The Heart of a Birthmom
By Bethany Bomberger
Editor’s note. This appeared at The Radiance Foundation . Bethany Bomberger is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Radiance Foundation.
Kristin DePola has been a longtime friend of The Radiance Foundation. She has volunteered for countless hours in various capacities. Kristin has handled numerous administrative tasks, assisted with Sally’s Lambs®, helped plan and run events, spoken with hundreds of supporters sharing the organization’s vision and mission, and helped educate about adoption and the value of life. As a birth mom and passionate pro-life woman, her position on the board is invaluable. With so many years of hands-on volunteering she has unique insight into what it takes to run The Radiance Foundation.
We asked Kristin to share her very personal testimony of her journey as a birth mom.
It seems that each time I am asked to share my story, different elements are highlighted depending on my current season in life. I pray that you, the reader, glean exactly what God intends for your heart to receive, as you are invited into a piece of my story.
What is that story, you may ask…
I grew up in a healthy, happy, Christian home. As an only child, I was well-loved and well-taken-care-of. Life hadn’t presented any real challenges until my very early teen years when my dad was diagnosed with cancer.
He died. And it devastated me. It threw me into a tailspin of depression for many years. It also led to me making poor choices, including entering a toxic & abusive relationship. That led to my unplanned pregnancy.
Knowing with every fiber of my being that I did not believe in abortion as an option, I was confronted with either raising my son, or placing him for adoption. Neither seemed like possible scenarios at the time. I knew I needed to be free of that tumultuous relationship but had no idea how I’d carry and then relinquish my baby. Either option seemed excruciatingly painful: be tethered to an abusive man and his unsafe family for the rest of my life or place my own flesh and blood in someone else’s hands, for eternity.
I was so distant from God. It made it easier to make poor choices.
But finding out I was pregnant saved my life.
If it weren’t for my son, I’m not sure I would have mustered the strength to call out to God for rescue. My son was an answer to prayer that my mouth hadn’t yet uttered, but that God Himself knew I needed. While the situation and previously broken choices that led to my pregnancy were not ideal, my Heavenly Father used the consequences I was facing to change multiple lives.
Finally making the choice to place my son for adoption, I miraculously found his God-given adoptive parents. There were hard, painful conversations in the few months between meeting them and the birth of our son. Yet, God made it very clear that he was that – our son. Theirs and mine.
As I mentioned earlier, it seems with each retelling, pieces of my story are highlighted in different ways. God recently revealed a truth to me, that I believe, is His heart for each and every birth mother.
Our children are an answer to prayer. You are an answer to prayer.
Someone prayed for my son. Someone pleaded with God for their son, the son they would hold in their arms one day. And I prayed for rescue. Even before my mind knew how to form the words, my soul was crying for rescue. God answered both of our prayers the day my son was conceived.
Did I know my rescue would be so painful? No. Did I know the process was going to be so challenging? No. Did I know that now, 14 years later, I would be able to share my story like this? Nope. Would I do it differently, given the choice? Also, no. Because ultimately, I wasn’t the only thread in the tapestry God was weaving.
While I firmly believe my choices are my own, and consequences are apparent, I also believe that God knew my weaknesses. And, He chose to use me as a tool—at my rock-bottom—to answer a prayer. Can you even imagine that? Being in your lowest of places, being alone and afraid, yet you are an answer to prayer. Your womb, the child you carried and gave birth to, that baby is an answer to prayer, and so are you.
To me, this is what it means to be a birthmom. Understanding that both you and your child are answers to prayer. Scripture says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”
My identity is first and foremost defined as being a child of God, a loved daughter of the King. And an inseparable aspect of who I am and will always proudly be is that of a birthmom. Whether or not you believe it today, or a year from now, God loves you. Loving God in return is the best decision I’ve ever made, and He has constantly worked things together for my good – even in my adoption.