The ProLife Team Podcast 53 | Melissa Sanchez with Lamb of God Maternity Home | About the Healing Experience Weaved Into a Maternity Home

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast 53 | Melissa Sanchez with Lamb of God Maternity Home | About the Healing Experience Weaved Into a Maternity Home
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Listen to Melissa Sanchez and Jacob Barr talk about the love found in a maternity home and how this maternity home in San Diego is avaialble for women across the country.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and on the Pro-Life Team Podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Melissa Sanchez from Lamb of God. We discussed the incredible work of Lamb of God in supporting birth moms and adoptive families, highlighting the healing and transformative experiences it brings to everyone involved.

Melissa, the Director of Marketing and Ministry Development at Lamb of God, shared her insights on the organization’s role in providing a safe haven for women in crisis pregnancies. This sanctuary allows them to make thoughtful decisions, receive the necessary nutrition and care, and embark on a path of healing and growth.

Based in Escondido, San Diego, Lamb of God serves women from various locations, offering them a crisis line and an intake process through their website. The focus is on offering alternative choices to abortion, emphasizing open adoption, and the positive impact it has on all parties involved.

Melissa shared heartwarming stories of families brought together through adoption, like the Zee family and their adopted daughter Sophia, highlighting the joy and extended family connections formed through this process. The organization’s remembrance wall, adorned with leaves representing each child and their journey, illustrates the community and connection fostered through Lamb of God.

Discussing the dynamics of the maternity home, Melissa explained the nurturing environment where residents often share responsibilities like cooking, creating a sense of community and shared purpose. The home accommodates up to six women at a time, offering more than just shelter but also dignity, luxury, and a sense of worth.

Melissa stressed the importance of the organization’s mission in aiding women to make informed decisions about their pregnancies, often saving lives in the process. She emphasized the empowerment and support provided to these women, helping them overcome challenges like addiction and enabling them to pursue education and successful careers.

The podcast highlighted the significance of Lamb of God’s work in promoting life, offering healing, and building new families through open adoption. Melissa’s passion and commitment to this cause shone through, demonstrating the profound impact of providing care, support, and options to women in crisis pregnancies.

#Hashtags:
#ProLifeTeamPodcast, #LambOfGodMaternityHome, #CrisisPregnancySupport, #OpenAdoption, #HealingAndGrowth, #EmpowermentInPregnancy, #BuildingFamilies, #AdoptionStories, #MaternityHomeCare, #LifeSavingDecisions, #CommunitySupport, #BirthMomEmpowerment, #TransformativeAdoption, #SanDiegoMaternityCare, #PregnancyResourceCenters.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Jacob Barr :

Welcome to the pro-life Team Podcast i’m Jacob Barr i’m here with Melissa and we’re going to talk about Lamb of God and how helping birth moms and adoptive families is just such a healing experience for everyone involved.

Melissa Sanchez :

Yes, it is.

Jacob Barr :

Melissa, would you introduce yourself as if you’re talking to a small group of executive directors of pregnancy clinics?

Melissa Sanchez :

Ok. So I am the director of no, I can’t even say it, the director of marketing, right. Yes, I’m the Director of Marketing and Ministry Development. Ok. And gosh, that allows me the opportunity to come out to a conference like this and share our ministry with other individuals, other pregnancy resource centers. We provide a wonderful safe haven for women in crisis pregnancy and that allows them the opportunity to stop, make a really good decision for themselves and that baby have the nutrition that they need or as they are providing for the child. And it’s just an amazing opportunity to make sure that they’re they are, they’re safe and life is sustained.

Jacob Barr :

And which part you’re in? Out of California, I believe, But which part of California are you out of?

Melissa Sanchez :

We are out of San Diego. It’s just north of the area that we’re at is in Escondido just.

Jacob Barr :

That’s right oK and but you service people outside of California?

Melissa Sanchez :

Yes.

Jacob Barr :

How does that work like, how does someone in a different state actually connect with Lamb of God like how would?

