(Save the 1) – 25 years ago I gave birth to this beautiful girl, but for months before I had her, I dreamed I was going to be having a demon-like creature rip out of me. “How could anything good come out of me?,” I thought.
Also, I knew that although I couldn’t keep her, I could not just give her to an agency. I had to find her someone safe because I was too enmeshed in my dysfunctional family, feeling I had no possibility of getting to leave it. I thought there may not be hope for me, but there was for her.
She was from incest — my father’s child. My mother was mad in the delivery room, as I would not allow my father in to watch her be born. I didn’t care, because there was no way was he seeing her naked, knowing [what] a sick pervert he was. When she finally came, I cried because she was so beautiful — not one wrinkle. She looked so fragile, as she was only 6 lbs and 19 inches long.
I moved in with a friend and stayed with her till the day I heard my baby call my friend “Mom.” I went to our room and cried. I wondered why I was crying because this was what I wanted for her. I had worked three jobs to give her the time she needed to bond with my friend. I knew it was time for me to go, so I asked my friend if she would adopt my baby girl. She said she would. Sarah was 19 months old, but my friend was hesitant. I was a mental case and everyone knew it, so her hesitancy was because she was afraid I’d go and kill myself.
So one day when my friend was at work, I packed my bag. It was getting minutes till she would get off work and I knew she would be pulling into the driveway. I held my baby and looked at her hands, feet and smelled her hair. I wanted to remember every part of her. Then I put her in her crib and went around the house to our window where my friend couldn’t see me. I heard her come into my baby’s room. I peeked in and saw my friend pick her up, and I left. It would be 17 years before I saw her again. . . .
She is happy and understands why I did what I did. She now knows who her father is and that he is dead now. I did not want to tell her who her dad was, but she kept asking. and since he had passed away, I thought it would be safe to tell, though I was scared she would be upset to find out her dad was a rapist. But her frustration in wanting to know was growing and my therapist assured me she thought it was best to just tell her.
READ: ‘Abortion is not a cure’: Grateful children of rape survivors sound off on Twitter
Finally, I did, and she was relieved. She said all her life her mom had told her that I gave her up to keep her safe, but would never tell her safe from what? Violence was never a part of her world, so that thought had never occurred to her. She understands and is grateful I chose to give her life.
For me, the dysfunction continued and I really wasn’t safe. Her younger brother was born three years later — by my uncle (my mother’s brother). By then, I had a home and was on disability. I had planned to give him up too, but he was born with a heart defect. He had open heart surgery and healed, but then he [was diagnosed] with autism. Plus, he was a male, so I felt he was safe staying with me — no man in my family had male attraction, and I knew being at home on disability, I had time to keep him safe, and I did.
My daughter understands this. She loves her little brother. Although they look almost identical, he is actually bigger than her. When people ask me if they are twins, I smile and simply say, “Nope — 3-1/2 years apart!” But there is definitely a strong family resemblance.
My daughter talks to me all week long. She loves her birthday. Her adoptive mom always goes all out for it. This year she’s taking her and my two granddaughters to Pigeon Fort in Tennessee.
I love that baby girl and I don’t regret having either of my babies, or the choice to give her to someone safe. I chose to hurt so she could live. They were the only beauty to come from tragedy. When people suggest abortion as the answer to pregnancy from rape, I’m astonished that people really think that’s going help her forget the memory of her rape! They are so wrong because with or without a child, the pain and memory of the rapes will still be there. But at least my children are alive.
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published at Save the 1 and is reprinted here with permission.
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