Living with a Merry Heart: An Advent Message

Author Archives: Crisis Pregnancy Outreach

Living with a Merry Heart: An Advent Message

Written by Jackie Potter, a CPO adoptive mom of many years, this message is a gift to you during this advent season. Merry Christmas!

Let’s all take a moment to imagine this. You are a simple teenage girl living with your parents in a small town, when an angel appears to you and says, (Luke 1:30-32) “…”Don’t be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father.” Wow, that’s a lot of expectation! But Mary didn’t hesitate; she answered, (Luke 1:38) “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word…” And from that moment, her time of expectant waiting began. As we all know, Advent is a time of expectant waiting, waiting on the birth of Christ. Each Sunday, as we light the advent candle, we bring bright light and joy into the darkness of our lives. During this season, we are searching for hope, faith, joy and peace and we are preparing our hearts and souls for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
We all have times of anticipation and expectant waiting in our life. Because of how life is, we want an immediate response, an immediate reaction. But in God’s timing, that’s not always the case, because His timing is perfect. And that doesn’t always match up with our earthly desires. My husband Chad and I have struggled for 12 years to have a family. We’ve lost 2 babies to late-term miscarriages. We’ve lost 3 babies to failed adoptions and we’ve lost 1 baby at 5 months old, to SIDS. Our cross we carry here on earth is building our family, and we have painfully and expectantly waited.
Mary’s period of expectant waiting included the typical back pain and achy feet, as her body changed, and grew with her pregnancy. Yet she also felt Jesus moving and kicking inside of her. As the end of Mary’s pregnancy grew closer, she and Joseph slowly found their way to Bethlehem. It’s so hard to imagine what that journey must have been like…the fear, and anticipation, the pure exhaustion. In the bible, Luke tells us that Mary “was great with child” (Luke2:5) and I can imagine, ready to simply lie down. Yet, as the couple finally arrived in Bethlehem, the inn was full. I’m sure, in that moment, they both wanted to give up. I can imagine the frustration and concern that Joseph must have felt for his pregnant wife. Yet, they continued on and found a stable to rest in for the night, and painfully and expectantly waited.
As Chad and I worked through the hardship of each pregnancy loss, or loss of child, we clung to God. We trusted Him. In 1Peter 1:6 it says, “Be truly glad, there is wonderful joy ahead.” We knew there was great joy ahead. God had placed on our hearts the desire to have a family, the desire to be parents and the desire to adopt, we just needed to always have hope that He would fulfill that desire and bring great joy! Over the last 12 years, in between the losses, God blessed us with 4 beautiful children, ranging in age from 11to 2. Looking back, we wouldn’t change a thing. We’re afraid if we told our old selves of the tragedy that lies ahead, that we might not take the next step. We’re afraid of what we wouldn’t have, if we warned our old selves about the troubles ahead. If you heard that was your plan, would you go forward? It’s hard to say. But what if we could tell our old selves of God’s beautiful redemption in the end, that he’d give us 4 beautiful children, forever ours? Now that would be something that would push us through!
And I think of Mary in the same sense, as she lied in pain in the stable, giving birth to Jesus. In the middle of it all, her humble and courageous self always trusted God. She knew He would never leave her. In Hebrews 13:5 God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” And when Jesus was born and let out his first newborn cry…what a holy night! The joy she must have felt as she wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and held him close to her heart. However, if she knew the persecution, the hurt and hatred that her son, Jesus, would endure, would she still say yes to the Angel Gabriel? She suffered tremendously when her only son died an excruciatingly painful death upon the cross, to save all of us from our sins. Knowing that He would die in such a horrendous way, would she take the next step, would she go forward? I believe, without a doubt, she would…she, too, knew that great joy lie ahead.
A couple months after losing our 5-month-old son Cohen, to SIDS, I had posted on Facebook about how amazing it was, that a night of belly laughing with my older children could help heal my broken heart. And a dear friend of mine, Cheryl Bauman, sent me this scripture. It’s from the book of Proverbs, chapter 17:22 and it says, “A merry heart is the health of the body…”. So, tonight, I pray that you too, will find your joy, your stillness and live with a merry heart this advent season.
In closing, living with a merry heart, and choosing joy daily, has such a positive effect on our souls and the souls of those around us, including our children and spouses. So what makes our hearts merry? In Jeremiah 15:16 it says “When I found your words, I devoured them; your words were my joy, the happiness of my heart, because I bear your name, Lord, God of hosts.” So for me this Advent, in order to live with a merry heart, I will sit in a quiet, still place, reflect on the promise the advent candle represents, trust Him to strengthen me to always take the next step, and fully take in His word, because, THAT is where grace and joy are found.


