In the last few months, we've had several new mothers and babies come and go who were in need of various temporary housing situations. One mother was a student in a neighboring province. Her family disowned her when they found out she was pregnant which, unfortunately, is a story we routinely hear. She didn't know how she could finish her internship if she were pregnant, though, and without a completed internship, she couldn't graduate. She ended up staying at The Light Center for a few months to care for her baby and decided to give her baby up for adoption. Our international adoption partner is already searching for a family for her baby, we are providing foster care, and the mother was able to finish her education!
Recently, we visited a newborn baby boy who was stuck in limbo at a hospital. His mother refused to provide milk or care for him, and three different government entities were trying to figure out how best to help him. For a short time, he had to stay at the hospital while legal issues were resolved, but we were able to provide formula and diapers in the meantime. Hospitals have limited budgets for this sort of thing, so we were happy to help even though he never came to stay with us. This little guy may have fallen through the cracks of the legal system temporarily, but he was still safely in the hands of many wonderful staff at the hospital and The Light Center who provide compassionate care to infants like him.
“Who do we call for help?” This is a frequent question during our 27 visits to rural hospitals this year. The purpose is to strengthen our healthcare network among the people who hear about unexpected pregnancies first and communicate the resources available to them. We do these visits with a government social worker and a leader of the provincial health services department. The young women who need the most help are usually referred to us by these hospitals.
Some staff aren’t aware of legal rights and resources as it relates to abuse and sexual exploitation. Thankfully our team is well versed on the proper steps to protect and support victims in a way that both honors them and increases the chances for justice. We’re working with another foundation in our network to set up training in our province to make those resources more widely known.
Jan (fake name) was a pregnant 16-year-old when she met one of the social workers in our network at a hospital about 2 hours from us. Despite the advice of people around her saying she needed to get an illegal abortion immediately, she bravely chose to carry her baby to full term and came to stay at TLC during her pregnancy. Our team worked with teachers in her high school to mail homework and tests back and forth so that she wouldn't get behind in school. She was still wrapping up her semester tests on her due date. Jan was planning to give her baby up for adoption, but after giving birth, she decided she wanted to keep her daughter! Thankfully her aunt is willing to step in and help with childcare during the day so that she can continue going to school. Thank you for helping us protect lives and support families like Jan and her daughter.
Recently, in a rural hospital of our region, a young woman gave birth in the evening and snuck out of the hospital by sunrise. Knowing that the chances of adoption were slim if the baby girl was immediately sent to a state facility, nurses took care of her for 5 months in hopes the mother might return. Eventually, they called The Light Center for help. It took quite a few people to locate the mother, but she was eventually found so the proper paperwork could be signed, allowing the baby girl to be adopted. Today, she is living in foster care at The Light Center and our partner adoption agency is already searching for her forever family. Living in a family environment, she is developing the attachments every child needs for healthy emotional health for the rest of their life.
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