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Six years ago while on a trip home to visit my parents, I had the privilege of taking a four-hour drive to meet a woman I have come to know and admire for her selfless love, strength, and her act of courage in the middle of adversity -- my birthmother.
Growing up, I always knew I was an adopted child. My parents did not keep it a secret, and they would love me if I was born into the family or adopted. My parents had told me at a young age, that when I reached the age of 18 if I wanted them to, they would help me search for my birth parents.
For many years, I dealt with some medical issues and had a lot of questions, as do other adoptees. My adoption was “closed,” but in January of 2008, I decided to apply for my non-ID information.
The day finally came when the packet arrived in the mail. I was nervous and excited all at the same time. I waited until my husband was home from work.
That evening in January of 2008, I opened the packet, and we read it together. I was amazed at what I was reading. I read that my birth mother had taught children who had cerebral palsy, and I felt so proud of her!
The packet did not give very much information about my birthfather, only, “Alleged Father." This made me feel as though something bad had happened.
After we had finished reading the information, my husband said that he wanted us to get to know my birthmother; inspiring me to search for her. I called my parents, and I told them I was going to continue to search for my birthmother.
I wrote my birthmother an outreach statement (without any names) and emailed it to my caseworker. Several days went by, and the days felt more like years. I continued to pray that God would work out the situation. I wanted to know who she was - and I wanted to thank her for choosing life.
Then one day I received a phone call from my caseworker. She said she had talked with my birthmother, and that she wanted to have contact with me! However, the caseworker said that before she could give me all the details, there was something my birthmother had wanted me to know; and it was that she had been raped.
When I heard that I was conceived in rape, I chose not to become angry or bitter about my beginnings, and I chose to love my birthfather.
Why did I choose to love my birthfather who is a rapist? Because Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins, as well as the sins of my birthfather. I chose to love him through the love of Jesus Christ.
That day, God gave me a heart filled with tremendous love and compassion for my birthmother, for what she had endured!
It was several weeks after my birthmother was raped when she discovered she was pregnant. When she told her mother that she was pregnant, her mother was upset with the turn of events and gave my birthmother three weeks to get out of the house. Her father had passed away (in 1967), leaving no one to protect and defend her.
She then went to live at a home for unwed mothers, and it was there that my birthmother started her healing process.
The question racing through her mind was, what am I to do with this baby? My birthmother had a decision to make. She had no job, no permanent place to live, was not married, and no support from family. My birthfather, of course, was out of the picture. In fact, she didn’t even know my birthfather’s name.
However, her aunt though had an idea: She would arrange for her to have an illegal abortion with a doctor in Michigan, (this was before Roe V Wade.)
However, my birthmother knew there was life growing inside her womb - Life given by God, and a gift from God. My birthmother quoted her favorite verse: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jer 29:11).
She did not want to disrupt the plans God had for this tiny life growing inside of her. When she decided to place me for adoption, her one request to the social worker was for her baby to placed in a strong Christian home.
When I was born, my birthmother had some complications, and we both remained in the hospital for a week before she went home; and I was released to my foster parent’s house.
God blessed my birthmother with one week to love, care for, and to hold her baby girl she had named, Rebecca Ann. My birthmother and I were released from the hospital on the same day. She later told me that she had then placed me into the hands of God.
When contacted my birthmother, she said, “I have always loved you, and you were the beginning of my healing process.”
She also said, (and what a lot of people don’t realize), that a baby conceived out of rape often becomes a strong healing force in the situation. Why? Because out of something horrific and traumatic comes a precious human being, and the Giver of Life brings healing to the one who suffered.
on the day I learned from my caseworker that my birthmother wanted to meet me, a feeling of completeness came over me; also the great love I have for my birthmother.
On the night of Feb 5th, I sent my birthmother an email. The following morning I checked my inbox and was excited to see that I had an email from her, which included a picture of her and her family. I have a half-brother and a step-sister.
We exchanged further emails, and I called her, and we chatted for a bit, and it was a relief to know we were on the same page. She said, “Okay we need to talk about when we can meet.”
My parents and my husband know me well, and that is exactly the way I would have said it! So we worked it out and decided on May 21st & 22nd, 2008. I was going to be home to spend some time with my parents for a vacation.
After almost 35 years, the day finally came when my mom, my dad, my husband and I got to meet my birthmother and half-brother.
They met us at the hotel where we were staying. We sat by the pool and chatted, and later went to a nice dinner. My birthmother had my half-brother pray over the food. Well, he prayed, and he also thanked God for the reunion between his mom and her daughter. I almost cried because of the immense joy I felt at that moment.
After dinner, we went to her house, and I got to see pictures of when she was younger, and I looked so much like her! It was surreal. Genetics are wild.
The next day was also wonderful. We spent the afternoon touring her home town and looking at more photos. She gave me a picture, as well as a copy of the family lineage, which is so precious to me!
I felt so blessed to spend time with her that way. I told her I felt like I had met an older sister. My birthmother is someone from whom I can learn, and call my Special Friend. I couldn’t feel more blessed!
Although my biological great aunt wanted me to be aborted, my birthmother chose life, and I was protected by law from an "illegal abortion."
God was faithful to my birthmother’s prayer: I was raised in a wonderful Christian home where faith was taught, and it was real.
God has been so very good to me. He has blessed me beyond measure with amazing parents, a brother (who also is adopted), a loving husband who I adore so very much, incredible friends, and a tight-knit church family. I was conceived in rape, but I am loved.
Sherry Hensley is a pro-life speaker from Maryland – conceived in rape, saved from an illegal abortion and a blogger. She is married to a Minister and loves to share her faith and inspire others.
Please visit Her website @ www.thevalueoflife.net
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