“We’re birth moms—that’s what makes us unique. When women face an unplanned pregnancy, we’re women who have been through it.”
Meet Callie Jett, founder and president of Talk About Adoption, a passionate adoption advocate and pro-life sidewalk advocate. I first met Callie when she reached out to me via Facebook, shortly after my first article “Why the #ShoutYourAbortion Campaign Keeps Me Up at Night” was published. It turns out Callie is a birth mom who was touched by my article. After our first messaging conversation, I knew Callie was as passionate about adoption as I am. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to sort of “meet” her over the phone when I called her for an interview.
Callie is making a big difference in the adoption community in a unique way. Her biggest passion is connecting the adoption community with the pro-life movement. Her non-profit organization, Talk About Adoption, exists to present women facing an unplanned pregnancy with the option of adoption. “We’re birth moms—that’s what makes us unique. When women face an unplanned pregnancy, we’re women who have been through it,” she says.
Callie has rallied together dozens of birth moms to stand beside her as she encourages women to choose life for their babies. She is a sidewalk advocate at one of the three abortion clinics in Charlotte, North Carolina. Callie got into sidewalk advocacy after she placed her birth son for adoption. She made the decision to place as a teenager, but didn’t start talking about her experience as a birth mother until a few years ago.
“I was really closed about it, which is pretty embarrassing to say. I even hid my pregnancy. After I placed, I was even more ashamed of my decision. Placing shouldn’t be taboo. It should definitely be talked about.”
I couldn’t agree with her more. Instead of having the support of a community, many birth moms feel isolated. Callie felt the call to do something about it.
“I really opened up when I was on the sidewalk one day about two years ago, just seeing women going into the abortion center. I was like, ‘Uhh, do these women even know about adoption?’ I’m talking 20 women a day at this ONE abortion center. There were these escorts that were helping guide women in, and they’d come out and they didn’t look happy by any means. I just thought it was getting out of hand. I formed this passion to get people to start talking about the topic.” And so, Callie Jett founded Talk About Adoption in February of this year.
Sidewalk advocacy isn’t easy by any means. It requires the advocate to be completely vulnerable, without fear of rejection.
“I used to get nervous, but not anymore,” Callie said. “You’ve got to be humble and expect you’re going to look like an idiot. I just think ‘Hey, I’m here, God. You can use me or not. If not, that’s not my problem. I’m not here to judge anybody. I’m here to be used by the Lord.’”
Callie says her faith plays a big role in her approach to sidewalk advocacy. She uses a peaceful approach, explaining that it’s about building a five-second relationship.
“It’s mainly [about] connecting with the woman and meeting her personality, really. If you can gain her trust in five seconds, she’ll stand there and listen to you more. Meeting the moms means loving them both (mother and child). [It’s about] meeting her needs, being compassionate towards her, sharing your story. Like, ‘Hey, I was 16, and I was freaking out, too. I have an idea of how you feel right now. Tell me your fears.’”
Talk About Adoption is growing quickly. Aside from sidewalk advocacy, the organization also has birth mom mentors and outreach. Some of their birth mom mentors are already going to schools and talking to sex-ed classes about the option of adoption in the face of an unplanned pregnancy. Education is one of the organization’s key elements, introducing adoption education to schools.
When I asked her why adoption is important to her, she hit the nail on the head. “I want to save lives,” she says. “Adoption is that other option. When I started getting really involved in the adoption community, I was really surprised that there are a lot of birth moms that are afraid to say ‘I’m pro-life.’ Adoption should be THE other option, not abortion.”
Callie Jett is influencing not only birth moms, but all of us, to take a stand for life by simply starting a conversation.
Talk About Adoption has chapters throughout the United States. If you are looking for birth mom support, visit www.talkaboutadoption.org.
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