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Baptist Children's Homes
of North Carolina
P.O. Box 338
Thomasville, NC 27360
Lilly committed to parent son
August 17, 2014
By Blake Ragsdale
Gavin’s new-born cries resound within the hospital room. His delivery went smoothly. Tears dampen Lilly’s face as the new mother cradles her son.
“I was holding Gavin in my arms only twenty minutes after I got my epidural,” Lilly recalls. “When I got to the hospital, everyone was telling me to try to sleep and let my body relax, but I was too excited. All I could think was, ‘I’m getting ready to be a mom.’”
In many ways, Gavin’s delivery on March 4, 2014 was the easy part of Lilly’s journey. Lilly is only 15 years old. The months prior to her son’s birth were wrought with turmoil.
“I was sneaking out of my mom’s house to see my boyfriend. I was smoking. I was skipping school,” Lilly divulges. “I was making bad choices.”
Her grades had fallen sharply. Lilly’s mom was deeply concerned.
“When I found out I was pregnant, my mom and I had a big falling out,” the young mother remembers. Finding out she was going to be a parent was a turning point in Lilly’s life. And it was almost a breaking point in her relationship with her mother.
An out-of-home placement for Lilly was needed to help Lilly and her mom. At three months into her pregnancy, Lilly’s mom brought her to Care House in Lenoir.
Care House is Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) residential home for single, teenage mothers and their babies. The program helps prepare young girls to be self-sufficient parents. The mothers gain vital support to help tackle challenges that would otherwise keep them
from achieving success in life and with their relationship with family.
“I did not want to come to Care House. I was very mad at my mom,” Lilly remembers. “I was in tears when I got here.”
The transition was difficult, but Lilly soon discovered she was not alone. The other Care House residents were supportive of Lilly. Some of the girls were already moms and were learning to care for their babies. Like Lilly, one girl was pregnant and not much farther along.
“She and I are like sisters and she’s helped me a lot,” Lilly says. “It’s good to have friends your age you can talk to, but it’s also good to have someone older who has a lot more experience to help you.”
Lilly is referring to Care House’s caregivers which include Gloria Rose. “The staff are really good. Ms. Gloria is the one I talked to the most especially when my mom and I were having problems. She’s a Christian, and she helps me make right choices.”
Lilly’s life, as a teenager and as a young mother, has transformed at Care House.
“At Care House, we go to church every week and it’s made me really start thinking about things,” Lilly reveals. “Being here led me to Jesus.”
Lilly, along with the other girls and staff, attends Lower Creek Baptist Church in Lenoir. A two-month-old Gavin was dedicated during the worship service this last Mother’s Day.
“Since I came here my relationship with God has grown,” Lilly says. “I want Gavin to know who God is and I want us to be able to see each other in heaven one day.”
Even though she is a mother, Lilly also juggles life as a teenager. She attends school where her grades have greatly improved. She recently completed driver’s education. She was able to work on these important things while at Care House because Gavin is lovingly provided for at the home’s on-site day care.
“Getting home to play with him and seeing him smiling and happy was the most precious thing to me,” Lilly beams.
Lilly’s relationship with her mother strengthened to the point that she and Gavin returned home. “Things are really good with my mom.
I can better understand where she’s coming from now and we don’t argue.”
With her mother’s support, Lilly is committed to continuing her education and being the caring parent her son needs.
“If it wasn’t for Gavin I’d probably be dead or in juvenile detention,” Lilly believes. “I don’t know where I’d be right now if I hadn’t come to Care House.”
To learn more about Care House, visit http://www.bchfamily.org/serve/central#126.