1. Yesterday I found out that one of my classmates (she is also my friend) got pregnant at the age of 17, had her healthy baby boy, and then gave him up for adoption. She has an open adoption so now that it has been 6 years she recently met him at the park with his parents. She is so proud of him and her decision. Since I love all things adoption related I asked her if it would be okay to ask her more questions. She readily agreed. I asked her about the father, how she picked the adoptive parents, how she felt being pregnant, how her parents reacted, and of course how she dealt with her feeling after the adoption.
I asked my friend if she had any counseling or help to get through the depression and emotions of giving up her child. She said the doctor gave her prozac but that she just felt like a zombie for days. She wished she could have had someone who understood what she was going through to talk to her. This is one of the gaps I have been thinking about.
2. Being a returned missionary myself I feel like I have somewhat of an "insider's scoop". I know what it was like to wait for my mission call, to enter the MTC, to teach in a foreign language, to serve in "God's Army", and to come home and try to "fit in" with the rest of the world.
The church puts a lot of time, money, and effort into the Missionary Training Center (MTC). Preparing missionaries is a big deal. I didn't think much about the the coming part until I was that missionary. I feel like I made the transition back fine but know many who didn't. This is another of the gaps I've been thinking about.
I don't have any grandiose ideas but in both situations I feel like it just makes sense to close the loop. It makes sense to me to connect young teenage mothers who decided to give their baby up for adoption to older women who have done the same things successfully. It makes sense to me that if you spend a lot of time preparing someone to serve a mission that you would spend a lot of time helping them come home. There are so many return missionaries--and they each have unique stories and experiences but I wonder if we couldn't bridge the gap a little if we connect the RM's with the pre-missionaries!
I have some ideas of how to capitalize on these and other gaps and maybe one day they will come to fruition!