squinted against the glare of oncoming
headlights. Why was I so foolish to keep
a seven-year-old out late on a school night, I
thought. Was the Christian concert we had
driven 45 miles to hear worth it? I was
tired and sleepy and questioning my parental
I glanced at Kelsey to see if she was asleep
yet. Eyes bright, she was obviously not
as drowsy as I was.
"Mom, what was that song about with all the
pictures of the doctor's stuff and teacher's
stuff and children and old people and with the
baby's hand at the end?"
I had to think. Several of the concert's
songs had used accompanying slides for effect.
Then I remembered.
"Do you mean the song, 'What Was I Supposed to
Be?'" I asked.
(*** see below)
"Yes, that's it. What did that mean?"
I took a deep breath. I was wide awake
now, praying quickly my explanation would be
complete and yet not too frightening for her.
Hesitantly, I began.
"Honey, sometimes girls get pregnant when they
aren't married." I could tell by her look I
was already in trouble.
"But how can they do that? I thought
getting married was how you had babies."
"Well," I groped, "sometimes teenagers do
things before they are married - well, they
act like - well, they do with each other's
bodies what married people do. Then the
girl gets pregnant. When she does, she
has various choices."
I took a breath. "The girl and boy can
get married if they love each other. A
lot of people do that. Sometimes it
works out to be a good marriage, and sometimes
it doesn't. The girl and her parents can
keep the baby and take care of it. Or
the girl can give it up for adoption." I
paused, considering my next words. "The
way your birth mother did you."
Kelsey brought me back to the point. "I
still don't understand the song."
"The other choice is called abortion.
That's when a doctor uses instruments inside
the girl - a type of surgery - to get rid of
the baby when it is still very tiny."
The voice beside me was also tiny.
"Then what happens to the baby?"
"It's gone. The hospital gets rid of it,
and the girl goes home. She isn't
pregnant anymore." I hoped I was telling
Kelsey what she could hear and comprehend.
"The song was written from the baby's
viewpoint," I continued. "The baby was
asking Jesus what it would have been if it had
lived to be born. It said, 'What was I
supposed to be? What were my eyes
supposed to see? Why did I taste of
death before I even drew a breath, hid my head
at my mother's breast to sleep? O Jesus,
what was I supposed to be?'"
I had no idea whether any of this was making
sense to my little traveling companion until I
heard her shuddering breath.
I glanced over to see tears streaming from her
eyes. She caught her breath in short
Finally, she whispered, "Then that's what my
birth mother could have done to me, if she
hadn't loved me so much?"
I eased the car to the side of the highway and
stopped. I took Kelsey in my arms, and
we both sobbed and stroked each other - and
loved each other even more than before.
This gift of love from an unknown birth mother
had changed my life forever. Tonight this song
had made my little daughter aware for the
first time of one of the greatest gifts of
love - the gift of life.
by Lanita Bradley Boyd
***The song, "What Was I Supposed To Be" was
written and sung by Ray Boltz