Melissa Sanchez :

That work well we have a crisis line and we have that available 24 hours. We have our website, there’s an intake form there and it’s as if they have called. We immediately respond to that and we help them to understand what the home does provide and that there is a wonderful opportunity. It’s a matter of understanding that there are other choices in sustaining life, and that other choice is also open adoption.

Jacob Barr :

Ok, yes, so are most of the so the birth moms and the adoptive families are they come from various places.

Melissa Sanchez :

They do come from various places. We have flown birth moms, the residents out from Virginia, from Utah, from Oregon. Again, it’s a safe place. So there are in crisis pregnancy, there are addictions or there’s abuse. And this allows them an opportunity to remove themselves from that and really take care of themselves we help take care of them and go through that healing process and that growth where they’re able to have a better life.

Jacob Barr :

Ok, so i have a copy of your newsletter and you mentioned that there’s lots there’s all these different families in here. So the top family in here is the Zeefs. Can you share the story that goes with the Zee?

Melissa Sanchez :

Family, the Zee family, they’re a wonderful couple family at this point. So they, like many families that we end up with, are couples are unable to conceive and at which point they place themselves on the waiting list. And wonderfully enough, while they were on that waiting list, she was she did end up with a child, but that didn’t stop them from adopting And they have their wonderful Sophia, it’s beautiful they come out to the house on several different occasions that we have. And to see Sophia come into the house and we have a tree it’s a little remembrance wall of all the little babies that we have. And she’ll come up and she’ll go, oh, there I am. And then she’ll go upstairs to like.

Jacob Barr :

Pictures on the tree. Oh, just like a big, like collage of pictures.

Melissa Sanchez :

Exactly. So we have a tree similar to what we have.

Jacob Barr :

Displayed here.

Melissa Sanchez :

Yes, exactly and they’re hanging off from this leaf, from the tree. And Sophia will come up to it and show where she’s at and then she’ll share where her birth mom had stayed. And they have a beautiful, wonderful relationship oh, that’s awesome yes, extended family yes, it is it really is. And they’re just an amazing family i do get to see Sophia and her family quite often because they are first years that might parish as well in my church and so it’s lovely good to see them. The picture, one of the pictures that we have in our newsletter, it was cute it was Mother’s Day and I saw them and I asked you, can I take a picture and she does, you know, I was just wondering how I was going to get someone to take a picture for Mother’s Day. So yes, it worked out well for her and for us and it’s a lovely picture of the four of them.

Jacob Barr :

So how many? It sounds like you might have a lot of leaves on this tree we.

Melissa Sanchez :

Do we have several leaves on the tree oh, that’s so cool yes, and it is.

Jacob Barr :

So at my church, just another story but at my church about two years ago we had like a group art project and one of the young younger people in our church. He painted this beautiful picture of a tree in the mountains. And then the group art project was everyone had like a leaf and we all everyone get to design or decorate their own leaf and so now we have a tree of leaves and each leaf represents one person in our church which.

Melissa Sanchez :

Is very.

Jacob Barr :

Nice and I’m just thinking like, that’s a beautiful, you know, essentially you’re making a community by having all these leaves on this tree, representing that they’re all connected. Yes, through adoption.

Melissa Sanchez :

Through adoption.

Jacob Barr :

Enter your crew.

Melissa Sanchez :

And what that was that we have the ambules who are also just happened to be parishioners of my parish as well the church and it’s wonderful to see them. We had our anniversary picnic in May and it was cute because they have a large family and the older siblings were going where is Michael where is Michael? On the tree. On the same tree and.

Jacob Barr :

It’s a picture with their name, or is it?

Melissa Sanchez :

Just a picture oh.

Jacob Barr :

Just a picture.

Melissa Sanchez :

It’s a picture. So all of them were hunting through the trees going is this him? And it was really cute and exciting to see all the siblings searching the tree for Michael and the joy, the love it, and it got to be where he needed his mom to come up to show him and yeah, this is where you know Michael is, because after a while, all the babies start to look alike yeah.

