Mom Thinks Baby Died After Abortion—30 Years Later, She Meets the Daughter Who Survived

For anyone who’s ever been adopted, it’s a common desire to seek out your biological parents. The people whose blood runs through your veins and whose DNA you’re made up of.

For Melissa Ohden, that journey was much different.

When she was born, Melissa weighed less than three pounds. She was cared for by NICU nurses before later being adopted into her forever family. But when Melissa was just 14 years old, she learned a dark and devastating secret about herself.

She was a survivor of a failed abortion.

Get stories like this, straight to your inbox!

The toxic saline solution that was meant to kill her before she was even born had not been successful in its pursuit. And at the tender age of 14, Melissa entered a downward spiral of soul-searching. She says like so many young people, she was ashamed to let anyone else know how much she was hurting.

At a time in 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 sex.

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 praise God for the life He allowed her to have.

Before she was born, “God did have a plan.” And in the midst of unimaginable pain, suffering, doubt and confusion, God had a plan still for Melissa’s life.

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 search for her birth mother.

If that kind of love doesn’t represent the love of Jesus, I don’t know what does. Searching for the woman who tried to have you killed.

But something about becoming a mother herself helped in the process of softening Melissa’s heart. “I’ve always loved her, but my love for her deepens year after year,” Melissa says. “And not just because the circumstances of her life and mine are now different… I know the truth about how she was forced into that abortion. But I think the older I get, the more I learn how to love people, and to respect them for who they are.”

Through her search, Melissa learned her birth mother was a 19-year-old college student who had been pressured into having an abortion.

She defines their journey as a “love story.”

“It’s a love story that God wrote, and man attempted to re-write…[but] God’s story wins in the end.” After writing her memoir, and learning more and more about her birth mother, Melissa got to meet the woman who gave her life.

The two had spent years in communication, getting to know one another, learn “secrets” from one another and really just build trust. In the summer of 2016, after a lifetime of pain, and healing, they finally met face-to-face for the first time.

Melissa says the encounter was “everything I could have ever expected, and more.”

Her mother had spent over 30 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 loves her and has forgiven her; the meeting was a beautiful part of the healing process. 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. But God. 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.

Get stories like this, straight to your inbox!

This article was originally published on FaithIt and was written by Bri Lamm


We hope this article enlightened and inspired you to stand up for life.

Despite the overturning of Roe v. Wade, abortions are still prevalent in our nation. As a response to the overturning, the media: from the news to entertainment sources to even political figures and celebrities, have pushed abortion as an ongoing agenda, shaping the way this generation thinks and acts. Misinformation is being spread every day, and people are sadly believing the lies.

Our articles and stories aim to tell one thing: the truth.

We know that it is both a blessing and a challenge to understand the reality of abortion, because knowledge incites belief, and belief incites action. But we’re in this together. We believe that we can make abortion unthinkable.

With your support, we look forward to a future where young women are empowered to fight for their own rights: a right to bring life into the world, to be fearless leaders, to be examples of hope, strength, and undeterred resilience. We look forward to a future where life can happen.

If this article strengthened your belief to reach women everywhere with the truth and to let life happen, then please consider helping us extend our reach by making a gift right now. Your gift of just $10 or $20 helps our mission to create a story of hope and empowerment for every woman facing an unplanned pregnancy.

We aim to create a culture that views “pro-life” as equivalent to having empathy and compassion, providing holistic care (before and beyond pregnancy) and education, and most importantly, choosing to speak and act in love. We are pro-life, pro-love, pro-woman, pro-solution.

Don’t just be part of the movement, be part of the solution, and give today.