My story is filled with trials for sure, but I hope you see it is filled with hope, redemption and triumph. Growing up with a mother facing addiction was challenging but my siblings and I worked to overcome that. My sister was very accomplished, and I graduated summa cum laude from college. My sister succumbed to opioids and lost her life to an overdose. Because our family did not have good coping skills, that was the beginning of my descent. Before I knew it, I was divorced, living out in the country, in a tenuous relationship and homeless. Carl (my partner) came from generational poverty. We suffered an ectopic pregnancy. I was fighting grief, hormones, depression and, as a result, our relationship ended. In many ways that was my breaking point. It might have been the end of my story, but it wasn’t.
Soon after, I found myself at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, pregnant again, well into my 30’s. They had brochures about Hope Clinic. What a life-changing, life-saving decision it was for me to go to Hope Clinic! Carl and I reunited, and we were like sponges, taking every pregnancy class the Bridge program provided. We began couples counseling and I began individual counseling. I got a job. Carl got a job. We found a place to live. Our lives completely turned around.
What I loved about the classes was learning so many new things, reinforcing the things I knew and finding a safe place with a community of people who, while very different, were on a similar path. We came to Hope Clinic feeling completely desperate and left feeling completely capable. Being able to bring my partner, Carl, was so important. This place has completely healed, changed and equipped us to be better people, a better couple and more loving parents. We needed to unload the bad influences of our lives and create a community of healthy friends. What I learned about myself: I am a good person even though I had no guidance during my childhood. I had an abusive, addicted parent and, as a result, struggled with my own temper. Through individual counseling I have changed the way I handle my emotions, learned tools to communicate better and gained control over my behavior. I simply make better choices.
Carl and I are so completely grateful to the staff, volunteers and donors of Hope Clinic. It is our aim to volunteer in the future, walking alongside other couples who have faced what we have faced. It is difficult to put into words the difference that this has made…my whole life is different. I have hope and faith in the future in a way that I didn’t have before. I believe my child will have a happy childhood.
My child has taught me unconditional love…I see myself in my child, so it allows me to love myself better…finally!
What I would say to other pregnant people in crisis: Make the most of what Hope Clinic has to offer. We were so desperate to feel okay about the future and this placed changed that for us. I know it can change it for you! We were so filled with fear. We were overwhelmed. We had no idea HOW MUCH Hope Clinic would help. Take the leap! Take that extra time to participate in what they have to offer.
I currently work in bookkeeping but someday want to use my college degree and work with animals. For so many years Carl could not keep a job but now he is faithful to his work in construction and committed to our family. We love our home in East Nashville and feel so hopeful for our future!
Angella: We needed a support system, a way to help ourselves. And we found it at Hope. Because of you we were given a chance at a life that was out of our reach. We are humbly grateful. Thank you to those of you who have supported this work, so we could get all of this for free and for those of you on the fence, please consider a gift of any size!
Carl: I really enjoy Hope Clinic and I feel it helps me deal with my emotions a lot better. It’s always nice to know how to properly address your emotions. So many people don’t know how. It’s humbling to know there are people here who actually care about you, how you feel, about your life. Thank you.