A Life Rich, Full & Abundant – Even When the Unexpected Strikes

A rich, full and abundant life. It’s something we all dream of having.

But when an unexpected pregnancy occurs, life can seem only full of uncertainty and confusion. Certainly not the rich, full and abundant life that we all are hoping for. Here at Advice & Aid, we can help those around us move out of that uncertainty and confusion. In fact, every day, we help our clients move from crisis, to a plan, and then on to a full life again.

How? One step at a time. In fact, that is a major goal of both our Journeys and Bridges programs. In these programs, we get to meet with clients and their partners week after week, helping them slow down, think through what their plan might look like, and figure out the steps they can take to move toward not just life, but a rich, full and abundant life! Occasionally, this even means building a stable, two-parent family for their child.

Here are two stories of couples who found their rich, full and abundant life plan . . . and started the path toward that life they always wanted!


Matt & Kaylee*
(Names have been changed)
When Matt and Kaylee first came to Advice & Aid, they were 20-year-old college students. They were not in a place to have a baby right then, and were considering either abortion or adoption. We discussed the importance of taking time to process and not make a rushed decision. A sonogram made the pregnancy more real for Kaylee, but they still left our office undecided on their pregnancy choice. We gave them the space and the freedom to make the decision without any pressure from us. A few weeks later, we heard back from them. They had decided to carry the baby, and then parent with Matt involved. They expressed interest in starting the Journeys parenting education program here. Throughout the next six months, we met with them weekly and got to see them grow together in their relationship and in their love for each other and their unborn baby. They welcomed a baby girl in May of that year, and both of them have since graduated from college with their respective degrees. They were married this past July.

Brett & Allison*
(Names have been changed)
Brett and Allison participated in our Journeys program after learning about their pregnancy. They had been dating for several years, and Brett let us know in that first session that they planned on getting married in the next year or so. Finances were a big factor in when that could happen. Throughout the Journeys program, they learned about fetal development and pregnancy as well as how to take care of their baby for its first year of life. They actively participated and were engaged in conversation, asking great question about parenting and gaining a great deal of knowledge before the baby ever came. Brett began to hope and dream of what it would be like to be a father. They now have a son, and were married this past summer.


It is truly a blessing to see clients thriving. Their lives have been transformed from that very first meeting at Advice & Aid where we offered them help to get past the crisis and move into the life they were wantinga life that was rich, full and abundant!

Interested in learning more about how our programs can help you? No matter where you are in your journey – unexpected, unplanned, still deciding – we can offer you friendship, support and even a few answers along the way.

913-962-0200

 

 

Pregnancy Resource Centers: The Real Myths & Facts
Pregnancy Resouce Centers: Myths and Facts

There are many myths and facts surrounding what a pregnancy resource center like Advice & Aid does – or doesn’t do. The best way to understand our call and what we do every day is to confront these facts head-on, with straight-forward answers.


Myth:  Pregnancy resource centers are only interested in “saving the baby”.

Fact:    At Advice & Aid we are very pro-woman.  One of our main reasons to work with each mother is to help her look at all of her options so she is empowered to make a choice she can live with.  We know that all three options (parenting, adoption, and abortion) carry with them long-term consequences.  Our client has a decision to make, and we endeavor to assure that she has complete information to make that decision.


Myth:  Once the mother’s decision is made, pregnancy help centers abandon her.

Fact:    Regardless of the option that an expecting woman makes, Advice & Aid has follow-through programs for her.

* For the woman who chooses to parent, we offer education, support, and material aid throughout her pregnancy and for two years following the birth of her child.

* If a woman chooses to make an adoption plan for her child, we offer her referrals to adoption agencies. In addition, we are available to assist her through the duration of the pregnancy and help her make the adjustments needed after her baby is placed.

* If a client chooses to abort, she leaves our clinic knowing that she is always welcome to return for abortion recovery, future pregnancy, or STI/STD services.


Myth:  Crisis pregnancy centers are fake health clinics.

Fact:    Advice & Aid is dedicated to offering quality medical services in compliance with all regulations and best practices.

