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An Abortion Survivor's Story of Forgiveness

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
June 11, 2021 6:00 am

An Abortion Survivor's Story of Forgiveness

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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June 11, 2021 6:00 am

Tonya Glasby and Claire Culwell discuss how God has healed their relationship and emboldened them to speak out for preborn babies.

Donate $60 to help save the life of one preborn baby through our Option Ultrasound program, and we’ll say thanks with Claire Culwell’s book, "Survivor: An Abortion Survivor's Surprising Story of Choosing Forgiveness and Finding Redemption":

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Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly
Focus on the Family
Jim Daly

Get involved in promoting the sanctity of human life with Focus on the Family see life 2021. It's a six episode digital experience to help you embrace the pro-life cause with truth, compassion and empathy. See like 2021 premieres on Focus on the Family's website and social media channels on Friday, July 16 at 7 PM. Then each week will debut a new episode equip you on the pro-life issues of our day will hear from respected leaders and see amazing testimonies from women and men whose lives have been impacted.

So join us for this life-changing six week experience online. Premiering on Friday, July 16 also mark your calendar now for the culmination of sea life 2021 with the celebrate life live experience in Dallas-Fort Worth on August 28 for more details, visit Focus on the life. That was the moment when she read the words on the card that said thank you for choosing life for me.

I listen that with shocking news in my life.

The volunteers I've ever seen anyone clearcoat well is the survivor of an abortion and birth mom was 13 years today on Focus on the Family you hear difficult. How those two women reunited years later God's redeeming work in their lives, your host is Focus on the Family Pres. and Dr. Jim Daly and Don John from John people can make moral or political arguments about abortion all day long, but nothing has more impact in this debate than the woman making a life or death decision for their child or the words of the child who survived that abortion and were going to speak to both of those perspectives today that will give a talk with the woman who face pregnancy as a 13-year-old girl and her daughter, who survived that abortion attempt and I hope you'll stay with us for a compelling conversation to find out what God has done in their lives and clearcoat well is the author of a new book.

Survivor and abortion survivor's surprising story of choosing forgiveness and finding redemption. You have copies of that here could be episode notes for all the details or give us a call 800 K in the word family and Claire has spoken boldly on Capitol Hill in state legislatures in other places as well for the pro-life cause she's married and has four kids and she and her birth mom Tonya had been developing the relationship for the past several years, and Tonya herself is becoming pretty involved in speaking out for life will Claire and Tonya are welcome to Focus on the Family, thank you so it's good to have you and Barbara, your adoptive mom is is in the audience. I want to make sure she gets a shout out to so wonderful to have all three of you here it Focus on the Family I Claire I so identify with difficulty in life and you know you may have gotten off to a rough start, maybe even unknowingly had loving adoptive parents, but in that regard.

Your identity was developing as a young person. How did you learn that your adopted C.a number of finding out that I was adopted. This is something that my sister and I were were both adopted at this is something we knew for as long as we can remember something that was incredibly positive going at for us as we remember our parents telling us all along that we were wanted chosen last, and that is where Tina's strongholds in my life that I clung to you no matter what came in my life and how I remember actually people asking in school like costs or sorry that your adopted means And still fall so hard and we were so confused by that because adoption why such a positive thing in our life and in our family and what we found is that most people it seemed. Maybe they thought there was like a mechanic in my life that made it difficult circumstance that really and the words that our parents spoke of her ass in the way that they interacted with us in left ass helped us know that we were just as wanted to send Matt as any child that was born into their family.

Naturally, that is so spectacular that they were able to give that to you so you had a very secure identity and it's awesome and I could see that you alluded to this, but your medical condition when you're born you had some issues that the doctors in your adoptive parents obviously needed to deal with what happened.

