Amanda’s Story

familyIn my mid-twenties, I was doing things that didn’t match up with my faith and moved in with my boyfriend. I didn’t think I could get pregnant, but one night I experienced some symptoms of pregnancy and my pregnancy test came out positive!

When I told my boyfriend, he went three shades of white. We didn’t have any resources and we were living in a stressful environment. Maybe it was all in my head, but even going to the store I felt unwanted stares of judgment directed towards me and my pregnant belly and finger with no ring on it.

Then we moved to Moscow, Idaho, and began attending a new church. The pastor approached us and asked if he could help us in any way. Without missing a beat, my boyfriend replied, “Well, she’s pregnant, and we need to get married.” The pastor went on to help us with premarital counseling and finances.

That summer we also discovered Palouse Care Network through a family member. The first time I walked into PCN feeling nervous. I just needed one place, even just one voice that would help reinforce that I was loved and that I was going to be a good mom. I needed people to share the joy of our first ultrasound and to celebrate with us when we found out we were having a girl. Instead of shame, I needed someone, anyone, to welcome my baby in and celebrate and adore her. For me PCN was that place. It has become my sanctuary – a place with no shame.

The support did not stop there. When I had severe postpartum depression, PCN became my life-force. Coming to classes, got me out of the house and out of my overwhelming dark thoughts. The teachers would pray for me, pouring into me the worth that I didn’t feel like I had.

When my daughter had asthma, teachers and students showered me with love and positivity. Many of my fellow class members have become life-long friends. This past winter, my family was hit hard with various trials and I knew that there should be a light at the end of the tunnel, but I just couldn’t see it. One day in class I burst into tears. Everyone gathered around me and prayed for me and my family. They helped me get through one of the darkest times in my life.

PCN gave me the space to figure out how to be the mom I am called to be. Every stage of infancy was a new learning experience but I was ready because they gave me the support I so desperately needed. My life is a journey of finding the strength I never knew I had. The process of becoming a strong mom is painful, but as my daughter grows, I am growing too. Thanks to the love, support, mentoring, and friendship I’ve been given at PCN, I know now that I can do anything!

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.