It’s hard to believe that it’s been 6 years since Eden’s Promise was “born.”
I remember when I was first getting started, a lone doula with no mentor.
A friend asked me, “So what’s the promise?”
I confessed that I didn’t really know yet.
Today, as I look back on that time, I see that something secret had already been placed on my heart. I didn’t understand how to explain “the promise” and I definitely didn’t know how it would unfold. I still had years of “heart work” ahead of me in which I would be simultaneously kneeling before God’s throne to untangle my own story, and helping other women to step into motherhood with strength and dignity.
I guess God knows that’s how I learn: hand me a scrambled, messy picture and I’ll make a game of connecting the dots.
About two years ago, that secret plan started to unfold – whether I was ready or not. The thought of it rather terrified me, actually, as (literally) doula after doula after doula started reaching out with a desire to do more than “just” doula work. You can read more about that here.
Despite my wimpy, faithless fear, the dots all started connecting themselves. And, fueled by a few extra-fiery partners (ahem- Kala, Hannah) – there was nothing I could do to stop it. Besides, there comes a time when avoiding your call makes you so uncomfortable, you have no choice but to eventually jump into a full-on “trust fall,” just to relieve the pressure.
It’s been a sharp learning curve: non-profit sponsorship, licenses, taxes…let’s just say I very much prefer the “big picture.” But God has been faithful every step of the way to bring the right people at the right time to teach the nitty-gritty nuances of how to ethically run a for-profit/non-profit as a side-by-side approach to a truly worthy cause. Truly . . . it’s madness. I’ve cried. Like . . . A LOT.
But these mamas are worthy. And unfortunately, volunteer-based models for this purpose are not sustainable.
So here’s how it works, and why:
We have so many fantastic non-profits in this city/state/country who serve women, providing everything from food to housing to education to jobs. While there are non-profits who provide necessary screenings and prenatal care, not one of these—not that I could find, anyway—can offer the additional support that so many other mamas find imperative to a good birth experience, without depending solely on unrealistic volunteer models. (After all, let’s be honest–doulas aren’t rich, either, and we all have bills to pay).
As a birth community, all of our services are highly beneficial to all expectant mothers. From the basic need to have a known person in the room during labor, to childbirth education, various types of alternative therapy, and postpartum support, each of these services are necessary supports which fall outside the capabilities of Medicaid.
When existing non-profits refer their at-risk expectant mamas our way, these women are already working to get their lives in order. Pregnancy and early parenthood can be a challenging time for all women, especially those struggling emotionally or lacking proper support. Therefore, something the pro-life sector must recognize is that the mother’s choice to keep her baby may actually pose a threat to her progress toward independence.
Without the right support, these women run the risk of losing the apartment, the job, the education, that they are on track to obtain – and their children face the potential risk of landing in foster care. (Please note: we are absolutely for child advocacy and are grateful to the amazing orgs overseeing these programs.) If we truly care about these lives, then something more must be done.
So, that’s where we come in. By partnering with these non-profits, we can offer all of the hands-on support that new mothers need, without requiring for their “home” non-profit to re-create the wheel. We provide these existing vehicles with a spare. When they need us, we’re there. Free of charge and no strings attached, with a whole list of supportive services available.
“…Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
Ever since Eden, mankind has gotten off track. And ever since Eden, God has continued to make a way. Shining His love into our broken lives, He promises that we are never too late, never too far gone. He always, always loves us and He will always make a way for us. That’s what we believe.
And that, my friends, is the promise.
There is much room for growth within this project. And we know that as far and as wide as God intends, it is going to grow. He knows every one of these mamas’ names. He knows their children and He has a plan for their lives, for they are His. We are His. This project is His.
The question is, will you join us?
To learn more about how YOU can be part of this quickly growing initiative, go to:
Or, support us financially by contributing annually, monthly, or even on a one-by-one basis:
Together, we can make a difference to one mother-and one child- at a time.
Jennifer DeBrito, CSP, CCLD, CCBE is founder of the Adopt-A-Mom Project and the Eden’s Promise Holistic Christian Birth Community. She is a Master Splankna Practitioner and Colorado Springs Doula and Childbirth Educator. She authored Expectant Parents Workshop: Devotional, and is the creator of the Expectant Parents Workshop childbirth preparation class. Jennifer also specializes in prenatal and postpartum wellness coaching. To learn more about Jennifer, go to EdensPromiseLLC.com.