Twenty six years ago, my biological mother found herself in a terrible position. Not only was she pregnant, but she was taking LSD, her mother was an alcoholic, and she was being abused by her mother’s boyfriend. She had had an abortion three years before I was concieved. I’m not sure why she decided to carry me to term, but she did.
Now I am a college graduate preparing to enter graduate school in the fall. I love my adopted family and have grown up with the knowledge that not only was I wanted, I was chosen.
Yet, this identity is antithetical to how pro choice rhetoric would have characterized me before I was born-I was an unplanned pregnancy that would develop into an unwanted child, an obstacle in my birth mother’s path, a social issue to be debated and picked at like a festering wound.
In the last year, I have had the opportunity to meet my biological father and his family, who contacted me years earlier, wanting to know me. When I finally made contact, I was struck by the profound joy they expressed at finding me, and the joy I have in knowing them and seeing how many of my distinct traits were inherited from them. If my birth mother ever wants to know me, I will meet her with open arms.
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I appreciate my un-planned-ness. Like a shooting star, I came into the world, blazing through the atmosphere of politics that often characterize the abortion discussion. Whether the world was ready or not, I came.
Regardless of how my political opinions may shift in the future, I will always share my story because I want women to know that they are loved and that their child is loved-that everyone has a story, and that sometimes, being an unplanned child is part of that story. No one is unwanted, but sometimes we come into the world through unexpected portals and are embraced by those who love, want, and nuture us.