This story, although not about a Canadian mother, is nevertheless typical of the work being done by those who counsel young women to have their babies.
Michelle’s sons best Christmas gift this year was his life! Michelle was determined to get an abortion, but friendly pro-lifers got in her way to the abortion ‘clinic.
Michelle, a pleasant, quiet girl with a pretty face, lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Her mother had died when she was 12 and her father’s whereabouts were unknown, so she went to live with her grandparents. She didn’t get along with them, especially her grandmother who didn’t seem to care for her at all.
Soon Michelle was getting into all kinds of trouble: gangs, drugs and alcohol drinking, and fighting. At 15, she was made a ward of the court in Arizona and was in and out of foster homes until she was 18 when she was declared independent.
Michelle decided to return to live with her grandfather, who was divorced from her grandmother. When Michelle discovered that she was pregnant, he urged her to have an abortion. He didn’t want to deal with a pregnancy, or have a baby living with him.
At 18, it isn’t surprising she felt she had good reasons to get an abortion; her young life had been such a dreary litany of troubles.
Michelle faced other problems. An epileptic, she required a daily dose of dilantin to control her illness. She had also been using cocaine and alcohol in the early stages of her pregnancy. Furthermore, she had had a metal rod inserted in her spine to correct scoliosis or curvature of the spine.
Enter Mary, a pro-life teacher at Michelle’s high school. When Michelle told Mary that she was planning to have an abortion, Mary suggested that she get in touch with Birthright, the world-renowned pregnancy counseling service.
Although the local office was closed that day, a friendly voice on Birthright’s national hotline spent 45 minutes counseling her and telling her about her baby’s development, about the dangers of abortion, and about abortion alternatives. This conversation convinced Michelle that she didn’t want to abort her baby. But her grandfather continued to insist that it was the only solution.
Birthright New Jersey alerted Lorie Futch – the married daughter of Toronto pro-life activist, Dr. Ray Holmes – and an active member of the local Birthright.
Filling the air with prayers, Lorie cancelled her car pool drives and immediately set up an interview at the local office with Michelle, her grandfather and her teacher. She showed them the gentle but powerful film, Your Crisis Pregnancy, which was meant to reinforce the points they had been discussing.
Michelle’s grandfather appeared to be unmoved by the film. But when Lorie suggested that Michelle go to Casa Linda Lodge, a home for unwed mothers operated by the R.C. diocese, they both appeared open to this. The next day, all visited the lodge and spoke with a pregnancy counselor there. The grandfather said that his stand was that he wasn’t going to force Michelle to do anything against her will. She still wanted to stay with him.
Michelle worked her way through her problems and decided to have the baby and place it for adoption.
Fearing the kind of friends that Michelle had, everyone involved was a bit skeptical when Michelle announced that the family of a friend of hers wished to adopt her baby.
However, the family turned out to be wonderful people who were very good to her throughout her pregnancy and almost made her part of their family. They stayed with her during her difficult labour and delivery, as did Mary, her high school teacher, A C-Section was required finally, but Michelle did very well throughout the ordeal with her cheering section encouraging her.
A beautiful healthy seven-pound boy was delivered and the adopting family was ecstatic. Michelle was also glowing. She has been told that she is welcome to see her baby any time she likes.
Lorie visited Michelle recently, bringing a little gift. This girl – who always seemed a little sad – now has a cheery and optimistic view of life. She is determined to complete her high school education and forge a new life for herself.
A little boy in Arizona is around for Christmas this year thanks to God’s grace, willing hands and kind hearts.