Sarah and I was planning 10 weeks prematurely advocates when they performed the abortion successfully avoided my twin. They ripped the amniotic sac that I listen and Tonya had been leaking amniotic fluid and actually had a dry when she delivered me and so come to find out years later, as doctors have examined my records at the clad feet that I was born with in a dislocated hip that I was born with our common complications with twins and with premature babies and so and we don't know you know if the abortion procedure because these complications are that caused a premature birth, or if I would have been born with that in my twin would have been born.we got now that my parents at obviously when they got the call to adopt me. It wasn't the cause they expected that 3 pound baby girl with complications was born. They didn't know what kind of care. I would need. I actually went to a body cast as the child to correct these medical complications and I still have some some things today. Seven have physical chronic pain in different issues with my hips and with my feet that I still struggle with and it's my everyday reminder of what we experienced Tonya and I because of abortion. Tonya let's start with where you are. Years ago, your 13-year-old girl found that your pregnant. I can only imagine all the emotions that were going through your mind. This is in the late 80s take us back to that help the listener feel what that was like to be a 13-year-old pregnant and very frightening scary and that also excited at the same time. I sometimes wonder how can you be so excited at that young age, but it is a lie. So just very scared and confused on where you know my path again. So how would I tell my parent and because it's pretty important. Your mom was not my mother. My mom is not a compassionate mother whatsoever and so therefore I see compassion outside and and at the home and that was always with boys right and so I confided in my best friend Remi and told her we knew for a little bit, you know, I could just tell okay yes at night right said Nanette unite came down to where I had to tell my mom less frightening day of my entire life. Besides telling Claire that she was supposed to be aborted that lesson and when I told my mom and was scared and she immediately there was no kind of you know, let's talk about this. Let's find the best things to do about it. It was immediately began to get rid of it recants you know you cannot do this, you cannot drag our family name naming a lot of shaming and you know we never could speak about it right that lead you down the path that was unfortunate. I'm sure maybe you could say is positive as might be said is that your mom was trying to help you, but wasn't equipped know how to do that so she points you toward your portion, it's an easy fix right and you know this is what we have to do the 13 that young so you know, I can imagine all that was going on there.

Your dad in this picture received not in the picture no longer my dad has always picture my dad a severe alcoholic and had only known my dad to be sober for 11 years and that's another 11 wonderful years and Sally always went there that we never told data things because the consequences so you go for the exam what happened. What did the doctor tell you and so I went in this little shotgun house back. Let's abortion clinic. Really they never talk to you no compassion for you. It is you. Now here's your gang getting dressed like that peer mechanic salmon you and yes your pregnant, get dressed, go out and make an appointment for your portion that's that straightforward, but they missed something. This is critical in Clarinda bring in here pretty quick but what did they say and what did they do that I had my abortion procedure done and I went home and went on with life. Now just yeah I had to go home and pretend like that never happened right, and to make your mom, you know how many have spent this holiday and an abortion clinic here in advertising pain mentally and physically and and speak but there was something happening yet so go back to school.

Everything is normal and I continue my body still changing sound unlike okay sent from around me. Now I think I'm still pregnant that I wasn't sexually active.

I hadn't been sexually active.

I gotten pregnant. Sad to tell my mom again. Now I haven't been sexually active, which she never believed and so back to the abortion clinic we go to the same line and there like she's too far along we won't do it they can get a Kansas and can't just as that term so I get there and I'm too far along for them. Yeah, because at that time it was cut off at 20 weeks, I believe 20 for losers who are dragging along your erection been originally pregnant with twins as pregnant like twins so this motion was effective. Yes, abortion was effective but I was still pregnant when I went back to Kansas and not only was I too far along that they said you know this baby. There's no way that I had gotten pregnant in the first abortion and be this far along so it had to be twins in the context. How did you decide to give clear up for adoption was that the only option. Did you think of any other things to keep her what I would love to have Event that wasn't an option. Your mom's spoke about how did that transpire emotionally good for you to give birth to clear the unexpected one you thought the your baby board know when that confusion is this really happening. Can this really happening now, and I remember what the first abortion. I was so heartbroken but I was so relieved at the same time and I know that strange that your 13 year pregnant. Just think that you know first celebrating your pregnant and you're celebrating that you're not pregnant, she went to be pregnant and to find out that you still are pregnant aborted when your babies and I just really the exact emotions heartbreaking right an emotional roller coaster. Two tears always letter which is the right thing yeah heart is broken over the that's okay. Is that that's no wonder you know it's bothered me so much lately is the wonder you know what they look like Janelle Ware girl Lititz personality is like Claire and you don't think that when you're bored and your baby. No, not at all and you have such a unique perspective as the birth mom you had to make that decision was forced upon you, and you really did make a decision. But in that context to carry the emotions of the baby that you lost to abortion and then Claire who saved really by God's grace. When you think about that. Yeah, they could've aborted both babies and that gives you a unique perspective and know what Claire has grown into be a wonderful woman fighting for the cause of life for children of her own NF and that's the message of the powerful message of them all.

