You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir, by Melissa Ohden
I typically do not read memoirs. This was a very unusual selection for me, but I’m glad I found it. My reading preferences are usually young adult fiction or historical fiction (mostly WWII era). I’m not a big fan on non-fiction, unless I’m reading for a class or something.
While searching my local on-line library, this book was listed as a recent add. The title and cover intrigued me, and after reading the description I knew I wanted to attempt to read it. I know better than to judge a book by it’s cover (or title), but sometimes it does help catch my interest.
Melissa Ohden is the survivor of an abortion who was put up for adoption. As a young child, she knew about the adoption. It wasn’t until she was in high school that she learned that her biological mother had aborted her. She spends the rest of the book describing how she came to understand what happened to her, strengthened her faith, became a spokeswoman for pro-life, and eventually became united with her biological family.
One of the most surprising facts for me was that she is only a year younger than me. I don’t know why that seems so significant to me. Maybe because I expect memoirs to be about people from long ago and not from my generation, or maybe it’s significant because it seems so unreal that it’s difficult to understand that this happens in our times.
Melissa shares about the loving family that raised her, learning about her biological family, meeting her husband, having a child in the hospital where she nearly died at birth, learning to speak out about her own story, the pain of a miscarriage, and the forgiveness of those who affected her future. At the core of it all is an amazing faith that she holds onto to carry her through many of these difficult discoveries.
I don’t have strong religious convictions, but I do admire those that are able to believe. She shares her faith journey without preaching or stating that her belief is the only way. It’s just a part of her as is her hair color.
The book caused me to evaluate my own convictions about abortion. I’ve never really taken a stand either way. I’ve always thought a woman should have the right to choose, but lean more towards pro-life. So many families are waiting for babies that an unwanted baby could be given up for adoption instead of terminated. It’s a difficult decision of whether to keep an unexpected baby, give it up for adoption, or to terminate it. There’s always extreme circumstances and exceptions, so it’s difficult to make a clear cut rule. Majority of the time, I vote pro-life.
Thank you to Melissa for sharing her journey, thus far. I’m glad I found the book and for the moral issues raised within it.
~Maybe, when I grow up…