Jacob Barr :

That’s true.

Melissa Sanchez :

But it was. It was just really cute and very endearing to see the excitement and the joy and the love of his siblings. You know also so.

Jacob Barr :

What’s your favorite part of all the lights are turning now i guess we’re OK We got the light on. So what’s your favorite part of working and bringing families together you know, adoptive, you know, children and adopted moms and the birth moms what’s your favorite part of that journey?

Melissa Sanchez :

That’s you had asked me that before, and there’s so many different parts to this that I don’t know that I can have what.

Jacob Barr :

Are your what are your What’s your top ten favorite? I mean that’s easier or top?

Melissa Sanchez :

Favorite well it is a matter of seeing the families come together or is that in particular this is the resident is sitting and they’re nervous and they know this is they’re not nervous about placing they’re nervous about meeting the prospective adoptive parents because it’s Oh no, am I going to are they going to like me And because it’s such an interview and they know that they’re going to be part of their lives and but most importantly it’s are they going to like me? Am I? Am I going to be good enough for them? Are they going to want my child? And at which point to see the adoptive couples excited about the prospect of adopting their child and when that union comes together, it’s amazing we had twins they’re a year and a half now, so when they were born before they were born, when they’re first meeting there, the couple is coming to the home to meet the birth mom. And they were so giddy and so joyful and it was just so beautiful. I had tears coming. It’s like, oh, look under their excitement. And the president being in the house going, oh, I don’t know, what if they, you know, Yeah, I think they’ll like me but I don’t know i really like them i think they’d be perfect, but they might not like me. And then five hours later they loved each other and they love each other still and it’s what we see pictures of them all going out to SeaWorld and you’re with Grandma and it’s just this wonderful extended feeling. It’s just beautiful i mean that that’s that one was my first encounter and it was just beautiful to see the two of them together.

Jacob Barr :

See the anxiety melt away.

Melissa Sanchez :

And play it with.

Jacob Barr :

A bond, Yes.

Melissa Sanchez :

Oh, most certainly. And the adoptive family, They placed a video, which we have on our website, The Baker Story, sharing their love, their joy and their journey and the giddiness that they show in this in their little documentary. It’s the same giddiness and love and joy that I was able to experience.

Jacob Barr :

So where have you seen God’s fingerprints and in your in this effort, the work and the families? Yeah.

Melissa Sanchez :

Everywhere we have there are those like the adoptive family and the birth mom, that it was OK i know I need to do this for myself. The circumstances in her life, that it was just this was going to be the best decision and choice. And then there was another that God bless her, I mean she just was uncomfortable with her family situation, didn’t have the support and came to us and hiding and just being able to be there for her and when she laughed that family, that support, my heart went out to hurry is anyone would knowing that she was alone. But she was that strong. She was that strong to know that she wanted to maintain life and she wanted a better life for her child to something that she was enabled at the time to provide. And again, definitely God’s hand in all of this i mean it’s all life giving and it’s all supportive and helpful of each of the individuals. Mom being able to go forward in her life, and not that in love, I mean it was a big sacrifice on her part, but in love, this is what she’s able to do and willing to do and wanting to do to provide for her child. We have that we have individuals that I have met out on the street and had to go pick up. Social workers calling me at you from the hospital. An individual being pregnant, needing a place to stay, and even if they don’t stay to for the long term, knowing that at that point we’ve helped them of taking them out to the doctors, seeing how the baby has gained weight, you know, where they didn’t have the nourishment. So being able to provide that for the pregnant mom and her baby, it it’s just amazing. Yes, it is amazing.

Jacob Barr :

So if there’s someone listening that’s thinking my husband and I or my wife and I are thinking about adopting, what would be something that they should consider doing? If they you know, would they would it be good to visit your website and look at some information would it be good to call or maybe if they want to be put onto like a list of families that are looking or starting to look like, what would be the next step for a family looking to adopt?

