Category Archives: baby

The Long Run

This blog is going to tell a story about my journey.  I will share my experience and the tools available to deal with the crisis pregnancy process.  My goal is that it is relatable and interesting and that you get something of value out of these posts.

Just the Good News

In the Beginning – What to Do When You Don’t Know What to Do

When you are 13,  you are thinking about being head cheerleader, being the high scorer in a basketball game, turning a double in softball and being able to do a back handspring.  What you are not thinking about is if you should have an abortion, if you should parent your baby, if you should place your baby for adoption, what you’re going to do now that your boyfriend has broken up with you.  Unless you are me.  That is what I was thinking about when I found out I was pregnant.

The decision to have an abortion or not was not easy nor was it difficult.  I was raised in church and in Christian School.  I knew right from wrong, and had said that I knew having pre-marital sex was wrong.  So I was faced with a major dilemma, tell my parents what I had done and disappoint them or get an abortion and face the lifetime of repercussions that come with that.  My boyfriend did not make this any easier.  As you can imagine, I didn’t want to go through this alone and he was not willing to stay with me if I went forward with the pregnancy.

I remember that I had a friend who could drive. I was only 13, so I couldn’t even get to a place to have an abortion.  Anyway, my friend said he would take me.  I was going to skip school to go.  However, on the day we were going, I backed out.  My boyfriend broke up with me and there I was…13, pregnant and with no clue what to do next.

This is a life-altering moment that girls face every day.  If you are facing this decision, before you choose what you think is best for you, I hope that you will come in to CPO.  In Oklahoma, you are required to have an ultra sound before an abortion.  CPO offers them for free and our nurses are here to help you gather all the facts you need to make the best decision for you.

 

In the Middle – Options and Education are Key

One of the most difficult things to do when you are 13 and pregnant is to tell your parents.  I waited until I was a little over 4 months along to tell them.  My dad went for an 11 mile run and when he got home he said, calmly, that they would be supportive of me and help me decide what the best option for me was.  We quickly started attending support groups for girls who had parented their babies and also ones for girls who were placing and had placed their baby for open adoption.  I began researching birth families that were on the waiting list and chose the one I wanted my raise my son.

At this point I was 37 weeks along and we were going to tell the Adoptive Parents on Monday.  On Saturday, my parents and I went to a support group that had a panel of birth moms who had parented and others who had placed their babies.  Also on that panel were adoptive parents who received a child and also who were thinking they were getting a child and the birth mom had changed her mind when the baby was born.  Right then I knew….I would be that girl who changed her mind.  I told my parents after the seminar that I had to keep my baby.

Without that support group, my life would have forever been changed.  Here at Crisis Pregnancy Outreach, we have several groups just like that.  If you are facing this decision, do not think you are alone.  We are here and ready to provide you with the resources to help you make the decision that is best for you.

 

The End – Just the Good News

If you would have told me when I was 13, pregnant, single and kicked out of school that my life would end up as great as it has there is no way I would have believed you.  I found myself, and continue to find myself through the journey of being a mom.  My son started kindergarten the same year I started college.  He was 10 when I had my daughter.  He turned 16 the same year I got a divorce.  He was 27 when he chose to be the bravest person I know and beat addiction.  This week he will be 29.

I know when you are in the middle of the crisis pregnancy it is difficult to see anything but the present, but please know that there is an amazing future ahead.  Let us here at Crisis Pregnancy Outreach provide you with resources to make the best decision for you and help you get to the rest of your story.  The good news is that you are not alone.

CPO provides many services, which include:

  • Birth Mom Support Group
  • Parenting Mom Support Group
  • Therapy with a Licensed Professional once a week for LIFE
  • Transitional Home with a Live-in House Mom
  • A mentor who can walk with her and “be there” for her, around the clock
  • Medical Care with a doctor who will really listen to her and support her wishes
  • A Doula (professional labor and delivery support person) who will stay by her side, regardless of the length of her labor
  • Childbirth Education
  • Christmas parties and other holiday events
  • Life Books of families who are waiting to adopt, if she wants to make an Open Adoption Plan
  • Assistance in planning for the future


CPO Makes Families BIG!

Families come in many shapes and sizes. For this, I am grateful. Twenty years ago when I started thinking about having my own family, I never knew how big and beautiful it would become.

