When Joan and her boyfriend first visited The Keim Centers, they were not expecting to have a second child. “There was a lot of stuff going on in my mind,” Joan recalled. “[I kept thinking] I cannot have another baby. What are my parents going to think? I was really confused on what to do.”
Through ongoing support from advocates at the center and return visits for ultrasound, Joan and her boyfriend reached a decision to carry their baby to term and parent their child.
“When we went to get an ultrasound, we found out it was a boy,” Joan said. “At The Keim Centers, [the advocate] explained everything to me and made me realize that it’s alive. It’s not just something we can get rid of – it’s a life. It’s a little baby. It’s my own son. I was about to kill an innocent one, and he’s already alive. He has a heartbeat and everything – you can’t just get rid of that.”
Currently, Joan’s boyfriend is working to support their family. Joan’s family assists with childcare so she can complete her GED and continue pursuing her education.
“Before you have a baby, life is totally different,” Joan said. “Even though it’s hard, [becoming a mother] changes you for the better. It’s all worth it once you see your baby. Being a mom keeps you learning every day. No matter how hard, it’s fulfilling.”
Jaydem will celebrate his first birthday this March. Joan is also starting classes to prepare for Jaydem and his older brother, Lawrence, to be christened.
Joan and her son, Jaydem, are actual clients. Their names and likenesses have not been changed.
Photographs by Tracey Sanders Photography