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- ▼ 2014 (7)
Saturday, January 25, 2014
When I discovered that I was conceived in rape, the uncontrollable emotions of anger and hatred filled my body for several months on into years. I was literally “out to get” my birthfather and wanted to “make him pay” for what he had done to my birthmother. As I learned to cope with and accept the truth, I eventually realized that the only way for me to be at peace was through forgiveness. Forgiving my birthfather for the circumstances of my conception has proven to be one of the most difficult and emotional periods in my life. Only through the grace of God and the support of my husband was I able to accomplish this.
On a cold morning in January, I made a surprise phone call to my birthmother hoping to reconnect and answer questions that I have had for many years. A few hours later my husband and I were making the three hour trip in the snow to visit the woman that placed me up for adoption 37 years prior. It was an amazing reunion and she was absolutely beautiful in every single way.
After visiting with her for a while, as I was holding my husband’s hand, I asked her “Who is my birthfather?” The look on her face is one I will never forget. Her eyes squinted and an instant look of sadness had overcome her. After a long uncomfortable silence, nothing prepared me for what I heard next. It was like watching a movie about someone else’s life. My birthmother began to tell me about a dark night in 1972 where she was brutally raped and left along the side of the road to die. My heart sank as she was telling me this horrible story. I could not immediately comprehend that she was describing the circumstances of my conception and I kept asking myself, “What does this have to do with me?”
My husband’s hand started to grab my hand a little bit tighter. She went on to say her mother took her to the hospital and then to the police station to press charges. Her life was in a total tail spin and she was quickly falling into a depression. Then a few weeks later her worst nightmare come true. She found out she was pregnant with me. As my birthmother sat in her living room telling me the graphic details I started to wonder how anyone could do this to another human being. How could this man, or monster was a better word, force a woman against her will?
With advice from her mother, she went to a back alley abortion clinic hoping to “get her life back” and to forget what had happened. After showing up to this “so called” clinic and while standing in front of the man who was going to take my life, she changed her mind. She left the clinic and never looked back. Her mother hid her from the outside world, she gave birth to me and never even looked at me. She didn’t even know if I was a boy or girl. At this point, I was so angry with this man who raped her, I didn’t even truly understand that he was my biological father. That shock finally hit me for a few days later.
After accepting the truth I grew more and more angry with my biological father for what he had done. My birthmother fell into a deep depression which led to alcohol and drug abuse for many years. I wanted revenge on my birthfather for his mistreatment of my birthmother and these emotions eventually consumed my life for many months.
My birthmother passed away in March of 2013. In one of my final conversations with her, I asked how she had felt about my birthfather. Her response was shocking to me. She said, “I had forgiven him a long time ago, he doesn’t control me anymore”. She went on to say that he had controlled her life for so many years and she was finally strong enough to take her life back. She then said something that I will never forget. She said “you need to forgive him and free yourself also”. I smiled after she said this statement, for no other reason than the fact that she knew her daughter and she knew I was hurting.
Today, I live my life free and realize that forgiveness is the path to righteousness. I pray for him and his family as well. We all fall short of the glory of God sometimes and it’s an absolute blessing that we all have the power to repent because Jesus died for all of us, even my birthfather. My birthmother once told me, “it’s amazing how something so beautiful has come out of something so horrible”. I couldn’t agree more. God sometimes uses our deepest pain to be the launching pad to our greatest calling. I am confident that many babies will have a birthday because of my birthmothers’ story and my courage to tell it!
Ashley was 14 years old when I read an article about her in the newspaper discussing how she was raped and as a result became pregnant.
From the moment Ashley found out she was pregnant, she knew that carrying her baby to term was her only option. On June 26, 2013, her son Aiden was born and he has warmed the hearts of everyone that he comes into contact with. Throughout the Summer and Fall of 2013, I have had to privilege of getting to know not only Ashley and Aiden but her parents as well. Ashley has a wonderful family and I have come to realize that they are her biggest supporters.
Ashley's rapist was 17 years old and happened to be a friend of her brother's at the time. He was convicted and charged as a juvenile, so the judge decided to only charge him with molestation. Given that he was a minor, a charge of molestation instead of rape might seem reasonable to some. Sadly, however, this was not his first offense. It was his third. He had been charged with molestation in the cases of two other girls he had raped besides Ashley. He didn't spend any time in jail for his crimes and his punishment was probation, drug testing and sexual aggression classes. Since Ashley's rapist was charged as a juvenile he does not have to register as a sex offender.
When Ashley went back to school she was shocked to learn that her rapist was allowed to attend the same school with her, as if nothing had ever happened. Instead of removing her perpetrator from the school, authorities gave her the option to go to an alternative school. This seemed unfair to almost everyone, since she is the one who has to make all the adjustments. She plans on returning to the main school as soon as possible. However, until her rapist is removed, she feels attending the alternative school is the best decision for her.
Ashley's mother and I attended a school board meeting asking for her rapist to be put into the alternative school so Ashley could rejoin her friends. Surprisingly, the board seemed unaware of her situation. Nevertheless they were concerned. As of this time, the school board has not made a decision and Ashley still attends the alternative school.
In August I invited Ashley to go on a two-day vacation with me and my 14-year-old daughter. Ashley’s mother, Kristi, volunteered to watch Aiden so that she could come with us. Even though Aiden is a blessing for her and everyone in her life I feel it is important that Ashley enjoys life as a teenager should. She didn't ask to be raped, she didn't ask to be a mom, but she has accepted the role that God chose for her.
Ashley's positive attitude is what makes her so unique, as she is always looking for the best out of every situation. Aiden is growing and has started to try to crawl. He loves his mom, loves to sing and loves to have his picture taken. It is hard to not fall in love with Ashley and Aiden when you come into contact with them because she is so positive.
Ashley would like to thank everyone for all the prayers and gifts through the last six months. Her family says that the diapers and formula that are being donated are helping them out tremendously.
Ashley's mom wants to thank everyone publicly. Here is a short message from her. “Thank you everyone for all the prayers and support for my daughter Ashley and my grandson Aiden. Monica from Save The 1 is amazing and has made such a difference in our lives. Honestly without their help I don't know how we would make it through. Thank you all so much from my family and thank you Monica for all the hard work and dedication!!”
Ashley's advice to young girls is "Always stay strong and remember your not what happened to you in your life, your what you choose to become."
If you would like to donate diapers, wipes, baby food or formula for Aiden please visit www.MonicaKelsey.com and click the donate button with Ashley and Aidens picture. 100% of donations go to Ashley and Aiden.