A life of love

A life of love
Everyone should have a Great Pyrenees

Friday, June 6, 2008

A must read about abortion

Now, as most of you (if not all of you) who read my blog know, I love tons of kids! I would have many more in our household if we could, and we may yet. So, we have what many people consider a large family - five kids! Gasp! No biggie - okay, sometimes the laundry is, but really, how stressed can you get about that. Or if you do, like I do some days (like today, when the rain moved in and I had to pull all three loads in off the clothesline to finish drying in my horribly inefficient dryer), well, you have to step back and decide that it is crazy to let it make you nuts. So, I try to make a joke of it, enlist help of the kids, and just have a sense of humor. And to be grateful - at least it means that we have clothes to wear, family members to clothe and health enough that we are able to dirty clothes in activities.

Anyway, before I digress into silliness, back to the topic. I have a few blogs that I follow, that are inspiring to me, get me thinking, let me reach out, or just give me an excuse to sit for a couple minutes with a cup of coffee!!!!

I have found a new blog that I really like, and I found this post today (get this, I had been up for basically most of the last two nights with my daughter's diabetes struggles, snatching sleep in between her continuous blood glucose monitor alarming at me and then dealing with the issue, got her up to go babysit at a nearby friend's house at the ungodly hour of 7AM - God, could we have made mornings easier?, and then began my chores of laundry and getting the other kids going, followed by moving horses to another pasture, chasing down boys to chase down goat escape artists, and cutting really long grass around the house! I keep thinking it must be lunchtime, but nope, not yet.). It was very well written and had a great deal of resources and I would highly recommend you check it out.

I was just so torn up reading it, not just because I am so sad about abortion in general, but because I have several rather personal reasons to feel that way.

My eldest child was unexpected and I was unwed and in a bad situation when I discovered I was pregnant with him. My sin, my failing, and now I has subjected someone else to this! Well, I truly know that God used this to slap me upside the head and get me back on track and I quite often admit that my son probably saved my life, at the very least gave me motivation to make a better life! At that point, several folks, in very kind ways, discussed abortion with me. I know where they were coming from and their hearts. They did have good intentions. But I look back and think "what if I had done that?". I look at my lovely boy and know that I would have murdered him, and never gotten to know him. I knew at the time that it wasn't an option, I would not abort this child, and that I would get my act together, and get back with God. And God blessed that. Reason one.

We have been foster parents and though we still mourn for those children that we love that have moved on, for better or worse, and I know that they live. I think of my little E, her portrait still hangs on the wall, after two years of her being gone, and will never come down. As much as it pains me that I miss her, I am so grateful that her mother gave her life. In fact, her birthmother and I had a conversation in which she advocated that we still be able to be in E's life after she returned to her birthfather, as "you are her mother" (yes, coming from her birthmother!!!!). We looked at each other and she said that I did the job, and I responded that she blessed E with life. It still rings as one of the most surreal moments of my life. So, for those kids, that while they may be "unwanted" or in tough situations, they deserve life. There are families who will love them as we love E, people that strongly desire to care for them and help them have happy lives. What may be a bad situation today, may be a good one in a year. And how many amazing people have come from tough backgrounds and used that for good, to be extraordinary people? So many! How do you decide that something is "too hard"? How do we claim that right to decide this?

Next. Two of my children were adopted from a difficult situation, orphaned internationally and seemingly without hope. And they are the most lively, living in the moment kids. We are so very blessed to have them in our lives, to have them as our children. I am so glad that their mothers gave them life, and that we were able to continue that life, and that I know that they will grow up and go on to have a chance for good lives (they get to choose how they live it out, I will do my best to prepare them for it).

Another. I have one child with a chronic medical condition, one that can always place her life at risk, one that could very well shorten or affect her life. We battle it constantly. But with the wonderful miracles of modern medicine, she can live with this. A hundred years ago she would have been dead years ago. Now she will go on to have a full life, however always needing to address this issue. What if someone decided that a child living with diabetes was too hard? Would you chose to abort that child? It is hard. But it is lovely. How do you decide what is too hard? God has given us what he has for a reason. There is nothing too hard with God. He may only provide moment to moment, or day to day, but if you can work with him, it can be done. I have seen both my daughter and our family affect other folks as they watch us live with this and deal with this. We have a lot to offer, a lot of encouragement, a lot of practical things we can do. Would I choose for her to not have this disease? In a heartbeat! Would I sacrifice anything I could, including myself if I thought I could rid her of this? Without even having to think twice about it! But, what are we to learn through this, what is God teaching us, what is he strengthening her to do? I know that he has a purpose, and I know that he will use this for his glory, and I know that he does not have plans for our harm, but for our good, and I know that he loves my child so much more than I even do. So, yes, as the parent of a child with "issues", I would never choose to not have her here, or to save her from what she deals with (by aborting her instead).

