I was blessed with the opportunity to have a busy week last week (hence why I’m just getting to this now)! On Tuesday, November 2nd, I participated in a radio interview with Indiana Right to Life, which was aired on the local Catholic radio station in the Evansville area.
Then, on Thursday, November 5th, my adoptive mother, Linda, and my daughter, Olivia, flew with me to Evansville, Indiana, where I spoke at a private donor event for Indiana Right to Life and specifically, Vanderburgh County Right to Life.
Over 90 attendees were present, which was the highest attendance record yet! My mother, Olivia, and I had the wonderful opportunity to bear witness to the glory of God, the true reality of abortion, and the full impact that abortion has on individuals and families across generations. It was truly our honor to meet the wonderful people of Vanderburgh Right to Life and Indiana Right to Life–they were a very attentive and responsive crowd, and were many of the great who’s-who of life movement individuals in Indiana–it was very humbling and an honor to meet them. If you have not checked out the website yet for teensforlife.com, I would certainly encourage you to. Teens for Life is a wonderful social networking site for teens, and Indiana is, in my opinion, one of the most progressive states in the life movement. The attendees of the event were compassionate, Mike Fichter of Indiana Right to Life was kind enough to give me a copy of his new book, Viability, which I have enjoyed reading immensely.
After a few hours of sleep (I was still running on the energy of speaking at the donor event and excited but nervously looking forward to the next morning), I had the blessed opportunity to participate in an interview with Gus Lloyd, who is the host of the radio show Seize the Day on the Catholic Channel (XM channel 131 , Sirius channel 160). I plan to post a copy of this interview later, after I’ve received a copy. Not to be biased (since I am writing about myself), I thought that the interview went very well, (even though I was giving the interview while standing outside of the hotel in Evansville, freezing my rear-end off); it was probably the best interview that I’ve done yet. Of course, it certainly helps having an expert host such as Mr. Lloyd conducting it!
I ran from the interview and hopped into the car of one of Vanderburgh County Right to Life’s staff, who was kind enough to take us to the airport before heading to work for the day, herself. Gratefully, our travels were non-eventful (sans a meltdown by Olivia on the flight from Chicago to El Paso), and we arrived in beautiful, sunny El Paso in the afternoon. Unfortunately, Olivia was overly tired and too excited to take a nap in the afternoon and fell asleep at 5:50 PM. She desperately needed her sleep, so instead of both Mom and Olivia going to the House of Hope Car Raffle with me, they both stayed back at the hotel. I appreciate my mom’s willingness to stay back with her, but sure wish that they both could have come to the dinner and raffle.
It was an honor on my part to provide the keynote speech for House of Hope’s raffle and silent auction. I had met the director of the pregnancy resource center, Angelica Talavera, back in 2007, when we both started speaking for Feminists for Life, and we last saw each other back in January of 2008, when we spoke at the Students for Life Conference in D.C. Oh how our lives have changed since then! Angelica is now married, we both now have children, we have both grown and matured personally, professionally and in our faith.
Knowing that many individuals who are pro-choice attend the event, since it really is a fantastic chance to win a car or a trip for little cost, I supported and encouraged the audience to have an open heart and mind to my story, emphasized the true reality of abortion in our lives, the pain and grief and suffering that it causes, encouraged them to use their God-given strengths and talents to improve their community for women, children and all family members, and reminded them that they were all just one step away from being just like me-the only difference is that their mother chose choice (among the other high points I hit in my testimony).
I was very pleased with the reception of the audience, and was once again surprised by the stories that others had to tell about abortion and adoption. One man in particular shared with me how much he was moved by my story, as he had gotten a woman pregnant in college, and in his own words, gratefully, she chose life for her child, which is something that he can’t say that he would have done at the time. He would have supported her in having an abortion. He is now blessed to have finally met his daughter now that she is an adult, and I could just tell by looking at him, that although my story brought up some painful pieces of his past, the Lord certainly intended for him to be there to hear my story and reflect on his own life.
I had a wonderful time at the rest of the raffle and auction that evening (I had never seen a raffle done like that before, so I was easily entertained by the process)! We were fortunate enough to have all day Saturday to relax in El Paso and spend time with my friend Angie and her family. We flew back home on Sunday the 8th, and although it was good to be home, we truly enjoyed our busy days and nights in Indiana and Texas!