When 27-year-old Acacia walked into a pregnancy help medical clinic in Casper, Wyo., her primary goal was to verify the pregnancy. If she was pregnant, Acacia’s plan was to abort.
She had taken a home pregnancy test, but couldn’t make herself believe the result.
“I thought it was a mistake. I thought, ‘there’s no way I could be pregnant,’” Acacia said.
“I knew the father of my child wasn’t going to be around, so I was actually looking online for ways to terminate my pregnancy.”
Her search led her to True Care Women's Resource Center’s website. Reading the information and learning about the center’s free services brought Acacia through the door. Little did she know how different her life would be thereafter.
Acacia had experienced a life-changing incident just a few weeks prior to coming to True Care.
“I had recently been in an accident that I ended up surviving—I should have been dead,” she said. “I spent four days in ICU, and that was only a month earlier.”
Acacia felt hopeless, an emotion she expressed to the client advocate at True Care.
“I told her how my life was crumbling around me and there was no way that I could be a parent at that time,” Acacia said. “She sat there and listened to all my concerns. She didn’t judge me, she didn’t question anything that I was thinking, she just listened with a completely open mind.”
During the conversation, Acacia heard a life-changing statement.
“The advocate explained to me how God has a purpose for everybody, and a huge purpose of mine was to be alive if I was supposed to be dead a month before that,” she said.
After learning her earlier positive pregnancy test was accurate, Acacia was given an ultrasound. She was too early to verify a viable pregnancy, so the clinic’s nurse scheduled her for a return appointment two weeks later.
That provided Acacia time to consider all her options, and to hear a message of life-changing hope.
“I sat there and listened and talked to her,” Acacia said. “She helped me realize that whatever I did choose would affect me the rest of my life, and that the obstacles I was facing at that time were temporary. She made me look at things from another point of view. I realized I did have a purpose, and even though I felt alone, I knew there would be other people there for me fully.”
Today, Acacia is living out that purpose. She decided to carry to term and parent, signing up for True Care’s long-term parenting program called Baby & Me. She met regularly with an advocate who helped guide her through parenting classes and has become a strong support throughout the first stages of Acacia’s motherhood.
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“Being able to sit and talk about what I was going through, whether it was personal, physical, mental—I knew I wasn’t alone,” Acacia said. “I didn’t really have any mom friends or pregnant friends, so I didn’t have a very good support system; True Care was my support system.”
Acacia said she learned many things she hadn’t known about before, including nutrition and exercise for herself that would also benefit her baby in utero, breastfeeding, car seat safety, and how to take care of a sick baby. She also found love, acceptance, compassion, and encouragement, all of which helped turn her fears into confidence.
“Everyone knew my first name,” she said. “It was just wonderful, and it broke me out of my shell. I got an overwhelming sense of hope that everything was going to be okay. I don’t think I could have done an unplanned pregnancy without True Care. I had all this fear and anxiety, and they helped me turn it all into confidence.”
That confidence and hope helped her find a place to live, sign up for insurance, get a new job, and discover a new sense of purpose.
In Jan. of 2017, Acacia is taking that renewed sense of purpose to Washington, D.C., for Heartbeat International’s Babies Go to Congress, where she will tell her story to her elected representatives at the nation’s capitol.
“I want to be someone my son is proud of,” Acacia said. “Being able to go to Washington and speak on behalf of True Care and really advocate for them, and being able to say how wonderful resource centers are—it’s an amazing opportunity. Ultimately, I did change my mind about having an abortion, and now I have this beautiful, amazing, strong son because of it.
“Being able to go and tell my story is phenomenal. I’m so grateful I get to go to this.”
As she and Baby Axton prepare for the holiday season, their first as a family, Acacia finds many reasons to celebrate.
“In the short few months, my son has been alive, he’s brought more good than I’ve had the past 27 years of life. He saved my life,” she said. “We’ve already gotten to experience so many great things, and I tell him every single day that he’s destined for great things, and this (going to Washington) is one more thing that’s come into our life. I’m blessed.”