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Memories and Motherhood – Rebecca Vent

People might recognize the name Rebecca Vent for her many years of service to the Kokomo area as a family law attorney. Recently she was appointed as Howard County Superior Court II judge by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, replacing retired Judge Brant Parry. However, besides having a fulfilling professional life, Vent knows firsthand what it’s like to give and receive nurturing care. It’s a Mother’s Day story of the best kind – how yielding to unselfish love resulted in outcomes that continue to be a blessing for all involved.

After graduating from law school at Ohio Northern University, Vent was a member of McIntyre, Hilligoss, Vent, O’Keefe, & Welke, LLP for 23 years. When its office building was sold to Crossroads Community Church, she left the firm, but continued as an attorney for four more years. In the fall of 2023 she was asked by Governor Holcomb to fill the vacancy in Howard County Superior Court II. Vent hopes to continue in the job by winning in the May primary election.

“While still in school, I clerked for two years for a brilliant trial court judge,” she says. “I saw what a difference a good judge could make. Judge Rumor was firm but also had the grace to give second chances. He took me under his wing and pointed out to me how important it was for an attorney to be well-prepared.”

Throughout her career, Vent has advocated for children. Her area of expertise became family law, and she handled adoptions, guardianships, grandparent rights, divorces and custody cases. She represented the Kokomo School Corporation for 15 years. Other attorneys in the area noticed her aptitude and word of mouth spread. She was asked to be guardian ad litem for hundreds of cases. In that role she represented the best interests of children involved in legal proceedings, by taking steps such as making home visits and speaking to teachers.

After getting married in her mid-30s, Vent and her husband began planning for children of their own. When life circumstances made it difficult for her to be a biological mother, she and her husband opted to take the path of adoption. Unfortunately, the journey did not go smoothly.

“After some time of spreading the word to adoption agencies and attorneys, we were selected by a birth mom to be the parents of her little boy,” she says. “We set up a nursery and were invited for the birth, which involved cutting the umbilical cord. We spent two nights at the hospital giving the baby his first bath, holding and rocking him, but when the time came for her to sign the papers, the biological mother couldn’t do it. Although I couldn’t blame her, I have never experienced that kind of loss and heartbreak.”

Almost nine months later, a second call from a birth mother came. Vent’s daughter was born just three weeks later. This time, a challenge still presented itself.

“Because of the first experience, my husband and I did not go to the hospital,” Vent says. “We decided not to lay eyes on her until the papers were signed. Then we got the word that the birth mother wanted one more night with her baby. I spent the night down on my knees praying.”

The next morning, the Vents got the call that the papers were signed. They hopped in the car and drove to meet their daughter. They walked into the room to see the birth mom both crying and smiling.

“There is no greater gift, not even your own life, than giving up a child so they can have a better life,” Vent says. “The birth mom was in her teens and had been raised in foster care. She had no parents or grandparents. Over the years we kept in touch through letters.”

When Vent’s daughter was in eighth grade, she expressed the desire to meet her biological mom. Initially, Vent was hesitant. However, she had always told her daughter what a sacrifice of love her birth mom had made.

“On the day of the meeting, I saw that it had all come full-circle,” Vent says. “This time I was the one with the puffy eyes and the red nose. It turned out to be joyful for all of us. We had a wonderful time sharing and finding out the many things they both had in common.”

In the years following the adoption, Vent’s daughter’s birth mother had two sons of her own. She met a wonderful man who wanted to adopt the boys.

“I represented her and her husband in the adoption proceedings,” Vent says. “It was the most fulfilling adoption I ever took part in, except for my own! I am convinced raising kids is not about biology, but pure and simple love.”

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