I became pregnant with Hank in 2002. He was born in March of 2003. He was 5 weeks early and we were both pretty sick. I had never heard of the HELLP syndrome, but I had it and the only way to fix it is to have the baby. Therefore, I had a preemie. (Hank was soon thriving and is now a healthy, happy 16 year old.)

In 2007, we decided we wanted to add to our family, but knew that pregnancy could be risky. So, we found CPO. That summer, we got a “drop in”. His name is Barrett. His birth parents weren’t in a place to parent, so I woke up one day a mother of one child and by 10 that morning, I had two boys!!

A year later, those same two birth parents had another baby boy. Eli was lovingly placed with the Hisey family. We wondered how we would navigate these waters, but both of our families knew that we wanted the boys to have a relationship since they were biological brothers. It was fun to watch these two boys. We made it a point to get them together at least a couple of times a year. We knew then that Eli and Barrett would have an incredible bond that we wanted to nurture and support. We also agreed that our other children should be considered family as well. We didn’t want to leave anyone out.

A few years later, the same two birth parents had another baby. It was a boy, Dax, and he was placed with the Hisey family too. So Barrett had another brother. We were thrilled. Again, we would get these boys together and talk about the way their eyes crinkled up and shined when they smiled or how that had the same “duck tail” on the back of their hair. I loved having this for Barrett. And for Hank.

A few years later, Abigail was born. Same birth parents. We couldn’t believe that we had a sister. She was placed with the Domer’s and we were all immediately smitten. When she was a baby, we would say she looked like Barrett with a bow in her hair!!

Today, we live in Tulsa, the Hiseys are in Enid and the Domers are in Broken Arrow. I would love to say that we see each other all of the time, but you know how life is. School, sports, church, families, etc make schedules complicated. But, I will tell you that my heart holds not only Hank and Barrett, but also the Hisey and Domer children.

Barrett loves having his younger siblings. In our house, he is the baby. But, with his biological siblings, he’s the big brother.

When Barrett was “graduating” from elementary school, all of the 5th graders were interviewed for a supplement for the year book. Some of the questions included favorite color, nickname, etc. But, I was speechless when I saw his answer to the question about siblings. He said, “ I’ve got two biological brothers, a biological sister, 2 step sisters and a brother. “ There is so much I love about this. 1. His biological family is always in his heart. 2. Hank is just that, his brother. 3. He is proud of his diverse family. It may not be like his friends, but it’s his and he’s happy.

At the end of the day, I have a really big, beautiful family. We pray for each other, celebrate each other and love each other. We know that our children have something really special that we want to honor. We are so grateful that these birth parents chose life and chose us. It’s all a great big blessing from God that gave us a wonderful, big family.


Volunteers Matter: Marlita Camacho

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 an extremely dedicated volunteer, Marlita Camacho.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I am a doula (professional labor support) and I assist Cheryl with birthmoms.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I have been a doula with CPO for 14 years, and an assistant for about 3 years.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: I’m embarrassed to say it was for selfish reasons, but I was looking for ways to further my doula training by attending births.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: The neat thing is I started attending births, but quickly realized what an amazing ministry opportunity it was. I get to walk through a really emotional time with these girls, laugh with them, cry with them. I get to be with them when they may not have a good support system.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: I’m passionate about birth, but I’m also passionate about being the hands and feet of Jesus. If these girls feel the love of Jesus through me, then I’m doing my part.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I’ve learned that there’s always a way to make time. Your schedule may be busy, but if an opportunity comes up to minister to a woman in crisis, there’s always a way.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: Wow. That’s a deep question. I think I’ve got the best volunteer opportunity at CPO, because I get to witness miracles. The miracle of life. The gift of a birth mother choosing life for her child, whether she plans on parenting or she is making an adoption plan. I get the privilege of witnessing families being made through open adoption.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: Do it! Make time to make a difference in someone’s life. Make yourself available to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Choose to love on someone who may never have felt His love.
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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.

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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.
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CPO’s 4th Annual Super Hero Run: All the details you’ll need!

