Tim’s story, conceived in rape and placed for adoption
She was only seventeen, an honor student, all-state volleyball player, and a kind and compassionate spirit. Wanting badly to become a nurse, she knew she had to study hard and maintain great physical shape. Many of the boys in school thought that she was among the best looking in the class. When she received her acceptance into the local nursing school, she was ecstatic, thinking it would be the best time of her life. It did begin as such. She had no trouble gaining friends, and it seemed like her transition to college and the real world was going to be very easy. She was, despite her beauty, very naïve when it came to men. She was always too busy in her high school life to have a boyfriend, and she never thought she would have the time, too. However, when she met an older man, who, at first seemed to be a good friend, she thought that perhaps dating could play a part in her very active lifestyle.
At first he treated her like a lady, and she was enthralled with his gentleman attitude. He was kind, caring, warm, and not like the other boys her friends at college dated. They seemed to have the benefit of taking it slow and seeing what the future held. This all would change for the worst.
Within a few months of dating, after a very normal evening, my mother was sexually assaulted and raped by the man she was dating. It was not the violent, unexpected attack that is talked about in the media. It was perhaps worse — a trustful bond destroyed by someone who was thought of to be her friend, confidant, and hopeful boyfriend. She was sexually assaulted, and left on a rural road in the dead winter month of February. Fortunately, another car passed soon and she was picked up and driven to the police department. But he was never arrested and charges were never formally filed.
My mother was a good Christian woman and someone who took her morals very seriously. She never would have imagined that this would happen to her. She also couldn’t imagine was happening — after a few months of questioning, she found out that she was pregnant. She was away from home for the first time, unable to talk to her parents about it because of the shame she still felt for something that was not her fault. Friends did not believe her; she would hear whispers in her dorm room. The college even thought about expelling her, or sending back home to “deal with her medical issues.”
The quickest way out was to get an abortion. Having grown up in an upper class, progressive Christian home, abortion was something that was brought up, but only happened to “other families”. Sadly, her older sister would later tell her that she had had an abortion before her younger sister’s attack. The friends who were still talking to her also tried to convince her that the quickest way to “forget” about the attack was to silently terminate the offspring growing inside her. With Roe vs. Wade in its sixth year, and abortion facilities becoming more prevalent, she found it easy to find out how much the procedure would cost. After months of staggering soul-searching and tears, she had decided to give her baby the ultimate gift – life. Then, she chose to give her baby the second-best gift — a healthy family who could provide for them.
In October of that year, in a quiet hospital, far away from where she grew up and from where she attended college, my mother gave birth to a healthy baby boy. He was smaller than average, and had a very slight heart murmur, but other than that was completely healthy. A wonderful family adopted me. My mother and father provided me with everything a child could want, and more. I never had to worry about food, shelter, or wonder where my next meal was coming from. Growing up, I climbed trees, played video games, worried about girls, and went on many camping trips with my father, uncles, and cousins. I had a “Tom Sawyer” romance to my up bringing; always dreaming and imagining things that I could do with my friends and family. I shudder to think it almost didn’t happen.
When the former governor signed a law stating that adopted children can view their vital records certificates — not just their birth certificates — I was amongst the first people to sign up for it. The biological family had no way of contacting the child they’d placed for adoption, for they did not know the name of their new baby. Through “dumb luck,” I put my birth mother’s name in a search engine on Yahoo. It came up, along with my entire family, in an obituary for a relative. I actually first contacted my maternal grandparents, and they set up a meeting with my biological mother, and themselves.
I learned I was conceived in rape throughout the process of talking to my biological mother. I also found out that the rapist is dead. He was never arrested, nor were charges ever pressed. At first, I struggled with the knowledge that I have achieved, and at times, I still do. It is often extremely difficult to understand that blood is not thicker than water, and love makes a family more than one violent action could.
Eventually, I realized that it really does not matter how you were conceived. You control your own destiny by your actions, and if the good Lord has given you life, it matters not how you came into this world. What it really boils down to in the end is how you live your life now. Many great men and women were conceived in violent or terrible circumstances, and sometimes the children of such do not grow up in great surroundings. Using the gifts that God gave you, realize that what matters is how you live your life, not how you were created. Life, no matter how it began, is much better than the alternative.
If, God forbid, a woman is raped and considering abortion, I would like to listen to her, more than anything. Given the opportunity, I would like to emphasize the fact that how her child was created has nothing to do with what they become. It is how they are raised that really matters. I would tell her that one violent, disgusting, horrific act does not mean the life of the child should be devalued. Most importantly, I would like to tell her to pray, and talk to God . . . . He knows what’s best even if we don’t.
1979, my biological mother was assaulted, and she became pregnant. She talked to her friends about it, and they told her to abort me. She spoke to the doctors, and they told her that an abortion might be the best choice. She struggled with the “choice” for months on end. Thankfully, for both of us, she decided on life.
I’ve spoken to women who have had abortions — some were assaulted, some were pressured, and others forgot their birth control and became pregnant. Whenever they talk about what they did, I always thank my mother, and say to myself, “I’m sure glad no one killed me.”
My personal view is that abortion should be illegal. However, since this is a goal that sometimes doesn’t seem likely to be realized in this world today, I would like to see the pro-life side unite under a banner and, at the very least, try to minimize the number of abortions which are taking place. While it’s true that abortion does take a life, it is crucial to remember that nothing will be done until we both stop shouting at each other.
For those who say that abortion should be legal in cases of rape, I ask them this question: “Why punish the unborn child for the crimes of the father?” When they say, “A woman should not have to carry the child of the rapist,” I explain, “The child did not choose to come into this world by rape.”
Please consider this: Wouldn’t it be better that the children of such a monstrous and destructive act be given the opportunity to try to make this world a little bit better — by allowing them to survive rather than having them die by someone else’s “choice?’”
~ Tim (to contact him, please e-mail rebecca — email@example.com)