The Schroaders’ Story
Wow. We don’t even know where to begin or how to even try to convey what the Confidential Care Ministry has meant not only to our lives but the lives of our extended families and many friends. We know we won’t do their work proper justice, but we will give definitely our best efforts.
Tommy and I had never even heard of Confidential Care for Women or ICU Mobile but we would we would soon learn of its mission and works in a life-altering way. A way that would come to impact and forever change our lives for the better.
Tommy and I had started the adoption process in May of 2011 after unsuccessfully trying to have biological children. Adoption was never “Plan B” for us; we like to refer to it as “Plan A+” because we had talked about adoption from the very early stages of our relationship. We couldn’t wait to add children to our family and we didn’t care how we added them to our family, we just wanted to be parents. In May 2011, we hired an adoption attorney and began the adoption process. By mid-July, we had submitted all of our necessary paperwork and documents, completed our home study, and our “Dear Birth Mom” letters and we were officially “on the market” so to speak. We waited the rest of 2011 and most of 2012 before hearing any news regarding any potential adoption opportunities. The waiting is always the worst, right? Anyway, our patiently or, maybe, not so patiently waiting, would be rewarded in mid- September 2012. It was Sunday, September 16th when we got “the email” that we had been praying for so fervently. It was from our adoption attorney and it said: “I have a young birth mother due around Christmas, would you like me to submit to her your adoption profile?” We couldn’t reply “YES” fast enough. He submitted our adoption profile to her and guess what? We would have to wait yet again for any answers or news. Another 6 weeks went by and then we received another email that said (paraphrased) “Great news, C. likes you both very much and at this point is not looking at any other families. She would like to meet you guys.” It was at that initial meeting on a Saturday in December that Tommy and I would come to learn about Confidential Care and how the life-changing work they do each and every day was about to have an ever-lasting effect on our family.
We met C, our potential birth mother, for dinner on Saturday, December 1st, 2012. I never asked who would be accompanying her to dinner or if she would be alone, so it came as no surprise that someone was with her when we got to the restaurant. However, it was surprising to both Tommy and I who it was that was there supporting her. You see, it wasn’t her mother, sister, aunt, or best friend, it was Jill, a nurse from the Confidential Care/ICU Mobile Ministry. Jill herself a wife and a busy mother of 2, had taken time out of her Saturday to pick up C, drive her to meet us, and sat with C that night as she talked with us for several hours regarding the future of the baby girl she was carrying. I was amazed at Jill’s dedication to C that night, but I would become even more amazed in the coming days.
The next week, we met C and her own mother for dinner. It was at this meeting that her mother accidentally let it slip that C had been scheduled for an abortion at Planned Parenthood when she was 13.5 weeks along in her pregnancy. I was completely floored; absolutely speechless. Literally, it felt like all the air had been sucked out of the room when I heard the word “abortion” come out of her mouth. I asked, “what stopped you?” And Christine said, “I was signing the consent forms and I had a change of heart.” I would come to find out later that C’s mom had asked for the prayers of her Sunday School class at church on the Sunday before her scheduled abortion on the following Friday. It was in that Sunday school class that another employee of Confidential Care/ICU Mobile heard the prayer request and approached C’s mother and ask if she could contact her to get her to possibly reconsider her choice. C’s mom agreed and gave that employee her phone number. They contacted C immediately to try and schedule an ultrasound, but she said she “couldn’t get to the appointment”. Their reply? “No problem, we can come to you”. On that following Tuesday evening, Jill met C in an empty parking lot with the ICU Mobile bus to perform the 1st ultrasound for C so she could see the sweet baby she was carrying in hopes that she would reconsider the abortion. After the ultrasound, she still had her mind set to follow through with the scheduled abortion. But Confidential Care and Jill didn’t give up and wouldn’t be defeated. They contacted C by phone every day that week. On Thursday evening, the day before C’s scheduled abortion, Jill made the decision that she would be on the street corner of Planned Parenthood the next morning in the ICU Mobile Bus to make one last attempt to help to reconsider once more. True to her word, Jill left out early Friday morning to get to Planned Parenthood to intercept C one last time. When C and her mother and other family members arrived, Jill implored them to come aboard the ICU Mobile Bus to talk and to pray, which they agreed to. Jill told C “if you go in there (Planned Parenthood) and you have a change of heart, you come out and we will be here to help. If you go in there and you go through with the abortion, you come out we will still be here to help”. As they C the bus, the staff members present begin to flood the throne of God with prayers on behalf of the precious life that was about to be cut short before it even got to live. The entire time C was in the facility, they were praying without ceasing. About 20 mins after she went into the facility, C emerged and by God’s grace and those wonderful workers from Confidential Care, she was still pregnant. She came back to the bus and said: “I couldn’t go through with the abortion, but I can’t keep the baby either.” The next few days, weeks, and months that followed are where it really became apparent that these Confidential Care employees were our angels on earth, specifically Jill.
After C came back to the ICU bus and said she couldn’t keep the baby, the employees of Confidential Care took matters into their own hands. Jill helped C to secure an adoption attorney, she accompanied her to all of her prenatal appointments and helped her to look over all the adoption profiles she was given in order to select a family for her baby. After we were selected by C and after we met C and Jill at the December 1st dinner, she then updated us from that point on regarding the results of C’s prenatal check-ups. We also found out Jill planned to be with C during the labor and delivery of the baby. We’ll readily admit it, we were so relieved knowing C had Jill’s support and love during times of such unknowns. We believe Jill and Confidential Care were absolutely Heaven sent. Each and every employee went so far above and beyond their job description to not only save a baby but to counsel, befriend, and save a young, scared teenage girl.
Finally, after much anticipation, the big day arrived. Jill was, as promised, with C every step of the labor and delivery process. This was the time that she wasn’t being compensated for and could’ve been spending with her own family, but being the selfless person she is, she stayed by C’s side. At 4:20 a.m. on December 21st, 2012 a 7 pound 3 ounce, dark haired, blue eyed baby girl made her entrance into this world. At 4:28 that same morning, I got a text and picture from none other than Jill that said: “Your Daughter is here.” We went to the hospital later that morning and the moment that we first laid eyes on Mabry Catherine Schroader is truly a memory that is etched in our minds forever. The first time we held her all I could think of was “she has finally gone from growing in our hearts to laying in our arms.” It was a magical moment that we will never forget as long as we live.
It is because of Confidential Care for Women relentlessly pursuing C and never giving up on her and our Heavenly Father’s intervention that we will get to celebrate Mabry’s 5th Birthday this Thursday, December 21st. Her laugh is absolutely contagious. She is able to find joy and excitement in the ordinary, has an incredible imagination and loves so big with everyone whom she comes in contact. We’re reminded every time we look into her beautiful blue eyes how blessed and fortunate we are to be her parents. It isn’t lost on us how fortunate we are for an organization like Confidential Care who helped to save our daughter’s life and who are fighting each and every day to be the voices for those too small to speak for themselves.
Miranda W. Schroader