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Just over 16 years ago, a baby girl was given up for adoption by her birth mother.
Alyssa Moser of rural Clearwater said she knows what a special gift she was given that day.
Her adoption came rather unexpectedly to Chris and Sandy Moser. She said her dad received a phone call right after she was born. When he told his wife there was a baby girl to adopt, they cried tears of joy. At one week old, she went home with the Mosers.
A recent trip to Washington, D.C. made Alyssa realize things could have turned out very differently.
She was one of the area students who participated in the 45th Annual March For Life on January 19.
Some of her friends and cousins have attended the march in the past and encouraged her to go. Moser signed up to participate last year, but the group couldn’t travel due to the weather.
“I was bound and determined to go this year,” she said.
Fifty-two people traveled day and night for 28 hours on a charter bus from Norfolk to Washington, D.C.
Moser, who is a sophomore at O’Neill Public School, said their bus included chaperones and other students from Elgin Pope John, O’Neill St.Mary’s, Norfolk Public, Norfolk Catholic, and one student who was homeschooled. Her mom, Sandy, was one of the chaperones.
On the day of the march, it was sunny as hundreds of thousands of people chanted and held signs, filling the street as they marched toward the Supreme Court building. They peacefully protested Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court’s 1973 ruling that legalized abortion in the United States. She said her group wore bright yellow hats so they could stay together in the crowd.
“It was really loud, we were in the middle,” Moser said. “There were so many people packed in surrounding you. I really didn’t see any counter protesters. Everyone was really positive and smiling.”
She said they spent about three hours marching. At one point, it became clear just how big the crowd really was.
“We went up a hill, and at the top, I looked forward and then backward,” Moser said. “There were so many people, I couldn’t see the end in either direction.”
That was just one of the powerful moments she experienced during the trip.
“Looking at all those people and knowing they were all there for the same cause was amazing,” she said. “We were all joining together to be a voice for the voiceless ones.”
Speakers at the march included President Donald Trump via satellite, House speaker Paul Ryan, and Pam Tebow, mother of former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.
However, it was the day after the march that was the most emotional for Moser.
Her group went to Planned Parenthood for an hour of prayer. As she prayed in front of the clinic, she watched escorts walk women and couples in the door.
“Since I’m adopted, it hit home,” Moser said. “You can always choose adoption. I was just bawling for awhile standing outside Planned Parenthood. That was when I really understood how much I cared.”
Although she has never met her biological father, she has been able to meet with her birth mother several times, as well as two of her biological siblings.
“(My birth mother) always said that abortion was never an option for her,” Moser said.
And for this act of love, she is truly grateful. Moser said the theme for this year’s march couldn’t be more fitting, “Love Saves Lives.”