Category Archives: parenting

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.
img_4978


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.

thanksgiving-day-pictures


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.


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.

image


Happy Independence Day!

As you prepare to celebrate the independence of our great nation with friends and family, please also remember one of CPO’s perpetual goals: to guide women to become independent and productive members of society. Many women enjoy a different kind of independence thanks to years of support from our donors, volunteers, and leaders. Say a prayer for them all today.

20 May 1999 --- Independence Day parade --- Image by © Ariel Skelley/CORBIS


Retro CPO: Meet Becky Martin

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 Becky Martin, one of Cheryl’s assistants at the time. It was written in fall of 2008, and is her personal testimony.

It is my great pleasure to serve as an assistant director of CPO under the amazing leadership of Cheryl Bauman and alongside several other Godly women.
I came to know my Savior Jesus Christ on November 1, 1970, and from that day forward, my ambition was to serve Jesus as a missionary. I attended schools in Tulsa and Broken Arrow, where I graduated in 1980.
When I was a child, while traveling down I-40, I passed Oklahoma Baptist University. I could see the steeple from the highway and when my parents told me that was OBU, I said, “That is where I’m going to college.” My parents did not go to college and this worried my mother, because we didn’t have a lot of money. She mentioned this to our pastor’s wife at the time. She told my mother that God would provide a way. He did!
As some of you will remember, the early 80s were not a good time in our economy, but I remember, vividly, one semester when I went in to pay. My dad had told me to just write the check and he would put the money in my account. I had some scholarships and grants so I thought the bill would be close to $1,000. When it came my turn to pay, the clerk tallied it up and said, “You owe eighteen fifty.” I said, “$1850.00?” He said, “No, $18.50.” I was so excited! I went immediately to call my dad, who acted like it was no big deal. He knew God was in control.
I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. I majored in Elementary Education so I would have a trade to take with me to the mission field.
It was very difficult to find a job in Oklahoma, so I got my first gob at a private Christian school in Florida. While I was working that year, my relationship with God grew and I learned a great deal. I was also communicating with an orphanage in Mexico about coming there to work.
Unfortunately, as it seems to happen sometimes when you are on the brink of your destiny, I made some bad decisions and became pregnant. I did not believe in abortion and I didn’t know anything about open adoption, so my plan was to come back to Oklahoma, live with my mom and brother, and raise my son on my own. Zach was born January 9, 1986, and was very healthy.
I was so worried that God was mad at me for messing up all His plans for my life, that I ran from Him for a while. In May of 1987, I won a car! I felt that He was saying He was going to take care of me and He was still my Father.
It was an extremely difficult time, raising Zach on my own with no child support. I did have a good job and a new car, but Zach didn’t have an earthly father. I met my husband when Zach was 2 years old, and we married two and a half years later. Phillip and I have now been married close to 18 years. It wasn’t always easy having a child who was close to 5 years old at the beginning of the marriage, but again, God helps us become a family. Phillip and I were blessed with a baby girl, Sarah, on June 19, 1991.
When we became members of Christian Chapel, Cheryl came to speak one day about the needs of CPO. As she was speaking, Phillip turned and looked at me as if to say, “Now you can do what you’ve always wanted to do, be a missionary.” Even though I thought my mission field was working with children, which I did do while teaching for 14 years, maybe God’s plan were different. Or maybe, as romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” I have enjoyed working with the girls and women who have come through the program. I have learned so much from them and I have been able to share my story with them, in hopes that my struggle would encourage them to seek God’s will for their situation.
For me, 2007 was a very eventful year working with CPO. I saw so many miracles. Many times, we all wondered why things were happening the way they were, but God’s plans were always better than ours. He did some mighty things in people’s lives, from saving several babies from abortions to saving the lives of some preemies and sick children. I call 2007 “the miracle year.”
I praise Him and thank Him all the time for allowing me to serve Him as a missionary with CPO. I am also grateful to Cheryl for this opportunity and to all the couple with whom I have had the pleasure of working. My faith has grown through watching your adoption stories unfold. My goal now is to keep working with CPO and not let anything stop me. God bless you all.