It’s almost time for our Super Hero Run! This is a fantastic way to have a great time while supporting CPO, a very worthy cause!
You can run, cheer, or volunteer! Whatever you choose, be sure to dress up in your best super hero costume!
Our race coordinator, Keli Boatman, has graciously answered some questions about the event. See below for all the details you’ll need to join in the fun.  shr-photo

Q: When is the race?
A: This year’s race is on November 12th. We love doing this event in November because it is recognized as National Adoption Awareness month. Sometimes it gets a little chilly, but it’s such a fun time to be able to get together and celebrate adoption in our own way!

Q: How early should participants arrive?
A: The 5K race starts at 8:30 AM so participants should try and be there about 7:45 or 8 that morning. Runners for the 1K, which starts at 9:30, should shoot for about 9. This should allow time for you to get parked and over with us and maybe even cheer on those finishing up the 5K as you come in!

Q: Is it okay to walk instead of run?
A: Walking is most certainly allowed! We just want to see all your super faces out with us. All we ask is that when we line up for the race that you hang to the back of the group. This allows the runners that are seeking a serious time to move to the front and set the new personal best at the Superhero Run! Similarly, we do allow strollers, but please single width only, and we ask you to also stick to the back at the starting line to allow those runners to pass.

Q: What kind of volunteers are needed?
A: Our volunteers are definitely the staple that holds this run together. We could never have had such a successful race the last few years without them. One of the biggest and most important volunteer needs that we have this year is running/walking! We have such a great turn out for volunteers that what we really need is people that will gear up to walk or run to celebrate our Superheroes. The second biggest need that we have this year is Sponsorship! We have so many different levels that fit any budget, corporate or individual. It would be phenomenal if we had some volunteers that would get out and get the Superhero run into the minds of business owners or individuals that have a heart for this organization and would be willing to donate to help us keep this run going. We are so blessed to have Serena Lowe joining this years’ team as our volunteer coordinator. I know she will do an incredible job working with our volunteers and making sure they’re in a spot that keeps everything moving smoothly.  If you would like to volunteer, email Serena at serenalowecpo@gmail.com. For sponsorship information email Keli at kboatman38@yahoo.com.

Q: What will the t-shirt design look like this year?
A: We are very excited that the long sleeve runner shirt will be back! Our Superhero Run logo will still be on the front and all of our wonderful sponsors will once again be loud and proud on the back!

Q: How can readers help get the word out?
A: Yes! Please help us spread the word. The way the website is laid out makes it so easy for you to create your team. Be it a company, church, or family… make a team and recruit like crazy! We have prizes for the biggest! We also have flyers that you can pick up and distribute in your office, church, gym, etc. We are also very active on our Facebook page which you can find by searching Super Hero Run and for some added fun you can follow us on Instagram this year. You can find us there @superheroruntulsa. I will be updating that page with progress sneak peeks to let you in on all of the fun so go find both of those pages and share, share, share! In the last few years, surveys reported that our biggest source of advertising was word of mouth. You are our biggest asset! Contact Keli at kboatman38@yahoo.com to get flyers for distribution.

Q: Where do we register and what is the deadline?
A: Registration is open at http://superherorun2016.eventbrite.com. From there you can register as an individual or as a team and get all ready to go! Be sure you get registered ASAP to get your t-shirt ordered. There is no deadline, we will be accepting registrations right up to race day, but prices increase by $5 on November the 2nd and the only way you’re guaranteed a shirt is if you’re registered by November 5th.

Q: Are there prizes?
A: We will have our wonderful runner medals again this year as well as prizes again for the best costumes and the biggest teams. We have so much fun with those fantastic masks, tutus, and of course the occasional cape! We will also be doing giveaways and prizes on our Facebook and Instagram pages leading up to the event so be sure to go “like” the Super Hero Run Facebook page right now or find us on Instagram here!

Q: Is there anything else you want us to know about the run?
A: I just want to thank you all for such an incredible race last year. I have the opportunity to plan this event with a great committee that is working very hard for you all. I’d like to thank Serena Lowe again for coordinating some incredible volunteers. I’m thrilled to announce that Becky Martin is back with us this year and I cannot say thank you enough for all of her help recruiting both sponsors and runners. Also a huge shout out to my wonderful momma, Angie Boatman, for hanging with us again as the very best Registration Coordinator I could imagine. I’m truly blessed to work with such an amazing committee. Please join us on race day to show your love, support, and encouragement to the incredible birth mothers that CPO has touched!

