By Krista Corbello, LARTL Youth Programs Co-Director
Imagine a woman who came to this country in the early 90's for a college education.
At the age of 26 she got pregnant, and upon discovering her pregnancy, her boyfriend left her. The woman's parents thought she would be an embarrassment to the family and encouraged her to have an abortion. They not only encouraged her, they bullied her to do so by threatening to disown her. When she sent letters about the situation and included photos of herself pregnant, they ripped up the photos or drew X's on her stomach and sent them back.
Those around this woman could have told her that this child would have a terrible life. They could have asked her why she would want to bring a child into such an ugly situation.
An unwanted child without a father couldn't possibly have a good life, right?
This was the darkest time of this woman's life, but she knew the child in her womb was a living person. She never thought twice about having her baby. Her friends said that when this child was born, there was a new light in her life. A child, even born during a joyful time and in a happy marriage, brings about a new light. And we know that the light shines ever brighter in the darkness. This child was certainly a bright light amidst this darkness.
This woman's bravery inspires me every day because she is my mother, and I am her child. My life, while there has been some suffering, some doubt, and many questions about my father, has been beautiful!
When I was 2 my mom took me to the Philippines to meet her family. They didn't know we were coming, so they were surprised by the visit. My mom basically said, "This is your grandchild, and you are going to get to know her." And they did.
My mom got married when I was 5, and I got "half-adopted" into the beautiful Corbello family. I can remember the day of their wedding, the day I met my new family, and the day my last name changed. What I didn't know then was the darkness of my mom's past relationship with her parents. When I was 18 and learned the truth, I almost didn't believe it. I knew my grandparents loved me so much. They had never made me feel unwanted.
Two years ago I met my "bio-dad," as I call him. He asked for my forgiveness and is starting to build a relationship with me. As you can imagine, it's a difficult journey, but it has definitely been a blessing.
My life is far from perfect, but I know I live the joie de vivre that we Cajuns love!
You can never judge a person's life based on the situation they are born into, and I am a living testament to that.
I did not share that part of my story with anyone until I began working with Louisiana Right to Life. I knew my story could be a testament to the pro-life cause, but I was too afraid to share it, so I was silently pro-life for years.
But after much prayer and discernment I realized I could no longer remain silent. I know I have been a light for my mother since the day I was born, and I must continue to shine that light now for the pro-life movement!
I am blessed to be a part of Louisiana Right to Life's youth programs team. The youth education effort stretches throughout the state, and I head up efforts in Acadiana, Alexandria, and Lake Charles. I have loved getting to know the pro-life youth around Louisiana. They are so inspiring and pro-active!
I was so awestruck and amazed at our first PULSE Immersion Weekend in February. I saw 50 high school students' deep love for life and desire to do more for the cause. By the end of the weekend the students had plans to set up tables outside of grocery stores to talk about abortion and chalk pro-life messages around local public parks.
They want to be leaders, and they want to be a light in the darkness, just as I was to that mother who was brave enough to choose life 24 years ago.
Reach Krista Corbello at firstname.lastname@example.org!