It Takes A Village

It takes a village to raise a child. -African Proverb

I was crying much of the day and night, afraid to be left alone with my new baby; it felt dark. Until my village surrounded me, my husband, my mom, my mother in law, my sisters, my friends, my counselor. They helped hold my hand, prayed, listened and counseled me, bringing light to my postpartum darkness. 

I heard the doctor say the words Down Syndrome, heart defect, NICU, fears of the unknown filled my heart and head; it was scary. Until my village surrounded me, our families, our church community, nurses, doctors, people from the special needs world and gave us encouragement and hope, they gave us vision, so things looked less scary and joy crept in until it overtook the fear. 

We decided it was time to embark on the adoption journey we had always longed to be a reality but it was daunting and felt some days impossible until a village surrounded us. Our friends and family all over the globe,  complete strangers, the adoption community, the church, and our online community helped us meet the needs answering the call to babysit, host fundraisers, grant advice, give money and pray until the impossible became possible. 

I have ten loads of laundry to do, meals needing to be cooked, three hours of therapy for my son to attend, two schools to pick up from, homework to help with, this is a typical day, and it can be overwhelming and chaotic until my village surrounds me. My neighbors, school friends, church, and husband, someone offers to come help clean my house, make a  carpool run, send an encouraging text, stay with a sleeping baby while I pick up children and the once overwhelming day is calmed and manageable.  

These are my stories, the ways I have needed a village time and time again through crisis and the every day. As I look back and forward, I do not know how I would do it without my village. Maybe you have a similar experience?

Imagine this is your story...
I am fifteen a sophomore in high school, my period is late, my boyfriend said he used protection, the second pink line appears, and I am alone.  My Boyfreind leaves me when I don't have an abortion; my mom says I can live with her but she looks at me with shame and disappointment, my belly is growing, and the snickers and pointing start at school. I have no one. How will I raise this baby?

Young Lives hopes to change this story, to give teen mom's a village. A village to help them through the crisis of finding out they are pregnant, to be there for them in the exhausting newborn days, advise them through the terrible twos, help them balance, work, school and parenting, and most importantly  be a village who tells them they about Jesus and his never stopping, unbreakable love for them and their baby.  

Young Lives wants to be part of the village which surrounds these mom's and their children the same way our villages have surrounded us. 

 Young Lives in Charlotte NC is just getting started. We hosted our first meeting in the city this spring and twenty-five teen mom's attended, fourteen of which signed up to go to summer camp with us in August. This camp trip has the potential to be eternity shifting for these girls, their babies and their families for generations to come.  We want every one of our girls and mentors to go to camp; we want the village to surround them with a love which demonstrates to them they are not alone and never have to be alone again. Will you help us? Will you join our Young Lives village and send these 14 girls and their mentors to camp. We need to raise $6000 that means we need to sell 500 shirts!!! It feels crazy and impossible, but everything does when you are alone, but we are not alone, we have a village, and we know you will pull through for us! 

These t-shirts will be a human billboard reminder of your village and the villages you choose to be a part of every day! They are comfy and durable, and we have given you a few style choices and colors to give you a bit of variety. The back of the shirt we are selling says simply Young Lives instead of Charlotte Young Lives(we are using our shirts at camp.) Please go to our Bonfire Campaign and check out this fun and potentially life changing shirts! 

GO BUY A SHIRT HERE!

P.S. 
There is an option for you to leave a donation alongside your purchase during the checkout flow OR make a tax deductible donation HERE!

 

 

 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU!!

Our Photographer: Lauren Jackson of www.beauandarrowhome.com

Letter Boards to record the girls villages donated by www.letterfolk.com

My gorgeous skirt courtesy of another amazing organixation who is rallying a village around a village of women in Africa. www.Francisandbenedict.com

Rachel Baxter