Ava Means "Life"
Just seven days after Amber Grier gave birth to her daughter Ava in 2012, she walked across the stage as a graduate of Appalachian State Unversity. Hope Pregnancy Center made it possible for Amber to prepare to be a new mom and complete her education. She shares her story of Hope.
When Brandon and I found out that I was pregnant, it was about a week after my 21st birthday. We were both juniors at Appalachian State University, at that time. Brandon was a starting linebacker for the football team, and I was preparing to go on a mission trip that summer to the City of Hope in Tanzania, Africa.
While Brandon was surprised initially, he was prepared to tell our parents shortly after we received the news. I, on the other hand, was in complete shock, which exacerbated into fear.
The amount of fear that filled my body was unimaginable. The fear of what others would think, the fear of disappointing my family, and my biggest fear of all was being inadequate as a mother.
"Growing up I was always a rule-follower and people-pleaser, so the thought of disappointing the ones I loved was terrifying."—Amber Grier, Hope Mom
I can remember locking myself in my dorm and crying until I was physically and emotionally exhausted. I can also remember thinking "this is a problem and how can I fix the problem."
Without thinking twice, I researched an abortion clinic and scheduled an appointment. After that phone call, I can remember my head hurting so bad from crying. I said a prayer and asked God to give me peace and clarity regarding this situation. I laid down and once I woke up from my nap, we made the decision to keep our baby.
Hope Offers Confidence
I received a Hope pamphlet after I was informed that I was pregnant at the school’s infirmary. I was very nervous to contact Hope; however, I read that I could receive a free ultrasound. Brandon attended the initial session with me.
The amount of love and support that we received from the staff was incredible. We didn’t feel judged or ridiculed, and most importantly the staff provided us with resources for all options regarding the pregnancy.
Although Brandon and I had a big support system, at that moment we felt alone. The staff at Hope gave us the confidence and reassurance that they would stand beside us throughout our unplanned pregnancy.
At this time, I was six weeks pregnant. Once we heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time, we knew that there was no way that we could terminate the pregnancy. We left our initial appointment with the confidence that we could do this.
Eight months later, on December 5, 2012, we gave birth to our beautiful baby girl Ava. We decided to name her “Ava”, as it means “life”. Seven days after giving birth to Ava, I walked across the stage at my graduation ceremony receiving a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Appalachian State University.
In December 2013, Brandon graduated from Appalachian State University with his bachelor’s degree in Communications. On May 24, 2014, Brandon and I were married where everything began in Boone. In May 2015, I graduated with a master’s degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina.
Currently, we reside in Charlotte. Brandon is employed as a Carrier on a Pit Crew for Hendrick Motorsports, and I am an Adoption Social Worker through Mecklenburg County Youth and Family Services. Ava just turned seven years old, and we have another baby girl, Madison, who will be two in January.
If we could say one thing to the individuals that support the ministry of Hope to aid women and men with unplanned pregnancies, it would be to continue to give and to speak life.
"Because of your continuous support, Brandon and I had the confidence to choose life." —Amber Grier, Hope Mom
Although it was not always easy, you continued to speak life into our situation, marriage, and family. Our prayer is that you continue to reach women and men in similar situations as Brandon and I, so they too can choose life.
For years, theHeart has supported Hope Pregnancy Center, a local agency that works to empower women in the High Country who experience unplanned pregnancies. Providing a variety of clinical and support services, Hope helps expecting mothers to make informed choices throughout their pregnancy.
We're in the midst of a 2-week awareness campaign that includes a goal of funding 2-1/2 "Yes She Can" Scholarships. Learn more here.