Six years ago while on a trip home to visit my parents, I had the privilege to take a four-hour drive and meet a woman who I have come to know. I admire her for her selfless love, her act of courage in the middle of adversity and her strength. She is my birthmother.
Growing up, I always knew I was an adopted child. My parents did not keep it a secret and they loved me no matter if I was born into the family or adopted into the family. My parents told me growing up that when I reached the age of 18 if I wanted to search for my birthparents, they would help me do it.
For many years, I dealt with some medical issues and had a lot of questions that adoptee’s think about. In January of 2008, I decided to get the non-ID information regarding my adoption. My adoption was a closed case adoption.
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 got home from work to open it. That evening in January of 2008, I opened the packet, and we read it. I was amazed as to what I was reading. I read about my birthmother having taught children that had cerebral palsy. When I read that, I was proud of her for doing that. It did not give very much information about my birth father other than on one of the pages in big letters it says, “Alleged Father.” That is when I got this feeling that something bad happened. After my husband and I finished reading the information he told me I want to get to know your birthmother more. My husband inspired me to search for her. So I called my parents, and I told them that 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 the situation out because I wanted to know who she was so I could thank her for choosing life.
The day finally came that I received a phone call from my caseworker. She said I have talked with your birthmother, and she wants to have contact with you. The caseworker told me that before she could give me her information; my birthmother wanted me to know the truth. My birth mother was raped. The day that I heard that I was conceived in rape, I chose not to become angry or bitter about my birthfather, and I chose to love my birthfather. You may ask why I chose to love my birth father who is a rapist. Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins and the sins of my birthfather. I chose to love him through the love of Jesus Christ. That day, God also gave to me a heart filled with so much love and compassion for my birthmother.
It was several weeks later after my birth mother was raped that she discovered that she was pregnant. When she told her mother that she was pregnant, her mother was not thrilled with the turn of events and gave my birthmother three weeks to get out of the house. Her father had passed away in 1967. She then went to live at a home for unwed mothers, and it was there that my birthmother started her healing process. The question went through her mind: what am I to do with this baby? My birthmother had to make a decision. She had no job, no permanent place to live, was not married. My birthfather, of course, was out of the picture. She didn’t even know my birthfather’s name. Her aunt though had an idea. Her aunt could arrange for her to have an illegal abortion with a doctor in Michigan since this was before Roe V Wade.
My birthmother though knew that there was life growing inside of her womb—Life given by God and a gift from God. My Birthmothers favorite verse is:
Jeremiah 29:11 “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.”
She did not want to disrupt the plans that God had for the tiny life that was growing inside of her. When she decided to place me for adoption, her one request to the social worker was that her baby be placed in a strong Christian home.
When I was born, my birthmother had some complications. She was in the hospital for a week, and I was in the hospital for a week before going to my foster parent’s house. God blessed my birthmother with one week to love, care for and hold her baby girl, Rebecca Ann. My birthmother and I were released from the hospital on the same day, and she then placed me into the hands of God.
When I got in contact with my birth mother, she told me I have always loved you, and you were the beginning of my healing process. She also said What a lot of people don’t realize the baby that is conceived because of rape they can become a strong healing force in the situation. Why? Because out of something that is horrific and traumatic comes a precious human being and the Giver of Life brings healing to the one who suffered.
Yes, my biological great aunt wanted me to be aborted, but my birthmother chose life, and I was protected 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, and He has blessed me beyond measure. God has blessed me with amazing parents, a brother who also is adopted, an amazing husband who I love so very much, amazing friends and an amazing church family.
Sherry Hensley was Conceived in Rape and saved from an illegal abortion. She is adopted and married to a Minister. She is writing her story and soon to be working to get into Public speaking to share her story. Her website is http://www.thevalueoflife.net