A child on the brink of being aborted; a priest that lent a helping hand. The birth and life story of Juda Myers should be a reminder to all that a message of hope can truly outshine any tragedy. Conceived in 1956 from a horrific act of rape on her mother, Ann, when she walked home alone after watching the Ten Commandments at a local theater, Juda lay in her mother’s womb, forming into the amazing woman she is today, as those closest to her mother pressed on for an abortion to take place.
But abortion was never a thought that crossed Ann’s mind. “I couldn’t kill a puppy or a kitten, and I certainly couldn’t kill my baby,” she explains in a television interview. So, with the help of a chance meeting with a priest, Ann was able to take refuge in an unwed mother’s home, and delivered her baby girl on Valentines Day, 1957. Ann desperately longed to stay with her new baby, but knew she could not keep her.
In a rare event, often frowned upon at these homes, a woman working there allowed Ann to see her baby girl daily for the following two weeks after her birth. The bond between the two was instant, and though Juda would be adopted soon after, the bond was never severed.
A New Life Awaits
Juda was adopted out at three months old to a loving couple who were unable to have children of their own.
Her adoptive father, a marine involved with the famous flag-raising at Iwo Jima, had his mind set out on a baby boy when he arrived at the orphanage. To his surprise, a nun at the adoption center brought out a cheerful baby girl, with ice blue eyes. The connection was instantaneous, and he spoke often of that moment to Juda as she grew up, sharing how the moment he laid eyes on her, “there was no giving her back.” Juda grew up to be “daddy’s little girl,” and her adoptive parents cherished her and loved her as if she were their own.
Juda’s new family decided to be upfront with her from a young age about the fact that she was adopted.
Her adoptive parents were told by several nuns that her mother had died during childbirth. From the occasion when she was given all of this information, her mind became flooded with questions. She often wondered where she came from, what her mother was like, and often blamed herself, believing that she had been the reason for her mother’s death.
Years passed by quickly. Juda started to put down roots of her own and grew into adulthood. She craved the arts and became an accomplished and creative artist and singer. Soon after, she got married and started a family of her own. Occasional thoughts of how she might be to blame for her mother’s death would enter into her mind, and eventually Juda decided that it was time to find out the entire story and get some form of closure.
“I grew up thinking I was this horrible person, who had killed her mother. In 2003, I decided it was time to get a court order, so that I could get access to my birth information,” recalls Juda. She was met with roadblock after roadblock, but did receive her court order in the end.
The Search Begins
When Juda finally returned, in person, to the Catholic Charities institution where she was adopted from, she did not receive a warm welcome. Although Juda was excited and anxious at the same time, hoping for some information about her mother, workers acted coldly and indifferently towards her, as if she was about to make the biggest mistake of her life.
“The people that I gave the court order to in order to get my information, did not look happy,” says Juda. “I remember a woman there telling me that if I was going to look into my birth mother’s information, then I was also going to learn about my father. I had been so focused on getting my mother’s information that I really hadn’t thought too much about who my father was.”
Emotionless, and without warning, the woman told Juda that her mother had her at 22 years old, and did not actually die during childbirth, but had actually been raped by eight men and decided to put Juda up for adoption. Juda recalls the various emotions that instantly flooded her.
“I remember just sitting there, feeling like a brick had just hit me across my face. I just started hysterically crying, thinking to myself how horrendous the whole ordeal must have been for my mother,” she sadly explains. “My excitement about the whole thing soon turned to horror.”
Juda immediately went and sat in her car, alone, contemplating why she was born at all, and if she had even deserved to live after what was done to her mother. “I remember just hearing this voice trying to convince me that in my blood ran blood of rapists, and that I should just take my life,” tells Juda. “Then I realized one great fact. I had given my life to Jesus Christ, and I asked myself ‘Would I take my life away from the only one who had died for me?’ I thought for a few moments and began speaking aloud to myself ‘I have given my entire life over to Jesus, and it is not my own to take.”
Juda struggled with many emotions for long periods of time after learning about her conception, and refused to share the information she had learned with anyone, even her own family. She tried to live life as usual, but had to deal with constant feelings of being depressed, and feeling useless and hopeless. While working with a composer friend one day, who was helping with some of the songs for Juda’s C.D, something finally caused her to snap.
