My father often tells me, “Words tell, but stories teach.” What I am about to tell you is true, and though I have kept it brief, my hope is you will learn something from it.
Danielle was an average teenager, born and raised in Jenison. At seventeen she became pregnant. She felt as if her life was ruined. When she told her mother, she expected her to be upset, but she held her and told her it was going to be alright.
Then her dance coach suggested that she could have an abortion; it wasn’t a baby yet.
Danielle felt as if she had opened an escape route. Maybe her life didn’t have to be ruined; maybe she could go about her normal life, and none of her friends would ever have to know.
Her mother, a Catholic, knew she couldn’t let her daughter kill her baby. Yet she also didn’t think she would be able to convince her otherwise. She decided to take her to a crisis pregnancy center. They just started praying. Praying for Danielle and her baby.
It took her a second to let this sink in. The baby; it was a baby, and it was hers. She was responsible for it, and she realized how vulnerable and helpless it was. How could she ever think of killing it?
But it wasn’t easy. It felt as if everywhere she went she carried a scarlet letter. When anyone looked at her she hung her head.
When she got to the hospital, Danielle saw all the couples happily awaiting “their baby.” She felt miserable and alone. During her three hours of labor, she stayed in the bathroom on the toilet. She was so embarrassed. She had broken up with her boyfriend, so only her mom was in the hospital with her.
The baby was a beautiful girl. She measured a hefty eight pounds. The couple who Danielle had chosen to adopt her baby were kind, loving, and Christian. They could never have children, so they embraced the idea of adopting. Together they named the baby Alyssa Danielle, after her birth mother.
An open adoption allowed Danielle to stay in touch with her baby. Alyssa is now happily married and has a little girl of her own.
Danielle is also happily married, is a women’s health doctor, and has had six other children since Alyssa.
Danielle is my mamma. I’m not Alyssa, but the eldest of her other six kids. I’m proud of my mother. Without Alyssa, she wouldn’t be the same person. Because of her I understand how hard it is to have a teen pregnancy. I not only want to stop abortion, I want to help those women who consider this an option. I want them to know they are loved, there is support, and their life isn’t ruined.
Most of all, I want everyone to know: Life is never a mistake.
This essay was written by Kyla, a homeschooled student in 9th grade. With this essay she won the 2022 Grand Rapids Right to Life ProLife Essay Contest, Junior Division. She also placed first in the National Right to Life Committee ProLife Essay Contest.