Melissa Sanchez :

Into adoption. So it would be, again, we facilitate a home when we care for the birth mom, we don’t take care of the adoption process oh, OK so that’s where we work with Adoption Center San Diego and it would be contacting an entity like them. Then they would be able to provide them all the information in regards to what are the steps that they would need to take.

Jacob Barr :

So if there’s a princey clinic and they have a birth mom who needs to be at a maternity home, and then that might be a good connection if they don’t, maybe if they don’t have one in their, you know, local county or where they’re at, they could consider, you know, the birth mom might want to go to your maternity home if you have.

Melissa Sanchez :

Room yes. Do you?

Jacob Barr :

Ever run out of room or what’s that space look like or capacity?

Melissa Sanchez :

We can facilitate six women at any given time. We have a home. It is not an institutional bunk bed to sterile. It’s a it’s a wonderful home, a beautiful home we make sure to provide something that helps to show how they’re worthy of so much more, the worthy of so much more than they’ve allowed themselves to receive. And so there’s a great dignity in it and luxury if you will, because it is not a simple cereal room. Many of the individuals that have had to go into other places in their lives through foster care and shelters because of their situation, they come out to the home and they’re just wow, you know, they’re amazed that this is what we do for them.

Jacob Barr :

So when these women are in the in the home, who takes care of the you know, the cooking like do they do they pitch in does their is the cooking taken care of somehow by like is it taken care of by the women who are staying there or someone else or do they sort of work together like what’s that what’s the dynamics of living together?

Melissa Sanchez :

Essentially they work together we do have a house manager and a weekend manager and who and they each provide the dinner they cook the dinner, but like a current resonance that we have right now, they love cooking and they want to cook, so at which point it becomes a shared opportunity.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s cool.

Melissa Sanchez :

It is, it is. And it’s nice too because that shared opportunity is that responsibility that they’ve taken the initiative to plan the meal i mean that growth so it really is cool.

Jacob Barr :

So how long would a birth mom stay in a maternity home like what’s the range of how long she might stay?

Melissa Sanchez :

So we have the birth mom staying while she’s pregnant, and actually as she’s looking to place her child from the hospital, we have her come back to the home. The child goes to the adoptive family and she goes through her. She recuperates at the home and we actually asked him to stay for a year. We want them we encourage them to stay as long as a year more if they really need it. And it is a matter of making sure that we’re helping them get back on their feet we don’t want to see them in another crisis situation where they’re out in the street or at a shelter. We want to make sure that they’ve taken the time to save some money, to understand what it means to be able to take care of oneself and education. It’s a matter of the job. So all the different securities that they need to move forward. And so with that, yes, like in our newsletter we have several of our women who have done exactly that and move forward and successfully so beating addictions through the different counseling sessions that they have attended. One was living in the street, dropped out of UC Davis through it all, was able to clean herself up, and she has 2 ° now. She has sociology and psychology from UC Davis, works in Sacramento, is a strong advocate for adoption and just extraordinary, has a wonderful relationship with her extended family, adopted family or son. We have another one who again did the same thing in as much as moved yourself forward and is successfully going on to marketing it and it’s beautiful.

Jacob Barr :

Well, that’s awesome. So it sounds like, yeah. So the women come in, look essentially in need of help, and they get restored it sounds like they’re finding healing through.

Melissa Sanchez :

Finding healing and the constant nurturing. We have one young lady that is now a dental hygienist and she’s moving forward within that industry working through orthodontia. And I mean when she told me that she took the tools that she received from her mentor in financial literacy was had already paid off her car like at 30, I mean you know, her car she’s moving forward. It’s just really OK wow. And she says no, yo, I took the every the information that I received to heart and this is what I’ve been able to do i wouldn’t have been able to move forward and do as much as I have done without that support and the continued support that she receives there is.

Jacob Barr :

Wow the mission that Lamb of God is doing is just so beautiful like you’re essentially helping up to six women at a time find.

Melissa Sanchez :

Yes.