* All medical service policies and procedures are reviewed and approved by our Medical Advisory Group (MAG). The MAG is currently made up of 12 medical doctors in specialties including OB/Gyn., Radiology, Emergency Medicine and Family Practice.  In addition, the MAG includes five registered nurses and two sonographers along with our client services management staff.

Every medical test, procedure or treatment is approved by our Medical Director, a Johnson County OB/Gyn., and he reviews every medical chart.

* The day-to-day oversight of our medical services is under the watchful eye of our Nurse Manager an R.N., B.S.N. who has spent her career working in the women’s reproductive health field.

* Every volunteer sonographer is either a practicing registered diagnostic medical sonographer or she has been fully trained in Limited Obstetric Ultrasound including 75 scans supervised by a qualified medical professional.

* We have volunteer nurses trained in specialties like OB/Gyn., Labor & Delivery, NICU, Child-Birth Education, Home Health, Hospice and Telemetry.


Myth:  Pro-Life women’s centers use high-pressure tactics along with shame and lies to emotionally blind-side their clients.

Fact:    Tools like shame, lies, fear and manipulation come straight out of Satan’s catalog of resources.  At Advice & Aid we know that the way to empower women is with truth wrapped in grace, encouragement, hope, and practical help all offered with compassion.  Advice & Aid is a judgment-free zone where we listen; offer options grounded in evidence-based medical information; listen some more; offer medical services, referrals, and material aid; and then listen some more.  The final decision belongs with the client, but she leaves knowing that she is loved and is not alone.


Myth:  The people on the sidewalk outside of abortion facilities are recruited and deployed by PRCs.

Fact:    People on the sidewalks outside of abortion facilities are there for many reasons and are there either on their own or representing a number of pro-life organizations.  Some have political motives (change the laws), others have compassionate motives (pray and rescue moms and babies), and some are trying to convince women through graphic signs and harsh messages that they are condemned if they commit this unforgivable sin.  Many use methods and messages that actually damage the reputations and efforts of pregnancy resource centers.  None of them are recruited by or represent Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers.


You are in charge of your own health. It’s important that you get the answers you need without relying on someone else to tell you what they believe about the services that you are looking into.

Be in control . . . Research your options . . . Get the facts and not the myths!

You could start by simply talking to us. No judgment. No agenda. No pressure.
Just a friend to listen to your concerns and offer you support.

Pregnant, Again. Finding Help That Made A Real Difference.

Just how much help can Advice & Aid provide someone in a difficult situation? This story, shared from an actual client here, tells the beautiful tale of months of help, hope and encouragement. Exactly what she and her family needed – even down to diapers, a Thanksgiving meal and wrapped Christmas presents!

When you walk through our doors, you have found a friend for the long haul. One that can give actual help for whatever season you find yourself in.


I first came to Advice & Aid in May, 2015. I was a stay-at-home mom of a 7-month-old daughter, and suspected I was pregnant again.

I was pregnant, but it was extremely early, so the pregnancy test had showed negative. Advice & Aid encouraged me to come back in a few weeks and take another test. I came back a month later and the test was positive. The counselor prayed with me for a healthy pregnancy, I watched a video about pregnancy, she offered a free sonogram, and then she invited me to join Bridges, the class at Advice & Aid for moms.

At the time, my husband and I shared one car and lived in a one bedroom apartment. Money was very tight. Going to Bridges gave me a chance to get out of the house, make other mom-friends, learn how to be a better mom, and earn points for baby clothes, diapers, wipes and other needed baby items that, otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to afford.

At Thanksgiving that year, Advice & Aid gave our family a turkey and all of the sides, allowing us to have a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner at home as a family. Without that help, we would have gone without.

At Christmas, our family received a big bag of wrapped Christmas gifts. We likely wouldn’t have had money for gifts, so this was a huge blessing to us.

Throughout the next year, I continued to attend Bridges classes. I now had two baby girls just 15 months apart, and through simply attending classes, was able to earn points for baby clothes, diapers and essentials for my little girls.

