My journey with Claris began when I heard about Claris’ mission to help those at their most vulnerable time. I believed in the cause so much that I donated my time, money, and efforts over the years to Claris. Never in a million years did I think that I would be in a position to need them.
“ME?! Pregnant? No, you must have the wrong woman,” I thought. Somewhere in those first few days of frantic spinning, Claris came to mind so I called. Their soothing and calming words immediately washed over me and for the first time in days the spinning slowed. A few days later, I found myself walking into the doors of Claris.
I felt like I was walking around with a scarlet letter on my chest, but when I walked into Claris, I didn’t feel that way. I was met with warmth and understanding. Their mouths weren’t gaping open as I told them my situation. They didn’t run in horror or shock or yell at me like I felt like I deserved. Claris stepped in and became a friend to me when I needed it most. They helped me to not feel alone or ashamed. They personally connected me with women who had been in my same position. After I met one of them for dinner, I left feeling inspired and relieved in ways that I never found anywhere else. They walked in my shoes, lived to tell about it and life was far from over for them. They gave me the comfort and space I needed to be able to come to a decision of what to do without the fear and shame talking so loudly- to hear my heart in it all.
Eight months later, I birthed this beautiful, happy, squeaky, giggly little baby girl. Little did I know how much myself and my family needed her. 5 days after she was born, my dear brother passed away tragically and suddenly. While grief has been heavy and overwhelming and beckons me to give up and stay in the darkness, this sweet little baby girl looks at me with her big eyes and it pulls me out of where I am. She’s been the one beacon of light in this dark time. She makes my parents smile after the tragic loss of their son. In a way, she saved all of our lives and gave us a reason to hope. We keep going because her life deserves it. Her smile and perfectly timed farts cut through the darkness and make us laugh in ways nothing else can.
If you learn anything from my story: you never know when it could be you or your best friend, daughter, or colleague in a situation like mine where they need Claris. If you ever find yourself in this situation, you are not alone.
I’ll always be grateful to Claris for being a safe place for me to go and for helping me along my journey to meeting my daughter, to getting married, and to having that family that I always dreamed of. It’s all in a different way than I originally thought, but my life would be missing so much joy and love and hope without baby Kenzie.