My mother was raped. Patti was walking home after a long night shift at the mill when two men brutally attacked her in the early morning gloom. Several weeks later, Patti discovered that her nightmare was far from over.  She was pregnant.

Patti’s family was horrified that Patti was carrying the child of one of the monsters who attacked her, and they pressured her to get rid of the tragic accident. Abortion was not only legal, but even socially acceptable in the case of rape. For Patti, however, abortion was not an option.

After nine months of nurturing this unexpected new life in her womb, Patti gave birth to a baby girl. But Patti never looked into her newborn daughter’s eyes or stroked the baby’s soft skin. The nurse immediately whisked the child out of the room and out of Patti’s life.

Patti had made the most selfless decision a woman can ever make. She put me up for adoption. My mother knew she couldn’t care for me or give me the life she wanted to give me, but she believed that someone else could.

My adoptive family consists of two big brothers and the most loving mom and dad I could ever imagine. My adoption was never hidden from me. My parents told me that I was born just for them so that I could be the daughter they had always wanted.

Now I am married and have three children of my own. I am grateful every day for Patti’s choice. Without the selfless heart of an amazing woman, my life and my family would never have existed.