Retro CPO: Letter from a Birth Mother

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication. 
This month’s Retro CPO article is actually a letter to Cheryl, written by a birth mother in winter of 2009.

Dear Cheryl,

I just wanted to let you know that I am soooo thankful for you and CPO. Samantha’s adoptive mom, Teri, encouraged me to share this with you.
I am a member of this one website for moms, and a group I just recently joined is for birth mothers. It is horrible! So far, all these women are so filled with pain and remorse. I can hardly stand to be on there for very long.
I have always known that CPO was different from the rest, but it has just recently sunk in just how different it is. I don’t think any of these women have any support other than this website. It’s almost like they were abandoned after they made their adoption plans. They are left alone to deal with this life-altering choice. Many are now hollow, and feel robbed. It’s just beyond words.
I just can’t help but feel that if they had the support like CPO offers they would be able to heal. it has opened my eyes a lot and given me a whole new appreciation for CPO. I am seriously thinking of un-joining that group. I really joined hoping I could help someone see that there is life after adoption, and that you an heal. However, to them, if you are not bitter, empty, and full of remorse, you’re in denial.
I am so thankful that you care so much about us girls.

With love,


Happy Thanksgiving from CPO

At CPO, we’re thankful for women who choose life, volunteers who love on the women and their children, donors who give so we can serve the women and their children, and Christ, who set the example for us all.


Have Fun for a Great Cause!

CPO’s Super Hero Run

CPO's Super Hero Run

In case we haven’t mentioned it enough, CPO’s Super Hero Run is now only days away!

Check out this post for more information on how you can participate, volunteer, or sponsor!

Register online:
Facebook: Super Hero Run Tulsa
Instagram: @superheroruntulsa

Create a team, join someone else’s team, participate individually, or volunteer. And be sure to dress up!! No matter how you get involved at this year’s run: It is sure to be blast!

Retro CPO: Cheryl Said

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication. 
This month’s Retro CPO article was written by Cheryl Bauman, our founder and executive director. It was written in winter of 2009, and explains our need for volunteers… something we still always need!

This past year is the busiest that we have ever had at CPO. We have had so many girls come to us with absolutely nothing. They had no clothing, no personal care items, no cars, no places to live, and no families. The most painful part to see, however, is how emotionally and spiritually bankrupt they have been. Most of these girls are very convinced that they are worth “nothing,” and that they probably have deserved the abuse they have received at the hands of their parents or boyfriends. That breaks my heart – and I know it breaks God’s heart, too.

We all try to take part in the “damage control” that must be done. We give each girl unconditional love and acceptance and tell her how much we love her and how much God loves her. It often takes months for the girls to accept this truth. After having been abused by an earthly father, trusting a Heavenly Father that they cannot even see is a big leap for many of them. A very large percentage of our girls come to us addicted to drugs. Satan wants to keep them entrapped in that culture, and uses all of their “friends” to lure them back. That is when we lean heavily on our CPO mentors to come alongside these girls and let them see how real friends treat them.

This ministry has become multi-faceted, over the years , as we have constantly added new areas. It is only because of YOU that we are able to “be here” for these precious girls. Right now, we are in need of:

  • Your fervent prayers for those of us in leadership positions in CPO, and for the young women we serve.
  • Your financial support
  • Godly women who can be a special friend and “mentor” to one of our girls
  • Women who can drive our girls to their many appointments with the doctor, attorney, counselor, and support group. This need is desperate and ongoing.
  • Maternity clothing, women’s clothing, baby and children’s clothing
  • Baby equipment
  • Host homes who will allow a pregnant girl to live with them
  • Help with mailing
  • Help with the showers we provide for each birth mom and parenting mom
  • Help with picking up donated items
  • Help with fundraisers

I pray that God would speak to you regarding one of these areas. As you know, we are ALL volunteers at CPO. None of us take any financial compensation. We need MANY MORE VOLUNTEERS!!!

