When Kelly Clemente found out she was pregnant, it couldn’t have come at a more difficult time. Just 18 years old and finishing her first semester of college, her future was suddenly thrown into jeopardy. But while many suggested abortion as the best option for this young girl, she boldly chose a different way.
“My life is over,” Kelly remembers thinking after seeing the word “positive” appear on a pregnancy test.
“I was like, it doesn’t even matter. Nothing matters anymore,” she told The Daily Signal.
But Kelly soon recalled her high school years when she had volunteered with HOPE in Northern Virginia, a nonprofit that creates gift baskets for mothers faced with an unplanned pregnancy. This planted a seed of hope for her own future, as she saw mothers make the choice to carry their babies to birth.
Then, Kelly suddenly thought of her little sister, who her parents had adopted into their family from Central America.
“I thought of the joy she brought into our family, and for the first moment after hours of crying, I felt calm, and I felt peaceful,” she said. “I knew that I needed to make the decision that my sister’s birth mom had made.”
Kelly decided to carry her baby and put the child up for adoption after birth. When she finally worked up the courage to tell her parents about the unplanned pregnancy, she was expecting a reaction of anger and fear.
Instead, her mom said she “just knew” and her dad, Mark, said he just remembered “being so grateful and proud” of her decision to choose life. Wow!
“We’d hoped that we had raised you that way,” Kelly’s father told her. “So the fact that you didn’t even entertain that thought [of abortion], to be honest, it was a very proud moment.”
Kelly moved back in with her parents and booked an appointment with Bethany Christian Services, an organization that arranges private, Christian adoptions. When she arrived for her appointment, she was fully expecting to be met with judgment and preachy assumptions, but she couldn’t have been more wrong.
“I’m going to an adoption agency, and I’m going to be judged,” Kelly admitted thinking. “I never experienced any of that.”
Meet Kelly Clemente, she got pregnant at 18 but made a decision that few teens do—to keep the baby and place him for adoption.
Posted by The Daily Signal on Sunday, April 8, 2018
“They showed me what it was like to walk with someone through the hardest time of their life when they are feeling so down on themselves and so alone, they were there,” she shared.
Still, Kelly was in an incredibly difficult situation — being pregnant as a young college girl. When she decided to keep her baby, she lost a lot of friends.
She recalled one time when she chose to confide in one of her friends from the track team. His response left her stunned: “If you don’t get an abortion, I will lose all respect for you,” he said.
“I was horrified,” Kelly said. “You call yourself pro-choice, but where’s my choice? It’s my choice to choose adoption.”
Then, things got harder. Kelly was informed that the man whose child she was carrying was being unfaithful.
“I was devastated,” Kelly said. “This is someone I knew for eight years; this is someone I trusted. I’m having his baby. We had conversations about getting married.”
Facing the profound heartbreak, Kelly sunk into a deep depression. At her lowest point, she went out into the road outside her parents house and prayed for a car to run her over.
“I want to die,” Kelly remembered thinking. “I can’t handle this. This is too much for me.”
At that moment, she heard God speak: “Get up,” He said.
“I got up, and I said, ‘OK, I know that this sweet baby did nothing wrong, so I don’t want him to get hurt, so I’m going to have this baby and then I’m going to take my life.’ Because I was so broken, I didn’t think there was any meaning left,” Kelly explained.
But God wasn’t done with her yet — He had great plans for her future.
“I knew that I was loved by a really big God who had a really big heart, that didn’t judge me by my pregnancy and still loved me so much,” she said.
Just weeks later, Kelly gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
As she prepared to give her baby away to his adoptive parents, Kelly headed to the hospital chapel to seek the Lord. As she prayed for help, Shawn and Dave Hansen, the adoptive parents, walked in. She took it as a wonderful sign from God that He would always take care of her beautiful baby boy.
“I was like, wow,” Kelly said. “They truly are an answer to my prayers.”
(H/T: The Daily Signal)