By Jaime Thietten-Espil
I am a singer by trade who has spent over 20 years recording and touring. In 2007 my husband, Pete, and I moved from Idaho to Nashville in hopes of furthering my music career. It didn’t go as planned. In fact, the bottom fell out.
I was in prayer one morning asking God why He’d opened the doors for us to move to Nashville (as it was no accident that we were supposed to be there) for me to sit and do nothing. I’ve never heard God speak so clearly before in my life. He answered,
“Jaime, I want you to be a voice for the unborn.”
I was shocked. Of course, I said ‘Yes,’ but I had no idea how I was going to be a voice when I had no places to share my music or this message? Besides, how was I ever going to make it in the music industry with such a controversial message?
Two weeks later I received an email from someone pitching the Pro-Life song, “My Chance.” We recorded and released the song along with a video.
Once released, my calendar began to filled up. This song connected me with NRLC. I have kept a relationship with this wonderful organization ever since.
With God, ALL things are Possible!
I was blessed that God chose me to carry this message and while I loved being a voice for our unborn, it was difficult to sing “My Chance.” The message resonated deep in my heart. I’d often shed tears when singing this song. I had never experienced an abortion but my husband and I have struggled with infertility our whole marriage.
Fast forward 10+ years. After 2 failed attempts to adopt and no success at conceiving, Pete and I are now discussing what we should do with the rest of our lives. We had finally moved back to Idaho, bought a house and settled into great jobs.
However, we were both feeling that we could serve our community in a larger way. From that conversation, the idea for Sacred Heart Ranch of Idaho was born.
SHR will be a transition home for young women who have experienced trauma and need a place to heal, learn, and grow and to have the opportunity for a promising future.
We will provide housing, food, life skills classes and plenty of love and support in a ranch style setting. (For more about Sacred Heart Ranch, visit www.sacredheartranch.org.)
We were well on our way in our fundraising efforts when we received a phone call–June of 2022– that there was a 9-year-old girl needing a home. We were surprised; we were not on any lists. This was a private call. Less than a month later Amelia came to live with us. A few short months later she turned 10.
On December 2nd 2022, we sat in a court room filled with family and friends. Pete and I promised to love and care for this beautiful girl no matter what.
I held the tears back that morning until we got home. I told Pete and Amelia that I had to go do something real quick. That ‘something’ was going into my closet where I shut the door, sat on the floor and shed so many tears of joy and gratitude to our Lord for answering our prayers after so many years. I had given up. I had grieved. I had moved on.
But God hadn’t. He remembered my prayer. His timing and His gift of this little girl is so perfect.
Amelia fits in great with our crazy family. She has blessed our home with giggles, joy, and funny made-up songs. She is beautiful, talented, and very resilient. She is a little sassy at times, but it keeps us on our toes, and I’ve had the joy of jumping into being the mom of a pre-teen.
Pete is the best Dad EVER! I knew if he had the chance, he would be Super Dad and he is! We have our struggles, but things are going well.
My heart aches for Amelia when I think about how hard the transition must be on her, but God has been faithful to provide for us. It helps that Pete is a Clinical Social Worker. He works as a counselor (mostly trauma clients), and he is a wonderful help when I need advice on how to handle some situations.
Our lives have forever changed, and we are both happy and scared at being responsible for more than just dogs!
There are times I dwell on things I missed. Such as her first steps, first words, buying cute little clothes and lots of little snuggles…But as I write this, she’s home sick with a temperature of 101. Amelia just brought her blanket in and snuggled up in my lap.
God answers the cries of our hearts. While I did miss the beginning of her life, I have the privilege of guiding her through the tough teenage years. My husband and I are doing all we can to prepare her to love Jesus and be open to His will.
We continue to work on Sacred Heart Ranch but have had to divide our time between Amelia and our fundraising. We just passed the $400,000 mark. It will happen in God’s time.
For those struggling with infertility. Don’t lose hope! Trusting in God’s plan is not easy, but it’s what will bring you the most joy and peace in this life. It’s hard for me but it makes me stronger.
Let me end with this, Have I ever heard those words… “I Love You Mom”? Nope. She called me Mom once but was very hesitant about it. We don’t push or force anything like that.
For now we are just Jaime and Pete. Pete gets DAD sometimes and that will definitely come first as she didn’t have a Dad so that’s brand new. I came with some strikes against me as she already has a mom. She may think that calling me Mom in a way will replace her mom or cease to make her mom, her mom.
While I’d love to hear those words, it’s no biggie. I know she is my daughter (that still feels weird to say) and that I will love her with all of my heart even if she calls me Jaime until the day I die.