Category Archives: 24 hour phones

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 summer of 2008.

We received an urgent call on the CPO hotline. A woman whose daughter was in school with a girl, who was planning a 21-week abortion, was desperate to save the baby and the precious girl’s LIVES. She needed one of the CPO staff members to meet with her the next day. I already had an appointment, as did all 5 of my assistants.
I looked to my daughter, Natalie, and asked if she could meet with this girl. When this dear girl heard about open adoption, she thought it was a great idea. NO ONE HAD PRESENTED HER WITH THAT OPTION. She didn’t even know what open adoption was.
I pray that each one of us at CPO feels an ongoing commitment to just talk to everyone about open adoption, so that everyone knows that it is an alternative to abortion and parenting. Very few young girls are equipped to parent their babies, and open adoption is a wonderful alternative. They have the blessing of having their children raised in a stable, loving, two-parent, Christian home, and the joy of watching that little on grow, and being a part of his or her life.
When Natalie and the girl went to Dr. Myers’ office and watched this unborn baby on the ultrasound, she knew she had made the right decision– a decision she can live with now, and later, with no regrets. She chose an awesome family to parent her baby, and is filled with peace.
God is so faithful.


Volunteers Matter: Shelby Williams

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 learn about Shelby Williams, one of our great volunteers!

Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: I am the on call for CPO’s hotline every Thursday, but hopefully can begin helping out more in the upcoming months as a mentor or organizing one of the many groups at CPO.
Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I began volunteering with CPO January of 2014.
Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: I have a dear friend who has adopted through CPO twice and he told me about the ministry.
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations?
A: After having my son last November I felt a certain need to help children once I held my own in my arms for the first time. It was an experience that I think every person should be able to have, to hold their beloved child. I want to give the children and babies a voice. I want to help anyone who walks through CPO’s doors or calls me on Thursday nights. Whether they just need someone to talk to or they need options. I want to be there to tell them they are not alone in any decisions they make and someone will always be there for them no matter what.
Q: What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: CPO helps anyone. They are willing to help you no matter your past or present. CPO volunteers are quick to help out in any situation. For instance, we don’t care if you are purple colored and triangle shaped. It doesn’t matter what color or shape you are, you are always welcome at CPO.  That is what draws me to CPO.
Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: CPO is so close to my heart because my husband and I originally looked into CPO before we had our son, Weston. We had miscarried multiple times and had given up hope of ever having a family of our own. That is when I talked to a friend about his and his wife’s adoption through CPO and began looking into adoption. As we began our research that is when we found out we were pregnant again. After specialists, a lot of praying and worrying, and a long 9 months as a high risk pregnancy, we welcomed our only child, Weston Ryan, on 11/12/13. Unfortunately for most families, they do not have such a happy ending as we did. Some never get that chance to pack for the hospital or decorate a nursery like we did and we are so fortunate and blessed. I love seeing families made through CPO adoptions and women having the courage and strength to parent.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: I have learned that what I say can go a long way. That I am the first voice that someone will hear when they may be calling in a time of desperation and confusion. I try my absolute hardest to connect with the people on the other end of the hotline and make sure that they know that number is always there to call. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be perfect in my own life, that I can have flaws because we all do. I’ve learned to appreciate so much more what God has given to me and my family and that spilling my coffee in my car is not the worst thing that could happen. I at least have a car to spill coffee in. I at least have a coffee maker to make coffee in. I have a home that my coffee maker can be in. I took so much for granted until I realized that a lot of the girls we help at CPO don’t have the simple luxuries that I do and I really need to stop complaining about my pitiful problems. That someone out there has much larger problems than I do and I need to help them. They need someone and I need to be that someone.
Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: The beautiful life and fullness seen in the eyes of the children and moms at CPO. Some of the babies that may have otherwise been aborted are smiling peacefully in their sleep, swaddled in their mom’s arms. A mom who chose to parent with the biggest smile on their face with their newborn baby. A smile of accomplishment. A birth mom and an adoptive mom embracing each other in a strong hug after the birth of their baby. The friendships amongst the birth and adoptive moms is a relationship only God could have created. It’s so amazing to see the different relationships built and the bonds that are shared at CPO.
Q: What would you say to anyone who may be considering becoming involved with CPO?
A: Don’t wait! Get involved and jump right into it. You will not regret it, I promise! It is the most rewarding thing you can do. Volunteers are what keep CPO running and continuing to help women and children. You are valued and needed. We would love for you to join CPO and make a difference!