I recently graduated from the Bridges program and am blessed with friendships that will last a lifetime with some of the other moms I met there. I am now the proud mom of three little ones, all under the age of 3! I appreciate Advice & Aid for all they have done for my family!

Learn more about our Bridges program here:
Pregnancy Help You Are Looking For
You Are Not Alone!
Just for Dads: Men Helping Other Men


If you, or someone you know, is in a situation where you desperately don’t want to be alone, then perhaps a visit with us is exactly what is needed.

Simply make an appointment online, and when you come, you will meet with your very own Client Advocate – someone who will walk with you, cry with you, laugh with you, and be there to answer any question you have. For the long haul!

You aren’t alone and real help is just around the corner!

Permission to Grieve: When A Miscarriage Occurs
Miscarriage

Miscarriage. No one ever believes that it will happen to them. But unfortunately,  up to 20% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. It is a silent pain for most women. One that most people never even see. But the pain is real, and cannot – should not – be ignored. One of our friend’s has shared her raw and very personal story of miscarriage. Perhaps you need, as she did, the permission to grieve a child that you will never hold.


All my life I couldn’t wait to get married and have children. I always knew I was going to have 4 kids: 2 boys and 2 girls. So, when I met my husband and he felt the same way, I couldn’t wait to start our family. Of course, our plan was to get married, find good jobs, have a place to live . . . and then we would start building the rest of the family.

Things didn’t go as planned.  About seven months into our marriage, we looked at the 2 lines of a pregnancy test and realized someone was going to join us in his/her own time. Wow! Pregnant? Really? We were still so young!! Yet, we were excited about a baby being part of our lives. It was fun to tell our parents, though a little nerve-wracking at the same time. They were happy for us.

Life continued as normal, except that I knew I was carrying a little baby in my womb. We were so happy. But then, one Tuesday morning while at work, I began to have some spotting.  I had heard that some women experience spotting, so I tried to keep cool. My husband and I talked to some people, called the doctor and were told to just to take it easy.

By end of the week, things were worse. The bleeding got heavier and heavier, and then the pain began. It got so intense that we decided to go to the hospital. I honestly don’t know if it was simply ignorance, but I had no idea that a miscarriage could be so painful. I laid there in the Emergency Room, bleeding, hurting, and definitely having contractions. I can’t even remember if they gave me anything for the pain, but it was bad. My husband held my hand as I cried and cried for I knew we were not going to hold our baby on this side of heaven. Every time we had visited the doctor I had imagined our trip to the hospital to deliver our first born, but it didn’t happen the way I imagined.

Here I was at 12 weeks of pregnancy, delivering but under very different circumstances. No one tells you how painful a miscarriage can be. The pain didn’t stop after the D & C, because then a new kind of pain began – the pain in my heart. Everywhere I went, it seemed there was a pregnant woman. People who knew what had happened often said things like, “You’ll have another one. You are still young.  Don’t cry.” I know they meant well, but these words hurt. I had lost a child, my first child. I didn’t want another one, I wanted that one.  Then my sister said something that helped my journey to healing. She said, “It’s ok to cry. You lost a child.”

Finally, someone understood that I was in pain. Someone encouraged me to grieve.


A miscarriage is difficult. You feel like you did something wrong, or there is something wrong with you.  We need to be gentle with women and their partners when they experience a miscarriage.  If you or someone you know has experience miscarriage, Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers’ Awakenings Program may be for you. This program helps women who have experienced infant loss.  Call our office (913-962-0200)and ask for Kelly.

A Lasting Friendship – Through Unplanned Pregnancy News & After
Lasting Friends - Through Unplanned Pregnancy

An unplanned pregnancy. The news is enough to cause anyone, in any situation, to be thrown off balance. But  no matter the news – no matter the decision – what is important is that you aren’t alone during this time. Friends play a huge part in how we can deal with the surprises of life.

Do you have that kind of friend?


