Birth mother shares story of regeneration and hope
Whitney knew it was her last chance. She bought a bus ticket to a rehab center in San Francisco and took a deep breath. At one of
the stops along the more than six-hour drive, she stepped off the bus to run into a McDonald’s. She was shocked when she came outside and the bus had left, leaving her with nothing. Angry and filled with despair, she approached an older man in a nearby parking lot, and before he could speak, she blurted out her dilemma. She needed to catch up with the bus. “I can give you a ride,” he said gently. He called his wife and explained that he was driving to San Francisco. Whitney climbed into his truck.
“I didn’t realize it then, but he was a servant of God,” she says. “He asked a few questions and I responded with short answers and then he began talking about Jesus. It was all he could talk about.”
Whitney says the realness of the Jesus he spoke about became a seed planted in her heart. The duo retrieved her bags, and her new
Jesus-loving friend drove her to the rehab center. He handed her a piece of paper with his phone number written on it and offered
a last bit of encouragement before he began his trip home.
This was not her first attempt to break the addictions that had plagued her young life, but she remembers thinking that this time was different. She became friends with some of the others addicts at the center, especially one guy. Time passed and she remembers marking 30 days clean: “I’m doing it. It’s real this time.”
A few weeks later, she feared she was pregnant. The brightness dimmed. She borrowed $20 to purchase a pregnancy test. Walking
out of Walgreens, she crossed the street to Starbucks, stepped into the restroom, and took the test. She sat on the curb outside and looked at the results and thought: “This is the worst day of my life.”
Darkness had been a part of Whitney’s life since childhood. She says she was drawn to it. It lured her from the security of her Christian home to “seek bad things.” At age 14, she began a journey that moved her away from her family and the people who loved her.
“Everything I was told not to do, I wanted to do,” she confesses. “I hated my parents. I hated what they stood for, and I resented their faith and its restrictions.”
Whitney says her life became about doing what she wanted to do
and not caring about anyone else. In high school, she would party
with friends, pushing the boundaries and seeking the freedom
she thought was somewhere out beyond her family. She remembers drinking until she blacked out. The darkness she so desired dragged her into a world of drugs. Weed and costly cocaine lost its appeal, and she began using the cheaper and ready-available meth. After a failed attempt at college, she ended up addicted to heroin. By age 24, she was living on the streets, homeless.
“All I wanted was to get high,” she admits. “I was consumed with this life. What I had wanted so badly, the darkness that I desired, now enslaved me.”
Sitting outside Starbucks and holding the positive pregnancy test, 26-year-old Whitney felt the weight of her life crash down on her. She believed life had always been about her and what she wanted. Now she was overcome with fear. She was “clean,” but she was no longer the healthy, well-cared for teen living with mom and dad.
Her thin frame began to tell the story, appearing emaciated from
the drug use and subsequent withdrawals. Her face was no longer bright but pocked from scratching meth sores. The damage and decay to her teeth had robbed her smile. The magnitude of her sin was visible.
She says that as she looked at the pregnancy test result, she knew she could no longer go on destroying her life. The pride that had kept her on the run from God evaporated.
“It was the worse feeling,” Whitney says. “There was only blackness. I was broken.”
She bowed her head and tears ran down her cheeks. Her mouth opened and she cried out: “God, I can’t do this any longer.”
Whitney says she heard God’s voice. He had been there listening and waiting. “Come with me and you will never have to go back to this life again.”
In that moment, the walls in Whitney’s heart fell and the darkness
fled. She was finished with the past she once loved so much. She
relented, yielding herself and giving her life to God: “On the worst
day of my life, the most wonderful thing happened. God saved me.”
God’s “realness” was immediate as she felt her mind and heart being regenerated. “God truly set me free and the Holy Spirit
opened my eyes and tuned my ears to His truth.”
The birth father wanted nothing to do with Whitney or the baby,
encouraging her to have an abortion. But instead of an abortion, she turned to adoption. She wanted her baby to be raised by
Christian parents. A Google search brought her to Christian Adoption Services (CAS) and Dana and Darren Murph.
“I called CAS and spoke with Sheryl Naylor,” she says. “She told me they would help me. I could feel her love through the phone.”