Feeling as if she was falling into a “black abyss,” Juda’s friend sensed that something serious was going on. She told Juda, “I don’t know what is going on with you, but I do know that God knew you before you were ever conceived.” With that statement, Juda remembers seeing a “brilliant light” around here, lifting her head, and saying with pure delight, “I believe it!” It was then and there that Juda recalls her life being “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 would live fully for Him forever more,” she exclaims.
A God ordained restoration
Juda was beginning to live peacefully, as God had worked out the situation that had been overwhelming her heart and mind for so long, but she still had the intense desire to meet her mother. The actual meeting would eventually take place, but she would have to wait two more years for it to happen. After watching Amy Grant’s television show, Three Wishes, where a woman meets her birth mother, Juda decided to contact an agency that could help her locate “Ann.”
She began working with a company called World Wide Tracers, out of Dallas, Texas, and in a short amount of time, she had the missing piece of information that she was looking for: a long awaited-for address and telephone number. Visits were made, and messages were left, but Juda didn’t hear the immediate response that she was hoping for. Having left messages in a way that would not reveal her identity, Juda was prepared to tell Ann who she really was once she had her on the telephone. Although feeling a little let down, Juda waited patiently.
A few days later, she received a surprising voicemail. Ann, finally called back and stated on Juda’s answering machine, “If this is my long lost daughter, God bless you. I want to see you.” Ecstatic and shocked that Ann knew exactly who she was and that she wanted to see her, Juda called her back immediately. Ann, who was living at a nursing home at that time, picked up Juda’s phone call just as carolers had come into the nursing home to sing for the residents. Juda recalls Gloria being sung in the background as she said to her mother, “As far as I know, I am your daughter.” Overwhelmed with joy, Juda remembers what was going through her mind at that exact moment, stating, “I felt like all of heaven was rejoicing with me in that moment, as my mother cried for joy.”
48 years later, mother & daughter meet again
Juda excitingly jumped on a plane that very night to meet her birth mother. She recalls being very nervous about her appearance when walking into the nursing home. “My whole life, people have commented about how I stand out to them because I have these large, light blue eyes. The nuns had told my family that my mother had brown eyes, and I was so scared that she was going to be reminded of those horrible men when she saw my blue eyes,” she explains. All of a sudden, while standing at the reception desk waiting to be helped, Juda heard a woman calling her name. “I turn around and I see these beautiful, bright blue eyes staring back at me,” she recollects. Thankful and overjoyed, Juda and Ann were finally reunited.
“We spoke for hours. We spoke about so many things. I asked her about the conception, and she told me everything. I instantly started crying, laying my head in my mothers lap as she sat in her wheelchair,” Juda says softly. “My mother then said to me gently, ‘Honey, now stop your crying. I have forgiven those men.
Look what God has done, He has brought you back to me. God is faithful!”
Juda and Ann spent the next few days together, sharing different stories about both of their lives, and even doing some television interviews. Inspired by the words, “God is faithful,” Juda wrote a song to her mother, recorded it on the C.D. that she was in the process of putting together, and gave it to Ann on her “birth” day, Valentine’s Day, 2006.
A purpose-filled future
As Juda and Ann have continued to build memories with one another since that fateful day, Juda has made it her mission to speak publicly about her story and about her views on abortion. She has been interviewed on many television shows, has published her personal story, and most recently spoke at the U.N. in NYC about her ordeal and spreading her pro-life message.
“No child should be the exception to live. Someone shouldn’t be excluded out just on the basis of how they were conceived, because they had no hand in that. Where is the child’s choice? Where is the baby’s choice? Abortion hurts everyone. It hurts society, the children that are killed, and it hurts the mother who has to make and live with her decision,” shares Juda. “No one wins in that situation except for the one making all the money. I want to expose the lies. I want people to know that whether you are conceived in a horrible rape, or by wine and roses, every baby deserves to live. I want to end the violence. The violence of rape should stop right there. It shouldn’t continue on to then murdering an innocent baby.”
To watch an emotional and encouraging video of Ann speaking out about what happened to her as a young woman, visit Juda’s YouTube channel, Juda4praise, and look for the video entitled: Book Trailer – Hostile Conception Living with Purpose.
To learn more about Juda Myers and her ministry, Freedom Ministries, order her inspiring biography, find out more about her debut music C.D., or learn how you can have Juda speak at your upcoming event, visit www.juda4praise.com.