of the first trimester classes; she was intent on not missing anything. Over the course of the next few months as her story continued to unfold, we learned that the father of the baby was uncertain about a parenting choice for them and preferred adoption. Grace had wrestled with this choice herself before she had told her family, but once her family expressed their overwhelming support of her decision to parent, Grace felt like she could do it. She made the choice to parent, even if the baby’s father didn’t feel like he could join her, and she was confident in her choice.

Grace continued coming to her classes faithfully, building great relationships with her client advocates. One day she came into the center, bouncing around, trying to contain her excitement until he couldn’t hold it in anymore and burst out, “It’s a girl!” The day before she left to go home to have the baby, when she picked up her basket, hugs, excitement and smiles abounded all around. She has promised to send pictures and visit once her daughter is born so we can celebrate with her once again!

Bridgette’s Ear

Bridgette, 6/14/13

She woke up one morning in winter of 2013 and realized her right ear had some drainage but no pain.  The next day, she still had no pain, but couldn’t hear out of the right ear.  The other ear was fine.  She let it go for a couple of days, but about day 5, she realized that when her good ear was on the pillow, she couldn’t hear her kids.  Also, when she put her fingers to her ear and rubbed them together, she couldn’t hear them rubbing.  Day 6 she decided it was time to take care of the problem, and she searched the web for a home solution.  Plans were to pick up supplies after church.  During the church service, Brandon gave a word about someone having problems with their right ear.  Bridgette knew if God called it out during church, it was important enough for God to fix.  She knew the Lord was going to do something with it.  Fellow christians laid hands on Bridgette and prayed.  After praying, Brandon asked her to stretch her jaw, which she did.  This time however, when she put her fingers up to her ear and rubbed them she could hear it.  Though she felt this was a small problem that she could’ve dealt with, she thought it was incredible that God took care of it, since dealing with it was a nuisance and doctor visits can be tricky when taking 2 children along. This was a huge blessing!  She has had no issues with her ear since then.