A recent photo of Becky, still an active CPO volunteer.

A recent photo of Becky, still an active CPO volunteer.


Easter 2016 Party Pics

This year’s CPO Easter party was last Saturday. It was awesome, as usual! Here are some great pics of all the fun we had!

They are also posted here: Easter Party 2016. Check back to that page in a few days as we plan to upload more and more as they come in from our fantastic volunteer photographer, Ashley Ledbetter.

ce8a ce9a CE12a ce14a ce15a ce16a ce17a ce31a ce39a ce40a ce41a ce42a ce43a ce3a ce4a ce6a ce7a


CPO’s Annual Easter EGGstravaganza

Mark your calendars! Our annual Easter party is right around the corner. This party is for everyone and anyone who loves CPO: parenting moms and dads, birth mothers and birth fathers, adoptive families, volunteers, and donors. And most of all: KIDS!!

All the exciting details can be found in the flyer below!2016 Easter Party

If that isn’t exciting enough, check out some of the photo highlights from previous Easter parties!
easter7      easter11 easter5    cpo10 cpo9 cpo8cpoblog-40 cpoblog-28 cpoblog-21 cpoblog-9

More EGGstravaganza photos can be found at Easter Party 2015 and Easter Party 2014. Enjoy!


Volunteers Matter: Rhonda Fisher

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 dedicated volunteer, Rhonda Fisher.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I currently spend lots of time working behind the scenes at CPO. I keep the website up-to-date, I coordinate and edit the blog, and I work with our marketing team on various projects. I mentor adoptive families as they go through the adoption process from application to finalization. I often go to volunteer fairs to recruit new volunteers or to outreach events to offer help to women in need. I also lead the monthly meeting of our Adoptive Family Support Group. My official title is the Ministry Director, and I do lots of stuff.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: Since about June of 2012, so that would be 3.5 years.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: My husband Jarad and I had been considering adoption for quite some time. We weren’t quite ready yet, and we weren’t sure if God wanted us to adopt internationally, through DHS, or through a domestic agency. We heard about CPO through a friend from the school where I was teaching. It was a beautiful ministry and right here in Tulsa. We knew we had found His plan for us.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: CPO requires that adoptive families complete a specific number of hours as part of their adoption process. So that’s why I started. But I’m WAAAAAAAY past that number of hours, and my daughter’s adoption has long been finalized. But now I’m in love with this place and I can’t stop. I love the adoptive families. I love the volunteers. I love the babies. And most of all I love the women and girls that God brings to us.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: I love that CPO supports women through their pregnancies but also for the REST OF THEIR LIVES. You really don’t find that with many other agencies. But here at CPO, we’re not just an agency. We’re a ministry. We offer lifelong support groups and licensed counseling to these ladies, and I am so proud of that fact.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I actually LIKE to volunteer! I mean, I really like it. I currently stay home with my daughter, Milly. While I wouldn’t change that for the world, I miss teaching and the special joy it brought to my life. But volunteering at CPO (and a few other local ministries) brings a similar joy. It is just so good to get outside of your own world and spend time helping others. It’s just plain good for my soul.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: Oh my goodness. Where to begin? I have met dozens upon dozens of women helped by CPO. Many of them had no where else to turn, had never felt the love of Christ, and were merely surviving day to day before they came to CPO. Now, I see them all the time, thriving, smiling, and spreading Christ’s love to others. One of my favorite things to see around CPO is when a woman who has previously been helped by CPO decides she wants to volunteer here too. What a joy to see those who were previously helped reach out to help others, too!

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: Get with it! Don’t wait. We always need more volunteers and it’s never too soon to start being the literal hands and feet of Christ. You won’t regret it!

5D7A1243