(The following was written by a long-time supporter and staff member of Advice & Aid)

Friends are one of the most important things in our lives. There are different levels of friendship and even certain seasons of life that seem to move us towards a particular type of friend. I remember confiding in a friend when I started thinking I wanted to marry my now-husband. At another time, it was a different set of friends who were there when I was getting ready to have my first child. It was that set of friends who blessed me with a baby shower as I got ready for this new little person.

As I have gotten older, new friendships continue to emerge to the point that at times, they become family. They are the first call you make when you receive difficult news. They are the shoulder you lean on when you get laid off from a job. Those “friends-become-family” are the ones you call when your child is struggling and you need parenting advice or even just sanity words.

Friends are there to laugh with you, to listen to you, to cry with you,
and to do life with you

no matter what.


Sometimes, those special friends aren’t simply a person, but a place made up of special people. One of those places that has become a friend to women in our community is right here: Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers. They are there for families facing an unplanned pregnancy. They are there when a woman gets that positive line on a pregnancy test and feels like her life has just ended. They are there when she comes in to the center wanting another pregnancy test to double check the test really does show a positive result. Advice & Aid is there to listen as she wrestles with what choice to make about this unexpected news that she has yet to share with anyone else.

Like a friend, Advice & Aid doesn’t expect anything back from this friend. If she decides she wants to continue with the pregnancy, they are there along every step of the way to encourage during that journey. If she chooses to abort, they are there to love on her and wipe away any tears she may have after she goes through that decision. And if that baby comes and she needs help with the things necessary to take care of a newborn, they are there too, showering her with practical help so she can succeed in this new role.

Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers is much more than a place . . . it really is a friend; a long-lasting friend in our community. For the past 30+ years, Advice & Aid has been there helping women and men during a season of life that could be considered a very rough time. They do it every day, without judgment and with lots of love.

Just like a close friend.


Additional articles on how Advice & Aid can help during an unplanned pregnancy:
You Are Not Alone
When Pregnancy Wasn’t Part of Your Story
Where Do You Go For Answers When You Are Pregnant?


If you, or someone you know, is in a situation where an unplanned pregnancy is throwing them a curve-ball in life, then perhaps a visit with a good friend is exactly what is needed.

Simply make an appointment online, and when you come, you will meet with your very own Client Advocate – a friend who will walk with you, cry with you, laugh with you, and be there to answer any question you have. For the long haul!

There is true and lasting friendship here. We’ll be waiting!

You Are Not Alone {During Pregnancy and Beyond}
You are not alone

One of the things we hear most often from the men and women who walk through our doors is that they feel very alone in their situation.

In fact, this feeling of loneliness is often what drives a woman to make a decision that she doesn’t want to make. But the fear of being alone in her circumstances is a very real, very scary place to be.

But what if we told you that there was a place where you could find support, help . . . and even a “family” who will stand by you and offer you the very things you need. And not just for your pregnancy, but for those years after – when you have questions, doubts and need to be surrounded by those who love and care for you just as much as during your pregnancy.

That could make all the difference!

We have a beautiful solution to the problem of being alone . . . our parent support group that we call Bridges. These sweet quotes from those who experience Bridges give you great insight into just how much it has impacted their lives!

It’s an opportunity for moms and dads to come to a group meeting – a social gathering that shares a meal together each month.

It helps support emotionally – we become a family.

It’s a perfect place to be!

Bridges is for those who don’t want to be alone on this journey.

It’s where I can make friends with other moms.

I can get helpful information on child development, child safety, medical information, careers, budgeting & finances.

I can trade my “points” for things I truly need – diapers, wipes, baby clothes, blankets, books, toys.

Check out this video on our Bridges Group – and then contact us to start your journey with us today. We’re waiting here to make you part of our family!

To read more about our Bridges Program, check out these articles:
All the Help We Desperately Needed
Pregnancy Help You Are Looking For – Our Bridges Program


If you, or someone you know, is in a situation where you desperately don’t want to be alone, then perhaps a visit with us is exactly what is needed.

Simply make an appointment online, and when you come, you will meet with your very own Client Advocate – someone who will walk with you, cry with you, laugh with you, and be there to answer any question you have. For the long haul!

You aren’t alone!

