A FRIEND’S STORY: Grandma befriends pregnant teenager
Shirley Adams built a special relationship with birth mom Adriana*
I was a teenage mom, and my two daughters were teenage moms. I understand what it feels like to face an unplanned pregnancy. When I heard about Birthmothers at church, I knew this was a ministry for me even though my life is already quite full.
After training, I was matched with 17-year-old Adriana. Her parents didn’t know she was pregnant. I realized my primary role was to earn Adriana’s trust, and I did it by persistence. I called Adriana often, listened to her and encouraged her. We occasionally shared meals.
At first, Adriana’s parents didn’t understand why a “grandma” was one of their daughter’s new buddies. Yet they didn’t deny my concern was real, and they grew fond of me. Later, my friendship became a lifeline for Adriana when her parents learned about her pregnancy. They refused to let her live at home. Adriana dropped out of school, bounced around between different relatives and friends, and finally settled in with her employer – a woman who runs a child care center. I stayed close to Adriana. Together, we put together an adoption plan.
Nevertheless, Adriana struggled with being estranged from her parents, particularly when her mother attempted suicide. At her most broken point, she cried out to God for help. I prayed with her and encouraged her, reminding her that we have a forgiving Father. Then, I shared my personal struggles with her … how becoming pregnant at age 17 changed my life, yet in spite of my poor choices, God has been faithful.
Now, Adriana’s parents are eager to have their daughter back in their lives. Adriana, too, is working towards reconciliation.
One day Adriana said, “Shirley, I appreciate you so much. You have been so good to me. When things are hard, I just think of you and I feel like I can handle all of this.”
I don’t think anyone has a busier schedule than me. I work full-time, I go to school part-time, I have a husband, children and grandchildren. But I also have a cell phone, and that’s all it takes for me to keep up with Adriana. It costs nothing to be a Friend. In fact, it takes very little time to show you care. But there’s no better way to let God use you to help change a life.
*name changed for confidentiality