Looking for Love- Hannah’s Story

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At age 19, I had been looking for love in all the wrong places. I was in an unhealthy and destructive relationship when, to my shock, my home pregnancy test came up positive. My boyfriend immediately told me I had multiple options for my pregnancy, but I told him the only option that I would consider was to carry the baby to term.  

A woman at my church gave me WISH Medical’s number. Panicked, I called the number and reception told me I could just walk in.

On November 9, 2015, I received a pregnancy appointment and an ultrasound. I did not feel equipped to be a parent, but the moment I saw my baby’s heart beating at 6 weeks along, I fell in love. My future decisions were no longer just about me—they were about giving my baby everything he deserved.

Seeing his heartbeat was what gave me the courage to get out of the unhealthy relationship I was in. I had to make some difficult decisions to move forward, but it was worth it. When my son came into the world, I told him I was going to continue to fight hard to give him everything he needs.

Today, as I raise my baby as a single mom, it has been a huge relief to come in monthly for material resources. (Baby clothing is expensive!) More importantly to me than any amount of diapers or clothing, though, is that WISH has given me love instead of judgment. The question WISH had for me was not, ‘How did you get in this situation?’, but ‘How can we help you?’

The most important thing that I want donors to know is that when you give to this organization, you are giving a second chance to young single moms like me. You are giving us the opportunity to feel like we can do it. You are filling in the gaps with kindness and support. I am so thankful for you!

Hannah & son

 

November 19 is National Adoption Day

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Last year, a young woman came in seeking help after she had taken a positive pregnancy test at home. After discovering she was indeed pregnant, she and her advocate reviewed all of her pregnancy options.

Ultimately she made the courageous decision to formulate an adoption plan. We were able to give her referrals to several adoption agencies.

She chose an adoption agency, and a few months later, she felt that God guided her to the perfect parents! Sweet Baby “G” was born on Christmas Day and placed into the loving arms of his adoptive mom and dad, the best gift they’d ever received.

This May, we had the incredible honor of meeting precious Baby “G” and his amazing adoptive mom for the first time, as well as re-connecting with his courageous birth mom! Both Baby “G”’s birth mom and adoptive mom wanted us to share this photo to show what a gift he has been to them!

Stories like this happen because of donors like you…Thank you for allowing God to use you in this ministry.
#nationaladoptionday

Idaho Cooking Matters

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Thank you to Elizabeth Stratton, Chef Darren Williams, & The Idaho Foodbank for bringing Cooking Matters to PCN! Thanks for your hard work teaching our moms cooking & budgeting skills while encouraging them to have family meals together. Each one of our moms has learned so much and is so grateful to have this amazing opportunity!

Adrianna’s Story

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Three weeks late.
Three positive home pregnancy tests.
Three thousand miles away from her family.

Desperately hoping that all of her home pregnancy tests were defective, Adrianna drove alone to W.I.S.H. Medical. She remembered hearing a radio ad about having a safe place to go—

 

 

Her hope was that W.I.S.H. medical staff would tell her it was all a mistake, and that her life could resume as normal. She wasn’t ready to have a baby. She never imagined that she would be single and pregnant.

Her fears were confirmed when her pregnancy test was positive. Her heart sank and she began to sob. What would she tell her family? What would she tell the father, a man she was no longer involved with and who wasn’t ready to be a father?

Adrianna was provided with a free ultrasound. She watched the screen, holding tightly to the hand of one of the nurses. When she saw the heartbeat of her baby, she couldn’t speak. She was only able to cry tears of joy mixed with sadness for her unplanned situation.

The next few months were a blur for Adrianna. She had not come to a decision regarding her pregnancy. She regularly came to W.I.S.H for support. Every week, her advocate encouraged her to join a single moms’ group at the center.

Adrianna finally went to the group and was relieved to find that she was no longer alone. Every week, she was given information about how to successfully parent alone. More importantly, she felt that she and her baby’s life were valued and wanted. She was thankful to be told with each group that God loves her.  Because of this love, she was able to move forward. She finally made the concrete decision that it would be best to raise her baby as a single parent and decided against her other pregnancy options.

Adrianna’s beautiful daughter came roaring into the world in August of 2013. The first time Adrianna saw her she could not believe that she could love someone so deeply. Since then Adrianna and Braelynn have grown into a beautiful mother-daughter team.

