In a series of articles about the “Efrat” organization, Arutz Sheva presents a number of personal stories and anecdotes relating the group's life-saving activities. This week’s article centers on Yardena, a mother of three who unexpectedly became pregnant a mere four months after a difficult labor and delivery.
“It came as a surprise,” Yardena recounted. “I received the news of all of my previous pregnancies with joy and happiness, even though they were close together. This pregnancy however, I received with pain and worry.”
Yardena was going through a rough time, and was finding it exceedingly difficult to care for and raise her three young children. Yet, at the same time, she was certain she could not terminate this fourth pregnancy, growing increasingly angrier at herself for not taking care to prevent herself from becoming pregnant in the first place.
“Less than a week went by before I decided to terminate the pregnancy,” she recalled.
At that time, Yardena’s brother lived in Queens, New York. He had grown stronger in his religious beliefs and had begun to take part in spiritual evenings and lectures on Jewish subjects, together with his wife. Her sister-in-law attended one particular evening, in which Dr. Eli Schossheim, Chairman of the “Efrat” organization, spoke. She listened to the doctor speak of the importance of having children in a Jewish home, and of the pain caused to women forced to have abortions. When she found out about Yardena’s situation via her husband, she immediately called Yardena and did her best make Yardena reconsider her decision to terminate.
“I explained to her that my decision did not stem from egocentric considerations, and that I had had a very hard time accepting the decision myself. I even found myself getting angry at her. She and my brother were sitting comfortably in the United States, with no financial problems to consider, and they had the gall to criticize me? It felt unfair.”
But Yardena’s brother and sister-in-law would not back down. Her brother even went so far as to call the “Efrat” organization and tell them of her plans to have an abortion. A few hours later, an “Efrat” volunteer called, explaining that the addition of every child to the home, even a fourth child, brings luck and blessings to the entire family.
“Without a doubt, she succeeded in softening my heart. The volunteer called me on a daily basis, encouraged me, strengthened me… all without a critical or forceful word. She explained the significance of termination to me, using words and concepts I had never heard of before and had never thought could possibly happen. I began to think that, at the end of the day, every mother desires to bring her children into the world, but that when financial difficulties get in the way, it seems nearly impossible to cope with on a long-term basis.”
Yardena explained how, in her difficult situation, when she first found out she was expecting again, an abortion seemed like “the lesser of evils.” She acknowledged that deep down, she, as well as all mothers, she presumed, truly want all of their children.
Yardena and her husband recently welcomed an adorable little girl into their family.
“When I think about how I wanted to give her up, I get shivers throughout my body. I truly feel as if the ‘Efrat’ organization gave me my daughter as a gift,” she concluded.