“I'm pregnant.” Yes, the words most parents dread to hear coming from their 17-year old. I chose to let my parents know by way of a handwritten note as I was too scared and panic stricken to speak to them face-to-face. This was the toughest thing I have ever had to share with them. This was the beginning of a long journey of guilt, shame, secrecy, embarrassment, and fear.
Now for the hardest decision I have ever had to make in my life – to abort, adopt or keep the baby that was growing inside of me. I had been thinking of aborting the baby, and to this day have no idea what even led me to think that this would be an option. In talking about the abortion option with my mom, she was encouraging me not to have an abortion as it could cause harm to myself. The option of keeping the baby was not possible as my parents were not in the position to help me raise this child. My mom and I took another visit to the doctor where she encouraged adoption. I am so thankful for the positive support that came from the nurse, my mom and the doctor. These people were a great influence on my decision to choose life. My need for good support was so vital – at this time in my life I was not talking with any of my peers, and I don’t remember much from the conversations I had with my boyfriend.
Being in my grade twelve year, I now had the challenge of keeping this secret about my pregnancy to myself and to conceal my growing belly from everyone around me. The shame and secrecy increased as I felt like I had no one to talk to about my pregnancy. Once I graduated, I then decided that maybe my boyfriend and I could make this relationship work and that we could keep the baby. After living together for a short period of time is was very evident that neither of us was responsible or mature enough to parent the child.
I then went to live in Winnipeg at Villa Rosa, a home for unwed mothers. While at Villa Rosa I received prenatal care, counselling, love and a listening ear. I was also very well supported by my social worker who would visit with me and offer good counsel on my adoption choice. Overall, Villa Rosa was a quiet, safe, loving environment that allowed me to process what lie ahead of me in giving up my child for adoption.
On December 9th, 1983, I gave birth to a handsome, healthy baby boy. After leaving my son at the hospital I can remember crying myself to sleep and feeling so empty. Having hid my pregnancy the best I could through the last nine months now led to living a lifestyle of even more secrecy and shame as I continued in silence for fear of what others might think of me. I lived a life of social drinking and drunkenness. Failed relationships and sexual promiscuity accompanied my low self-worth and self-hatred. I allowed life to carry on and my inner world to remain in turmoil and unrest from a wounded heart that had not grieved the loss of a son. I was holding it all together on the outside while dying on the inside.
My healing and forgiveness journey can be described as a long drawn out process that is still happening. I gave my life to Jesus in the fall of 1998. I have received deeper healing through different Christian ministries and kind, loving individuals who have spoken truth to me over the last eight years. It has been a journey of me seeing myself the way Jesus sees me. The turning point for me was in 2015 at a Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat. This weekend retreat is for individuals who are grieving the loss of a child by abortion, miscarriage, or adoption. It was here that I found the emotions that I had been stuffing down for a very long time. It was here I found the courage to let go of the tangled mess of unhealthy emotions that had weighed me down for years. It was here I realized that I had not grieved for the loss of my son through adoption.
It is my hope and prayer that through PPSC others will come to know of their intrinsic worth and value through our love in action. We desire to help individuals break free from shame and secrecy in their lives, to walk alongside the broken and messy life experiences, and to watch Christ’s love transform them. We want to be Jesus to those who are needing to make informed decisions for themselves and their unborn child.
I look forward to allowing God to use my story of struggle and healing to reach into the hearts and lives of those individuals that God brings our way at PPSC.
Jesus' love is
wild and free. Unrestrained, yet purposeful. Powerful and strong. It is Jesus' love that fuels
us to run WILD and FREE.
If you or someone that you love is facing unplanned pregnancy, we would love the opportunity to sit down with you and talk through your options. If you have faced unplanned pregnancy yourself and struggle with the grief of adoption or abortion, we would love to hear your story and help you find hope and healing.
Darseen Pryor is a registered nurse. She has a deep passion for this ministry, was instrumental in its beginning and served as the chairperson of the board here at PPSC. Darseen and her husband, Doug, live in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba, and have three grown daughters and two sons-in-law.