Yeah, this is what makes it so unique.

I can't wait for the reunion largess today on Focus on the Family are Claire Colwell and Tonya Glaspie and wow what a story, and it's captured in Claire's book. Survivor and abortion survivors surprising story of choosing forgiveness and finding redemption. Click the link in the episode notes or call us for your copy 800 K word family clerk.

Are you shows up awesome pretty crazy that my shocking moment in my life was sitting face to face with time and she told me that had survived an abortion. I had been a twin. You know, these went things that I grew up knowing what you and I found out in 2009 when I was 21 years old right so you had been on this journey to connect with your birth mom, your wonderful adoptive family courts Barbara Cyr and I mentioned her in the beginning but that question popped up. You have a sister who was also adopted in the family.


Yes, my sister Rachel's adopted and says she met her birth mother and then I started to think about Tonya like she waiting for 21 years for me to test think her in the same way that my sister was able to think her birth mother and had she been thinking about me all this time I had had questions and so I wanted to reach out to her to get to know her and hopefully but at least to thank her for my life and for my family because I knew that she completed our family in the same way that Rachel's birth mother.

Let's describe how the tribute connected, to make sure that the listeners know that was 2009 what transpired your adopted sister had that experience of finding her birth mother that planted the seed in you as you describe how does it unfold. I went home that night and actually opened up the conversation with my parents and with my sister about searching for my birth mother and said the next day I got on the phone and I called at Deaconess in Oklahoma And the adoption agency that I was adopted through where Tonya list when she was pregnant with me and I called Dan and a woman named Debbie actually answered my phone call and I told her who I wise and she said yes I know exactly who you are. I've actually had your picture on my desk for the past 21 years and year.

You have your little tasks on your feet in this harness on your hips and being confused by that phone call.

Like why in the world would someone keep my baby pics from their desk for 21 years, but this was just a little glimpse of what was about to transpire.

As I met my birth mother and said Debbie found Tonya and asked her if my birthday meant anything to her and Tonya said yes, and as she agreed to meet me and so we met in Dallas and we had this incredible reunion. When I open the door that is not just thinking about it. We felt like we hope the door and we were like looking at ourselves.

We look so much alike and we believe in acts a lot of likely have. I was studying to be a nurse at the time and Tonya was a nurse and so there were so many similarities. I think I brought a stack of pictures like this from my life a lot, a lot, laughed a lot here is that feeling for you under the terms of the completion of the whole experience was really wonderful and we met at Santa Barbara's friends and they just all take me and my husband and my kids in with open arms. I never once I went in that door.

I never felt uncomfortable I felt loved and accepted and delicious great. Now I'm like my girl I'm seeing my girl again. What a wonderful end of contents of your life wrote the story you get a chance to make clear because of the 2009 meeting Claire I believe you gave Tonya hard which is pretty integral to the store had what transpired with the first meeting went so well that we wanted to continue our relationship and sell. I got her a gift. I wanted to remind her that she was an incredible mother for me because she had placed me for adoption and given me my family. I knew that often times women that do place their babies they struggle with that feeling like they were good mother and I wanted to tear down the slides that maybe she believed about herself and so I got her a ring and a necklace with my birthstone on it and then a card in the card. I wrote thank you for choosing life for me and so when I got to Oklahoma. My first trip to visit Tonya and her family. I gave her these gifts and that was the moment when she read the words on the card that said thank you for choosing life for me. I thought it would be this incredible moment where I would tell her everything she longed to hear for 21 years I thought it would be like this redemptive breakthrough moment and I was met with the most shocking news in my life the most painful tears I've ever seen in anyone's eyes before, and it changed my life forever as she told me about being pregnant with me at 13 years old and that I had survived her abortion procedure that was meant to end my life and that I had been a twin but I was I was taken back by her tears by her grief it is when you saw a little bit today but it was it's indescribable to me to tell you what what I saw in her eyes that day. He described Tony let me grab that because you read the card and obviously went right into your heart is in my heart. Anyway, right now.

I went to Taylor in Texas.

