The most unexpected situation was plopped into my lap yesterday. It was Thursday. I usually work from home on Thursdays, but I’m catching up on a lot of work post-vacation. One of our babysitters is now home from college so I was able to have her come and watch the kids while I went into the office….however, I just didn’t want to go to work. I thought about canceling her multiple times. I wanted to be with the kids, I was too tired to drive downtown again, I have so much laundry to do!!!!! Even when she arrived that morning, I hadn’t showered or made any effort to leave the house. The only reason I went to work was because I had committed to paying her and I know she needs the money.
My day at the office was terrible. Had two priests email me with negative sentiments. Wasn’t clicking with my colleagues. And I had a terrible headache. I thought about leaving and going home multiple times…but I stayed out of obligation to my job. When I left the office, I walked past the Basilica and saw the sign on the sidewalk advertising Thursday adoration. I thought stopping in adoration would change my sour mood.
Back in the car now and ready to head home. I was so excited because the Game of Thrones #TalktheThrones talk show was going to be LIVE at 3pm and I could listen to that on the ride home. About 10 minutes into the 35 minute commute, #TalktheThrones crashed. And almost simultaneously, creeping traffic came to a standstill. A terrible accident caused my commute to last an hour and to top it all off, torrential rain started during the final few miles.
Needless to say, by the time I got home my mood was TERRIBLE! I walk in the door and the babysitter is sitting on the couch on the phone with someone. I’m immediately annoyed because I realize that my daughter is in the basement watching TV while she is chatting with a friend on the phone. Racing through my mind: “I should have stayed home!!! What am I paying this girl for anyway?!?!?”
My babysitter jumps up looking guilty and starts blabbing on and on and on about her friend. She hasn’t talked to her in over 6 years. She went to middle school with her. She is homeless and currently couch surfing (and all I’m thinking is what the heck is going on….is my daughter ok??? I don’t care about your friend!!!). And then the bomb drops.
She says her friend just found out she is 3 months pregnant and doesn’t know what to do. She was calling asking for advice. The father is her ex and a bad guy. She was raised in the foster system and has no family to help her. She doesn’t have a job or a car. She thinks she got pregnant while switching birth controls. Her guardians had placed her on the Depo shot when she was a teen and she just switched not knowing that you should abstain for two weeks to let the new one kick in (and here my mind goes again….I don’t want my daughter to hear all this!!!! I just want her to leave!!!! This is so inappropriate).
Then she says, “My friend just left the clinic and they told her she has two weeks to decide if she wants to keep the baby or else it will be a surgical abortion. And I don’t know what to tell her. I mean she’s literally homeless, she can’t take care of a baby. But she wants to keep the baby because she is worried she might never have the opportunity to have a baby ever again. I don’t know how to help her.”
And then it all clicked. I realized I needed to stop thinking about myself and my crummy day and accept that God allowed this conversation to happen at this very moment for a reason. My babysitter is 18 years old and was raised by a single mom. She doesn’t have any knowledge of or access to resources to help her friend. Her friend called her after not speaking for 6 years, so of course she needed to pick up the phone and of course she needed to turn on a show and to go upstairs so my daughter wouldn’t overhear the conversation.
I can’t say I handled this gracefully. I started stumbling over my words, “Well, no. She can keep the baby. She has options…..um….I think there’s a center near her. I can’t remember the name…..and you don’t want to be the one to tell her not to keep the baby and she’ll live with the regret the rest of her life. There are people that will help her. I mean, I will help her! I have clothes, toys, gear….um let me look up those places. They can give her a free ultrasound. There’s even places that have housing and can help her get a job. Please let me help. Babies are so wonderful, this baby will make her so happy. And it will be so much better than the alternative.” I sent her a local pro-life Women’s Care Center she could walk to and the information for the Gabriel Network. After she left, I called Gabriel Network but they were closed so I couldn’t find out if they had an opening for housing. I honestly felt so sick to my stomach. What if I didn’t do enough? I don’t even know this girl. What if she’s lying and just looking for money? What did my kids overhear and how will I explain this to them? Should I get her phone number and try to talk to her myself? Should I offer to let her live in our basement? It was overwhelming, sickening, and maddening.
So what did I do? Nothing else. I made dinner for my family, put the kids to bed, and then went out on my deck and prayed a rosary. Before I prayed, I texted a few of my friends and posted on my college Facebook prayer group and asked for their intercession. Almost immediately, one of my college friends reached out and said, “Rachel, we have a spot in Mary’s Home. Call me. We can get her in and she can live here for two years.” At this point, I’m exhausted. I’m emotionally drained. I didn’t call her. I just copied her phone number and texted it to my babysitter and gave her the info. I needed to move on. I almost didn’t want to know what happened because I felt so sick.
Ok, now it’s currently Friday. A normal day. I’m off work, my daughter is at preschool, I’m cleaning the house and finally tackling that laundry. Around nap time, I get on Facebook and notice my college friend had messaged me. She let me know that the young woman is moving into Mary’s Home today. My friend went and picked her up, took her to lunch, helped her get an ultrasound, and saved that baby.
To wrap up this incredibly emotional moment for me, I wanted to write this down so I wouldn’t forget the power of prayer, the power of generosity, the power of networking, and the power of love. Please pray for this young woman and her baby. And if you would be so kind as to make a donation to Mary’s Home to help her, you can do so online at
Thank you dear Lord for saving this baby.
My college friend just messaged me to let me know what it was like meeting the young woman and taking her to Mary’s Home.
“Rachel, it’s two beautiful, new, furnished luxury homes. She will live in one with another woman and her 6 week old baby. The other two residents live in the other home with their babies. It’s AMAZING. She was so nervous and afraid, and the girls welcomed her right away and started telling her about the special BBQ that’s scheduled for Monday, and the cooking classes that they’ll have this summer, and that they’re all going to the pool next week, and are going on a trip to the zoo in June. And they were all so darn excited! And her shoulders loosened as they talked and she got a big smile on her face and said, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never been to the zoo before!”
It’s incredible, the dignity with which they’re treated and the love that is extended to them! There were berries and veggies and healthy food in the fridge and the pantry. She was excited because she had her own bedroom (with a door!), and that she had access to the laundry room – she didn’t even have to ask permission. She came with one suitcase, and all of her clothes were dirty. She shared so much about her life over lunch and it was all I could do not to cry, and she wasn’t even feeling sorry for herself, just talking about life! I just can’t imagine how she’s feeling or what this is like for her. But I know she will be loved here.”