Rock the Cradle in support of A Secret Safe Place Saturday
By Amanda Greever | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A friend of mine is celebrating her son’s second birthday this weekend. I talked with her earlier as we discussed the happiness that threatened to burst from her.
A few years ago, I would have laughed if someone had said we would be talking about her being a mother. She was content with the life she and her husband had built without children and wasn’t certain a child would ever be a part of their reality.
Flash forward, and she has a rock star of a little man. She can’t imagine life without him, and he’s brought her a kind of joy she didn’t know was possible.
For her, pregnancy, while a little scary, wasn’t something bad. Sure, there were adjustments to consider and plans to make, but she and her husband were ready to face any challenge.
In a perfect world, every child would be welcomed with loving arms and happy anticipation. Excitement would grow as nursery colors are picked out and the sex of the baby becomes part of a gambling pool.
Sadly, that isn’t the case.
For some parents-to-be, a baby isn’t a happy surprise. The nausea that overwhelms the expectant mother isn’t morning sickness.
“What do I do now?”
“My life is over.”
These thoughts and more race through the mind, raising the fear and trepidation already being felt. What happens next can be one of the toughest choices a young woman can make. Regardless of her decision, her life would be changed forever.
Keeping the baby would definitely shift life as she knows it. She would be responsible for the life and care of another human being. Its well-being and happiness would be up to her.
Adoption would change things as well. For the rest of her life, she would wonder what happened to the little soul she gave away.
Abortion? That one opens a whole can of worms that goes far beyond this column. Again, that one leaves a mark on the heart and soul.
In an ideal world, this would be the only options.
Sadly, they aren’t.
A young mother will carry the baby, still so frightened and feeling like she’s alone. She might keep the baby a secret, or even worse, its birth. In a moment of fear and desperation, she might abandon the baby. In a dumpster. A trash can. Off a bridge, a la Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe.”
The mother feels alone, and it’s the only option she sees.
But it’s not. And she is not alone. There are people who care and can help.
A Secret Safe Place for Newborns of Tennessee is an organization that was created specifically to help young mothers-to-be. The nonprofit’s mission is to protect newborns by educating and informing women and communities of safe, secret options.
The state’s Safe Haven Law allows the mother of an unharmed baby up to 72 hours old to voluntarily leave her child with a health care worker at one of the designated Secret Safe Places. The mother will not be questioned and authorities will not be contacted. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services will be contacted and will seek protective custody, then locate a home in the community where the child may be placed.
The legislation came about when a newborn was found in Townsend in October of 2000. The baby’s 14-year-old mother didn’t know what else to do, so she dumped the baby. The infant died and its mother was charged with first-degree murder.
To date, nearly 70 babies have been saved. Secret Safe Place is a fantastic organization and one I’m proud to have been associated with for a couple of years now.
You can do your part to help and have a rocking good time this Saturday night at the Maryville College Alumni Gym as Secret Safe Place sponsors a benefit concert, Rock the Cradle.
Come on, you know that name is clever.
The fun runs from 6 to 10 p.m., and dinner by Sonny’s BBQ will be served from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is included in the ticket price of $25 for adults, $15 for students and $10 for children under 12.
Attendees also will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items. Common Man Band, Aaron Tracy Band and Kudzu will perform. Tickets are available at the Blount County Chamber of Commerce, The Daily Times and Sonny’s BBQ.
Events like this help Secret Safe Place keep providing the support and information a young mother might need to make the right choice. No baby deserves to be thrown away like yesterday’s trash.
Want to help? Head out to MC Saturday night, have a good time and, best of all, help give some kid a totally rockin’ future.
Amanda Greever is assistant managing editor at The Daily Times. She writes a weekly column in the Sunday Life section. She can be reached at 981-1161 or (email@example.com) Follow her on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com _editor.