May God bless you, abundantly, as you consider the needs of these young women and their little ones. It will never be enough to talk about the problems with adoption. We must provide a loving alternative. Initially, these girls need “God with skin on.” You could be that person to one of these girls.


Volunteers Matter: Lindsey Wichern

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from a fantastic volunteer, Lindsey Wichern.

Q: In what ways do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I work in the office once a month, serve as the “transportation coordinator” for the birth moms needing rides to appointments, and fill in wherever else there is a need.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I began volunteering in July of 2016.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: Through our friends, Jeremy and Carrianne Burton.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: I originally chose to volunteer at CPO because my husband and I are adopting through CPO. However, after becoming more accustomed to the organization, I will continue to volunteer here because I love the mission of the organization and what we’re doing to help women in crisis in our community.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: Every single life matters and CPO’s vision to help women in crisis, which is a wonderful thing itself, and how that directly impacts unborn children is just so important.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I have a heart and passion for helping young women in crisis. God has really put these ladies on my heart!

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: So many women and children (and waiting families!) are being shown God’s love through the people of CPO being His hands and feet. It’s beautiful.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: Don’t hesitate any longer, do it!aea9fc24-3365-436c-a0c3-9cda45a42b1b

Meet MarShondria

After months of searching, CPO has found a new house mom. What a blessing she will be to the pregnant women who stay in our Transitional House. Many thanks to volunteers Angela McLaughlin for her interview and to Serena Lowe for photography.

We all know the situation: a woman finds out she is having a child and immediately, the HGTV host sets in, decorating and preparing for the arrival. Overnight, nurseries are made and all the things are childproofed. But for some women, this option is not reality. Women who choose adoption for their children are often experiencing a time of crisis in their lives, and will need support and love to not only make it through their pregnancy and the adoption process, but to turn their lives into something they’re proud of. Until a short time ago there was no realistic option for these women. That’s where CPO comes in with their Transitional Home. A safe haven for women, a beautiful home where they can laugh, cry and grow until they are ready to move on.
The CPO Transitional Home is one of the most incredible gifts the organization gives to it’s most vulnerable birth moms. Before the transitional home, CPO founder Cheryl Bauman says that women would often call at any hour, needing a safe place to stay while they created their adoption plan. Phone calls would be made, and volunteers would open their homes to the birth mother in need. And while many women were helped in this way, the process was unsustainable.
Through lots of volunteer hours and lots of generous donations, CPO was able to come up with a long term solution to this problem. Not only is the Transitional Home a safe place for women to stay for the duration of their pregnancy and for 6-9 months after, but there is constant support. The “house mom” is on site almost always, providing a listening ear, guidance and structure to the women, as they reclaim their independence and set forward on the new path their lives have taken.
MarShondria Adams is the current CPO house mom. From Sioux Falls, South Dakota, MarShondria is the oldest of five children, so she knows a thing or two about living in a full house. After having experiences with adoption in her family and personal life, she says “God drew CPO and I to each other!” Her passion is living a missional life with others, which she is certainly doing in her new role.
When asked about what she thought the greatest challenges of being a house mom were, her answer was all about change. “I think a big challenge will be introducing a new lifestyle because we are all resistant to change. CPO would like to help these ladies establish a healthy foundation to better their future but it will have to be a partnership. We cannot drag or force this upon them, so they will have to be willing to work at this change. It will be difficult for them to consistently make healthy decisions day in and day out, but we are committed to helping them through this transition.” Part of the contract when staying at the transitional home is meant to help a birth mom work through some of these changes, with reliable transportation to and from counseling, doctors appointments and support groups. Because most of these women are coming from a place of personal crisis, the relief of not having to worry about getting transportation is immeasurable.
MarShondria also has a plan to model accountability, balance and boundaries for the women at the house, saying “You can’t give out what you don’t have and it is important for me to model this. I hope to model this balance through establishing boundaries, accountability, and my personal relationship with Christ.” Because the house mom is a constant presence in the lives of the women at the house, she is able to provide support simply with her presence. Role models and mentors are a key component of CPO’s mission, and the house mom is able to provide both in a stable and safe environment.
Finally, MarShondria also has her hopes for the future, “It is my hope that the women will develop skills that will help them have a healthy lifestyle when they leave the transitional house. CPO and I would like for this to be a safe place where women learn to flourish in their relationship with Christ and others through boundaries and accountability.” Because CPO’s ultimate goal is for the women to transition into the world with a renewed sense of purpose, faith and independence, MarShondria recognizes that while there may be hills and valleys, the work she and the rest of the women do in the transitional house is truly setting the stage for a healthy and meaningful future.

