Sarah Noelle
Sarah Noelle

Sarah Noelle had known the rule, no boys allowed in the house without a parent at home, but she let a guy she knew come over anyway.


He was just a friend, totally harmless – until he raped her.


Sarah blamed herself. How could she let this happen? Shame isolated her from friends and family. She wanted to tell someone, but the words wouldn’t – couldn’t – come out of her mouth.


By the time Sarah went off to college, she believed love and respect were for other people, not a Christian girl who allowed her innocence to get stolen – by a supposed friend. She found a relationship to support her self-loathing, with a guy who berated her, who made her feel less than human. She knew she deserved it.


Within two months, Sarah became pregnant. Desperate, she set up an appointment to get an abortion and cried all week. Then the Monday before her Friday appointment at the clinic, her phone rang.

“When I prayed for you just now, I got this overwhelming urge to call,” said her mother’s voice.

“Honey, are you pregnant?” came her dad’s voice next.


Sarah broke into racking sobs, and her parents promised they would face this dilemma together. Sarah began to rediscover her faith and reconnect with family. Still, she knew she couldn’t provide a stable home for her child. In seven months, she delivered a beautiful baby girl and did the most difficult thing a mother can do: she blessed a married couple with the miracle who was her daughter.


But self-loathing is insidious.


When Sarah returned to college, she got into another caustic relationship and found herself pregnant – again – less than a year later. Drowning in despair, Sarah finally faced the origin of her perceived disgrace. Through prayer, therapy, and support from her family, although she advises girls to avoid isolated encounters with boys, she came to realize the rape hadn’t been her fault, that she’d been a victim of a violent act.


Letting go of her shame gave her strength, so Sarah felt, this time, she might be able to be a good single mother to her child. But by the time her baby boy arrived, she knew what she had to do. The same loving couple who adopted her daughter, who had given her baby the kind of stability Sarah had no hope of providing, were overjoyed when she blessed them, again, with her son so that he, too, may have the life he deserved.


Today, Sarah works for an electrical company to pay the bills, but her passion is supporting other birthmoms. On her website, Sunshine in a Bottle, she shares her experience and insights. She also writes articles for “Big Tough Girls” (BTG), an organization that provides understanding, resources, and the strength of a community to women who have experienced difficult circumstances (See Sarah’s latest post: “Your Authentic Self”). Bethany Christian Services adoption agency just voted for Sarah to serve on the board for the Southern California chapter. She’s the first birthmom to join the board – ever. Sarah regularly accepts invitations to tell her story at conferences, galas, and fundraisers. Most recently, she’s been talking to clergy about giving presentations to youth groups and at church services.

Sarah's Modern Family
Sarah’s Modern Family


Over Memorial Day weekend last May, Sarah got to see her daughter, Ryanne, now 13, and son, Riley, age 11, with their parents at her

Sarah, Riley and Ryanne
Ryanne, Riley, and Sarah

brother’s wedding. The kids have known, for most of their lives, they were adopted, that their birth mother loved them enough to let them go, so they may have a life she couldn’t provide. Seeing her children after all these years, how happy and healthy they are, helped to heal Sarah’s heart. She’d made the right choice. Since then, the kids have kept in touch via Facebook and Twitter.

It’s been a long road, but Sarah Noelle has found a way to heal through faith, friends, forgiveness, and honesty – taking it a step at a time.

10 thoughts on “One Event Can Change a Whole Life

  1. This was/is a cool story. I’ve long theorized that such heroes (which is what people like Sarah Noelle are in my book) could be made (and were extant?), but NEVER seemed to hear/read of them. Our media is so invested in abortion’s-always-the-answer, that this alternative is squelched.

    While no one should be coerced into it, this approach is the epitome of good character. Admittedly, severing the bond of woman/child is not always going to be practical, though.


    1. Thank you so much for reading, Chuck! & I so appreciate your kind words. It’s certainly a humbling experience to go through, especially twice. In a lot of ways, their parents are heroes to me because of their ability to open their home & heart to raise these beautiful children that deserve every opportunity they can be offered that I wouldn’t have necessarily been able to provide for them, but their parents could & have. & having told them early on, they don’t have shame or guilt or secrecy weighing them down & are both so proud to be adopted & that I am their birthmom. Fills my heart with joy to still be able to watch them grow, mature & come into their own. I completely agree that the media certainly focuses more on the abortion side & you usually only hear about adoption horror stories, which are more few & far between than people think, yet, everyone seems to enjoy the drama so much that they focus on the wrong things. A lot of birthmoms feel like the forgotten women. Having amazing people like Trish who are out to set the record straight knowing that through educating people & sharing my story that hopefully more birthmoms will have the courage to speak up about their stories, accept support & join in community with so many women who have gone before them in this journey & would love to come alongside to help make the transition as smooth as possible, equipping these women with love & compassion so that they may have peace in their hearts about their decision(s). it’s an extremely special group of women that make this choice, it’s a strength that most definitely did not come from myself!

  2. I think the media is more about giving women the freedom to choose what to do with their own bodies, but it would be nice to hear more about the brave women who choose to deliver their babies and bless adoptive parents with their children.

    1. I so agree! I wish they would share the goodness & beauty in adoption instead of the awful stories. I appreciate so much your support for us birthmamas, Trish! you’re truly a gem & thank you so much for sharing my story!

  3. Thank You Sarah for your boldness and transparency. Your story is helping others to heal and see God’s redemptive plan for all of us who turn to Jesus! Love you,

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