The first meeting now set at About it and thought about it and I just can't do it and I regretted it. When I went home because that should've been the first thing she knew it probably should've been the first thing that Barbara knew that.

I remember telling her, and I was immediately relieved now at that horrible horrible thing that happened in my life and she's the only person I didn't know my husband knew about it.

My children have known about it since a young age. I never Problem. Kinda like her know and she is adopted from a young age. My kids have always known that I had an abortion and killed one of my babies and they had a sister somewhere, but I was just so relieved. I was so scared that she would not accept me.

I was scared that she would think that I have boarded her brother or sister and I tried to abort her when it didn't work. I tried again and when that didn't work. I gave her away that somehow happen now. She forgave me right away. She slept me since that day in thankful and that's you know what a beautiful place. We have to him, but people can read the whole story or popular book, but I think the key here what I'm sensing is just when things are given over to God. He does rapid and beautiful blow.

Ellie can even imagine story of it is the gift that is given your family, all of you including Barbara and her husband that your adoptive parents. It's a beautiful story and I think the key which are some woman told me when a woman is pregnant and they go to consider an abortion. It's hard for them to think about giving away their bid to adoption and that's one of the key things I want to stress today for women to definitely consider that life is so much better. The choice for life is a much better choice with fewer regrets that he had to help every email reuniting right abortion you never reunite well hopefully we will have in heaven. I think that's the key. Those who care about a pro-life perspective, those who care about your story. Those that have their own story when we engage women who are considering abortion.

Let's lift up this idea of adoption because you are the poster child for that. And the Lord is really blessed you with a great sensibility that I'm fun.

I'm good with this. You're good with your birth mom Tonya and you're good with your adoptive mom, Barbara, and it's all working and this is the way it should be for those difficult situations that women are God is bigger than our circumstances and his plan is always bigger and better than our own. And that's what I found that even in my valleys in my moment where I felt like I was in the trenches and questioning that the things that were transpiring in my life that he had gone before me, and he knew and he had a plan and he is in a make away and make something good out of something that was evil and hurt us so that cleared the Sabia but that woman who is listening or maybe she was pregnant. Maybe she has a commitment to Christ. But it's all confusing right now. What would you say to her from your perspective that the words that my parents spoke of her me that God says about me and that I am valuable and lasting worthy. And he says those things about you too. And there are people that want to walk alongside you to make the impossible possible for you and said that you never have to experience the pain and regret of abortion like Tonya like I have encourage you just to reach out today call and talk to someone. Pray with someone and get resources because you are stronger than your circumstances and you are supported so truly appreciate the focus is one of the reasons were here we have current Christian counselors.

You can call and they'll talk with you schedule time to call but that is a great first. What should I do now, and certainly reach out to your church or pastor whomever his friends again. Just reach out and talk with somebody, you know, I'm so excited about optional.

I know you have helped us promote that her Focus on the Family we been doing this for 16 years. We've got the numbers down at $60 disabled baby's life is incredible $60 labor babies life. Join us love the Lord showed his blessing you for doing that.

The if you can support us in that way will send you a copy of Claire's book. Survivor is our website.

Thank you for being part of the team. Yet if you can make that a monthly pledge of $60 will be saving a baby's life. Every month through that option. Ultrasound program so please donate that way if you can we recognize some people aren't spot to do that. So a one-time gift of six dollars. Sure does accomplish a great deal for one baby. Either way contact is donate to the ministry of Focus on the Family and will send this book to you by Claire Colwell, survivor and abortion survivor's surprising story of choosing forgiveness and finding redemption are number 800 K in the word family and of the link is in the episode notes what John and the I want to buy people to come be a part of RC life event for 2021. It's going to be at the American Airlines Center in Dallas August 28 and you get more information by going to the website or calling us her focus were hoping many people will stand up for life and be a part of it is the culmination of a six-week online series of videos so please swing by her website. Find out more about videos again celebrate life life experience that's happening American Airlines Center on 20 August.

All the details are in the episode notes or dinner number 800 K clerk Tonya thank you so much for being with us is really good for you for joining us for this episode of focus on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team on John Fuller inviting you back. Once again help you and your family thrive your marriage resources your ventures a lot of stories there are thousands of stories just like that from Focus on the Family's legacy community folks who leave a legacy gift through their well, trust or other estate planning tool you help have godly family.

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