I pulled into the drive and found a spot to park my car. I took the key out of the ignition and put it in my purse. I looked at my hands, palms up. They were shaking and sweating like crazy. I clenched them into fists to steady them and gritted my teeth.
"You can do this," I whispered to myself. "It'll be better this way."
I wasn't convinced by my own words but I pulled the handle on my door to get out of the car anyway. I saw the protesters that had tried to wave me over when I first pulled in. I shuddered after seeing the signs they held. I thought, "How could they?!" Pictures of twisted and mangled bodies. Signs that said "Babies murdered here" and "Their blood, not yours" in their hands. I started walking to the entrance of the building. After I saw a girl about my age walking up to me I wished I had parked closer. She was wearing a denim skirt and a pretty sweater. She looked like she had been crying. She said "Can I talk to you for a minute?"
I looked over her shoulder at the signs with graphic pictures of mangled babies. I shuddered and then shrugged and nodded my head.
"Are you going in for an abortion?" She asked it point-blank. Something inside me tore and I blurted out "They told me it wasn't really a baby! They said it's just like, tissue, or something." But I was crying. The girl looked me in the eye and gently said, "But you know it's a baby, right?"
I gulped down my sobs and nodded. I felt so miserable.
"Then you know it's murder."
It was a statement, not a question. And she was right. I knew.
"How old are you?"
"Can I tell you a story?"
"Sure." I nodded.
"My mom was gonna abort me. She was 18 at the time. Single, her parents threatened to kick her out if she went through with the pregnancy. She came to this very clinic and she would have gone through with the abortion. But on the way in she promised herself that if just one person attempted to talk her out of it she would keep me. A young guy was there street-preaching for the first time and he decided to try and talk to her. He offered her help from his church and she excepted. That guy became my dad. I'm 18 now. Mom says she hasn't ever regretted keeping me. Not for a split second."
I was crying. My parents had cussed me and threatened to kick me out if I kept the baby. There wasn't a boyfriend in the picture. I had been raped. I was about to tell the girl that I just couldn't keep the baby when the escort lady came up and put her hand on my elbow.
She said, "Right this way ma'am. I'll walk you in."
I got mad. She didn't have a right to stop me when I was talking to this girl. I looked her square in the eye and I said "You're too late. I was just leaving."
The lady backed off and muttered something about calling the girl in for interference.
I started crying even more and the girl hugged me close and started praying for me, asking God to bless my baby. She asked if I would walk over and meet her parents and her pastor. So we headed over to the group of protesters and I remember to this day the look of joy in the girl's eyes when she announced "We have a save!"
There were shouts of praise to God and excited hops from some the other girls there. The girl's mother hugged me and talked to me for a while. They invited me to stay in their home for a while if I needed it. I called my parents right there and told them about my decision. They told me to come get my stuff and get out. I cried a little bit more but overall I felt more relieved than not. My parents had not been very involved in my life from the very beginning.
The girl offered to go with me to my parents house and help. I was happy to jump on the offer because to be honest I was scared of my parents. The girl told me that her name was Maggie. I love that name. While we were in the car I told Maggie about how I came to be at the abortion clinic. She cried with me. It felt so good to actually talk to someone that understood and sympathized.
I moved in with Maggie and her parents for what I thought would be a short time. I wound up living with them permanently. I named my son Jonathan which means "Whom Jehovah has given" and have never regretted keeping him to this day. It's his 18th birthday.