A young, courageous mother tells how she fled to Croatia to save the life of her baby and ultimately found support and a happy ending.
A few weeks ago, there was a march for life in Zagreb (Croatia). During the event, many people shared their experiences. Among them was Ivana Vrdoljak, who comes from the city of Omiš. Her testimony was also published on a Croatian pro-family website.
I am 33 years old. I was living in Germany with my partner when I got pregnant. My partner didn’t want a child, so he pressured me to have an abortion. In fact, he made an appointment for me at a clinic, paid for it in advance, and took me there. With my last 20 euros, I got on the bus and ran away to Croatia.
When Ivana arrived in Croatia, she had no job and no one to help her. Fortunately, she found the Bethlehem association. Under the leadership of Fr. Marko Glogović, the nonprofit serves pregnant women, single mothers, and families in difficult financial situations in up to 12 Croatian cities. There, after five months, she gave birth to Roko.
A reunion and a special gift
“His father didn’t ask about him during the nine months of the pregnancy,” she said. “After I fled from the abortion clinic to Croatia, we didn’t hear from each other at all.”
Then, after the child was born, the father reached out. “Two weeks ago he called me because he wanted to come to Zagreb and see his son. Taking him in his arms, he lifted him up and said, ‘Roko, forgive me.'”
The man brought his son a miniature jersey of Hajduk, a popular Croatian soccer club. Printed on the jersey were these words: It was worth being born. As Ivana finished her testimony, she turned to her infant son and said, “You see, my son, it was worth it for you to be born!”