Respect Life Month Testimony: Adoption
By St. Joseph County Right to Life | October 10, 2018, 1:29pm
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The following is part of St. Joseph County Right to Life's Respect Life Month campaign for 2018. Cassie Gisi is the featured Wednesday Warrior for Life for the series' second week, which is focused on adoption. This testimony may not be used without the express permission of Cassie Gisi.
Growing up, Cassie Gisi had often heard of people opposing abortion in most cases but making exceptions in the cases of rape or incest. Although Cassie couldn’t imagine the horror of these tragedies happening to a woman, she “never really understood how any child could be an exception." Everyone is "worthy of this beautiful life.”
Cassie's stance may be partly because this scenario is part of Cassie's own story. Cassie would not be here today without the bravery of her birth mother and her adoptive parents: three loving parents who gave her the chance to live a life full of love and possibility.
Cassie’s birth mother was raped at the age of 19. Although she was an innocent victim of an unimaginable crime, Cassie’s birth mother soon discovered that her life was not the only one that was affected. When Cassie’s birth mother learned that she had conceived Cassie, she courageously chose to press on through the pregnancy despite the violence of her rapist. She let life and goodness win against her perpetrator’s devastating, evil actions.
As Cassie’s birth mother progressed through her pregnancy, she began to feel that she could not give her child the life she wanted for her. Her thoughts turned to adoption. As Cassie imagines now, “placing your baby in the hands of someone else is a scary thought,” but her birth mother made this sacrifice out of love for the infant growing in her womb.
Echoing her birth mother’s sacrifice, Cassie’s adoptive parents, the Mielcareks, welcomed their new daughter into their family with loving arms. As Cassie recounts, she grew up doing “everything a kid dreams of doing” alongside her older brother, Joshua (also adopted), and her younger brother, Jacob.
“Although we all had different beginnings, our family has always felt whole.” Through the grace of adoption, Cassie received life. Many years later, she is overjoyed to be getting a taste of the love her birth mother and adoptive parents had for her as a mother of “two of the most wonderful little girls in the world.”
In addition to being a hardworking mom, Cassie has a career in Marriage and Family Therapy, which she hopes will allow her to reach out to someone considering abortion and help her see the beauty of choosing life. Cassie's occupation and career aspirations are partly driven by the impact of adoption in her life, which has taught her to have a "kind heart and to be empathetic in every situation."
Her experience as an adopted child is not the only way in which Cassie and her family have been touched by the beauty of adoption, though. In 2017, Cassie and her two girls welcomed another member into the family: Cassie's husband, Zach Gisi. Not long after, in February of 2018, Zach opened his heart in a special way to Cassie’s daughter, Norah Mielcarek, adopting her as his own.
For those considering adoption, Cassie assures, “There is no shame in letting another family raise your child. In fact, it may be one of the bravest things a woman in our society can do.” Cassie’s beautiful family of four (Zach and Cassie Gisi and Noelle and Norah Mielcarek) is an incredible example of familial love and sacrifice, and our community is indebted to them for their witness of respect and dedication to life.