A young couple who faced an unexpected pregnancy and were helped by an Idaho pregnancy help center were able to witness to the power of pregnancy help as part of Heartbeat International’s recent Babies Go to Congress initiative.
Babies Go to Congress is an opportunity for Members of Congress to meet with parents and their babies along with the pregnancy help organization staff members who served them.
Moms and babies share their stories with lawmakers, fostering the Congress Members' understanding as their constituents that pregnancy centers are good for America.
Heartbeat is the largest network of pregnancy help in the world and the U.S. Its Babies Go to Congress project has hosted groups of pregnancy help organizations and the families they serve for the event in Washington D.C. for more than a decade.
“I knew Zayda would be a perfect candidate for Babies Go to Congress, since she’s one of the youngest clients we have ever served,” said Heather Lawless, founder and CEO of Reliance Center in Lewiston, Idaho.
Zayda and Cole are the parents of Delia, now two. They were 14 and 15 years old respectively when they discovered the pregnancy. Two years of parenting daughter Delia has blessed and prompted these teenagers to grow in dramatic fashion.
Zayda originally believed the lie that having a baby meant she would not be able to pursue her dreams, Lawless said.
“That’s one of the biggest lies told to women,” Lawless said. “Her dream is to rodeo, and she has found out she can still pursue her dream.”
The teenagers have co-parented well together, Lawless said.
While Zayda and Cole are only now 16, they do a remarkable job of putting their daughter’s needs first.
Lawless said Zayda sharing her story at Babies Go to Congress experience further empowered the young mom.
“It made a huge impact on her life as a woman and as a teenager,” she said.
“We had a great experience,” Zayda said, “and it was awesome to get to share our story.
“It was empowering to be able to speak to the lawmakers of our country about the value of life and how choosing life for our daughter changed our life so much,” said Zayda.
Zayda and the Reliance Center team visited with staff members from the offices of Representatives Russ Fulcher, Senator Mike Crapo, and Senator Jim Risch, all of whom represent Idaho in the U.S. Congress.
“Zayda shared beautifully about her experience,” remarked Lawless.
Both Zayda and Cole will graduate early, at the end of the coming school year. Cole has been able to take advantage of fatherhood classes. Both parents receiving counseling at the Reliance Center as needed.
“We have consistent contact with them,” said Lawless. “We talk with them in regard to whatever struggles come along and as there are things they need help with.”
Zayda said she was really nervous the first time she went to the Reliance Center, but everyone there was kind to her.
She knew after confirming her pregnancy with Delia that her life would change dramatically, and she was concerned at first about telling her boyfriend and parents.
Cole likewise was apprehensive at first about seeking assistance at the pregnancy help center, even denying the reality of his daughter’s life, thinking abortion could make the pressure of being a parent go away.
But seeing Delia’s heartbeat at 10 weeks in an ultrasound changed things for both of them.
Cole said this made it clear that Delia was alive and his child.
The Reliance Center helped the young couple through, and with the support of the center and their families they were able to choose life for Delia.
“Reliance made my whole pregnancy easier and helped me see the value of my life and my baby’s life,” Zayda said.
Now neither Cole nor Zayda can imagine life without Delia, and they are committed to parenting their daughter.
Cole was not part of the Babies Go to Congress meetings, but traveled from Idaho to Washington D.C. to assist and be a source of support.
Delia had a rodeo competition the day following the Babies Go to Congress meetings, and committed to her dream, she traveled home to compete rather than stay and go sight-seeing.
“Watching her pursue her dreams while raising her daughter has been amazing,” Lawless said. “She has her baby and her dream.”
Tweet This: “I think we did a really good job and I really hope we saved some lives”- young mom who shared her pregnancy help story w/Congress Members
Zayda hopes that lawmakers received their message and will support pro-life measures in Congress.
“We are all very proud of each other for accomplishing something so big together,” Zayda said of the trip with the Reliance Center.
“I think we did a really good job and I really hope we saved some lives,” Zayda said. “And I hope that we really made them think about the decisions that they're going to make. And I hope we impacted it a lot.”
Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News.