Soon I was baptized. Mother helped me to get my GED, and I got my first job working as a receptionist. I began to attend youth activities, and the church became a lifeline that pulled me out of the fog of grief, sorrow, and guilt after my years with Steven. I found forgiveness in Jesus. I forgave myself, I forgave my mother and stepfather, and I prayed for the grace to forgive Steven.
I gained the confidence to move out and enroll in college. I rented a room of my own from an elderly widow who lived near the campus. That is when I met Joseph, who is now my husband.
My husband is my true hero. He has been a loving husband, a generous father, and hard-working provider for our family. My husband loves me and has forgiven me from his heart and has not let my past define his understanding of who I am as a person. If I had kept my baby I believe Joseph and I would still be married today, and our lives would be richer because of his presence in our family. God has been generous in giving us the joy of children and grandchildren who are a constant reminder of God’s presence in our life. I am amazed at the way God has protected me over the years.
Today I am a pro-life Roman Catholic, the mother of seven children, and this year my husband and I will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Joseph and I have six children of our own, and I give thanks for each of them, as they are truly a gift from God. We are also legal guardians to a beautiful little girl whose young mother made the choice for life in a difficult pregnancy, and then entrusted her to our care.
Joseph and I joined the Catholic Church, as adults through the RCIA process in 1992. The Catholic Church’s teaching on respect for life, as well as the sacrament of confession, has brought me an even deeper level of healing and peace. We have been active in ministries within the church that support the family, marriage and respect for life.