Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Not "Pro-life" enough?

*Note: This is NOT a political post, not about the election.


Ugh...I find comments, memes (like the one at right), & articles like, "White, Conservative, Christian Friends — I Wish You Really Were Pro-Life" annoying...
Why??? Especially the one on the right, it's not like she's saying anything wrong. I mean, she's a nun, she's Catholic, I'm Catholic, we share the same beliefs. So why does it bug me?  Well, for a few reasons...

1) I've seen several pro-choice people use it to deflect the real issue at hand - That abortion is the real, brutal ending of an innocent human life. Many pro-choicers know this and would rather not have to defend it, so why not just attack the pro-lifers? As the saying goes, "The best defense is a good offense." They can go ahead and attempt to cloud the issue, attack the credibility of your opponent, in an attempt make them more "right" or "moral."  

2) I've seen it used in this way, "What about all the suffering children out there? Pro-life people obviously don't care about them."  Soooooooo, they're better off dead?  It's better to offer them no chance at all? I don't follow this logic. 

3) Many of the comments, memes, & articles wrongly assume that the pro-life movement is only pro-birth. They pretend this type of pro-life person (one that cares for the mother & child) doesn't exist. They're obviously not looking too hard...  Where are these so-called pro-lifers that support birth, but not the life of the child? In my 35 years of life, I have yet to meet one. I have, however, met amazing pro-life people who:
- adopt children here in the US and abroad of all races, ethnicities, ages, and abilities (even children with significant "special needs" such as HIV & down syndrome)
- foster children of all races, ethnicities, ages, & abilities
- sponsor children all over the world
- educate, both in the classroom and in non-traditional settings
- donate time, talent, and treasure
- volunteer with children (such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters), within the community (such as Live United, at church organizations, & more)
- work at pregnancy centers showing love, patience, & compassion to women in crisis pregnancies and offering healing & support to women who have been hurt by abortion.
The truth is pro-life people are working around the world to support those in need. I have the slight suspicion that these imaginary solely pro-birth people are just a projection of some pro-choice... Perhaps, some pro-choicers aren't as selfless/philanthropic as they'd like to proclaim? Perhaps some see all the good pro-lifers are doing and have some guilty consciences floating around???  What better way to sooth their guilt than to throw mud at the pro-lifers?

4) In the particular article referenced above, author John Pavlovitz makes a lot of incorrect assumptions about "White, Conservative, Christians." Apparently, we are all..
a. Anti-LGBTQ
b. Anti-Black (RACIST?!?!)
c. Pro-death penalty
d. Anti-public schools
e. Anti-poor & welfare
f. Anti-health care
g. Anti-access to healthy food
h. Pro-rape & sexual assault
i. Cold-hearted & non-compassionate towards our deployed soldiers
j. Anti-immigrants 

Just take a second to read that list again.. Am I the only one who sees the ridiculousness of it?!?! Please introduce me to the pro-rape, pro-life person that he's writing about. I seriously think that most of his article is just a figment of his imagination to defend his made-up argument. I could go through these one-by-one, but I'll spare you. There is a major (& tired) problem with his logic here: Just because you do not agree with a person's decisions, does NOT MEAN YOU DON'T SUPPORT THEIR LIFE.  It does not mean you are anti- whatever.  Being pro-life does not mean you need to celebrate everyone's life choices/decisions.  For example, I absolutely support my children's lives, but when they scribble all over the wall or don't study for a test & bomb it, I definitely don't support those life choices. ;)  Loving someone does not mean you have to love & celebrate every decision he/she makes. In addition, sometimes we can love and support people/causes in different ways. We may have different ideas about education, health care, or immigration, but that doesn't mean one of us cares more about them than the other. Just because my way is different than yours doesn't mean either is wrong or anti-whatever. 

And now I will get personal...
I'm white, conservative, & Christian...
- I also worked in public education for 10 years, but according to writers like Pavlovitz I'm against fully-funded public education.
- At one point in my life, I was poor. For a time period, I was on welfare & free health care and will forever be grateful for that, but apparently I'm against all of that.
- I have awesome friends who are gay, but apparently I'm homophobic & anti-LGBTQ.
- I've had loved ones deployed, but apparently I don't care about them.
- I've written a letter in support of a student who's parent was in danger of being deported, but according to Pavlovitz, I'm anti-immigrants.
- I've experienced small steps of the immigration process: filling out an I800 & I600 (Petition to Classify an Immigrant as a Relative), having my biometrics checked by the Department of Homeland Security's US Citizen & Immigration Services (USCIS), standing in the long lines of the US Consulate in a foreign country to wait for my child's VISA. But, again, apparently I'm against immigration.
- And the one that hurt the most...the accusation of RACISM...
According to Pavlovitz, only "Caucasian embryos" matter to me and I "don't give a damn" about "diverse babies."
Two of my children were not Caucasian embryos, and I'll be honest, the momma bear inside me is now ROARING. How DARE you say that because I am white, conservative, & Christian, I don't give a damn about my Asian & black sons?!?! The love and devotion I feel for all of my children is equal. Not one of them is more worthy of life because of his/her race or ethnicity and to suggest that I must feel this way because of my demographics & pro-life convictions is offensive & ignorant.

