Recently we had the privilege of reconnecting with a woman who found us in the yellow pages over 20 years ago, and whose life was changed as a result.  Hear how she found the support she didn’t know she needed. 

When I think of Ava Health, I think of my daughter, Naomi.

It was the hand of God that led me to Ava back in March 1995. At that time in my life, I had just turned 20 and made some life changes. I went from excessive partying to committing to my live-in boyfriend, Tom, getting a job, and going to school.

But one day, I realized I wasn’t feeling too well and became very nauseous. I was terrified that I might be pregnant, so I wanted to talk to someone.

As I was flipping through the yellow pages looking for the only resource I knew of, Planned Parenthood, “Ava Health” caught my eye first.

When Tom and I walked in, I was embarrassed and afraid of being judged.

There were a few ladies at the front who didn’t treat us as guilty and awful as we felt. When I was called to go and talk to the lady, I really felt like they cared about me. She asked me many questions, but the main question that stood out to me was, “Who or what is your support?” I had never been asked that kind of question before. I remember wondering what would I need support for?

I went into the bathroom to take the test. While I was in that tiny room, the test read positive and it started to get real.

When I came out of the bathroom, I felt very ashamed and afraid. However, my advocate, a total stranger, gave me a smile, showing such love and encouragement.  Tom and I were stunned, but she seemed like she believed we could do this.

All I remember from that day was how I felt.

Although inside I felt guilty and shame for getting pregnant, all around me I could feel love and compassion.

I can’t remember everything my advocate was saying, but I will never forget her smile and the courage she gave me. Given the time of my life, I’m not sure Naomi would be here today if I didn’t call Ava Health first.

God knew what he was doing with me, and not just me, Tom too!

After that appointment, I sought help from a midwife and quit smoking; I wanted to take care of my body and my future baby!  With my family’s help, we planned a wedding and got married six weeks later. God used our sweet Naomi to bring us into a personal relationship with him and a loving marriage. After many seeds being planted, including the clinic advocate’s unconditional love, I accepted the Lord as my Savior in 1997, and Tom did the same shortly after.

We now have five children, two of whom are adopted, and have been married for 21 years. Naomi is in her Junior year of college and on her way to be a high school Math teacher. She helps in Sunday School and is on the worship team with Tom at church.

Naomi knows that if it weren’t for Ava Health being the hands and heart of Jesus, she may not be here.