Evans woman finds support at Pregnancy Resource Center after unplanned pregnancy | MyWindsorNow.com

Evans woman finds support at Pregnancy Resource Center after unplanned pregnancy

Kelly Ragan
kragan@greeleytribune.com

When Raquel Kato saw the results of the pregnancy test, she was terrified.

Kato was 21. Single. The father wasn't involved at all. Kato was just a junior in college.

What was she going to tell her parents? What would her church think? Would she tell them at all or would she get an abortion?

Kato decided to go to the Pregnancy Resource Center. She knew about it because her mom had volunteered there, but that almost made it worse. She was embarrassed and didn't want her mom or anyone her mom knew to know. She sat in her car for a long while before she convinced herself to go into the building.

She spoke with a crisis adviser and finally shared her secret. She had to take another pregnancy test — which she knew would be positive — but this time someone was with her to see the results. Even though she knew, Kato cried when the results turned up. The adviser let her cry for a while before they started to talk about it.

Kato unloaded all her fears. She didn't think she could handle being a parent. She was afraid people would be rude to her at school. She was afraid her parents and her church would reject her. Kato's adviser gave her hope.

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"She made me feel loved and accepted for the situation I was in," Kato said. "She told me no matter what decision I made, they'd be there to support me. She recognized all the choices were hard choices to make."

After the meeting, she decided to tell her parents. She knew she couldn't do it face-to-face, so she called her mom. It was the most terrified she'd be in her life, she said.

Kato remembers the first words her mom said.

"Oh sweetie, I love you, I love you, I love you."

Those words made a huge difference, Kato said. She was able to dismiss her deepest fear.

"My heart goes out to the girls who don't get those types of responses," Kato said. "If (my family) didn't react in a supportive way, I would have been crushed."

Kato decided to have the baby.

While she was pregnant her senior year of college, she needed to do an internship. Her adviser at the Pregnancy Resource Center said she could do it at the center. It was perfect. She interned there full-time so she could graduate on time. When she did graduate, the center offered her a job.

"I jumped at the opportunity," Kato said.

She worked at the center for a while before she went back to get her master's degree.

Now she works as a middle school counselor in Greeley.

AvaMarie Rose Kato will turn 5 in October. She loves to sing and play dress up. She likes to make her own little dinners in a play kitchen while Kato cooks for them. She's about to start learning how to ride her bike without training wheels.

It hasn't been easy, Kato said, but she didn't have to do it alone. She wants others to know they don't have to do it alone, either.

"There are plenty of people you can reach out to, the resource center being one," Kato said. "Don't do something this hard and life changing by yourself. You deserve that."

— Kelly Ragan writes features and covers health and nonprofits for The Greeley Tribune. Have a tip? Want to share your story? Call (970) 392-4424, email kragan@greeleytribune.com or connect on Twitter @kelly_raygun.

For more information

WHAT: Pregnancy Resource Center

LOCATIONS: 822 14th St. in Greeley and 1215 Main St., Suite A, in Windsor

CONTACT: To contact the Greeley office, call (970) 353-2673. To contact the Windsor office, call (970) 833-1679.

For more information, go to http://tests4greeley.com/.

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