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I moved into Bethany House last December. Before I moved in I was living away from my parents' home because there was a lot of stress and mixed emotions about my being pregnant, even to the point of my brother and I getting into fist fights. I met with Beth and when she gave me the rules of the house, I read them and knew right then that I might have a little trouble with the rules, being such an independent person. I had just come back from living on my own in California, had my own car, and usually came and went as I pleased. I was not sure how I would do in such a structured environment.

After a few of weeks I realized that structure was exactly what I needed. My family and I had started talking and getting along better and I had a whole new out-look. I had benefited from the daily devotionals and weekly Bible studies. It also helped that I was living close to my church now. (When I lived up on Mt. Hood I didn't want to get up and drive an hour to Gresham).

Going to church every week and having an environment that was God-centered helped to soften my heart and enabled me take a good, long look at what I wanted to do with my life after my baby was born. I did not want to raise her in my condition of having a hard heart. My brother and I had had a lot of conflict and anger with each other and I had thought that I had lost my relationship with him. I felt so ashamed that I found it difficult to forgive myself. Then one weekend when I went home, my brother, Michael, asked me to come back and live at home. He felt that it was not right for me to be away from home when I needed family the most. So I moved home. When I did, my family began to see some changes in me: I took initiative to help with the house chores and I was more open to communication and compromise. Also, I began to show that I really did appreciate home and family.

I had my daughter, Abigail, on June 14, 2002, and in just 5 weeks I started working. I am currently a full-time student at Mt. Hood Community College studying to be a Medical Office Coder. I am still living with my parents. My sister's mother-in-law and my mom help watch my daughter when I am in school and on weekends so I can get homework done. I plan to be moving into my own house in the summer of 2003 and hope to continue my education to become a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse.

Bethany House gave me the time and support to sort out issues at home and with myself. I will be forever grateful for Bethany House and its supporters and the staff that give their lives to each young woman that walks through the doors. There is hope!

– Tara


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