The people we try to help don’t always respond in kind; we help them anyway

The people we try to help don’t always respond in kind; we help them anyway (Paul Lin/Unsplash)

A woman I work with has been part of a network of families who take pregnant girls into their homes when needed. Sometimes it's to get the young woman away from pressure to abort; other times it's because someone has thrown her out when she refuses to have an abortion.

In one particular case, the important goal was accomplished, and that was supporting a 20-year-old through her pregnancy while she decided between parenting the child and finding an adoptive family. However, it involved a lot of accommodation, patience, and looking past many things on the part of the host family to have this girl stay with them for almost a year. 

They'd rearranged their den, with a pull-out couch and private bathroom, for her comfort. The day after "Sue" moved in, she took down every photo from the shelves, including those of the host family's children. My friend said nothing. 

Sure, there was some loud music at night, Sue coming in late, and having friends come by without asking, but the family expected all that. They didn't expect plates of food left around the house, pizza boxes on the floor, wet towels on the furniture, her garbage pail never emptied, their car blocked in in their single car driveway. And my friend was a little surprised to be given regular shopping lists for food. 

I remember my friend saying when this mother's baby girl was born, "It was all worth it, to see her with that baby." And do you know the baby's mother asked my friend and her husband to be the baby's godparents?

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Those of us who work in pregnancy centers have experienced it all. 

We see so many clients who are so grateful and don't want to take a pair of baby socks more than what they absolutely need. Clients who bring back a crib or car seat in good condition when they no longer need it, so another mother can benefit from it. Those who call if they're going to be 20 minutes late for their appointment. 

Then there are those who don't call and don't show up. Oftentimes we've just spent time putting together the specific things that the mother asked for for her child, pulling together resources for her based on her situation. We've turned down other clients during the time the no-show was scheduled. It can be frustrating, especially if it's repeated.

There's even the rare case of someone not even having a baby of their own but trying to get "stuff" for a day care center they're operating, going to all four of our centers, giving different names, and getting numerous cribs, highchairs, pack and plays, and more. We've had one or two women who pretended they had a child to get things they merely planned to sell.

Then there's the occasional outburst. Just a few weeks ago, we had two clients leaving our center at the same time. Both were carrying out bags of baby clothes and diapers, but one woman also had a bassinet, car seat, and a baby bathtub. Shockingly, the other one yelled out to us in full hearing of the other client, with the accusation that the other client had gotten more materials because of race. Yikes! We tried to explain as the client who yelled hopped in an Uber and left, that she'd already gotten the other new baby things on her first visit. Because this was a follow-up visit and she already had those things, she was now receiving the next size baby clothes, diapers, and wipes. She had also gotten a few baby toys, books, and a crib sheet. 

And most difficult of all of course are those situations where we put our love, effort and prayer into providing the full truth to a pregnant mom, showing her the ultrasound, offering all sorts of support and resources available through the child's second year, encouraging adoption, explaining to her the physical and psychological risks associated with abortion, offering maternity clothes, only to be rushed along or even shut down. 

I've been told, "This is a waste of time. I'm having the abortion so nothing you say is going to make any difference." I've had women leave a counseling session where I felt they were really listening, and my co-workers and I prayed that something I said touched their heart, only later to be told rather casually when I called to follow up in these cases that they’d gone ahead and had the abortion.

People don't always have the same background or customs we have; they haven't all been raised with the same manners. Some come from no faith or moral background; others may be suffering from some kind of trauma or mental illness. 

It doesn’t matter; we’re here to serve them no matter what.

Tweet This: We who work in pregnancy help have experienced it all. We see grateful clients and those who are not, and we serve them all, no matter what.

Even if our efforts are rejected it's always the right thing to do to offer help, particularly when the life of a child is at stake.

And even when those efforts don’t result in the child being saved, we have to trust that they have meaning and impact, and that they are not lost on God. 

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