Claire Culwell knows what it’s like to be a survivor. At the age of 13, her mother learned she was pregnant and decided to have an abortion, though she didn’t know she was pregnant with twins.
After she had an abortion of Claire’s brother, she returned to the abortion clinic after realizing she still had a growing and developing baby inside of her. Told she was too late to have a second abortion, she gave birth to Claire, who struggled on life support as she dealt with a myriad of medical issues following her birth.
Culwell has spent years sharing her story and, now, she is sharing on Facebook how she is telling for the first time the story of her birth mother — and the miracle of forgiveness that has taken place. As she wrote the other day:
This is my birth mother and I! She had an abortion while she was pregnant with me at 13 years old. My twin was aborted but I survived. She placed me for adoption and gave me an incredible, loving family. I am so proud of her courage and how far she’s come over the past 6 years since I met her.
She’s allowed me to share our story for the past 6 years but this week was her first time telling her story. I can’t wait to share the video with all of you. Yesterday she posted “I’ve healed and I finally feel free!” I am continually by God’s grace, love and forgiveness for us ALL as he has surrounded me by people who love me- including my birth mother! We all deserve to feel the freedom we have felt by forgiving those involved in our abortion story and allowing God to use us to impact other people.
Culwell is also sharing the story for the first time from her adoptive mother’s perspective instead of her own, which provides a unique and compelling insight:
From my (adoptive) mom: 27 years ago Warren and I had waited, prayed for and longed for a baby to love into our family. The day came when we received a call about a tiny baby girl that was born at 30 weeks. We were thrilled the day we were able to meet her and finally bring her home. We wrote notes to the birthmother of the precious baby we were about to hold in our arms… how do you begin to “thank” someone for the baby you have been waiting for for years? With grateful hearts we brought home Claire. Our friends and family rejoiced with us.
Little did we know all what her birthmother had been through and what our baby had survived. We knew she was God’s amazing gift to us.. but wow. He HAD a Plan for her life!! Her name means VICTORIOUS ONE (crown of laurel leaves) and oh YES she was victorious! Since she learned about this miraculous story about her life, she has humbly and courageously been a voice to others about LIFE and making choices for LIFE. I am so proud of her. It brings tears to my eyes to see the sweet time she and her birthmother have had…connecting, and healing over much heartache. Claire’s birth mother has been courageous to tell her story and I can’t wait to hear it! HE Makes all things beautiful in HIS TIME!”
The story also includes a picture of Claire with her adoptive parents after she survived the abortion:
Claire concludes the new insights into her life story this way:
People often ask me how I am able to forgive and love so easily especially in a situation where an abortion was attempted on my life. My answer has always been my parents. My birth mother hand picked them because of their amazing values, faith, foundation, and other qualities. She probably didn’t know that my mom is the most gracious, forgiving, comforting, loving human being I’ve ever known. She also probably didn’t know that my dad is so wise, thoughtful, humble and would raise my sister and I to value ourselves as daughters of The King.
She didn’t know a lot of those things but she picked the perfect ones for the job. They raised me to love, forgive, accept, give grace, be intentional and to see God in each and every thing that comes my way. I know I could have responded to the “news” of my birth mothers abortion very differently if I had been raised differently. God fit my life together so carefully and so perfectly. I am so, so thankful and continually blown away by all the of the details that God planned long, long ago.