Retro CPO: Meet Kelly Jacobson

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication.
This month’s Retro CPO article was written by Kelly Jacobson, one of Cheryl’s assistants at the time (and still!). It was written in winter of 2009, and is her personal testimony.

I began volunteering for CPO sometime in 1996. At the time, i just wanted to support a pro-life ministry, because at 19, I had an abortion. I believe that if I had known of a crisis pregnancy ministry, I would have made a different choice.

Sometime along the way, God gave me a strong desire to adopt. Steven and I turned in our life book in December of 1997, but since we had three biological kids already, we wanted to only adopt a “special needs baby.”

We expected to wait for a long time, but in only two weeks Cheryl called to tell us about Jewel. She was born 9 weeks early, and only weighed 2 lbs., 14 oz. And that began our “adoption adventure.” We now have seven awesome kids and are blessed beyond measure.

In 2002, we moved to Denver and spent three years separated, in body but not in spirit, from CPO. In 2005, we moved to Owasso and got more involved than ever.

I love CPO.  I love watching God work miracles in the lives of birth moms and adoptive families… not to mention the awesome baby stories.

I love CPO because it gives women the help they need to choose life in a society that promotes death.

I love CPO because without it, I wouldn’t have my babies.

I love CPO and I feel privileged to serve.

My husband, Steven, works for Level3 in Tulsa. Our blessings are Madeline (16), Aaron (15), Elaina (13), Jewel (11), Isaac (9), Nate (7), and Zachary (16 months). We are a trans.racial family and I have a passion for racial reconciliation. I love to encourage anyone who has questions about transracial adoption.

The whole Jacobson crew!

Volunteers Matter: Linda Huber

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from another volunteer, Linda Huber.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I work in the office, doing 2 hour shifts each time.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I began volunteering in August of 2015.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: I have had several friends who have donated and some have volunteered there in some capacity over several years and some others who have adopted through CPO.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: I’ve been involved in girls and women’s ministries through my home churches for 35 years. I do mentoring and lead and teach Bible studies. God spoke to me about doing work “outside the local body of my church” for some time. I also have a daughter and her husband (who live out of town), who feel called to adopt in the near future. I was drawn by desire to give to those in need of Godly counsel and since I raised two daughters of my own, it was a good chance to put my gifts to work and learn about the process of adoption. I feel especially called to minister to women in crisis because of others who have done so in times in my life. I am also a client advocate with MEND, working several hours a week.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I have learned that I am exactly where God would have for me in this season of life: as a mother with grown children and a grandmother. I’m a retired dental hygienist and treating patients for 32 years prepared me for this volunteer work. My absolute joy is when I get to talk one-on-one with a woman and pray with her. It has amazed me to see the words God gives me for each uniquely created person. God has opened my eyes greatly to the amount of need in this area, even among the church body and especially in our lost and broken world. I desire only to be Jesus with flesh on it to these women and families.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: I have been able to do some pregnancy tests and chat and pray with several new clients, which thrilled me to feel helpful. Two in particular with positive test results and both clients were believers, but knew they needed better walks with God. I also got to observe (from my desk) an adoption. It was amazing and very emotional. I cried and prayed for both parties all that day and think of how many lives were changed forever that day. God truly blesses and has called this ministry for such a time as this!

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: I highly recommend everyone I know to get involved actively and give a little time to support CPO. It takes and army, but together it works miracles. It is so much more than an alternative to abortions, as vital as that is. It is truly life-changing experiences for many. I thank God for the opportunity to serve and consider it an honor.