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Parenting Success Story: Alex

Many women who come to CPO during their crisis pregnancies choose to parent their child. We are happy to support them in their efforts with counseling, mentors, parenting classes, and more. From time to time we would like to highlight one of our parenting success stories. This is the third installment in our series, again written by Ashley Ledbetter.

“What am I going to do?”
For Alex, it was the first question of many.  It led her on a journey towards a beautiful and rewarding decision: to parent her son and daughter.
Alex discovered she was pregnant at age 18.  She was living on her own, having graduated high school ahead of schedule. The news was difficult.  “What am I going to do?”  Being an extremely smart girl, she began exploring her options.  She reached out to MEND; they were helpful. Although Alex was initially open to an abortion, MEND offers a video that reveals the abortion process.  After viewing the video, she quickly ruled out abortion as an option.
Moving forward with her decision to protect the tiny baby inside her, Alex started surveying other resources around her.  Since CPO has resources for parenting AND open adoptions, adoption was the next option she chose to explore. Soon, Alex had decided to attend two support groups- one group for parenting mothers and one for those who have chosen to make adoption plans.  When the adoption support group didn’t resonate, she paid close attention to the girls in the parenting group.  She began to observe a simple, yet monumental, truth:  “It is possible!” These girls chose to parent, even though they hadn’t planned on becoming pregnant, and they were doing it.  They were even doing it well.  She started to think “I can do this.”  Her choice to parent was made.
With a plan starting to fall into place, Alex was then able to address issues related to the remainder of her pregnancy and delivery.  This phase of her journey became as critical to her experience as every other part, since it was during this final stretch of pregnancy that she was challenged and cared for by CPO volunteers.  The medical volunteers, Dr. Ross, and one of CPO’s doulas, Marlita, were an incredibly strong support for Alex.  She was prayed for at every prenatal appointment and had some difficult but honest conversations with Dr. Ross.  Through that time, Alex realized how much she was experiencing depression and self neglect.  She had grown up enduring heartbreak and difficulties within her immediate family that had affected her more deeply than she had previously been able to identify.  While she had been aware of these struggles, they were unresolved and painful.  Alex began to see the underlying condition of her heart.  She began to reconsider her deep-rooted approach to life: “just get through it”.  She started to understand that God had more for her than that, maybe even joy and freedom.
Even after all of these victories and blessings on her way to becoming a mother, Alex’s highest praise goes to Marlita.  After all, the delivery of a baby is one of the most personal and valuable moments a woman will experience. Having a skilled and compassionate doula can really create a bond that will endure forever!  Alex remembers, “Marlita was the only person I wanted in the delivery room with me.”
In the end, Alex had rejected abortion, chosen to parent, begun to experience the healing of her own heart, and delivered a baby.  So, one question remained: “What is the best way to do this?”  CPO’s parenting support group offered her plenty of answers.  Through the community of parenting girls, Alex was able to learn the details of government housing as well as general strategies for single moms.  She found community within the parenting mothers, who even handed down clothes and other child related items to each other.
She journeyed from “What am I going to do?” all the way to “It is possible!” For her and her two children, it was a journey worth taking.  image
6 years later, Alex is the beautiful mother of two children, Treten (age 5) and Georgia (age 4). Currently, she serves tables at Chuy’s while attending school for accounting.

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Retro CPO: Meet Paige Tooman

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 Paige Tooman, one of Cheryl’s assistants at the time. It was written in fall of 2009, and is her personal testimony. 

I am so honored to be part of such an incredible ministry! I love serving alongside Godly women who have been doing this for so many years and I continue to learn more and more each day! Being an Assistant Director never crossed my mind as we began our journey with CPO.

My husband Brent and I were baptized together in 2002, and we were on the amazing road of Christianity together. We had just found out that we were pregnant, after one round of Clomid, a fertility drug. We were so thankful that God had blessed us and couldn’t wait for our newest family member. Our 34 week check up went great, but then I began to get very sick. I tried to play it off as part of being pregnant, but after a week of sleepless nights, I called the doctor. I was admitted to the hospital and they determined that my liver had shut down and my kidneys were next. This was part of the HELLP Syndrome, something I had developed during pregnancy. Needless to say, we were rushed to the OR for an emergency C-section and Hank was born! He was a strong baby and he and I were both in the hospital for about 10 days. After arriving home, I basically was on “lock down”, as I didn’t want my preemie to get any kinds of sickness at all! He is now a strong, healthy six year old, no one would ever even know about his early arrival if I didn’t tell them.

