Unsung Heroines

By Bonnie Finnerty, Education Director

Recently, a well-known, highly-respected columnist in Central PA revealed something she has hidden for far too long. And I want to applaud her.

Nancy Eshelman is to be commended for publicly revealing her secret of 57 years of having placed a child for adoption. Too often birth mothers who have gifted another family with a precious new life are hidden in the shadows and their story remains a mystery. But every one of them does have a story.

Nancy’s story recounts the stigma that surrounded her unplanned pregnancy at the tender age of 15 and the shame she was made to feel at that time. She should not have been made to feel that way then, and no young woman today should feel that shame. On that point our society has evolved, but we still have work to do.

Without judgment as to the circumstances, a woman carrying human life within her deserves unconditional support and protection. Her body is providing shelter and nourishment to a human being who is unrepeatable and irreplaceable. She is giving life to the next generation and most likely, generations beyond that. She is already a mother.

Nancy’s story does not stop with the baby boy she placed for adoption, with whom she happily reunited years later. It carries on with his children and grandchildren and will continue with subsequent generations. All because one woman, Nancy Eshelman, gave the gift of life, even under the least ideal of circumstances. The impact is immeasurable, the consequences infinite.

Let us recognize the adoption option as a noble choice.

Let us celebrate all birth mothers who grow and bear life, and in an act of selfless love, bestow a cherished child to another mother and father. These women are truly unsung heroines. These women give life.