Choosing to Parent – When You Need a Little Help

*Jason is  willingly giving us permission to share his story about choosing to parent so that others can realize there is hope in the midst of a difficult situation. All client experiences with Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers are kept with the highest confidence. The stories that are shared come from the real-life experiences that our clients, staff and volunteers had during their unplanned pregnancy.

*His name has been changed but his story is true.

Today, I am a happily married man with an adventurous 2-year-old daughter and a 4-month old son. My wife has earned both her high school and CNA degrees and is currently working on an RN degree. I have earned my associate’s degree in engineering and have a great job. We have two cars and a home of our own.

A Huge Change
Just a short two years ago, it was a completely different story. Things were not always going this well for us. I owe so many positive changes to Advice & Aid Pregnancy Centers and their Bridges*program  (see definition of Bridges below), of which we are 2014 graduates. Choosing to parent was important to both my wife and I, and the Advice & Aid Bridges class gave us the tools we needed to succeed.

I can clearly picture that day over two years ago when my then-girlfriend (later to be wife) and I attended our very first Bridges meeting. We had heard out about Advice & Aid through one of my girlfriend’s high school friends and decided to check out their program. At that time, our daughter was just 8 months old and I was recently unemployed. My girlfriend was working on finishing high school and I was trying to figure out the next step in my career. I wanted to be able to comfortably take care of my family but knew I needed help.

All the Help We Needed
Advice & Aid was very helpful for the next two years that my family was in Bridges. We always looked forward to Thursday nights because going to Bridges was highly educational for us. Whether we were getting tax return advice, learning how to manage finances or learning to be better parents, we learned something new each week. In addition, Advice & Aid awarded points for participation in Bridges, and with those points we were able to shop in Patty’s Closet (Advice & Aid’s “store”) for baby and personal items such as toothpaste and shampoo. I can only think of one word to describe our experience . . . amazing!

Where We are Today
We began Bridges with one child, one vehicle, living with my girlfriend’s parents and desperately needing help. We have traveled a long way during this time and Advice & Aid was there for us every step of the way. Advice & Aid provided parenting education and support as well as the opportunities for lifelong friendships.

Describing this organization in one word is easy… BLESSING! Being a part of the Advice & Aid’s Bridges Program was a phenomenal experience and opportunity. This was beyond a warm place to come – it was like a second home; a second family.

We are blessed!

*Bridges Program
Bridges is Advice & Aid’s parenting support group. The goal of the program is to equip and support new parents who face either an unplanned pregnancy or a planned pregnancy but need additional assistance  by providing a safe, loving, compassionate environment where they can grow and flourish. We do this by offering a two year program that includes large group education, small group connecting, and creating community through meals and special events.

If you, like Brian, find yourself in a situation where you could use a little help – no matter if you are a mom or a dad, one child or more, married or single – start by checking out the services that we have for you. You can even schedule an appointment to come in and talk to us about your needs, and learn about how we can help meet those needs in very practical ways.

You don’t have to do this alone . . . We are here to help!

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