It’s a delicate balance that celebrities try to strike between connecting with their audiences while still maintaining some amount of private life. However, Rascal Flatts’ bassist and background vocalist, Jay DeMarcus, is being very forthcoming about a time in his life when his challenges were too great to face alone.
In his new memoir, Shotgun Angels: My Story of Broken Roads and Unshakeable Hope, Jay has shared that when he was in his early 20s, his girlfriend of just a month became pregnant with a baby girl the first time they were intimate.
People shared excerpts from the book on their website and Jay writes, “We had sex one time, but I knew it. I knew she was pregnant.”
At the time, Jay was part of the Christian duo, East to West with Neal Coomer, and while Neal was there for him personally, professionally it meant the end of the collaboration. “I understand, I guess, but it seems that many Christians all too often kill their wounded instead of taking time to be there to help pick someone up,” he writes.
Jay says that he and Maggie did discuss their options, including getting married, they decided that adoption was the best route. Jay’s very supportive mother even offered to adopt the infant so her son could be part of his daughter’s life, but the mom-to-be continued with the outside adoption without Jay’s involvement.
“[Maggie and I] discussed many options, including getting married and raising the child ourselves, but we quickly determined we’d be making that decision for the wrong reason,” Jay writes in the book. “Abortion was never an option, so we began to discuss adoption.”
“From the very beginning, I wanted to be in [my baby’s] life,” Jay writes. “But her mother, Maggie, didn’t want either one of us in her life. That was a hard pill to swallow. I understand that sometimes life sends us reeling because of unexpected situations. But my heart in that moment, though scared, still desired to be in this beautiful child’s life.”
To date, Jay still has not met the young woman who would now be in her 20s. He says, “My heart finds satisfaction in knowing that she ended up with a wonderful family, but I’ve had to live with this my entire life. The adoptive family was supposed to give her a letter when she turned 14 explaining that I loved her, did not abandon her, and have tried several ways to make it possible to be in her life.”
Jay married his wife, Alison, in 2004 and the couple is raising their children—Madeline, 8, and Dylan, 6—in Nashville where their faith remains a pivotal part of their lives.