I do not condone nor encourage teenage pregnancy, but truth is... many teens will become parents before their 18th birthday. Teen pregnancy exists and will continue to exist. How do I know?
Here's My Story
In 1982, at the age of 14, I became a teenage mother. During that time many options were presented to me, such as adoption, abortion, and even passing my child off to an older family member to be raised as their child. However, at 14 years old, I decided to keep and raise my child.
My choice came with many tears, great sacrifices, and at times a lot of regrets; it wasn't easy, but with love, faith, time, support, and training... it did get better.
As a missionary, I later traveled to many places, and have seen many struggling mothers both young and old with stories of despair, hopelessness, and pains of regret.
A few years ago I landed in East Africa, moved on to West Africa, and settled in Nigeria, where there is an estimate of 31.5 percent of teenage mothers and mothers to be.
Close to 90 percent of these soon-to-be mothers, and teen mothers do not receive any support from their families in helping them through this difficult time.
However, my plan in Nigeria was not to start a group home for young mothers. But, the lessons I passed through as a teen mother had been in a deep sleep inside of me for year's waiting to be a lifeline of hope for young teen mothers who had lived with the secret, embarrassment, and family shame of being pregnant.
However, it was in those times, I learned to push harder than I had pushed in the delivery room. It was in those times, that I discovered lifestyle changes came with changing my lifestyle.
In 2017, I attended an Educational Conference in Jos Nigeria. When the conference director approached me and ask if I could fill in for a speaker that suddenly became sick.
Well-known American school leaders were there. And I had no notes or idea what to say before this large crowd of people.
So I revealed my truth. I shared that I once was a teen mother, but through hard work and determination, I changed my life as a teen mother. I studied, traveled to many places, became a nurse practitioner, purchase property, started businesses, and watched my daughters, yes daughters walk across colleges stages.
See it's not how you start, it's how you choose to finish.
Life doesn't end, because of a bad decision.
There is hope~
Here are some photos of me with the women at my center enjoying a guest who is teaching us about eating healthy.
Investing in the lives of the women at my center.
We are traveling to a life-changing, 2-night 3 day conference in Abuja Nigeria. Fully paid for by our center.
Don't just invest in yourself, plant a seed in someone else's life.