Eric, Kimberly and Mika Scott look like an ordinary family, but the way they became a family and stayed a family is nothing short of extraordinary.
Kimberly and Eric met 20 years ago, fell deeply in love and were married within four months. Their relationship was a long-distance one as Eric, then a Marine, was often deployed, leaving Kimberly alone.
"Eric was gone on a mission," Kimberly said, "and we were selling our condo and there was an associate minister of a church that I was attending that wanted to buy our condo."
But, says Kimberly, that innocent meeting with an acquaintance became a life-altering event that forced the Scotts to face a series of tough calls.
"He grabbed me from behind and threw me on the floor and just started pulling off my clothes," Kimberly said, "and he pretty much raped me at that point."
At the hospital, Kimberly said she was encouraged to report what happened, but she refused — not surprising, given that more than half of rapes go unreported.
"Can't do it — I wanted to, but I was alone, you know. My husband was gone and I was so ashamed," said Kimberly.
So Kimberly didn't file charges. She was then faced with another difficult decision: how and when to tell her husband, who was away on duty, what had happened.
She decided to wait to tell him in person, when he returned two months later. By then, however, Kimberly had other news to break.
"I'm carrying the child of a guy who raped me. … I was just like, 'Why God?'" she said.
Breaking the News
Kimberly now had to tell Eric not only that she was attacked, but that the rape resulted in her becoming pregnant. This was all the more shocking, because doctors had always told Kimberly it would be extremely difficult for her to ever have children.
"Here they tell me I can't get pregnant, and then I'm pregnant by a guy who raped me. I mean why did it have to happen like this?"
Kimberly's husband, Eric, didn't know what to believe.
"At first she told me she was pregnant," said Eric. "So my first assumption was it was my kid and then she told me when she was due and it just didn't add up for it to be my kid if the baby was due when she was saying it was due."
Eric thought Kimberly had cheated on him. He never imagined it could be anything else.
Ultimately Eric did believe Kimberly, and then they were faced with what would for most victims of rape be an impossibly tough call: whether to have the baby, and then, whether to keep it.
"The one thing I did not think about though, which a lot of people thought I would have thought about, was abortion," said Kimberly. "The baby was part of me, too. That's the way I looked at it."
Eric also wanted the baby and when their son, Mika, was born, it was Eric who immediately bonded with him. Kimberly, however, had mixed feelings. She said it was only when Mika grew to be a toddler that she completely bonded with her son. By then she had erased any doubts that she made the right decision. Watching her son grow, she realized her personal tragedy was transformed into a remarkable child.
"God just wanted to make him special under bad circumstances," Kimberly said.
When Mika was 6, he heroically saved a baby from a vicious dog attack. In doing so, Mika suffered a serious bite in his face and required plastic surgery. To thank everyone for the outpouring of sympathy, he started baking cookies. It's something he's continued for the last eight years, with such success that it became a business. Mika's Heavenly Cookies earned him local fame, as well as several thousand dollars for his college fund.
Explaining Things to Her Son
Through the years, the Scotts enjoyed typical childhood pleasures, along with typical childlike questions, like when Mika asked Kimberly whom he looked like.
"At that moment, I'm thinking, I know he's not noticing already," Kimberly said. "I knew eventually I was going to tell him how he was conceived, because I never wanted to keep secrets from him. I always wanted to be honest with him."
Kimberly and Eric felt the truth was important. So yet again, they were faced with a tough call: how and when to tell Mika the circumstances surrounding his conception. At age 8, Kimberly decided Mika was mature enough to learn the truth.
"I was shocked. I didn't even know what to think. I was blown away," said Mika, now 14. "It was hard to take it."
For Kimberly, there have been unexpected occasions, when looking at Mika can be a painful reminder.
"I like to hug and kiss, and a couple of times my son approached me with his hands out wanting to give me a hug and I could feel myself pulling back," she said.
Kimberly says she is now at the point where she no longer thinks of the rape when she looks at Mika. She has never contacted the man who she says raped her and she does not intend to. But surprisingly Mika says he may someday want to search him out.
"I really want to meet him, that's all," said Mika. "See what he looks like and see where I get my resemblance from."
The decision whether to make contact with him will be yet another difficult one and there is the choice Kimberly made to speak with us. Why share this painful chapter? Kimberly said she wanted to let people know they too can move on from difficult times.