Return to Happiness

An expectant mother is left to her own devices, until 'Efrat' steps in and helps her assume the most important role of all

Arutz Sheva Staff ,


“I met my partner, Alon, through a friend at work,” Ortal said. “We planned to get married and began preparing for the big event, but when I found out I was pregnant, he was quick to call the whole thing off and gave me an ultimatum: either I have an abortion, or we don’t get married.

I was really surprised by his decision and did not understand what the connection was between the two. We were planning on starting a family once we were married anyways. He explained that it would be impossible to raise a child while we were still burdened by the expense of paying for a wedding, and that we had not even found a place to live. When we had decided to get married, we had considered living in a rented one-room apartment. Alon claimed that such an apartment was not fit for raising a child. Following a long and heated argument, Alon left me and said that he was leaving the decision in my hands.

“I didn’t want to have an abortion. My mother z”l raised eight children in two rooms without ever complaining about crowding. She was always so pleased in her children. Who was I to decide to cut off the life of this child because of monetary and spatial considerations?!

“On the other hand, I worked in shifts for a miserly salary and it really was not the ideal situation to welcome a baby into. Just thinking about it led me to agree with Alon and lean towards having an abortion.

“I spoke with a friend who also knew Alon, and she helped me contact the “Efrat” organization. The volunteer who accompanied me throughout my pregnancy was like a carbon copy of my own mother. She possessed the same train of thought; the same warm demeanor. I immediately fell in love with her. With thanks to Hashem, I went through with the pregnancy with newfound peace and tranquility, and gave birth to Sapir, who today is five years old.

“After giving birth, 'Efrat' equipped me with all the baby gear I could possibly need: a crib, stroller, baby bath, diapers, layette, spit-up cloths, bottles, pacifiers, and more. For the next year I received a monthly care package of food and diapers. Even though I was forced to take on additional hours at work, I was happy, truly happy.

“Alon may have never moved back in with us, but he slowly began to inch his way back into our lives. One year ago, I found myself pregnant with Alon’s child once more. This time, I knew not to expect anything of him or from him. I was certain that his time, like in the past, he would disappear. But to my surprise, one day he came home with a giant bouquet of flowers and said, ‘I was always afraid of the responsibility that comes with being a father. I was never able to fathom that I could succeed. Sapir turned me into an entirely different person. I know that raising two children will be even harder, but this time I won’t give in and I won’t give up.’

“This time, we turned as a couple to Efrat. Our financial situation would have been extremely difficult with two children. Six weeks ago, I gave birth to our second daughter and we became a family. The aid that comes to our door each month from the Efrat organization gives us the air we so desperately need to breathe, to be, to be a family.”