by Laquitta Q
They gave me a truck. They gave me food. They gave me a warm bed. They helped me find a job. They loved me when I felt no one else did. And they asked for nothing in return.
One might start contemplating what wealthy relative I stumbled upon to receive such luck and gifts, or maybe what company treats their employees so generously. It was neither.
This was my experience with a local pregnancy resource center when I found myself in a crisis situation, nearly nine months pregnant.
I never expected to find myself at a pregnancy resource center. I never even had heard of one before, despite there being over 2,700 nationwide, serving nearly 2 million people in 2019 alone. But I’m so glad I did.
Coming up on nine months of pregnancy, the father of my child was sent to jail and I found myself homeless. I had no job and was without family or friends to lean on for support. I learned about So Big Mountain House in Indianapolis at a doctor’s appointment and knew I needed to visit.
Four days after the Mountain House staff welcomed me through their doors, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter, Legacy, who to this very day is the greatest joy and gift of my life.
But I quickly found myself unprepared for this new role. The small task of giving my newborn a bath seemed so simple, yet to a new mother it was equally challenging and daunting. Without hesitation, the women at Mountain House stepped in to help me and have been at my side ever since.
Having those women with me at that moment assured me that I had the support and love I needed to raise my child. I stayed at Mountain House for a little over a year, developing close friendships with the mentors there and other women in similar situations as me, and receiving encouragement beyond my wildest expectations.
They threw me a baby shower and provided me with everything from diapers to clothes to formula. Due to credit issues, I struggled to acquire a vehicle, so they gifted me with a truck. I took financial classes, through which I learned how to create a budget that I still use today. I also took parenting classes to learn how to stay afloat in these new uncharted waters.
The women of Mountain House helped me secure a job despite my felonious background, and never once treated me differently because of my past.
I now had my wonderful daughter and a tremendous support system, but I didn’t feel whole just yet. While my stomach was full of tasty food and my heart full of love, the women at Mountain House knew that I needed more to face the world.
Their kindness and generosity were nothing short of God’s own love shining through them, and with their help I started attending church. I eventually was baptized and realized that the goal of Mountain House was to care for the whole woman–her mind, her heart, her soul, and her child.
Looking back now, I can say confidently that my year at Mountain House was the best year of my life. I grew so much in my time there and would hardly recognize the nine-month pregnant woman who walked through the doors just two short years ago.
I now have a great job and my own place to live, and the women at Mountain House who were once my role models are now my friends.
It wasn’t a family member who supported me during a difficult time. It wasn’t a company that felt obligated to care for an employee. It was a group of complete strangers who took me in, supported me, and loved me.
They had nothing to gain from their generosity. There was no large check at the end of the day, no grand prize. But rather, they live knowing that their work supports women and changes their lives for good.
Although Mountain House is wonderful, it is not unique. Thousands of places like this exist all over the country to ensure that no woman ever has to be alone while pregnant, nor in the months afterward.
No matter your past or even your present, pregnancy resource centers work to ensure that not only do you and your child have a future, but that it is one full of hope, promise, success, and, most importantly, love.
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LaQuitta Q. lives and works in Missouri. Her actual name is withheld at her request.