When this baby girl was born, she weighed less than three pounds. Before becoming a member of her forever family, she received care from NICU nurses.
But when Melissa was just 14 years old, she learned a dark and devastating secret about herself.
She was a survivor of a failed aboгtion. At a time in her life when she desperately wanted to be loved, she learned that she was never wanted in the first place. That’s a difficult and tragic thing for anyone to navigate.
Melissa turned to what she calls her “unholy trinity” of coping mechanisms: bulimia, alcohol, and se-.
For the rest of her teen years and beyond, Melissa credits the “grace of God” for her survival, saying 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 He allowed her to have.
Before she was born, “God did have a plan.” And even in the midst of unimaginable pain, suffering, doubt, and confusion, God still had a plan for Melissa’s life.
Through her search, Melissa learned her birth mother was a 19-year-old college student who had been forced into having an aboгtion by her own mother.
She was so heavily sedated, she didn’t even know Melissa had been born alive. In fact, nobody did. Melissa lay discarded as medical waste until a nurse happened to hear her weak cries, slight movements, and gasps for breath. She rushed the 2-pound, 14-ounce orphan to the NICU, where she miraculously survived.
Today, Melissa is a devout Catholic and committed pro-life advocate. She’s a wife, mother, and author of a memoir called You Carried Me, in which she details her extensive search for her birth mother.
In the summer of 2016, after a lifetime of pain and healing, she finally met face-to-face for the first time with her biological mother.
Melissa says the encounter was “everything I could have ever expected and more.”
Her mother had spent 36 years believing Melissa had died at the hospital. She carried relentless regret and guilt, but to have the opportunity to learn that not only is her child alive, but she also loves her and has forgiven her; the meeting was a beautiful part of the healing process for both women.
They embraced, and Melissa said to her mother, “It’s been a long time.”
Her story of survival, trial, forgiveness, and love is something many of us can’t even begin to comprehend.
God wrote a story that no man could ever take away, destroy, or use for evil. Like Melissa said, God’s story wins in the end.
May we all carry that beautiful truth with us today.
Featured Image — Representative
Hear about Melissa’s story in the video below.