Because of what she went through, Adrianna gives her time, love, and support to many others facing difficult circumstances. When she isn’t working, going to college, or spending time with her sweet girl, she is helping other single moms on their own journey. Most importantly to Adrianna, she has gotten closer in her relationship with God and wants to show His love to others.

We are thankful to be just a small step in the incredible journey of Adrianna and Braelynn. It is because of our donors and volunteers that we are able to be here for single moms to receive a lab-quality pregnancy test, ultrasound, and community resources and support.

We are so thankful for her story, and thank you to those of you who donate. Your contributions may be the reason someone is able to find the courage they need to make the next step.

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A Complete Transformation

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When Cara* came through our doors seeking a pregnancy test last winter, she was overwhelmed with the pressures of college and couldn’t imagine taking on parenthood. She felt pressure from her boyfriend to get an abortion, and was fairly certain that it was her only option.

One of our advocates met with Cara before her pregnancy test. The advocate listened to her, supported her, and presented information on every option so that she could make a fully informed decision.

Cara was indeed pregnant. During the ultrasound, which revealed that she was just five weeks along, she was quiet and appeared very sad. When she left the center, she was undecided between choosing abortion or keeping her baby.

Seven weeks later, Cara decided to come in for another ultrasound. We were pleasantly surprised and thankful to hear she was still pregnant and had decided to carry her baby to term! She told us that she felt close to God and felt like He was supporting her decision to keep and raise her baby.

During the ultrasound, Cara began to cry — a complete transformation from her previous quiet reaction to the ultrasound at five weeks. She laughed, expressing surprise and joy at seeing how much her baby had grown.

The ultrasound showed clear development of arms, legs, torso, and skull. Even better, the baby was especially active which seemed to warm Cara’s heart! This ultrasound was instrumental in affirming her decision to carry her baby to term.

Thank you so much for your contribution to God’s ministry at Palouse Care Network. Our clients are blessed by your involvement and support, and lives are being changed.

*Name changed to protect confidentiality

Meet the New CEO

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Greetings!

Let me introduce myself:  My name is Michelle Ellinwood, and I am so excited to be stepping into the very big shoes of Steve Davis. I so much appreciate Steve’s leadership, along with the gifted and compassionate team of ministry leaders, dedicated volunteers, and generous donors. They have made this a strong, thriving organization with a long legacy of changing lives on the Palouse. I am so grateful for the opportunity to come alongside such wonderful people and be part of such an amazing work.

My family and I are recent additions to Moscow, as we moved from North Carolina in July 2015.  A few locals have pointed out my “slight” Southern twang, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. My greatest claim to fame is my beautiful family: I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 25 years, and we have 5 beautiful children. My husband, Danny, currently serves with Moscow Police Department.

I received my Bachelor’s Degree in English from Elizabeth City State University. In addition to teaching public school for 14 years, I have served in various leadership capacities in the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public School System. My husband and I served as church youth leaders for over 15 years and I served as a ministry coordinator on a church staff for three years. I am convinced that everything in my life has been leading me to this place, to this ministry, and to these people.

I look forward to partnering with you, as we partner with God as ambassadors for LIFE.

Talitha’s Story

In the middle of Finals Week 2014 at the University of Idaho, I took a different kind of test at WISH Medical. The results: positive. I was pregnant. My mind was filled with shame, guilt, fear, and panic. I had just turned 19 and my mind, as well as the world around me, screamed that I wasn’t ready for a baby. Many people advised me to get an abortion while saying it was “the best for everyone.” My life and whole world changed that cold December afternoon.

On that day at WISH Medical, I saw my sweet baby for the first time on the ultrasound screen. He was smaller than a sesame seed; his tiny heart was beating wildly. In that moment I saw God for the first time in my life. In a single instant all my fears, worries, guilt, and shame faded away and were replaced with pure joy, excitement, and humble awe. A few days later I scraped up the courage to tell my family. They encouraged me to look forward to the future, and become the best possible mother I could be. They picked me up and gently pushed me forward while supporting and helping me see what a blessing my baby could be. Although hurting over my choices that led to the pregnancy, we all started to fall in love with my little “Rory”.

