A FRIEND’S STORY: Just dive in and serve
Krista Woods was matched with Annie shortly after she completed Friends Training.
I have a husband, three children, and a job, but felt I could do more for other people. When I heard about Birthmothers at my church, I knew this was the ministry for me.
After I trained as a Friend, I received several email notices for help. One referencing a 16-year-old pregnant girl caught my attention. I clicked “reply” immediately and became Annie’s* Friend. Although I was nervous at first, I cannot begin to tell you what this relationship means to me.
You see, I was a teenage birth mom. In spite of setbacks and struggles, I set goals and worked hard. I’ve been able to build a good life. I want to share that vision with other girls who face an unplanned pregnancy and show them what’s possible.
Annie and her mother live in extreme poverty. My match as her Friend has let me appreciate the many blessings I take for granted – my family, my home, my work – yet it’s also led me live out my faith in a special way. This is the first time in my life I’ve served someone without expecting a single thing in return.
Becoming a Friend is scary because you have absolutely no idea who you’ll serve or what her situation entails. My Church Team has been a tremendous support. We’re new at this. None of us knows what to expect. Our team acknowledges our fears, offers encouragement to each other and shares information. For instance, a member who is a guidance counselor told me steps to take to accelerate Annie’s WIC application. That team member’s expertise was a big help to me.
Likewise, I’ve been able to encourage other members of my team who are still not matched with birth moms. Here’s what I tell them: if you have a calling to encourage a woman in an unplanned pregnancy, jump in. No, it’s not easy. In fact, it’s hard work. You have to make a conscious effort to connect with your birth mom.
But you’re not alone. The first time I called Annie, I said, “I’m nervous. I’ve never done this before.” She said, “I’m nervous, too.” We’re figuring it out together. Birthmothers trains you well, your team gives support, God gives you wisdom, and you can handle anything that comes your way. Don’t’ hold back. Dive in and serve.
*name changed to protecct confidentiality