We decided we wanted to add to our family, but we were told that I could get HELLP again. We had heard about CPO through several different friends and we decided to give Cheryl a call.That is when it all starts happening. We received a call several months into the process about a baby that was being born in three hours. THREE HOURS?? This was out baby, Barrett, or as we call him, Bear. His birth parents rode to the hospital on a motorcycle, in the rain, so we knew they were a spirited pair! We started to get to know them in the hospital and then we lost touch with them after the hospital stay. We were so sad about not having the open adoption that we had thought about so often. We wanted to minister to a girl and help her find God and get her life on His path. Fortunately, God had His plan in place and Bear now has a baby brother that was adopted by the Hiseys and we have an incredible Christian family to share our lives with!

After all of the love and time that Cheryl and Kelly showed us, I decided that I wanted to give back to CPO and I got involved with the fundraising banquet. I loved sharing CPO’s vision with others and trying to get funds for our “all-volunteer” agency! When I became an Assistant, I knew that this was my calling. I am the type of person that needs to be involved. I also knew that if I was going to be volunteering and away from my kids at times, this would be perfect because when I am volunteering for CPO, I am multiplying His kingdom. I can truly see God each day as I look into the faces of the birth mothers, the babies, and the families. My you all find your place in CPO, as I did. It is truly a blessing!

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Nathan’s Story

Needing inspiration? Watch the video from this year’s gala. It is so good!


Birth Mother’s Day at CPO

This year’s Birth Mother’s Day celebration at CPO was on April 30. It was a wonderful event!

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For those that don’t remember, Birth Mother’s Day is an event planned to honor the women who have made adoption plans for their birth children through Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. It is a day set aside to acknowledge the courage and sacrifice it took for them to make a loving adoption plan for their birth child.

As birth mothers arrived, they were greeted with a smile by some of our volunteers.IMG_0790

They received gorgeous custom-made tote bags filled with fun make-up, accessories, and coupons to a local salon. The tote design was hand-drawn by one of our very own CPO birth mothers, Angela McLaughlin, and printed by a CPO adoptive mother, Carrie Jones.

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Birth mothers were also encouraged to sign up for door prizes. Among the prizes were designer bags, robes, bath supplies, gift certificates, and more. Wow!IMG_0789

After being greeted, birth mothers were treated to a delicious meal. Dedicated volunteers Tracie Roesslein and Jeff Bauman (along with a crew of others) served fresh smoked BBQ meats, salad, baked potatoes, and mini bundt cakes for dessert. Of course, there were hot dogs on hand for the many kiddos in attendance, too. The food was absolutely perfect. Yum!IMG_0936

After the meal was devoured, the “pampering and photos” portion of the day began. The CPO Day Spa officially opened.IMG_0788

There were sign up sheets for nails, massage, and make up. We had 5 professional pamperers who graciously volunteered their time, supplies, and skills to make our birth mothers feel special. IMG_0791The lobby outside of the “spa” was full of birth mothers, adoptive families, and volunteers all chatting as the girls happily waited for their turn to be pampered. Some adoptive families chose this time to give Birth Mother’s Day gifts to the women they love.IMG_0934

Meanwhile, a nursery was provided for children under 4 years, and a volunteer-supervised bounce house was available to entertain kids of all ages.

We also had 3 professional photographers volunteer their services: Melissa Barnes, Melinda Hunley, and Ashley Ledbetter. IMG_0792They each had their own style, and birth mothers were able to choose what kind of photos they wanted: indoor or outdoor, lots of props or simpler, etc. They were also able to choose who would be in the photos with them: just their birth child, all of their children (those they placed for adoption and those they parent), or the entire adoptive family. This variety made for some beautiful photos the birth mothers (and adoptive families!) will cherish for years to come.

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In all, it was a wonderful day, and we couldn’t have done it without an amazing set of about 30 volunteers. We hope the birth mothers from CPO felt as special as we all know they are!