And. We hope to be blessed with more natural children, but that will be up to God. If he chooses to allow me to conceive again, it will be entirely through his grace, and I have learned to accept that. But, folks will ask us: but what if another has this disease? Or: given your age, aren't you worried about the risks of birth defects? (By the way, I am 38) Personally, as much as I want a healthy baby, does that mean I would turn away a sick or "imperfect" one? Not at all. Again, God is soveriegn and has reasons. I know that we don't even want to do prenatal testing unless it is for something that we could do something about prior to birth, something that doctors could fix or whatever. I do not want to know if my child would have Down Syndrome or something else. There is nothing that I could do about that, and I want to welcome a child, not a syndrome. We still try to say that our child is a "child with diabetes rather than a diabetic child". If testing could show something that medication could help, or prenatal surgery could help - then I am all for it. Of course I would want to do that. But otherwise, nope. I will take what I am given, whatever it is (kinda feel like I am tempting fate or something by saying that publicly). I know that if I start rounding out, people will comment, we will get more stares, and I am sure someone will ask if we are done yet. They do already. NOPE. If God moves, he moves. That is it.

And another reason. I have been intensely following a little boy in Vietnam with special needs. He is four, and in a situation where he certainly isn't getting the care that would allow him to have the best life that he can. If you don't know, the situation with adoptions in Vietnam is precarious. At this point, it is unlikely that any children will be adopted out of there after September first. The window is closing for this young child (if you have any interest in him, contact me and I will get you in touch with the adoption agency!!!!). I don't know why, but from the moment I saw his face, I was so drawn to him. My heart just reached out to him, broke for him. And then to see his video, and scream at the screen - no, don't hold him like that, it makes it worse!! NO, please don't tie him into that chair where he will develop more abnormal movement patterns and spend his days!!! Please, let me show you how to hold him so he can get breath better, please let me hold him so he can get control of his trunk muscles and then maybe get his hands out of those fists. I can see just what I know needs to be done to help him move. And even with all that being done wrong for him, he has a huge smile, eyes that shine out at you, and is so smiley and interactive with people. AGGGHHHH!!!! I know what could be done for him here, what options he would have, and that no one could tell how far he might come with help. But he won't get that there. Anyway. In my heart, he feels like my son, but it isn't only my decision to make. I cannot do it alone. There are realities - like $1500 for another homestudy, $480 to immigration, and then travel (he is a promise child, so there are no agency fees). I don't have those funds today, but I fully believe that God could move things so that was available. He did with our other sons. Each time I think that the clock has run out, or that there is no way that something could happen, it does. But at this point, it isn't just my decision to make. Would there be mobility issues? Maybe. Would that be a problem in our two story house? Probably eventually, though could be managed while he is small. He also may do very well and it would be a moot point. Would our family and friends think we were nuts? Oh, most definitely! I am sure there would be many concerned conversations with the best of intentions. There are people who don't talk with us now because of the children we already adopted (different race, country, more kids, etc). Some in our church community would be less than helpful - I know that the preschool Sunday schools would not be a place that this child could go given certain issues. And I know that I can deal with that. It would raise people's hackles for us to have a "new" child and deal with a stroller or wheelchair on top of "what we already have". I get that. I know that it is more. That this child would exponentially add to the family. I also know that being stretched isn't a bad thing. It is too easy to look at the ones that look perfect or healthy, but leave behind those that don't. Sorry, but I am at a frustrating period and don't see an answer. And maybe God's answer is that my heart is opened, that it is stirred up. Okay, I get that too. But is this child any less valuable than those that aren't so challenging? Doesn't he deserve a family that can love him for who he is and what God made him to be? I have struggled with this situation for months and haven't seen a whole lot of progress, or at least not at the final stumbling block. But, each child deserves life. This child may not be perfect, but does that mean he has less value? Our society values the pretty, the cute, the athletic, the smart. That isn't what Christ calls us to do (a great read is by Tom Davis "Red Letters". Don't read it unless you want to be challenged and brought back to exactly what Christ said).

So, those are my personal reasons that abortion makes me sad. I would gladly take any of those "unwanted" home and raise them as my own. And to see them not given a chance at life.... It is murder plain and simple, done for convenience. We need to step up and help. Next time you see the unwed mom at church, doing her best to forge a better way, don't look down your nose at her, but smile. I have been on the receiving end of that look - condemned for my sins, flogged with them, even as Christ promised me that they were as far as the east is from the west, and as I tried to do the right thing. Help our the foster/adoptive families you know, help out the single mom, help someone. Ask the youth pastor if he/she knows any families that would be blessed by your son's outgrown clothes that you have no one to pass them to. Be nice. that is it.

I dunno, I think I just blew out all my possible steam for the day. Read the blog. Think about what you can do. Bless someone, somehow. Now, I am tired. I think I will make lunch, hug my kids, fold my laundry, read with the kids, and try to move on. I have wrung out all my sadness and angst for the day. Sorry I wasn't more entertaining.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Wow. That link was powerful & sobering.

I'm going to borrow it from you and blog about it, too (hope that's okay). :-)