Catholic Vancouver May 14, 2018

Adopted siblings praise March for Life efforts

By Agnieszka Ruck

Robert Esson and Ruth Cusick after the March for Life passed by May 10. "If we had been born 50 years later, our birth mothers might have done an abortion. I'm alive today because of the laws of the land at the time," said Cusick. (Photos by Agnieszka Krawczynski).

VICTORIA—Ruth Cusick and Robert Esson, visiting from Ontario, had just stepped out of a café when they came across several hundred people marching down the street in front of them holding signs saying “We Choose Life.”

With smiles on their faces, Cusick and Esson began cheering the pro-life marchers on. The brother and sister team were adopted.

“We were both chosen and loved,” said Cusick, who with Esson had travelled to Victoria for a leadership conference and wondered what their bus driver had meant when he said Government Street would be closed for a protest.

“It was so delightful to see the big banner at the front of the parade and see this many people being part of this,” said Esson. “It’s absolutely wonderful.”

Esson’s birth mother was a young woman from England who’d landed in Canada with some friends on a work visa. While here, she got into a relationship and became pregnant. Her English friends waited with her in Canada until she had the baby, gave him up for adoption, and flew back home.

At eight days old, his adoptive parents picked him up from a home for unwed mothers in Toronto. That’s the first day he met Cusick, his five-year-old sister, who had also been adopted at birth.

March for Life in Victoria May 10. 

“I remember going to pick him up,” said Cusick. “I waited in the car with my grandfather while my parents went into the home and came out with this beautiful baby.”

They made the eight-hour drive back home to Sault Ste. Marie, where Cusick and Esson grew up, happy and biologically unrelated to their parents or to each other.

“They brought us up, I think, very well,” said Esson. “My sister married a minister and I became a minister myself. I pastor a church.”

Their mother was told she would never have a child of her own. Then, at 40 years old, she discovered what she thought was a tumor in her abdomen. “The doctor said: ‘it’s not a tumor, you’re pregnant!’”

The family grew to five as Cusick and Esson’s parents welcomed their third child, a son. “I take my hat off to my birth mother and my brother’s birth mother for having had us. We had a wonderful family, childhood, and life,” said Cusick.

“If we had been born 50 years later, our birth mothers might have done an abortion. I’m alive today because of the laws of the land at the time.”

March for Life in Victoria May 10.

She now has children of her own and three grandchildren. Esson is also a grandfather.

The pair was grateful to see a large crowd of pro-life British Columbians, including hundreds of young people, march down the street in B.C.’s capital.

“What I noticed about the masses of people going by were the young people. That’s really encouraging,” said Cusick.

Esson agreed. “Canada and China are the only two countries in the world that have no abortion law, which is sad to figure that we’re in cahoots with a communist country. It’s just pathetic. It’s our prayer, whether it will happen in our lifetime or not, that there will be protection again for the child that’s not delivered yet.”

“Life is so precious,” he added. “It’s so precious.”