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After hearing about Care Net as a teenager through friends that became our clients, and accompanying some of them on their visits, Ebony, now in her mid-twenties, had made an appointment for herself. She chose Care Net because from her interactions with us while coming in with her friends, she felt “… the people are great and non-judgmental.”
Ebony was only 15 when she first suspected she was pregnant. She was told to have an abortion by most of the adults in her life, especially her boyfriend’s parents. “They didn’t want their son to be bogged down by having a kid and paying child support.” Support she never receives!
Two of the biggest challenges she had were getting the items she needed, like diapers, and finishing her education. Ebony was determined to finish high school and wanted to attend college. Her aunt offered to watch Ebony’s child while she was in school. To make ends meet, she mowed lawns and did other odd jobs. She took parenting classes at Care Net where she earned material aid items. And when she turned 17 she took a part-time job at a local retail outlet.
Now with two children, Ebony’s challenges did not deter her from obtaining an education. Although it was a tough road to provide, parent, and take classes – in 2016 she earned an Associate’s Degree in Science from MVCC and now attends SUNY Polytechnic Institute. She also gives back to the ministry that helped her by volunteering in the material aid room at Care Net.
Three months into their relationship, Kelly took a home pregnancy test which confirmed her fear. A college student working toward her Master’s Degree, she knew abortion was out of the question. Arik had other thoughts.
Arik was also working toward his Master’s Degree. He had never heard of Care Net, nor knew a place like ours existed. He assumed she would have an abortion and they would move on with their lives and studies. Kelly didn’t agree.
Having heard of pregnancy resource centers through the Pennsylvania church she grew up in, Kelly found us on the internet and suggested they come to Care Net first. In hindsight, Arik says it was “the best decision we could have made.” After seeing their child during an ultrasound, he became conflicted over the options they faced. He expressed remorse for even thinking about aborting their now one year old daughter, Haidynn.
Telling their parents was a challenge. The fear of upsetting them and the damage it might do to their relationship weighed heavy on Arik and Kelly’s mind. To their surprise, they didn’t react the way they expected. Arik’s parents were supportive of choosing life and offered to help in any way they could. Kelly’s dad had just passed, and her mom was overwhelmed with one more thing to deal with. But those feelings were short lived and within a short period of time Kelly’s mom became equally supportive.
During the months that followed, Arik and Kelly enrolled in our Earn While You Earn program to develop their parenting skills. Arik said, “… it was a big confidence booster for me.” As the relationship between Arik, Kelly, and their Care Net mentor grew and developed, the couple became open to the idea of including Bible study as part of the program. Kelly had Baptist roots but hadn’t attended church or read a Bible since leaving for college. Arik had never opened the pages of Scripture and was drawn to its life giving message. Not long after he received Christ as his Savior and was baptized on Mother’s Day.
Arik, and Kelly have since moved. By the time you read this, they will have finished their Master’s Degrees, married, and be forever grateful they came to Care Net. As for their daughter, Haidynn, she is being raised by two great parents and probably won’t be an only child for long.
Martin has been coming to Care Net for a few months now. He had heard that Care Net offers free diapers and material assistance. He is a single dad who has been out of work for some time due to an accident and was struggling financially. Martin began taking the fatherhood classes at Care Net, and he immediately bonded with his male mentor. He needed to take extra classes to save up points for a highchair for his daughter, so he began doing Bible Study classes even though he was not a Christian. He really seemed to enjoy the classes and even agreed to try out a local church service. He left the service with many questions.
When he came back to Care Net, his mentor helped answer those questions and was able to lead him in a prayer of salvation. Martin’s whole countenance has changed and he is getting plugged into a local church in his area. He credits Care Net with being the caring and compassionate help he needed to not only provide for his daughter, but also in helping lead him to Jesus.