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A big thanks to Shelby Williams for being a dedicated volunteer at CPO!


An Anonymous Volunteer’s Story of Redemption

I was introduced to Crisis Pregnancy Outreach by a lady who was also a volunteer in the office. I had been spending lots of time sitting around my house wondering and praying about what my purpose in life is. I had always worked, 35 years, then a family member had some medical issues so I had been helping care for her for about a year and a half. After that duty was finished, I began feeling that there was nothing left in life for me to do. I felt myself slowly slipping into a deep depression. When I was told CPO needed volunteers for the 2-4 shifts on a few days I knew God intended for me to be there. I was drawn to being able help a lady that found herself in a similar situation to the one I found myself in when I was 18 years old.

The father of my baby was my first true love. We dated all through high school. For Christmas of 1972, he gave me a promise ring. I was so in love with him and I just knew we would one day marry. During the middle of our senior year he decided he loved another girl so he broke up with me. I was totally devastated. As far as I was concerned my whole world had ended! He kept coming around occasionally and I was always there for him, hoping he would realize we were meant to be. When I told him I was pregnant he immediately made arrangements to drive me to Dallas for an abortion. I was young, scared, and heartbroken. I had no idea how I could raise a baby by myself and he didn’t want to ruin his plans for his future. This was right after Roe vs. Wade had passed in the Supreme Court. You were only able to get an abortion if you were six weeks pregnant, or less. It ended up that I was around seven weeks along but they went ahead and aborted my baby. That day was absolutely the worst day of my life! After approximately two months had gone by I began having severe cramps and lots of bleeding. The cramps were so severe I was doubled over in a fetal position crying. After what seemed like hours, but was only about twenty minutes, I felt like I had to go to the bathroom and I passed what was left of my little baby. The abortion clinic had not removed the entire fetus. I had to go to the doctor and have a DNC to make sure I was “cleaned out.” Remember I mentioned the day of my abortion was the worst day of my life? WRONG. Seeing a part of my little baby in the toilet and then flushing it was horrifying! I just knew God would severely punish me by not being able to have any children in the future. Through the years God blessed me with three beautiful children. You see, in those days there was no internet or organization around to help me realize there was another choice that could be made. Open adoptions did not even exist back then.

At CPO, I have learned that I can be there for someone that needs my help. I can be there to answer that ONE phone call and let some scared young girl know there ARE other choices. Choices that can be such a blessing to so many people, especially that precious little baby.

One week, while working in the office, I received, not one, but two phone calls from a couple of scared young girls. They were both being encouraged to get an abortion. I let them know that, ultimately the choice was theirs but, CPO has several waiting couples praying for a little baby. The best part is that she gets to stay involved in her baby’s life. That baby will grow up knowing that his/her mother loved them enough to provide the best parents she could chose. I got them in touch with the volunteer that can help them from that point on. There is absolutely no way I can put into words the overwhelming joy I felt in my heart. God reached out and touched me to let me know that this is the purpose of my life.

My first shift as a CPO volunteer was on June 3, 2014, and I plan on staying involved for many years to come!

I would tell anyone who might want to get involved with CPO that they are a tool for God and there’s no bigger reward than to think they took part in saving a precious little baby’s life. They would also be a huge part of blessing many lives.

