In 1956 Ann was raped. Soon she would have a decision to make. After finding out she was pregnant she was told she should have an abortion. But her words in a television interview on the day she met Juda were"I couldn't kill a puppy or a kitten so I couldn't kill a baby!" Ann met a priest that helped her find an unwed mothers' home. So she stayed there until she gave birth to a little girl on Valentine's Day. She didn't want to give her away but she knew she couldn't keep her. A woman at the home snuck Juda in to visit her mom each day for 2 weeks. This was a big no-no and the bond had been formed. Ann would have to wait 48 yrs. to see her baby once more.
In Juda's words:
A WWII veteran and his wife who couldn't have children adopted meand loved me as their own. At the age of 6 I was told I had been adopted. From then on the questions lingered...where did I come from, why was I given away,what was my mother like,would my mother want to see me...
I had tried to find my mother but the information was sealed and it was very difficult. However in 2003 a court order gave me access to those records. Excitement soon turned to horror when I was told she had been raped. At first the crying and broken heart I felt was for the pain my mother had endured but once I was alone the pain suddenly focused on my own identity. Struggling most of my life with why I was born, now I was faced with what seemed a reason for me not to exist. But as I sat alone in the car listening to the voice trying to convince me to slash my wrist to get rid of the blood of a rapist I realized one great fact.
Juda and Ann
I had committed my life to Jesus Christ and now I Had to make a decision. Would I take that life away from the only one who had died for me? I thought for a moment and then heard my own voice saying aloud "I have given my life to Jesus and it is not my own to take." So, depressed and feeling useless and hopeless she went home refusing to speak to anyone about this -even to her husband who had seen a happy excited Juda come back as a zombie.
The next day I had an appointment with a person to compose one of my songs. The woman asked me to listen to a recent composition she had finished for another person. To my horror the song was about men using and losing women and I completely broke down and screamed "Shut up! Stop it!" The woman had no idea what had happened. I put my head down and as I did I could see a vision of myself falling into a deep black abyss. The woman jumped off the piano bench, came to me and said," I don't know what is going on with you but I know that God knew you before you were ever conceived.” Just at that moment I saw in my vision a hand reach down, grab my arm and catapulted me into a brilliant light. I lifted my head and with great joy I said," I believe it!!" At that moment my life was transformed. I knew that it was a message that was so true and I would no longer believe the lies I was hearing. Yes God Himself had a reason for my life and I will live fully for Him forever more.
It would be 2 more years before I would meet my mother. Watching Amy Grant's Three Wishes I saw a woman meet her birth mom. I jumped off the couch and emailed World Wide Tracers in Dallas, Texas. In no time at all I would have an address and be on my way to meet my mom. I didn't want to face rejection before thanking her so I devised a plan. I would say I had a message from my mom who had passed away. The message was one of thanks for blessing her. That way she would at least be able to get it out first. But it was Ann's sister in law that I spoke to first and she seemed suspicious. I was told that Ann would be given my phone number and Ann would call in a couple of months. She was going through some health problems and would probably not call sooner. Disappointed but certainly not showing it I hung up with little hope of ever receiving that phone call. But 4 days later the call came.
I thought I’d be clever to just not answer the call and just find the address on the internet by using that phone number. I would continue with the plan to find Ann and tell her face to face that she had made the right decision. But things changed after this phone call. I listened to the voicemail and when I heard that Ann would call my husband I immediately hung up and called my husband to say "Don't answer that call!" I raced home from my painting job. My (adopted) Dad who lives with us listened as I played the message again. But to our amazement the message continued past what I’d heard before. "If you are who I think you are I want to see you. If you are my long lost daughter Mary Beth God bless you and if you are not God bless you anyway's, call me." I was ecstatic and immediately grabbed the phone. Nervously I started to say something to Ann but there was much noise in the background. Ann lived at a nursing home and this was December when the choirs came to sing. So it was that day. Ann said "Honey you'll have to speak up" So I said with a loud voice "As far as I know I am your daughter!" At that very moment the choir could be heard singing, "Glo-ooo-ooooo-ooooo ria!" I felt like all of heaven was rejoicing with me as my mother cried for joy.
This was December 7, 2005. I immediately flew out to meet her without knowing the details of the story. I I was a bit scared because I have very light blue eyes that everyone remembers me by and the records said my mother had brown eyes. Would I look like the rapist? Would my mother be repelled if I did? Would I only be hurting her again? My stomach seemed to be in my throat as I approached the reception desk. Before I could say anything I heard my name. As I turned around, the eyes I had seen only in a mirror were now looking out from my mother. The reunion was so sweet. I knelt beside the wheelchair embracing her. Everyone in the nursing home was aware of my mom having a child she gave up for adoption. From the moment she arrived in the nursing home 9 months prior Ann had talked about me. Ann had never forgotten her daughter and talked of me to everyone she met. And now our prayers had been answered. But I had one more important question.
What were the circumstances of her conception? I wanted to know the truth. Ann had no hesitations telling me that she had been raped. As I buried my face in her lap and cried deeply, Ann patted me on the back."Honey, don't cry. I've forgiven those men and look what God has done. He's brought you back to me. God is faithful!" Wow! What power in those words. And so the two of us thanked God for all He had done. We spent the rest of the day telling everyone else about God's goodness and even did a news interview. Everyone was touched and amazed. I was inspired to write the title song to my new CD, God is Faithful and gave that song to my mother on my birthday-Valentine's Day 2006.
Today our testimony is being used around the world to change and save lives.