There aren’t many winners who hit the jackpot in Vegas. But last February, baby Claire beat the highest of odds stacked against her. This Feb. 24, she smiled and laughed all the way through her first birthday.
Her mother, Jamie Stout, couldn’t be happier. Neither could her big sister Vanessa nor her grandparents Jim and Cindy Stout, not to mention Pam Caylor and Marina Cortopassi of First Choice Pregnancy Services in Las Vegas.
“It’s amazing she’s having her birthday,” says an elated Caylor, the executive director of First Choice. “This could have had such a different meaning.”
Indeed. Finding herself in a desperate situation, Stout had started the first step of a three-day late-term abortion. That’s when Cortopassi, First Choice’s ultrasonographer, and Caylor spoke with Stout — then raced against time to reverse a procedure that few realize can be reversed. (See original story here).
If that hadn’t happened, Claire wouldn’t already have three baby teeth, happily share her Cheerios with her mom, or turn the heads of everyone she meets with her bright smile.
“She’s got the most beautiful brown eyes, like she came straight down from heaven from the Lord,” says Stout. “Out of the clear blue she puts her arms straight up like she’s praising God. We all love to see her do that.”
“Claire is loved immensely,” says Cortopassi, who is thrilled for the baby and the family. “You look at Claire, and you see the fingerprints of God all over that little girl.”
Caylor says instead of having a memory of I would have had a baby who would have been turning 1 — as she has seen happen many times with other women — for Stout, it’s I do have a baby turning 1!
“It’s been truly remarkable to see hope, life, joy and blessings of the Lord overtake Jamie and her family this past year,” Caylor says. “Every few weeks there’s another blessing Jamie tells me about that God has done.”
Caylor recognizes “a ripple effect in the pro-life community — so it’s not just Claire’s life we celebrate, but the other babies’ lives we celebrate who have also been saved after an abortion has been started because of the publicity of what happened with Claire. Another center has intervened on three (babies) now. But even if nobody ever heard of Claire again, her name would go down in the books of heaven because of her mommy’s decision to save her life.”
“I always think God’s will for us is not just for us,” Caylor adds. “It will always impact others’ lives. It’s so clear with Jamie and Claire because of other babies’ lives being saved in an abortion culture.”
Cortopassi has witnessed the turnaround there has been for the family.
“How much this demonstrates the abortionists’ lie,” she explains, pointing to those who say the baby is better off not being born to a family in a bad situation, as was the case with Stout, who had been living on the streets and was on drugs. But Claire “just makes that lie so untrue.”
Stout relates how “we were pretty torn up a year and a half ago, hurting and suffering all because of my drug addiction. But the Lord has completely freed me from my addiction. I’ve been completely clean and sober since Oct. 31, 2009.”
Cortopassi adds, “Claire is so beautiful. She has a beautiful home and family that adores her. The worst of situations turned into the best of scenarios.”
People like Cortopassi and Caylor don’t always see the outcomes of their pro-life efforts.
But Cortopassi sees the story of Claire and the Stout family as significant. “This is a wonderful example of God saying, ‘Good work!’ to everybody who was involved,” she says. “We see, firsthand, miracles of God being performed. There’s not one negative thing that came out of this” — even with some bumps along the way.
Claire’s 11-year-old sister was rocking her one day and noticed that she didn’t look right. At the hospital, Claire was diagnosed with RSV (a respiratory virus) and ended up in the infants’ ICU.
Stout pleaded with the Lord not to take Claire away.
She marvels how God “took a family that was almost destroyed,” and “he’s been blessing us left and right. This whole past year my whole family is so closely knit and totally repaired. Claire and Vanessa are the center of our life. We’re like a whole new family. We often pray together, just thanking the Lord for watching over us, taking care of us and blessing us. I’m so proud and thankful for the love and support my parents give me every day and never gave up on me.”
(For more of the Stouts’ story tune in to the Emmy-award winning pro-life show Facing Life Head On on March 13 and 20.)
Register staff writer Joseph Pronechen is based in Trumbull, Connecticut.