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Volunteers Matter: Christina Domer

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 learn about Christina Domer, a very valued CPO volunteer.
Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: In the past I have answered phones in the office on a bi-monthly schedule, sent out monthly donation receipts and thank you notes, and most recently worked alongside Cheryl and some other great gals as an adoption assistant. This has given me the opportunity to work closely with some of our birth moms, those making adoptions plans and those wanting assistance to parent. I also mentor a few waiting families as they navigate this journey of adoption.
Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I have been involved with CPO since we first turned in our adoption application in February 2011.
Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: When we knew it was time to adopt everyone in our church family said, “CPO!!!”
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: Obviously, I came to CPO because we wanted to adopt (and I had to get my required hours in!), but I STAYED because I believe so strongly in this ministry of helping women in crisis!
Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: See above! Plus, as an adopted child who never knew her birth mother, I love being able to minister to birth moms and by doing so I feel like I am, in a way, ministering to my OWN birth mom. I also believe in OPEN ADOPTION. My son’s birth mom is now a member of our family and I’m so glad we have such a great open adoption!
Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: I had no idea what some of these girls go through before they get to us. I really have a better empathy towards them. I thought it would be hard for me to minister to these girls in crisis pregnancy because of my own infertility, but I have not found that to be true. God’s grace is evident in my life every day and He has been able to use me to show these girls HIS GREAT GRACE.
Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: Phone volunteers are SO SO SO important! Our birth mother was on her way home from a scheduled abortion that she could NOT go through with. (That is a fabulous story for another day!) She googled “adoption Tulsa” on her phone and started calling down the list of numbers that came up. We were not the first number that came up, but we WERE the first to ANSWER her call. She came in THAT day and started getting the help she needed and chose us within days! God was writing a fabulous story in her life and He still is!
Q: What would you say to anyone who may be considering becoming involved with CPO?
A: I’ve been thinking a LOT lately about how every election cycle we get all huffy about “VOTING PRO-LIFE”. I am absolutely pro-life, but we can’t just sit on our couches preaching against abortion when we aren’t DOING something to help these women have a better option. CPO is giving women better choices for themselves. So don’t just VOTE pro-life, ACT pro-life. Give, volunteer, make CPO continue to work for these women in crisis pregnancies.IMG_3110
Thanks again to Christina Domer for being a dedicated CPO volunteer!

Volunteers Matter: Amie Vetscher

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 will periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers.
This week we learn about Amie Vetscher, a name you may recognize as a frequent author on this blog.
Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: I volunteered at the CPO office during the week, assisted with the Gala this year, and presented a workshop to birth moms and parenting moms about creating pathways to a college education. Although my husband and I recently moved out-of-state, I regularly write for the CPO blog remotely in order to continue my CPO volunteerism.
Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: After coming to terms with two years of unsuccessful and disappointing fertility treatments, my husband and I decided to pursue adoption. We gathered information about adoption agencies across the country and talked to friends who adopted. That was when a close Tulsa friend shared information about CPO, a local ministry. Our friend’s neighbor adopted successfully through CPO, took the time to meet with us, and graciously told us all about the CPO ministry.
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: The fact that CPO is an entirely volunteer-based ministry distinguishes it from many other charitable organizations. Inherently, by ministering to a woman in a crisis pregnancy, God’s hand touches, at its start, two lives. If the expectant mother chooses to place the child for adoption, then at once the fruit of that service blesses another set of lives. Through a crisis pregnancy ministry, God protects the unborn, strengthens a woman in need, creates a mother and a father out of a childless couple, or a big brother/sister from a child waiting for a sibling.
Q: Why is the CPO cause so close to your heart?
A: For my husband and I, our future family will be brought to us through this cause. Because CPO will be there for the woman in need, our home will someday be filled with soft giggles and the pitter-patter of little feet.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: The pain of infertility is a very isolating experience. Before I became involved with CPO as a volunteer, I had a difficult time seeing past my own medical issues and treatments to achieve a pregnancy. Going to church, shopping centers, social gatherings and even our own family gatherings created triggers of anguish; round bellies and strollers flourished everywhere, except with me. Volunteering at CPO helped me realize that my gifts and talents are needed and valued, at a time that I very much struggled with my own self-worth. It also helped me grow in understanding the issues and needs of women facing a crisis pregnancy. I will need this understanding so I am prepared to minister to the birth mom who chooses us, respond appropriately to her needs, and build a positive relationship with her that our child will enjoy for the rest of his/her life.
Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: The many stories that families have shared during the adoptive family support group or volunteer work have been a beacon of light and hope for me. I see God’s hand in every family that CPO brought together.
Q: What would you say to anyone who may be considering becoming involved with CPO?
A: CPO is set apart from many charitable organizations not only because of what it accomplishes through volunteers, but how effective, organized and creditable it is in carrying out its ministry goals. At the top of the list of accomplishments, I would recognize the fact that CPO is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week without paid staff. CPO is a ministry with integrity and a sizable network of reputable health care providers, leaders and volunteers who are dedicated to changing lives and are willingly committed to the long, difficult hours necessary to do so. I am so proud to be a part of CPO.
Vetscher Family
Thanks again to Amie Vetscher for being a dedicated CPO volunteer!

