Our Birthright Centre had moved to a new location. It was a nice enough spot on the main street, though there was a feeling of disappointment upon moving in that our new neighbour was, of all things, a tattoo shop. We realize now that was an unfair judgement, as we had never even met them. What would transpire in our first few days at our new location would be heartwarming.
As we settled into our new office, the morning came when one of the volunteers put our Birthright sign into the window. That afternoon, a big, tattoo covered man walked in the door. He very politely introduced himself, “Hi, I’m Paul. We’re neighbours, I own the tattoo shop next door.” The Birthright volunteers introduced themselves and made small talk.
After a few minutes, Paul asked a surprising question. “Is this the same Birthright that is in Lyndon?” Lyndon was a small town a couple hours away and Birthright of Lyndon had closed years prior. One of the Birthright volunteers replied, “Yes it is, but unfortunately Birthright in Lyndon closed a few years ago. Birthright is a pregnancy support service and there are many Birthright’s across the country.”
Paul smiled and said “I know exactly what Birthright is. You see, many years ago, I took my girlfriend to Birthright. I was 18 and she was 16 and we were worried she was pregnant. So we went to Birthright in Lyndon.” He continued, “The people there were kind and did a pregnancy test. It was positive. My girlfriend went back a couple of times and always appreciated the emotional support Birthright provided her.”
All the volunteers smiled and anxiously awaited the end of the story.
“That was 20 years ago. Thank you for the work that you do. You are special people.”
We were so grateful that Paul shared his experience with us. One of our volunteers finally said, “I am glad Birthright was able to help you and your girlfriend. Are you at peace with the decisions that you both made?”
Paul smiled. He said, “Absolutely. My then girlfriend, is now my wife. We have 4 beautiful daughters together, the eldest is 20. And we couldn't have done it without Birthright.”
Paul finished with “If you ever need anything, I am right next door. Don’t be afraid to ask me for anything.”
What a beautiful Birthright story from the most unsuspecting place. It was a lesson in judgment and a reminder that Birthright is needed. Though we may not always know how our clients stories end, we certainly know that Birthright is making a difference in lives everywhere.