Patricea would have never guessed she would be pregnant at 17. She also would have never believed that becoming a mom at 17 would change her life…for the better.
When Patricea became pregnant she and her family both knew she would need extra support that was not going to be feasible at home. She would not be able to continue her education in her current private school due to stipulations on pregnant girls in school.
After a visit to Florence Crittentonin Montana, Patricea decided this would be the place for her. With the services offered and the staff’s support, Patricea received excellent pre-natal care, improved her relationship with her family, and got back on track to finish her education. With the guidance and support from Catholic Social Services, she was also able to see her plans for adoption through, choosing a wonderful family from Helena for her son. When it was time for her son to be born, she was surrounded by her mom, Maria (Florence Crittenton’s Bonding and Attachment Therapist) and her son’s soon-to-be adoptive mother.
Patricea expected and hoped for this support from Florence Crittenton. What she says she didn’t expect, was how liberating it has been. “The staff has been there for me, not just as a young mom, but as a person.” After her son was born, Patricea returned to Florence Crittenton, where she continued to receive therapy and support as she recovered from delivery and dealt with the many emotions of an adoption. Shortly after the birth, Patricea turned 18 and was able to take her GED, something she says may have never happened had she not been here.
But our work has not stopped there. We are committed to helping her reach her goals. After turning 18, Patricea transitioned into our Pathways to Success program (PTS). She is now focusing on her education and career goals, which include pursuing her bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in graphic design. Patricea is enrolled in University of Montana-Helena for the fall semester, with the goal of eventually attending the Art Institute of Seattle.
Patricea plans to stay in the PTS program until she has completed her course work at UM-Helena. Although she is not parenting her son herself, we are still committed to helping her achieve her goals. An adoption does not mean she is not still a teen parent, with the same needs for support and guidance.
When asked about her time at Florence Crittentonand how she feels about the services she has received Patricea told us this, “I have had a chance to be the kid and the adult I have always wanted to be. I have been given the opportunity to be myself and the support to pursue my dreams.” For her son, Patricea wishes, “That he will be happy, healthy, and well taken care of. I hope that I will always be a part of his life in some way…I want to be Auntie Patricea! I have a lot in common with [his adoptive parents] them and I know he will have a great life.”
We are so proud of the strong, independent, and loving women Patricea is becoming. We are honored to be a part of her life, and give her and her son the opportunities to be the best people they can be!