Adoption News

Extending Grace By Meeting Practical Needs

— written by Christina Styles, Expectant Mother Coordinator, Zoe’s House Adoptions —

“Is there anything that you need?” I asked.

Shaking her head no she replied “I’m good.”

“What about maternity clothes?”  She’d come in wearing an oversized t-shirt and gym shorts and I couldn’t help but believe that was due to more than just her trying to hide her growing stomach.

She smiled and said, “No I’m fine, I just wear t-shirts and shorts because they stretch.”

It was the first time that we’d met. Glancing outside I couldn’t help but notice that the sky was overcast, evidence of another rain storm making it’s way into town, dropping temperatures and reminding us all of the chilly fall weather that was also on the way.

I asked what she planned to wear once it was cold and she looked at me blankly.

I’m finding that the young women sitting across the table at this stage in the conversation are sometimes not able to think about the future in practical terms. Their minds are caught up in a whirlwind of trying to navigate the situation at hand; a pregnancy that was not anticipated and a baby that they are not equipped to raise. Hearing the different swirls behind “I’m pregnant and want to talk with someone about adoption” never ceases to take my breathe away. The different belief systems, conflicting emotions, the trauma or painful stories that bring these women to the point of contacting the adoption agency, their anxiety of how to make it through their pregnancy and their fear about the future can be overwhelming to say the least.

In the beginning the most important thing that I can do to help her is to listen…listen her story, her plans, her fears and then help her to identify her needs, prioritizing the list in order of importance rather than emotions and helping her to then make a plan for how to practically move forward. It’s incredible to watch the physical change that happens during that process as an expectant mother finds confidence and peace, believing that what once seemed insurmountable is not and that she has the ability to take control of her life and her future. When she sees the choices laid out clearly and she knows that someone is going to help her navigate them the whirlwind inside dies down. It doesn’t make her path easy and I won’t lie to her telling her that it will, but it empowers her to believe that she is capable and strong enough to do whatever she determines to do no matter the difficulty, and that she won’t have to do it alone.

I smile and ask for her sizes, writing them down and noting any specifics about her that will be helpful. The next day I head to the office with this list in hand. Limited space means that Zoe’s House is only able to store a couple of items in each size but I have found over and over that having clothes available to immediately give to an expectant mama sends her a powerful message of being cared for, so I try to keep that supply ready for anyone who may walk in our door.

The previous week we had received a large donation of maternity clothes left over from a local second hand sale. Everything is clean and in new or good condition. When a donation like this comes in I will spend the day sorting through to see what items we need in order to restock our cabinet. Anything that we cannot keep is then sorted into piles to be delivered to different Pregnancy Resource Centers around the city. I’ve met with most of the directors and have a list of which organizations takes specific items and keeping that in mind I will disperse the clothes to bless these other ministries.

This young woman didn’t have anything to wear through the fall and winter and would need more than what I would normally have immediately available but because the extra of the donations had not yet been delivered I was able to put together a large box of clothing for her to go through and try on. A few days later, I watched her eyes grow wide and mouth drop open as I walked through the door with the box. I had intended for her to take it home, bringing back whatever she didn’t like or didn’t fit but she couldn’t wait.

Right there in Panera she opened it, taking things out one at a time and delighting over many of the items. One particular shirt she held up draping across her front with a “Oooooh, look at that one!” and I laughed as the table was quickly taken over by a pile of clothes, each accompanied with something like “I love this color” or “That has a side zipper, that’s going to be SO nice!”. After ordering her dinner she took the whole thing to the bathroom to try on. When she came back to the table her countenance had changed. There was an obvious peace where she had previously been visibly nervous and she smiled brightly as she exclaimed “Everything fit, even the pants! Thank you.”

We’ve had mamas who asked for specific things like an outfit for job interviews, maternity items that fit within certain dress codes for their work or belly bands to help alleviate some of the normal discomfort that comes with pregnancy and we are quick to try and meet their needs. Donations of clothes help us to keep our cabinet full and when they are not available we purchase the items needed. This simple thing, handing them clothes that fit their immediate and literally growing need goes far in helping to establish trust with our clients.

In my own life and my relationship with the Lord I have experienced this same thing, when I have a simple need that maybe I haven’t even spoken of and God meets it, I find myself reassured that He sees me, and is with me. When we get to partner with the Lord in meeting the practical needs of our expectant mama’s in simple ways like offering clothing or food we are assuring them of His love for them and their babys, as well as our commitment to their care.

Christina Styles is Zoe's House Adoptions' Expectant Mother Coordinator. You can reach her at Christina@ZoesHouseAdoptions.com

Christina Styles is Zoe’s House Adoptions’ Expectant Mother Coordinator. You can reach her at Christina@ZoesHouseAdoptions.com

The road I am walking with this particular mama will probably have a dozen twist or turns and may or may not end with her choosing one of the incredible Zoe’s House adoptive families to raise her child – but that doesn’t matter. Regardless of the outcome, she will have a story to look back on and remember that in a very tumultuous time of her life there were good people who cared about her, prayed for her and did their best to offer her real support. My prayer is that in that process she would experience the real love of Jesus in a way that changes her life forever.


Zoe’s House Adoptions extends love, grace and resources to young women who are in the process of deciding if making an adoption plan is for them.  If they choose the route of adoption, we serve them in that way as well.

Through the end of September, we have a $25,000 matching grant that will double all financial gifts.  If you would like to help us extend grace and guidance for life to others, please consider donating here.

2 Comments

  • Susan Delsenno on Sep 17, 2016 Reply

    I love sewing blankets for babies. Let me know if you need any. I also am able to pick up baby supplies at garage sales. Just let me know how I can help you. Susan 402-618-0875

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