2017 Walk for Life – Your Chance to Make a Real Difference!
Walk for Life

As you can imagine, there are many hands required to keep both locations of Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers afloat. We need staff and volunteers, supplies and equipment, office help and Client Advocates.

Last year, due to the generosity and hard work of our supporters and staff, we were joined by almost 400 men, women and children who wanted to be supportive of the expecting women in their lives! This year, our goal is to do far above those numbers.

 

To that end, we have our upcoming 2017 Walk for Life on June 3. This is an opportunity for you to be directly involved in reaching women in the Kansas City area who are dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. By being a part of our walk, you will have a hand in standing on the front lines, speaking up for the unborn. You can make a difference in the fight for life with these precious babies!

 

Interested? Start by visiting our 2017 Walk for Life website at www.aapcwalk.org. There, you can find information on how to be a part of this event.

You can participate in many different ways:

  • If you wish to walk, it’s not too late to join an existing team and help raise a few dollars – Simply click the “Participate” button at the top of the walk website 
  • If you wish to donate to the walk, any size donation makes a huge difference! Simply click the “Give” button at the top of the walk website 
  • Join us on Saturday to simply walk and show your support for LIFE!
We can’t do this without your help! Help us make a difference in the lives of most vulnerable among us!

Baby - Hope

Worried About Being Pregnant . . . Getting Peace of Mind
Unsure pregnancy

Walking Through Our Doors Looking for Help
It was late in the day when two young friends walked over from the abortion clinic next door to our Overland Park Center. Both wanted a pregnancy test, but could not afford one next door. They saw our sign and decided to come here instead. They were very nervous walking into our center.

First Step: Testing
Our Client Advocates offered them something to drink to help put them at ease and took them into separate counseling rooms. They individually shared with the advocates that if positive, they planned to abort as they could not possibly have a baby right now. Each had their own reasons, each couldn’t see beyond their current circumstances, and parenting was a very scary option. The client advocates offered a pregnancy test, as well as STI testing to each client, which they both accepted. While waiting for the results of the pregnancy test, they discussed with the young women their various options.

One young lady’s test came back negative, and the other young lady’s test came back positive.

Next Step: Getting the Information She Needed
The pregnant young woman was offered a sonogram (to determine pregnancy viability), which she accepted. She shared that she was afraid to tell her parents of her pregnancy, and she was unsure how her boyfriend would react to the news. When she saw her baby on the sonogram screen, a new look came over her face, one of surprise and awe. She smiled and asked questions about the development of the baby, and a change was very evident in her demeanor. She was given a lot of support and encouragement, and many resources were also offered. A follow-up appointment for her STI results was scheduled in one week. As she and her friend left, she said, “You guys are lovely!”

The Follow-Up Visit: A Complete Change
When the client returned the following week, there was a visible change in her body language. She almost had a spring her step! She shared that she had informed her parents of her pregnancy, and they were very supportive. Her boyfriend was also very supportive and they have been making plans for their life together as a family.

This young woman almost made a life-changing decision out of fear of the unknown. It was through the support and services of Advice & Aid that she realized that she was stronger than she realized, and didn’t have to go on this journey alone.


Additional Helpful Articles:
I Was Pregnant . . . And Needed Some Serious Help!

When Pregnancy Wasn’t Part of Your Story

Where Do You Go For Answers When You Are Pregnant?


If you are going through a similar experience to either of the young ladies above, you might have seen yourself a bit in either of  their stories. One young lady got the peace of mind she was looking for, and the other – while not receiving the news she initially hoped for – still had a positive ending because of one choice: to walk in the doors of Advice & Aid. Because of that choice, she found help, hope, resources, support . . . all of the things she needed most.

Take your first step today towards taking back control of your own situation. Make an appointment with us.

No pressure
No agenda
Simply the information you need . . . an understanding friend, and hope!

Where Do You Go For Answers When You Are Pregnant?
Where to go for answers when pregnant

Whether being pregnant was part of your plans for life, or it came as a complete surprise, the fact is, you need help. This change in your life is a big one, and it is one that you can’t face alone. There is so much information available to you through the internet and even the advice of friends. But how do you wade through all of that to find exactly what you need? Some of that information even conflicts with other information. You can’t even be sure of who to believe anymore.

