Lici was 13 years old when she came here from Cuba. She started school and her family bought her a computer with internet access. Lici spent long hours on the computer trying to learn English as well as accessing popular sites such as Facebook and My Space.

One day Lici met a young man on the internet who said he went to school with her and wanted to get to know her better. Not having much experience she didn’t see anything wrong because he was just one of her “schoolmates”. Lici agreed to meet him after school.  He invited her to get something to eat and she got in his car. While Olga, Lici’s mother, was waiting for Lici to get home from school, she was being raped by this “schoolmate” who turned out to be a 27 year old man. He threatened to kill her mother if she told anyone what happened. She was ashamed and scared and her fear kept her quiet.

Several weeks later, Olga knew that something was wrong and suspected her daughter was pregnant. She had no idea what her daughter had been through because Lici still had not told anyone. They came to Heartbeat of Miami and Yesenia, director of the clinic, met with Lici and her mother.  All Lici could do was cry. She had been crying a lot lately and Olga told Yesenia she did not understand what was happening to her daughter. She was too young to be having sex and Lici would not tell her who her boyfriend was. Yesenia sensed rape and asked to speak privately with Lici. That is when the entire truth came out for the first time. Lici had been raped and robbed of her innocence by a predator posing as a schoolmate. She was fragile and scared. Yesenia assured her that nothing would happen to Olga and it was safe to share what had happened. Olga was informed of the rape and agreed to call the police. The rapist is now behind bars.

Despite her mother’s insistence on her terminating the pregnancy, Lici desired to continue with her pregnancy, stating that, “it was not my baby’s fault. No matter how it happened, this baby is inside of me and I am the mom.”  The counselor presented adoption as an option and Lici stated that she would rather place her baby in the arms of adoptive parents than terminate her pregnancy.

She continued in school and eventually the family decided they would raise the baby themselves. Lici and Olga attended parenting classes together and Lici received counseling throughout her pregnancy.  Because Yesenia had supported the family and been there for them throughout the pregnancy, the family asked Yesenia to be present for the birth. On January 1, 2011, Baby Karla arrived and Olga, Antonio (Lici’s father) and Yesenia were there to welcome her into the world.  Yesenia was asked to be Baby Karla’s godmother and surrogate grandmother.

As you can imagine, we are all gratified by how this very negative situation was turned into something positive.  Yesenia’s sensitivity in picking up on the clues that there was more to the situation than met the eye was essential in bringing the true story to light, allowing them to work through it, make difficult decisions and move forward.