Today’s post is written by Lindsay Pepin Ophus, a CPO birth mother. You can order her book, Joy Will Come: Exchanging Shame for Redemption at scarletpepin.com, Amazon.com, and other fine retailers.
”You’re pregnant” were the words that would forever change my life. I sat there in a small Planned Parenthood exam room in complete shock. I couldn’t hear the lady listing my medical “options” because all I could think about was the fact that my future was over. My Christian parents were going to kill me, I would not get to go to college, and my life would never be the same from a stupid high school decision of having sex.
After the storm of telling my parents I was pregnant, my mom called a friend who was involved with CPO. I attended my first counseling session and first support group just two short weeks after telling my parents. I sat in that circle dazed and confused on how this could be my life, but what I heard in that group was nothing short of hope. CPO was the place where I realized that my life was not over. I also learned more about open adoption, a concept that at the time was so new to me. I felt supported, loved, and accepted at CPO. I can honestly say that Crisis Pregnancy Outreach saved my life.
As my belly was growing with a beautiful baby girl, my heart was slowly breaking into a million pieces, as my head knew the best option for my little girl was adoption. Just when I thought walking through a teen pregnancy was the hardest thing I would ever do, I discovered that it would be much harder to leave the hospital without a baby. The baby that I gave up my childhood for, my public perception, and more importantly, I realized the baby that I already loved so much would never call me mom.
On August 11th, 2012, after a painful night physically and emotionally, Kinley Joy made her entrance into the world. “The sorrow many last for a night, but (Kinley) Joy will come in the morning.” Psalm 30:5. That morning was extremely joyful because I had never been so in love. The next day, Kinley Joy went home with her new family, Her new family just so happened to be my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Bethany. Kinley instantly gained a sister who was only 360 days older.
The year that followed Kinley’s birth was the most difficult year of my life. The pain and loss of a child is unbearable but open adoption tells a different story. On my darkest days, I could leave my college dorm room and go see her and CPO never once stopped supporting me emotionally. Most importantly, Jesus never left my side. When the grief was all consuming, God was consistently there to wrap me in His arms. He was the only One who truly understood my pain because, after all, He had to give up His baby, too.
God has used my testimony in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I now have a smart, kind, and giddy almost 7-year-old daughter who knows her story and loves her life!
I’ve had the opportunity to share the healing that God can bring at many speaking events. God has since led me to write a book with my mother, Scarlet, and my aunt, Bethany. In our book, Joy Will Come, we tell a story about unexpected pregnancy, adoption, and God’s redemptive love from 3 different points of view. CPO is now using our book for their birth mothers’ and adoptive parents’ reading.