Anabel grew up in Honduras. She had finished school, but then found herself with no job opportunities and little hope. Like many before her, she took a chance on the American dream.
Her mother and siblings were already here, so that made the move a little easier. Unfortunately, in addition to starting over in a new country and culture, unable to speak the language, Anabel soon found herself facing an unplanned pregnancy. She was nervous and had some difficulty coping with this new reality, worried that she would not be able to continue her studies.
The CHiP team first met Anabel when she arrived from Honduras as they were working with her teenaged sister. CHiP staff helped Anabel connect with UVA Obstetrics, but this prenatal care came late in the pregnancy and baby Karen Elizabeth arrived sooner than expected. Anabel found herself in a home with two new babies born to young, unprepared mothers, and at odds with her own mother. Lacking the skills, confidence, and support to raise a baby, she was understandably overwhelmed.
Despite her stressful circumstances, Anabel made good use of her CHiP support, learning how to care for her baby and how to set and accomplish goals that would move her step-by-step towards independence. She learned to drive, found work, and saved enough money to move into her own home where she could better practice her own style of parenting that she had learned.
“Anabel blossomed into a strong, independent mother who quickly adapted to a new routine,” said Erica, her CHiP family support worker. “I nominated Anabel [for the Imagine Award] for her diligence in learning how to navigate resources…support Karen’s development, and how she has learned to overcome her difficult past with success.”