 


Decades of Dedicated Service

This article was originally published in September 2013, by Rhonda Fisher.

Marilyn Guthmann is a long-time volunteer at CPO. In fact, she’s been volunteering since its inception more than 30 years ago! This week, we wanted to honor her dedication, while also highlighting her current area of expertise: the CPO office.

Over the years, Marilyn has volunteered in many different areas at CPO. She has hosted several girls in her home, provided transportation for girls, been a labor coach, and even helped organize fundraisers and other events. Currently, she volunteers in the office every week. Marilyn says that her most memorable office experience was a time when she received a phone call from a hospitalized girl who wanted to place her baby for adoption as a drop-in. It was a while ago, but she still remembers the phone call with fondness.

Her story illustrates the overall importance of our office volunteers. She says, “Some days there are lots of calls, and some days there are none.” Our office volunteers make sure they are there when the calls do come in. But Marilyn says not to worry about not being adequate to work in the office. “Somebody will be there to train you and tell you what you need to do. Really, it’s not that hard. And if you don’t have the answers [for a girl on a phone call] then you can always call one of the assistants and they will call the girl back. Even after 30 years, I still sometimes feel inadequate, I don’t always have all the answers, but I often call one of the assistants and talk to them about it. They are our resources. Everyone has skills to answer the phone and talk to someone who walks into the office.”

Marilyn says that her time spent volunteering for CPO over the years has been beneficial to her. “It makes you think about other people, and the stuff that they’re going through. It changes your focus.” Which gets me thinking… “I will focus on Your honor and majestic splendor, and Your amazing deeds!” (Psalm 145:5, NET)

Thanks again to Marilyn Guthmann for her years of dedication to the cause of CPO, and for allowing God’s “amazing deeds” to occur through her work!


Small Effort, MAXimum Outcome

This article was originally published in September 2012, by Rhonda Fisher.

When longtime CPO volunteer Laura M. woke up a few weeks ago, she had no idea that her actions that day would have such a monumental importance in people’s lives.

It was Labor Day, and Laura had volunteered to answer the 24-hour emergency phone line for CPO. Of course, she didn’t have to stay at the office on Labor Day. Instead, the phone line is forwarded to her personal cell phone.

This job is important, because crisis pregnancies don’t keep banker’s hours. Women and girls often need someone to talk to in the early morning after their positive pregnancy test, or in the evening after arguing with an unsupportive family member, or in the middle of the night after losing sleep over the fear of the major life change occurring in their bodies. If we don’t answer the phones, especially in this technologically-driven day and age, the prevalent instant gratification mentality might lead a worried girl to just call someone else on the Google search page. Of course, CPO doesn’t want that to happen, because we’ve then lost the opportunity to change a life and minister to her.

