Last night, I watched a conflicting, heart-wrenching movie. See-sawing between two extremes, I pitied the victim on one hand, and on the other, pitied the self-made victim – and murderer. I pitied the murderer because I knew the internal struggle she must have faced in a world that told her, over and over, that murder was…okay. Necessary, even. Because you have rights too, dear. Linked by a bond that transcends all others, two lives were completely unravelled by the revealing of a choice made 20 years ago.
This is the story of an “October Baby”.
At the beginning of this story, Hannah is just peeking over the edge of adulthood. Life is fine, her parents are fine, she is fine…until she collapses at the debut of her college play.
Then another side is revealed. Hannah suffers from severe asthma, nightmares, and extreme depression – and she wants answers. Why am I like this? Why can’t I just be like others, fit in? Is my life even worth living?
In a too-quiet doctor’s office, her red-eyed parents beside her, Hannah finally discovers the truth:
Her entire life has been a lie. Her parents are not her parents. She had been adopted. And her birth mother had tried to kill her.
On a quest to find the truth, Hannah embarks on an incredible journey. With every fiber of her being, she desires to know who she really is. To whom she belongs. And why she was not wanted.
Hannah discovers her birth mother, and is not even given the courtesy of talking to her. In fact, she is told the whole thing is a mistake. In disbelief, she watches as her well-dressed, obviously successful life-giver walks away to her car, a handsome man on one arm – and on the other, a young girl. This is Hannah’s breaking point…why is she wanted, when I was not?
As before, there are no answers. Hannah returns back home, heart-sore and still angry at her adoptive parents. Days pass. And then her dad comes with a proposition – and an apology.
The rest of the story is a gut-wrenching swirl of healing, cleansing, and forgiveness. Hannah returns to where her birth mother, a lawyer, works. She does not hurl vitriolic rage against the woman who tried to abort her. She does not rail against her with accusing words. In fact, she does not even speak to her. When her mother comes to work that day, she finds a wrinkled note and a hospital wristband on her desk.
The note simply read: Forgiven.
I release you from the burden you have been carrying secretly for so long. I forgive you for the act you tried to commit against me, your innocent, unprotected child. I forgive you for the physical and emotional scars you left me with.
But the end is what really gets me. Hannah returns back home, and resumes her college student status. Her parents come to drop her off, and she hugs each of them, warmly but briefly, giving all of the typical reassuring college student things-to-say.
She turns to walk away, and her parents stare after her retreating form, fondly, proudly. Then she stops. There is a heartbeat of hesitation. And then she turns to hurtle into her dad’s open arms. Squeezing him tight, she whispers in his ear, “Thank you.”
Startled, he says, “For what, hon?”
She stares into his waiting eyes. “For wanting me.”
I swear. I was fine up until that point.
This story really gripped my heart, because it is a subject that I am passionate about. Life is our most precious, cherished gift – and this is true for every individual. But while I hurt for Hannah, and the emotional and physical trauma she faced, I found my heart truly breaking for the one who tried to abort her.
Think how it must feel to gaze at the beautiful face of your child…the one you tried to destroy because it was inconvenient. Now imagine seeing that face every day – for 20 years. In your dreams. Nightmares. Carrying the weight of your decision for the rest of your life.
Please. I am not condemning you if you’ve ever had an abortion. Honestly, this movie itself was not about condemnation, but forgiveness. There was healing for the mother, as well. But here is the tragedy…
This whole thing did not have to happen.
There were two victims in this story. One just didn’t have a choice.