As a firefighter and medic, I’ve pretty much seen it all. Seeing these emergencies and catastrophes in the field brings emotions also. But the biggest emotional roller coaster of my life came when I heard that I was conceived during a despicable act.
I never thought I would hear the words “conceived in rape” when I reconnected with my birthmother a few years ago. Sitting in her living room and holding my husband’s hand, we heard the horrible details of a dark night back in 1972.
My birthmother was 17 years old. She was leaving a steakhouse when she agreed to a ride with a man and his friend. This man didn’t take her home, but rather took her to a dark road a few miles outside town and violently raped her. Afterwards, he left her to find her own way home. Bloodied and hurting, she walked home and went to her room and cried. This night was the start of my birthmother’s hell!
The next morning, she confided in her mother and headed for the police station. Charges were filed.
Just when my birthmother started to see some normalcy a few weeks later, she found out she was pregnant with me. She was devastated. She wondered, what will people say? Would she be known as the town slut for a crime she didn’t commit? She told me that this is when she fell into a complete depression. She said she cried for weeks. Then, at the advice of her mother, she found herself at a back-alley abortion clinic. She told me she wanted to “get her life back!” In her mind, if she could make my life go away, then she could go on with her life like nothing had ever happened. So she thought that having an illegal abortion would get her life back to normal.
But after going to the room and sitting on the gurney where my life would be ended, she changed her mind. She left there and never looked back. Her mother hid her from the outside world. When she gave birth to me, she never even looked at me. But she gave me the greatest gift I have ever received. On top of giving me my life, she gave me an amazing adoptive family! For that I am forever grateful.
I started telling my birthmother’s story a few years ago, and the more I spoke about her, the more blessed I felt to have been given this gift of life. It also started to raise questions about my life – as to who I am or why I am here. Questions that I only found justification with the answers coming from her. We spoke often on the phone, and every time we talked, I always came up with more questions that I longed to hear the answers to. Some answers I don’t think I was equipped to hear, and others I longed to know. But for me to heal and find my value, I needed to hear the truth from her.
On March 6, 2013, at the age of 57, my birthmother passed away from a urinary tract infection that went septic. For seven days, while on a ventilator, she fought for her life, and for 7 days I sat beside her, praying that God would give me more time. But God had other plans for her. She was with me when I took my first breath, and I was with her, holding her hand, when she took her last. I am so humbled that her family allowed me to be a part of their lives those final seven days. It allowed me to be there to show her how much I appreciate her sacrifices of bringing me into this world and giving me an amazing life.
I found my value through her story, and I have come to peace with the fact that my birthfather is a rapist.
I have been in contact with my birthfather. I asked for his medical history and a DNA test, which he agreed to. When I followed up, he had hired an attorney and had asked me to stay away from him and his family. I have since started praying for his family, so hopefully one day he can find peace like I have.
For now, I continue to tell my birthmother’s story of courage, love, and faith. She is the hero, and I am the one who received her precious gift. Before she passed away, she told me that it’s amazing how something so beautiful has come out of something so horrible. I have to agree, because our relationship was a beautiful thing.
As a firefighter, medic, and pro-life advocate, I will continue to fight to save the lives of all, especially babies conceived in rape. You can follow my journey at www.facebook.com/mkprolife or www.monicakelsey.com.