When Laura’s phone rang this time, it wasn’t a worried girl or a scared woman. It was a social worker, calling from the hospital where a new baby had just been born the night before. The social worker informed Laura that the birthmother had chosen to make an adoption plan. Based on the birthmother’s request, the social worker called our number first, and Laura was there to answer the call.

“It was a pretty exciting thing, I’ve never had a call like that before,” says Laura. She took the basic information from the social worker, assured her that someone else from CPO would be calling back very soon, and hung up. Laura then made another simple phone call to set off a chain reaction of volunteer efforts that ultimately changed the lives of many people.

Stephanie J. was the assistant “on call” that day. Like all of the workers at CPO, Stephanie’s efforts are completely volunteer-based; she receives no salary. But she’s been involved with CPO for 8 years now, and she currently holds the position of Assistant to the Executive Director. Stephanie is actually one of several assistants; they are the volunteers who are directly involved in bringing adoptive families and birthmothers together.

Stephanie got the information from Laura, and then immediately called the social worker. She got as much information from the social worker as possible, and then set to work. First, she sent a text to the other assistants asking for the names of waiting families who were open to the idea of a drop in–accepting a newborn who is waiting at the hospital, often leaving the family with only hours to prepare.

That’s when Courtney B. got involved. She went to the CPO offices and collected several Life Books of waiting families that were willing to accept a drop in, and headed to the hospital.

At the hospital, Courtney was introduced to the birthmother, K*, and her mom. Soon, other CPO volunteers arrived to help. Stephanie came and so did Ana S.  K and her mother were very grateful for the quick action of CPO volunteers, and commented several times on their professionalism and their genuine desire to help.

Courtney had already given them the Life Books, and when they called Courtney, Stephanie and Ana back into the room, they were very secure in their decision. They had found something in common with their chosen family on almost every page. “It was a God thing, for sure,” says Ana.

Once the adoptive family had been chosen, it was time to let them know that they had a new baby boy waiting for them at the hospital.

Abby B. and her family were in Kansas City. They had attended a music festival that weekend and were almost ready to head home when the phone rang. Their young daughter had been lamenting that all the fun was over, but little did she know it was just about to begin. Abby answered the phone and was informed by Stephanie that there was a baby boy waiting for them at the hospital in Tulsa. He would be released to go home the next day.

“I asked [Stephanie] if she was serious. I know they don’t just call to joke about these things, but… you know,” says Abby. She hung up the phone and told her husband and daughter, and the packing frenzy began.

As soon as they had packed up everything, they started the drive toward their new baby. “That was the longest car ride ever from Kansas City. I’m a musician, so I always have music, but I didn’t even think about turning it on.” On the way home, they considered possible names for the new baby boy, made plans for Annabelle to spend the night with a friend, and mulled over the logistics of how to gather all the needed supplies within 24 hours.

When they arrived at the hospital, they met K and her mom. They talked about the baby, and discussed possible names. When they got to “Max Andrew” on the list, everyone involved thought that name was the best. Soon, Max was brought in to the hospital room and introduced to his new parents. Abby says, “God really has a strange (to us, at least) way of working things out, down to the details. It’s a good thing He’s in charge.”

Meanwhile, Laura, the volunteer who put this amazing story in motion, continued with her plans for the day. Because of her, Abby and her family have a new little guy hanging around, and K has begun attending the weekly support meetings offered at CPO. “I’m glad to be able to help out in a small way,” says Laura. But at CPO, no volunteer’s efforts are “small”. They all have the potential to have a MAXimum outcome.

