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Karin, originally from Peru, is 29 years old and has lived in Italy for two years. When she learned she was expecting a baby girl, she immediately chose a name: Valentina. “When I arrived in Italy I worked at a woman’s house as a cleaning lady. Her name was Valentina and I fell in love with that name. I said, ‘when I have a daughter I’m going to call her that,'” she tells us.
She had been together with her boyfriend for six months when she got pregnant. He wanted to get her an abortion, but she refused, so he left her and disappeared.
We spoke on the phone, and I was struck by her simplicity and straightforwardness, going straight to the essentials. The second thing that amazed me was the total absence of judgment towards those who, when faced with the announcement of her pregnancy, not only didn’t help her, but on the contrary, pushed her to have an abortion. Yet there is no trace of bitterness, anger, or resentment.
I thank Maria Luisa Di Ubaldo, President of Federvita Lazio, for giving me the opportunity to learn about Karin’s story and to share it with our readers. It seemed good to offer a story in which life wins, thanks to a mother’s courage.
Hi Karin. What happened when you found out you were pregnant?
In July 2020 I went to get tested and found out I was pregnant. I was six weeks along. First of all I told my father, and he was very upset. He said, “How is it possible?” He got very angry, so I decided to leave home and I went to stay with my cousin: I rented a room. I had been with my boyfriend, also Peruvian, for six months, and I told him I was expecting when I was already two months along. I waited because I was a little afraid of his reaction. When he found out, he told me, “No, you have to to have an abortion.”
I told him I wouldn’t, and that if he didn’t want that responsibility I would go on alone. At that time I was working four hours every day, on the cleaning staff of a pharmacy. I worked and the months went by. After we talked he left me and disappeared. At the beginning I was sad, and sorry, and I cried. I was afraid, but when I found out I was expecting a girl, a baby girl, I focused on her, thinking positive and … onward!
How are you now?
Now I’m OK, although at the beginning it was difficult for me, not only to work but to be pregnant and alone. Now it’s not like that anymore. I’m fine, I’m calm. I thought that my boyfriend wanted a family too, but he didn’t and I can’t force him. I made an effort and went ahead. I never thought of aborting my daughter. I told myself, “I can do it alone.” Now I’m eight months along and I feel happy. I live with my cousin, and she supports me. I worked until the seventh month but now I can’t do it because my belly has grown. My father is slowly accepting my pregnancy.
Who has helped you?
When my mother, who is in Peru, heard that I was pregnant, she called a friend of hers who lives in Turin and she contacted me. She said, “I want to find a church, a center that can help you.” She took my situation to heart and told me to go to the parish of St. Joseph the Worker at the Tiburtino Help for Life Center; there, thanks to the president of the organization, Daniela Ferrara, and the volunteers, I received clothes for the baby and vitamins for my pregnancy. They made themselves available to help me and to offer me whatever I needed.
Why did you come to Italy?
The situation in Peru is difficult. I came to Italy for a better future. Now without a job, with the COVID pandemic, everything has changed, but before all this I worked and was able to help my mother and brothers who are in Peru.
What would you say to single women who are afraid of carrying a pregnancy to term?
I would tell them my experience: a child is a blessing from God. You don’t have to abort; a life is a beautiful thing that will bring good things into their mother’s life.
What sustains you?
I believe in God. I think that after my baby is born many better things will come into my life. I have great faith in God. When I went for my ultrasound they told me that my baby had a little hole in her heart, as if it hadn’t formed properly. I was preoccupied, and worried, but I always prayed a lot. I asked Jesus to guide my baby, to help me. Then when I had my last ultrasound the doctors told me she’s fine, her heart is fine. I know that even if my family is far away I’m not alone; I am with God.
Valentina means “valiant.” Karin is a valiant mother, a valiant woman! She didn’t let herself be coerced by her boyfriend who wanted her to have an abortion, but chose to protect her child, her treasure, her inheritance. And she has found, in her difficult path, sensitive and generous people who support her in the name of Life.
Mother Teresa’s advice for how we can respond to abortion