Michigan mother Kennedy Griest was called all kinds of nasty names when other students found out she was pregnant at age 13.
She had things thrown at her, and students called her a “whore” and said she “was going to hell,” according to Livingston Daily. Others told her to have an abortion.
But Griest chose life for her daughter, Adalyn, in 2014, because she knew that her baby’s life was valuable.
Speaking with the news outlet in 2017, Griest said she did not realize that she was pregnant at first. The morning sickness, she thought, was just the flu, and the missed periods were something that can happen to young, female athletes. Plus, she said she thought she was safe because she and her boyfriend had used condoms.
“It was all normal girl changes so I didn’t even think of (pregnancy),” she said.
Eventually, however, she became suspicious and took a pregnancy test that revealed the truth. Her mother, Wendy Andrews, remembered the shock of that moment, saying her “world started to spin.”
“I thought ‘How in the world is she going to be able to take care of a baby?” Andrews said. “I’m a 50-year-old single mom, and I’m going to be raising baby number six. There’s no way this selfish kid is going to get up in the night to take care of a child.’”
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But Griest matured quickly. According to the report, she quit public school because of the harassment and bullying and began taking classes online. When some people suggested that she abort her unborn baby, she refused to consider the idea.
“I was scared out of my mind, but … I knew I had to do what was best for this child,” she told the news outlet. “My mom raised me to value all life; everyone is worth something. Everyone has value. To me, an abortion is killing. It’s killing a human.”
Griest said her family and friends supported her, and she received help from a local pro-life organization, the Brighton Pregnancy Help Clinic.
“I went there for a lot of help,” she said. “I get clothes, I get diapers, furniture just for showing up. I’m giving it back because we don’t have a lot of places like that here that are helpful. I think people just ignore teen pregnancy.”
In October of 2014 when Griest was just 14 years old, she gave birth to her daughter, Adalyn, the report continues.
In the years since then, Andrews said her daughter has matured a lot.
“She’s become more patient,” Andrews said. “From the beginning, she was such an attentive mother. It amazed me how wonderful she was and how quickly it happened. … She’s a mother first, always. She tells me that, she tells her friends that and she tells her boyfriend that.”
Griest eventually returned to high school, where she began leading the pro-life club and later was inducted into the National Honor Society, according to the report.
She is set to get married in July and said the following about her life thus far on her wedding announcement page, “Our love story is one built upon a foundation of faith, friendship, laughter, and love. From parenting to high school, nursing school, and college football, we have faced everything together, hand in hand, and looked to God for strength. Without the support of our friends, family, and faith we would not stand where we are today. We are so excited to celebrate with all of you!”
Though Griest realizes that her teen pregnancy was far from “ideal,” she said she believes her daughter’s life is a gift.
“I know it’s not the ideal…teenage life, but I wouldn’t change it for a minute,” Griest said. “She is everything to me. I’m thankful for each day that I have and that everything turned out the way it did. I’ve seen people who have not been supported, and I’ve seen things go differently for people. I…don’t take it for granted, how lucky I am.”
The interview with Livingston Daily is from 2017, but Griest’s story is no less relevant today. Young mothers often face judgment and pressure to abort their unborn babies. But pro-life advocates reach out to these frightened young mothers with compassion and support, reassuring them that both they and their unborn babies are valuable, capable human beings who deserve the chance to thrive.
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