It is natural for anyone who has ever been adopted to feel the need to search for their birth parents at some point in their life. The people whose DNA you are composed of and whose blood flows through your veins are known as your ancestors.
Melissa Ohden’s journey was quite different.
Melissa weighed far less than three pounds when she was delivered. She was initially taken care of by nurses working in the NICU, and later on, she was adopted into her permanent family.
But when Melissa was only 14 years old, she discovered a dark and damaging secret about herself that completely changed her life.
She had survived a botched abortion.
The highly toxic saline solution that was intended to kill her before she was even born was unsuccessful in its mission to accomplish this. And at the tender age of 14, Melissa began a downward spiral of soul-searching that would last for the next several years.
She claims that she, like a large number of other young people, was too embarrassed to let anyone else know how badly she was hurting. When she was at a point in her life when all she wanted more than anything was to be loved, she came to the realization that she was never wanted in the first place. That is a challenging and unfortunate situation that anyone might find themselves in.
Melissa relied on her “unholy trinity” of coping mechanisms: bulimia, alcohol, and seχ.
Melissa attributes her survival throughout the rest of her teen years and beyond to the “grace of God,” saying that she had to be willing to wake up every day and make the decision not to turn to unhealthy habits but to praise God for the life that He allowed her to have. She also says that she had to thank God for the life that He allowed her to have.
“God did have a plan” for her even before she was born. And even though Melissa was going through unfathomable anguish, grief, uncertainty, and bewilderment, God still had a purpose for her life.
Melissa discovered that her birth mother was a 19-year-old college student who had been coerced into having an abortion by her very own mother. This information was obtained through the course of her inquiry.
She was under such a profound amount of anesthesia that she was unaware that Melissa had been delivered with a beating heart. In truth, nobody did. Melissa was left lying there as if she were medical garbage until a nurse happened to notice her feeble moans, small movements, and gasps for air. Melissa had been dumped. She hurried the orphan girl weighing 2 pounds and 14 ounces to the NICU, where she experienced a miraculous recovery.
Today, Melissa is an ardent supporter of the pro-life movement and a practicing Catholic. She is a wife, a mother, and the author of a memoir titled You Carried Me. In the book, she recounts her laborious search for the woman who carried her and gave her life.
If not that type of love, then I don’t know what does symbolize the love that Jesus has for his followers. It is quite admirable that you have devoted the past 17 years of your life to tracking down the woman who mistakenly believed she had killed you before you were born. However, Melissa’s own experience of becoming a mother was a significant factor in the process of her heart becoming more open.
Melissa says about her birth mother, “I have loved her from the beginning, but my love for her just grows deeper with each passing year.” “And it’s not simply that the current events in her life and mine are very different from one another… I am aware of the reality of the circumstances around how she was coerced into having that abortion. However, I believe that the more years that pass, the more I am able to understand how to love people and respect them for who they are.
She refers to their experience as a “love story.”
“It’s a love story that God authored, and man tried to re-write it…[but] God’s story wins in the end,” the narrator of the story said.
Melissa was finally able to meet the woman who had given her life after she had spent years writing her book and learning more and more about her birth mother. The two had engaged in communication with one another for a number of years, during which time they had gotten to know one another, learned “secrets” from one another, and developed confidence in one another.
After a lifetime of suffering and eventual recovery, they finally confronted one another in person for the first time in the summer of 2016.
Melissa claims that the experience was “more than I could have ever hoped for” and “everything I could have ever imagined.”
Her mother had been under the impression for the previous 36 years that Melissa had passed away when she was in the hospital. The opportunity to learn that not only is her child alive, but that she also loves her and has forgiven her was a beautiful part of the healing process for both women. She carried unending regret and guilt, but having the opportunity to learn that not only is her child alive, but that she also loves her and has forgiven her was a beautiful part of the healing process.
After a brief embrace, Melissa told her mother, “It’s been a long time.”
Her narrative of overcoming adversity, finding forgiveness, and falling in love is something that many of us have a hard time even beginning to fathom.
God penned a story that man could never remove, erase, or twist for his own nefarious purposes. As Melissa has already stated, the story of God triumphs in the end.
I pray that this stunning reality stays with everyone of us throughout the day.