What are you going to do?

First, you need to find a trusted voice. One that you can ask straightforward questions of, and get honest, complete answers. One that truly wants what is best for you. Not just what is convenient for you at the time . . . but what is best for you both now and in the future. You need someone that offers not just opinion, but along with the helpful information can also offer actual support.

Where do you find someone like that?

Allow us to step in and fill that role in your life. In fact, we’ve even made it easy for you to check out what we have to offer, without commitment . . . without having to face an awkward conversation on the phone . . . without having to leave your home. We have created an app that can be downloaded to your phone. On this app, you will find much of the helpful information that you need right now. Here, you can find information on fetal development (Want to know what’s happening in your body? A simple click can give you the valuable information you need!). Here, you can track important medical information (Need to know more about your cycle? A couple of quick questions, and you are on your way!). Here, you can even hear testimonials about how we have helped other people who were faced being pregnant – and found some actual help through us.

It’s as simple as clicking on the button below, and you will be taken directly to the iTunes stores where you can download our app.

The Advice & Aid app is currently available for iPhones only.

Want to know more about what it’s like to visit Advice & Aid?

Check out this video. You can experience exactly what it’s like to come to our office. You’ll see – it’s a warm, comforting and helpful place to be!


If you want to visit us in person, you can even schedule the appointment right from here, without having to even make the call. Click the button below, pick a time that is convenient for you . . . and be reassured that you have someone on your side, fighting for you, and wanting what is best!

Schedule

Black & White in a “Shades of Grey” World
Fifty Shades Darker

As Valentine’s Day approaches, many women will flock to their local theater to see Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to the widely popular film and erotic book series Fifty Shades of Grey. There is a significant irony about linking a holiday about love and romance with a film that glorifies the use of BDSM (bondage, dominance, sadism, masochism) through manipulation and coercion in a relationship.

While the Fifty Shades of Grey series is often categorized as a romance, it actually normalizes a very serious issue in today’s culture: sexual violence against women. Just like in mainstream pornography, the Fifty Shades of Grey series perpetuates the sexual exploitation of women.

The National Center of Sexual Exploitation states, “The popular series promotes torture as sexually gratifying and normalizes domestic violence, particularly violence against women. This type of material cultivates a rape and sexual violence culture and is now permeating our society. With the popularity of this book, mainstream opinion-makers are telling the public (especially youth) that humiliation, degradation, and torture in sex is normal and to just give it a try.”

Where things get grey is when our culture begins to normalize something that we once would have all deemed as wrong. The more culture normalizes sexual violence against women the easier it is for women to accept it as being okay it in their own lives, their friends’ lives, and their daughters’ lives.

What are we teaching the next generation of women when our entertainment contains physical, emotional, and sexual violence? They learn what is acceptable by observing what we deem acceptable. Case in point: the extreme popularity of a film and book series that treats sexual violence as love.

The black and white of it is… sexual violence ≠ love.

Women deserve more than to be seen as sexual objects and to be used for fulfilling sexual fantasies. Women deserve more than to be manipulated and coerced into sexual behavior that is violent and manipulative. Women deserve more than to be held to the standard we have set for them by accepting sexual violence as normal.

Books and films like Fifty Shades of Grey take us back to a time when women didn’t have a voice. It is time for all women to stand up and say no.

Additional article from Advice & Aid on Domestic Violence:
Love Shouldn’t Hurt – Signs of Domestic Violence


If you, or someone you know, thinks that a relationship might be considered violent, it’s important that you get out. Immediately.

At Advice & Aid, we are here to talk with you and be a support system for you if you find yourself faced with a domestic violence situation. We can also provide you with professional counseling referrals and referrals for women to community organizations like Safehome or Rose Brooks.

You are not alone, and there is help through this crisis.

If you need to talk to someone, feel free to call our 24-hour hotline, or make an appointment to see us. It’s a safe, non-judgmental place that can offer you the help you need.