Tag Archives: Pregnancy

There’s this nightmare that plays over and over in my head.

We’re returning to Wow Me Wednesdays when we invite really innovative, creative, supportive friends of The Nest to write a guest blog. I’m blown away by the next several week guest writers. If you would like to write a blog pertaining to our mission or ministry please email Carissa at carissa@thesparrowsneststl.org

This week’s guest blogger is a true friend of The Sparrow’s Nest. We’ll call Brett Kunin one of those uncut diamonds in the rough. He’s hysterical but cutting, but at the very core one of those really good guys who takes parenting very seriously. I never knew his story until now. I hope you will be as blessed as I was to read his guest blog. 

There’s this nightmare that plays over and over in my head. My girlfriend and I are standing in our kitchen arguing about what to do about the situation we’ve found ourselves thrust into. There’s a Yellow Pages book open on the kitchen counter. The phone book is opened to abortion clinics.

You see in January 2001, my girlfriend became pregnant. We were shocked. We didn’t know what to do. We had been living together for a year. She was 22. I was 30. I was established in my career. I owned a home. Still we contemplated doing the unthinkable. We didn’t plan for her to be pregnant. We didn’t know if we wanted a child.

Thank goodness we shut the phone book that day and never opened it to that particular page again. Today I look at my son and I shudder to think that if we had made that choice he would not be here. How different would my life be today? I know that my life would not be filled with the love and daily doses of laughter and joy that my son gives me.

Now think about a teenage girl. She’s 16 years old, a sophomore in high school. She’s made a mistake. She’s made the same mistake that many of us have made. Her family is horrified. This frightened teenager’s parents are so upset that they kick her out of the house. Her boyfriend and his family offer no help. She doesn’t know what to do. There’s nowhere for this young pregnant girl to turn. It seems like she has no choice. Her parents want her to choose an abortion.

There’s another girl out there who’s homeless to begin with. She was orphaned as a baby and has been in and out of foster care her entire life. Now she’s pregnant and living on the street. What’s she to do?

My girlfriend and I were in a position to care for a child. We had a warm home, the support of our families, and the financial means to care for our son, yet we were still terrified. I cannot imagine the terror that surely goes through a teenage girl’s mind when she learns that she’s pregnant and is now faced with the overwhelming responsibility of surviving pregnancy and raising a baby.

I remember how difficult pregnancy was on my girlfriend, who soon became my wife. She was nauseous and uncomfortable; her clothes quickly became too small. There was so much to do. We needed to buy a crib, a car seat, and a high chair. We needed bottles, diapers, and clothes for the baby. Again, we had a comfortable home and it was still miserable for my wife during pregnancy. Now imagine a frightened, homeless teenage girl going through these same experiences. It’s almost unimaginable.

Up until now, an abortion may have seemed this young girl’s only choice. That is changing however. This girl now has a real choice. The choice is now available for her to turn to caring arms and motherly wisdom. She now has a place to go where she will be accepted. She will have a place to go where she will learn that she is not alone. This place will give her and her baby a fair chance. It will be a place where she will learn to make healthy choices for herself and her baby. That place is the Sparrow’s Nest.

I choose to donate to the Sparrow’s Nest because I’ve made mistakes, but always had the means and the support to recover from my mistakes. Many teenage girls don’t have the means or any support so they make a decision that they must live with and will likely regret for the rest of their lives.

I choose to donate to the Sparrow’s Nest because I’ve witnessed firsthand how difficult pregnancy is on an adult woman who has a home and a partner. The burden on a homeless teenager is not something that I’ve witnessed and I feel no one girl should be forced to endure pregnancy and childbirth alone.

I choose to donate to the Sparrow’s Nest because I understand that my donation is an investment in the future of my community. I realize that helping a young mother and her child get started off on the right foot in life can make all the difference.

I choose to donate to the Sparrow’s Nest. Will you?

You can read more about Brett’s life as a single dad at http://www.1andahalfmen.com/





I said a dirty word today

A teacher once made the mistake of telling me we all have 24 hours in a day. It’s just a matter of how we use them. I ingrained that into my DNA to mean I could use all 24 hours. As a result I have a really hard time saying no. It’s the eternal optimist in me that really believe I can have it all, be it all, do it all if given enough time. No, is a dirty word for me. 

Like right now, I’m sick in bed. I should be telling myself no but even that seems impossible. 

But today, like too many other days, I had to tell not one but two people no. 

I received 2 more phone calls today of young, pregnant girls needing a safe place to stay. 

I had to tell them “No, we aren’t open yet. No, I can’t help you. No, I don’t know of any other place in the area that can take you. No, I don’t know what to tell you.”

It breaks my heart. I know I will always have to use that word. Even when we do open, we won’t have enough space for every girl that needs a home. Some girls won’t be a healthy match for our program. 

But for the ones that do, I pray very soon we have a warm, safe, inviting place for them to stay, and figure out their next steps. 

“No room in the Inn” takes on another meaning

This has been a heart breaking week so far for The Sparrow’s Nest.