This job is important, because crisis pregnancies don’t keep banker’s hours. Women and girls often need someone to talk to in the early morning after their positive pregnancy test, or in the evening after arguing with an unsupportive family member, or in the middle of the night after losing sleep over the fear of the major life change occurring in their bodies. If we don’t answer the phones, especially in this technologically-driven day and age, the prevalent instant gratification mentality might lead a worried girl to just call someone else on the Google search page. Of course, CPO doesn’t want that to happen, because we’ve then lost the opportunity to change a life and minister to her.

When Laura’s phone rang this time, it wasn’t a worried girl or a scared woman. It was a social worker, calling from the hospital where a new baby had just been born the night before. The social worker informed Laura that the birthmother had chosen to make an adoption plan. Based on the birthmother’s request, the social worker called our number first, and Laura was there to answer the call.

“It was a pretty exciting thing, I’ve never had a call like that before,” says Laura. She took the basic information from the social worker, assured her that someone else from CPO would be calling back very soon, and hung up. Laura then made another simple phone call to set off a chain reaction of volunteer efforts that ultimately changed the lives of many people.

Stephanie J. was the assistant “on call” that day. Like all of us, Stephanie’s efforts with CPO are completely volunteer-based; she receives no salary. But she’s been involved with CPO for 8 years now, and she currently holds the position of Assistant to the Executive Director. Stephanie is actually one of several assistants; they are the volunteers who are directly involved in bringing adoptive families and birthmothers together.

Stephanie got the information from Laura, and then immediately called the social worker. She got as much information from the social worker as possible, and then set to work. First, she sent a text to the other assistants asking for the names of waiting families who were open to the idea of a drop in–accepting a newborn who is waiting at the hospital, often leaving the family with only hours to prepare.

That’s when Courtney B. got involved. She went to the CPO offices and collected several Life Books of waiting families that were willing to accept a drop in, and headed to the hospital.

At the hospital, Courtney was introduced to the birthmother, K*, and her mom. Soon, other CPO volunteers arrived to help. Stephanie came and so did Ana S.  K and her mother were very grateful for the quick action of CPO volunteers, and commented several times on their professionalism and their genuine desire to help.

Courtney had already given them the Life Books, and when they called Courtney, Stephanie and Ana back into the room, they were very secure in their decision. They had found something in common with their chosen family on almost every page. “It was a God thing, for sure,” says Ana.

Once the adoptive family had been chosen, it was time to let them know that they had a new baby boy waiting for them at the hospital.

Abby B. and her family were in Kansas City. They had attended a music festival that weekend and were almost ready to head home when the phone rang. Their young daughter had been lamenting that all the fun was over, but little did she know it was just about to begin. Abby answered the phone and was informed by Stephanie that there was a baby boy waiting for them at the hospital in Tulsa. He would be released to go home the next day.

“I asked [Stephanie] if she was serious. I know they don’t just call to joke about these things, but… you know,” says Abby. She hung up the phone and told her husband and daughter, and the packing frenzy began.

As soon as they had packed up everything, they started the drive toward their new baby. “That was the longest car ride ever from Kansas City. I’m a musician, so I always have music, but I didn’t even think about turning it on.” On the way home, they considered possible names for the new baby boy, made plans for Annabelle to spend the night with a friend, and mulled over the logistics of how to gather all the needed supplies within 24 hours.

When they arrived at the hospital, they met K and her mom. They talked about the baby, and discussed possible names. When they got to “Max Andrew” on the list, everyone involved thought that name was the best. Soon, Max was brought in to the hospital room and introduced to his new parents. Abby says, “God really has a strange (to us, at least) way of working things out, down to the details. It’s a good thing He’s in charge.”

Meanwhile, Laura, the volunteer who put this amazing story in motion, continued with her plans for the day. Because of her, Abby and her family have a new little guy hanging around, and K has begun attending the weekly support meetings offered at CPO. “I’m glad to be able to help out in a small way,” says Laura. But at CPO, no volunteer’s efforts are “small”. They all have the potential to have a MAXimum outcome.


*The names of the women CPO helps are always redacted for privacy purposes.