"Being pregnant has changed a lot of my perspective on life...how I see it. It wasn’t planned, but God gives us tasks in our lives that we know we can handle." Deborah's take on motherhood was humbling...and her little man was such a cutie with his head full of hair and strong preference for his thumb. My newborn sessions at City of Refuge continue to be one of my favorite parts of job...and this one was no different. Here's a glimpse into Deborah's story and photo highlights from our session. Thank you, Deborah, for your brave testimony and willingness to share... Being from a Nigerian family, Deborah found herself on the streets because in her family's culture getting pregnant at a young age "means disownment." She was pregnant living in train stations...and as if that wasn't enough, she is also legally blind. By the grace of God, Deborah's visual coach told her about Kindred Spirit, got her an interview, and soon Deborah had a safe place to complete her pregnancy and start her life as a mom. City of Refuge's Kindred Spirit Teen Pregnancy Home exists "to assist homeless unwed pregnant teens or unwed pregnant teens that have limited family support in a loving, safe, Christian oriented home". Deborah told me she came to Kindred Spirit with only a pajama set and some torn up slippers and now, she doesn't have enough room to put her stuff! She said, "they have been very helpful and supportive...and I’m grateful I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of the program."
When asked about her pregnancy experience, Deborah shared, "this been the roughest year of my life...but I would describe my pregnancy as hope. I just kept believeing and trusting in God that everything would work out." She told me that a song entitled, "I Will Trust in the Name of the Lord" was what got her through her pregnancy. "Now", she said, "I look at [Nathaniel], and I can’t believe he’s mine. No matter how rough my path was during my pregnancy, if I was to choose, I would do it all over again." My prayers go out to Deborah and Nathaniel and the life they will build in support of each other.
Deborah hopes to one day be a performing arts teacher for disabled kids.
All participants of HJP's Giving Back program receive complimentary newborn sessions, digital files, and a set of prints from Hayley Jo Photography. Learn more about this program here. Kindred Spirit has been providing a loving, safe, Christian oriented home for girls since 2004. To contribute financially to their work, visit their giving page (donations may be designated to the Kindred Spirit home).