January of this year held a special day – the very first birthday of Bella*, a wispy-haired little sprite with smiling eyes. Her mother Kaya brought cake and balloons, and Bella absolutely loved the merriment, seeming to know exactly what all the fuss was about.
Looking back over the past year and seven months, Kaya thinks back to the anxiety that Bella’s first signs of life brought her. For a month or two, Kaya had been wondering if she was pregnant. Yet she was still in complete shock when two purchased pregnancy tests and a clinic doctor confirmed the news. She’d always wanted a baby, but the news couldn’t have come at a worse time: Kaya and her partner were jobless, unmarried, without health insurance and in many ways, still newcomers in a foreign land. Their relationship was on rocky ground, even before the word “pregnant” was mentioned. The challenges seemed insurmountable.
“I needed somebody to help me – not only with the pregnancy… I wanted to have somebody to talk to,” Kaya reflects. She was traveling on the bus one day, and one phrase stood out on an advertisement: you are not alone. She called the PCC, and she and her partner traveled to the downtown location.
Kaya was apprehensive when they went. “I was thinking [they might say], ‘Why don’t you have papers? You have no job, what do you think? You don’t have anything!’ I was thinking they would accuse me or something, but they didn’t do that, they listened to my story, and what I needed and told me what they could do for me… They were very helpful, there was no judgment.”
Over the next months, Kaya and her partner carefully considered their options. “I was thinking a lot about abortion or adoption. But I really didn’t want to do abortion because it’s killing a person.” Adoption was a real possibility, something they thought about carefully.
Kaya was soon welcomed into a church – this was really a positive experience for Kaya, who felt so alone in Toronto. “I was excited to have new connections: at that time especially I didn’t have any friends.” Here she learned about God. “I felt very heavy before I believed in God… I was confused, anxious and worried about everything. But after I believed in God, my burden was lighter. I can get some rest mentally.”
Eventually the time came for the little baby to be born. For Kaya, giving birth to beautiful baby Bella was amazing, “I have never before felt that sense of accomplishment – there is nothing like delivering! Now she’s one year old. I’m kind of surprised – time flies. It’s another accomplishment!”
So much has changed in Kaya’s life since she first saw those two pink lines. Kaya and her former partner are no longer together, and she’s since returned to her home country with her baby. There are still unanswered questions for her. If you ask her if she’s worried about their future, she’ll reply, “God does whatever He thinks best – I don’t worry, even about the big stuff. He is in control. He will show me. I accept it, I got a new life.”
* all names changed to protect privacy