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On March 6th, 2015 my sister, my mom, and I went in for my 20 week ultrasound and gender reveal. We were so excited! The sonographer gelled me up and announced that I was having a baby boy; sweet Roric William! However, after a pause the sonographer reluctantly told us that my perfect little boy had a very serious birth defect called anencephaly; an incurable and terminal defect. Babies born with anencephaly do not often survive for more than a few minutes. They are typically born blind, deaf, and “brain dead”. Every day after receiving this news I prayed to God that, if He was willing, He would heal my baby boy. If not, I prayed that my family and I would get to experience a few days, hours, or even minutes of holding Rory in our arms. I refused to abort the little hope I had for his tiny life and decided to cherish every single moment; every kick and flutter. Fearfully excited, I awaited the day I got to hold him in my arms, kiss him, love him, and sing to him as God took him to heaven.

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On July 21st, at 7:53 AM, my Rory was born via C-section. Defying all odds, he gave us two precious days and twelve minutes. In that amount of time, Rory managed to teach me things that no one else could have. It’s amazing how differently you view love after having a child and how your perception of what’s important in life transforms. I don’t know if you can really understand love until you’re willing to do absolutely anything for someone who you knew but hadn’t met for nine months; getting to know him before birth — the way he moves, breathes, and the sound of his heartbeat. During those two days, never have I wanted to freeze time so much. All I needed in this world was Rory in my arms. I could have stayed there for an eternity with his skin, my warmth, his smile, my sustenance. I had no need for sleep; I had no care for the world outside the little room and the precious bundle in my arms. I wished I could take his place. I wanted nothing more than to save him. Unable to, I wished him perfect peace.11050686_10153532857321663_2748713287684597273_n (1)

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I am so thankful that my tiny boy only knew unconditional love in this world. He never felt pain or fear or was bullied. He never had his heart broken. I am so incredibly lucky to have him. The little infinity he gave me is irreplaceable. I regret many of the mistakes that took me down this road, but I do not regret a single moment of his life, inside the womb and out, because he was there with me for every step, every hurt, and every cry. Someone so small taught me so much and helped me grow up more than I could have ever imagined. Although parents are supposed to be the ones teaching our children, Rory managed to teach me in a few days what no one else could have in an entire lifetime. I look back and think “how lucky am I to have someone who makes saying goodbye so hard” (A.A. Milne).

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“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope'” (Jer. 29:11, NLT)

Written by Talitha Davis

To hear Talitha tell her story, watch her video here

One Single Mom’s Journey to God

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During our morning staff meeting last week, we were moved to tears as we read another letter from a client. This letter was much more than a thank you—it symbolized a single mom’s journey to God.

Four years ago, we were blessed to meet a client who was then pregnant with her first baby, a girl. We had no idea what was going to happen in the following years. After finding out she was pregnant through a confirmation ultrasound, our client disclosed that she had lost both of her parents at a young age, and had no support to raise her daughter. Now with a baby of her own, she felt alone and unsure of what the future would hold. In order to be the best parent she could be, she started taking parenting classes at our center.  We were happy to be able to help her with free material resources like diapers and clothing, and she carefully saved up her points earned at class to “buy” bigger items from our boutique. She continued growing in her parenting abilities. Most importantly, our client also had the chance to learn about God for the first time in her life!

This fall, our client called to tell her advocate that she had met God for the first time. She then wrote a letter to all of the Palouse Care Network staff, thanking us for helping her become a better mom and come to know God! We are so thankful to God’s faithful work to many clients like her who need support and unconditional love. We really couldn’t do this without our partners, so we are thankful for you too!

A Story of Generations

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Diane wasn’t quite our typical patient. Greying slightly, worry lines tracing her face, tears slipped from her eyes as she spilled her heart to her advocate. She had come to us for advice. Her granddaughter had just told her she was pregnant. As a single young college student her granddaughter Lindsey didn’t think she was ready to parent and had determined abortion to be her only option. Her grandmother was fearful for her granddaughter, knowing how heart breaking an abortion can be for the mother and her family. We started praying – praying for the generations involved in this decision, asking the Lord to intervene.

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Nineteen and Pregnant: Kayla’s Story

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Kayla* stared in disbelief at the reading on the home pregnancy test. Positive, just like the other 4. She couldn’t wrap her mind around being pregnant. Kayla was only nineteen. She had plans to go to college, get straight A’s, and apply to medical school. How did a baby fit into that plan? There could be some chance that the tests were wrong. She had to know for sure.

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