I’ve had numerous calls from young girls who were pregnant or parenting sweet little babies and had no place to go. I had another call from a caseworker still looking for a safe place for his 16 year old client and her 4 month old baby. I looked into the eye of a mother of 13 year old girl who has struggled for months with so many self destructive behaviors. The family just needed a moment of peace.

However, the stark reality is the 3-4 teen shelters in the entire St. Louis metro are full. They’ve started waiting lists again. “No room in the Inn” has taken on another meaning during this holiday season. We’ve started referring girls out of the area. Some are willing to leave what they know. Others can’t imagine being away from their familiar surroundings during this hard time in their lives. Things look pretty bleak.

But, you are hope. And you can make space for even more hope.

Your prayers can help bring light to these dark places.

Your creativity can bring answers to these problems.

Your generosity can help Build The Nest

for a safe and secure place for these innocent babies and their young mothers.

We need champions who will give sacrificially for such a time as this. Please donate whatever you can, $1, $10, $20, $100.

Let’s make space for hope together.



I can relate to the Rally Squirrel


Image by Californian Em via Flickr

I feel like we have a lot in common with the Cardinals Rally Squirrel. He’s running around crazy trying to get provisions for the winter so he doesn’t freeze and die. He’s so panicked, he’s even willing to risk certain death but racing across Busch Stadium in the middle of a playoff game. Who knows what he what he saw over there that he desperately needed at the moment. Something caught his eye that he viewed horribly important for his survival.

I’m feeling kind of squirrelly myself. I feel like I’m scampering around trying to gather what’s left of the nuts before another winter sets in and we’re still waiting on getting The Nest part of The Sparrow’s nest. I feel desperate to tell as many people and to gather as many dollars before that bitter cold locks everyone away. I’m running around as fast as I can to events, people, trying to gather information and support, as well as dispense information and support.

I need you to feel the urgency. I need you gathering the support in all sense of the word. I need you to rally around us and get a little squirrelly yourself, a little frenetic and crazy in how you drum up support. Through prayer, through words, through your church, through your neighbors, through your civic group, and especially  financially.

How are you getting a little squirrelly for The Sparrow’s Nest?

Where do we put the stuff?


Image by james.thompson via Flickr

If your children are “Messies” encourage them to marry someone who is laidback but possibly not a Messie. For better or worse, I’m a Messie and I married a Messie. Among other places in our house, the garage has always been a major dumping ground for us. This past year it has also become storage for the wonderful donations from people like you that just can’t wait for The Sparrow’s Nest to open.

Our garage is full of diapers, maternity clothes, a couch, a chair, a sidetable and lamp, a glider rocker, a changing table, well, you get the idea. We worked almost all Saturday cleaning and organizing and sorting. We took some into other parts of our house and some we took to church to store for awhile. It’s so fabulous and exciting to think about these items being used in the house by young mothers.

But that’s the catch , isn’t it. We are getting all this great stuff but we still don’t have a place to put it. We don’t have in our possession the whole point of The Sparrow’s Nest.

The Nest.

God has put on my heart such an urgency since the weather has started to change. Do you remember how bitter last winter was? I keep having that dreadful thought of a young mother trying to find shelter when it gets really cold. What if she thinks the only way she can find a home is to terminate her pregnancy? These thoughts race through my mind and make me sick to my stomach.

I just want to put on your heart the plea for God to provide a facility for us. I know there is someone in our area that could make an incredible sacrifice and donate a 4-5 bedroom house in St. Charles. I also know that if we pool all our resources we can have this project fully funded by January so we can lease to own a property.

There are so many exciting possibilities this fall. I want you with us every step of the way. I want your prayers. I want your creativity.

Can you just see it?  Are you willing to make it happen?

Letter #1 To A Pregnant Teen


This may sound kind of creepy and stalker-like but I just wanted you to know that I can’t stop thinking about you. I know we haven’t met yet and that probably freaks you out but I just wanted you to know that there are people out there that care for you. There are people out there who don’t want you to feel alone or scared now that you are pregnant.

I guess I just wanted to assure you I’m working as fast as I can to get you a safe place to stay while you are pregnant. I’m feverishly trying to raise money to be able to get you a place to stay, the right people to help you , and the things you will need to be the best mommy you can be right now. I wake up in the middle of night and God and I talk about you. Not like in a bad way. I just ask Him to keep His hand on you and your baby until I can help you.

You want to know the coolest thing though? It’s not difficult  to find people who care about you. I don’t have to go searching hard to find people to want to help you get off to a good start in this next stage of your life. I don’t want you to think it’s all jacked up and they feel sorry for you or they pity you. It’s not like that at all. There are people all over this city who deeply care about you and your baby. They aren’t judging you. You don’t have to prove anything to them. They already love you and your baby.

So today, if you are waking up and you are already dreading today I wanted you to know you are surrounded by love. If you are waking up today and feel stressed out by decisions, and people, and school, and family I just wanted you to know you are covered in prayer. And that there is help on the way.

Hang in there sweetie,