Jacqueline Shifflett and Lealan

When the unplanned happened to me I felt my life was unraveling. I was dealing with a situation that no parent ever wants to encounter. Because the guy I had been dating put his hands on my 6 year old son while I was not home, I was involved in a CPS case. In order to regain custody I had to be diligent in communicating with lawyers, the court, and a guardian ad litem. The stress of this situation left me feeling like I was on the verge of a breakdown.

Then I found out I was pregnant.

I couldn’t believe that this was happening. I couldn’t believe I was in this situation! Why hadn’t I been more careful? I struggled in disillusion and confusion. I was scared, and didn’t want anyone to know, especially my parents. I was afraid of disappointing them. I thought, an abortion would make all of this go away. Besides, I knew I couldn’t keep the baby – I had too much going on. I just wasn’t capable of caring for another child at the time.

One day as I was driving in my car and I heard an ad on the radio for Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center and free pregnancy testing. It prompted me into making the decision to find out for sure if I really was pregnant. So, after dropping my son off at school, I went to the Center.

I had never been to a “pregnancy center” so I was not sure what to expect when I going in to Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center. It turned out to be super helpful. The staff was friendly, and I felt comforted and welcomed. The most impressive part of my visit was that I didn’t receive any judgment. Just that alone was relieving. But still there was more.

I got to meet with a wonderful client advocate, Paula, who took the time to simply listen and care for me and my situation. I was given a lot of information on all of my options, but did not feel pressured in any way. My time with Paula greatly impacted me.   She wanted to understand who I was, and what I believed, without imposing her beliefs on me. The conversation caused me to evaluate my faith and what I believed about God, about life choices. She continued to care for me after my appointment by calling me every few weeks just to check in to see how I was doing. Knowing that there was someone out there that truly cared made the biggest difference in how I proceeded.

My visit to Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center impacted my pregnancy decision.

They provided a welcoming, professional, safe place for me to explore my options and to be heard. The care and information I received from the nurse and my client advocate helped lead me to the decision to carry my child to term and parent. Had I not gone to the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center, I believe I would have gone through with an abortion.

But I am just one woman. There are so many others. Every day there are women

in our community facing a similar situation. I’m so thankful that the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center is there to be a resource for women who are facing an unintended pregnancy, and who don’t know where to go or who to turn to. Because of the services, the information, the help, and the hope that they provide women can make a well informed decision about their unplanned pregnancy.

Because of my visit to Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center, I chose to carry and parent my son Lealan, now 8 months old. I can’t imagine my life without him, nor my other son’s life without his little brother. I feel that God gave me a second change to do things right, and He used Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center to help me see that. I am forever grateful to the Harrisonburg Pregnancy Center, and am so glad that they are a part of my community.