When Leilani found out she was pregnant, she cried out of fear. She was addicted to drugs, was homeless, and had already been in jail after purposely getting caught stealing from a store. Tired of the “evil” she saw in the world around her, she knew she wanted to change her life, but she didn’t know where to start. She turned to the Salvation Army and was referred to TenderLife Maternity Home. TenderLife referred her to Ventura County Pregnancy Center to attend parenting classes, but she wasn’t happy about it.
“When I first came to the pregnancy center I was really ungrateful,” said Leilani in a video produced by Mercy Tree Media. “I had to be here because it was one of the requirements through TenderLife. I was rude. I didn’t want to listen in class, but the ladies tried so hard to help me. […] I remember thinking, ‘This is what I want to do the rest of my life, is stick a needle in my arm.’ I can’t believe that I was ever in that position.”
Knowing she wanted to do better for the son that was bringing so much joy to her life and better for herself as well, Leilani finally accepted help from the pregnancy center and began to change.
“By the end of [the classes] I loved everybody that was here,” she said. “I would come in with a smile on my face. I just learned so much about being a mom, how to take care of my son. Everything that I had got for my son I got from [Ventura County Pregnancy Center]. His Pack N Play, his toys, his clothes, everything that he started out with.”
With help, Leilani manages to balance her education, her job, and parenting – not an easy feat for anyone. She hopes that others will follow her lead and never give up, no matter how hard it gets, because she says it is “totally worth it.”
When women facing unplanned pregnancies are told about the resources available to them through maternity homes and pregnancy centers, their lives can change for the better. An unplanned pregnancy doesn’t mean a woman can’t complete her education or work her dream job, it just means her plans have to be altered a bit. Ending the life of her child through abortion is not the solution; it’s something she will live to regret as another weight placed on her shoulders. Choosing life can allow a woman who is struggling to find purpose and fulfill her goals with help from pro-life pregnancy centers.