Jacob Barr :

Find their footing find help connecting them with a new family if they wanted to have an open adoption.

Melissa Sanchez :

It just sounds so.

Jacob Barr :

Rich.

Melissa Sanchez :

It really is and every opportunity that I that I end up getting again, I take care of social media as well and I have them share their pictures with me and it’s just wonderful to when they do that then they tell me the stories and the last meeting and where their child is. You know how well how they’re doing at this time. It’s beautiful to sit and listen to it all. We have one young mom who I mean it’s just wonderful how they’re engaged now they’ve moved forward and they’re in a healing process yeah.

Jacob Barr :

Wow, that is so wonderful, Melissa i am so glad you’re on this podcast and I hope that people that are listening will consider you know if they need a place, that they need a maternity home bed and they you know.

Melissa Sanchez :

Yes.

Jacob Barr :

Reach out to them of God, because it sounds like that’s your mission.

Melissa Sanchez :

That is our mission it is really to take care of the women, take care of the women of that healing process. In their crisis they can’t think straight and that’s where, unfortunately, they’re prone to. Ok, I have no other options. I need to abort this job. I don’t know what I’m going to do and that seems to be the easiest solution in that crisis that they’re facing. But when they have a place to stay to think about. Ok, what can I really do and a place to stay in regards to again, we’re not a shelter, but we’re helping them to look at what the real options are. So there was this one young woman who came, I said, who came to list through a prayer board at Planned Parenthood, gave the card, followed through, followed up with her because she turned around and said, OK, well, let me think about this other option. She came to the home not knowing what to expect but I was sitting there going, OK, so you have a really nice home here and she’s looking around and it’s well, thank you. And she does oK, So how much do I give you to stay at the home? And nothing. And she goes, what? yeah. And she was, But it’s really nice and I said, yeah, that that’s what we want to do we want to provide something nice to you were worth that he said that this is part of your dignity. You’re worthless. She’s like, OK, she’s looking at me skeptically. And then she starts, she goes, OK, so food and I said yes. So we have food that’s available for you. There’s something special that you need out of the ordinary well, that’s something that you would take care of but otherwise you put the basics on the list and there are certain things that is this city state funding provides for you, the WIC And so you wouldn’t obtain that dinner and said is something that we cook for you and she’s OK so how much do I give you for food then I said, well, nothing. And then she sits and she goes, You let me stay here. You feed me and you’re not i don’t have to pay anything. And I said no, because why would anyone do that i mean, she was just, she was like, why would anyone do that? It’s funny, you.

Jacob Barr :

Ask. That’s the open door.

Melissa Sanchez :

And so I told her, I said, well, we do this because I said our donors are our faith-based system. And they see that it’s important. They understand that no one’s going to make a really good decision in a crisis. No one’s going to make a good decision. They need a safe place to get away from all the garbage. And it’s interesting yeah, well, it’s nice and quiet here is it? It is it’s a nice if this is a safe haven. You take the time, You have 30 days to figure out what do you want to do? But understanding what your options really are, It’s not just parenting or terminating, it is parenting or placing. You can place your child up for adoption, have a forever family, still have that connection with your child, but not have to worry about how am I going to take care of my child if you love your child, you want that you want to be able to provide, but you’re not in the situation to provide. So this is the other option and Fast forward to decide to parent. But with that she sustained life And that is the other part where we had a praise to his usual thing was to go out and pray in Planned Parenthood. He comes in, he sees our sign at one of the events and he says wait, I know you’re home. You saved a life. And that was just the beautiful part yeah, the simplest form was that we saved our life because you saved 2 lives because you allowed her that opportunity to make the decision that was best for her and you provided that time, that time. And that’s where, yes, we fully support open adoption, but it’s life. It’s life in every facet. So yes, as beautiful as all our adoption stories are in the connection and extended families that happen, it’s also just these simple little unions where we were helping a mom who’s trying to decide what is best for her and in doing what’s best for her, we’re saving both lives.

Jacob Barr :

Oh, that’s so good.