Desperate, tired and unsure of her future, Norma walked helplessly towards home. She was sad, angry and four months pregnant, considering an abortion.
“The thought just crossed my mind, for I felt as if I didn’t have better options.”
Neglected by her boyfriend, who didn’t want the child, she knew that being pregnant and unmarried would earn her a bad reputation in her culture. Though her hometown, Medan, is the third largest city in Indonesia, and city dwellers are individualistic and somewhat detached, she would still be unable to hide the shame of an unwed pregnancy and single motherhood.
Without parents to help her or friends to share the burden of her sorrows, Norma suffered loneliness, profound sadness and emptiness.
Finally, Norma moved in with her three younger siblings, into a rented room big enough for only two. The three hold part-time jobs in Medan. Two work as janitors in a hospital and a small hotel in Medan while the other works as a cook’s assistant in a hospital.
The four siblings try to manage their limited living space to fulfill their need for rest, so they take turns using the bed. The siblings who work as night janitors take the bed during the day, while the other uses it at night.
Norma gets to use one side of the bed. Her siblings all love and care for her.
They suggested she keep the baby, but when she asked them how she could raise the child or feed the baby and herself, they had no clue.
Thankfully, the Talitakum Child Survival Program is located near their home. Some of the Christian neighbors who noticed Norma’s pregnancy suggested she join our program. So she went to the Child Survival Program with little knowledge about it.
The Talitakum Church had a pro-life ministry so they knew how to help Norma. Maureen, the program coordinator, and others ministered to Norma immediately, helping her overcome her obstacles and enabling her to choose life for her child.
After two months of counseling, Norma joined the Child Survival Program meetings with other mothers.
As she learned with the other moms, her passion grew and her knowledge increased, convincing her to keep and raise the baby like the other mothers did.
“When I decided not to go through with an abortion, my thought was I will deliver the baby and later release the baby to be adopted. But then when the baby was born I decided to keep it instead.”
Gabriel is now 2 years old. After his birth, Norma worked hard to raise her son. She works as a laundry lady for 200 thousand rupiah each month (US $20).
They are blessed by the love of Norma’s siblings who have allowed them to continue staying at their rented home. They pay the rent, while Norma uses all her earnings to meet the baby’s needs.
“I’m a happy mother now. Having a son has given me a spirit to live.
I hope my son will grow healthy and become a good person who cares for others. In the Child Survival Program I am constantly reminded to face the future, forget the past and fight for a better tomorrow.”