Step inside the world of adoption, Mr. Pavlovitz, and your eyes will be opened. Whether domestic or international, you will see that many of your assumptions about white, conservative, Christian, pro-life people are wrong. I am not unique in my feelings or beliefs. There are many of us out there, but you are choosing not to see us just to further your pro-choice rhetoric. 

You write as if being pro-choice makes you morally superior. I've had the opportunity to know many wonderful people, some who happen to be pro-choice. I have pro-choice friends who volunteer & work within their community to improve the lives of the less fortunate. Do I demonize them for their beliefs? Of course not, I still love them and believe their lives have just as much value as mine...and I pray for their conversion. I've also known women who have chosen abortion. Do I hate them? Shame them? Wish them harm? Again, of course not. My heart breaks for them. I so wish they could have had the happy ending that I had. I will always be here as a shoulder to lean on when needed.  And that's part of what being pro-life is all about. Showing love and compassion. Offering support and help. Not hate. Not pointing fingers. Not writing articles filled with false generalizations. Being pro-life is about supporting humans from womb to tomb. I'm sorry you haven't met these type of people, but I'd be glad to introduce you to some! ;)

To being pro-life even in a messy world & standing by our convictions even when they're not "popular," 
-Becky

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The "YES!" that led to #6

This is the story of how one leap of faith...One giant "YES" lead to our 6th child... After the heartbreak of a failed adoption, I remember telling Obie, "I wish T had never picked us." I was hurt and just wished it had never happened. But this time was different. This time I felt like WE picked "A."  We truly appreciate all the kind words that followed our failed adoption, and we've gotten a lot of questions about our newest addition, so here is the story of our happy ending.  Although, I wouldn't really consider this the ending...more like the beginning... ;) 


Fri, Apr. 1, 2016 - I'm sitting in the car waiting to pick up our youngest son from preschool, when I get a call from K, the matching coordinator at our agency. She proceeded to describe a situation that she said was "perfect" for us involving expectant mom, A. Again, the expectant mom had received no prenatal care, so again there were many unknowns. I listened, guarded but interested. It had been less than 2 weeks since our first failed adoption. Could we really put ourselves through it again??? I said we'd give her answer in 1 hour...that "1 hour" turned into 10...

Oh, and did I mention A was scheduled to have a c-section THE VERY NEXT DAY?!?!?

I called my mom in tears. I felt scared. Scared to say "yes" and scared to say "no." What if this was meant to be our son or daughter and we turned away?  Obie & I discussed it and doubts ran through our heads. As we thought about all of the reasons to say "no," a few began to sound eerily familiar... A lot like the ones I had used when I became pregnant with our first son, Blake, and considered termination...
  • Bad timing
  • It's just too soon
  • We would inconvenience everyone  (Again!!!)  
I thought back to other times when babies came at the "wrong" time. When I was born, my mom was unemployed and my dad was laid off. When our first was born, I was a poor, unmarried teenager. And despite those circumstances, I'm so grateful for my life & Blake's.

And, if we said "no," I knew we'd always wonder... What eventually happened? Was the baby a boy or girl? Was he/she healthy? Did his/her mom follow through with her adoption plan? What type of a family did the baby go to?  

Most importantly, how hypocritical would it be of us to say "no," when we JUST said how much we trusted God's plan for our family??? We totally trust God's timing, UNLESS it interferes with OUR timing. We totally trust God's plan, UNLESS it screws up OUR schedule....  No, either we trust Him or we don't.

Now there were two major hurdles:
1) Would my parents watch the kids again? and
2) What about Obie's work schedule?  He can't just go taking off work whenever he feels like it! And he JUST did take time off work for our last adoption. Plus, the following week was a travel week!  He was supposed to be out of the state for at least 3 days!!!

But God moved mountains. We asked my mother to watch the kids again, and she said "yes." THANK YOU, MOM!!!  And Obie, amazingly, was able to change his schedule. THANK YOU, OBIE!!! He wouldn't be with me the entire time, but he would be there for a few days and that was enough.  We said "YES."  It felt like jumping off a cliff, people! A total leap of faith!

Sat, Apr. 2 - It's morning. My parents just arrived. We're all packed & getting ready to go when I get a text from our agency. The c-section has been cancelled. We aren't allowed to know the details because of doctor-patient confidentiality rules, but it's rescheduled for Saturday.  My parents go home, and we spend a relaxing weekend at home with the kiddos.

Mon, Apr. 4 - Morning again, kids are taken to school, my mom arrives, and we're off! We make the nearly 5 hour drive to a city in Ohio and meet L & B, agency staff members, and E, the state social worker. A says she wants to see us as soon as we get there, so we go up and are literally on the other side of her room door, but there's a nurse in there prepping her for surgery. While we're waiting, the charge nurse and hospital social worker take us into another room and discuss the hospital's adoption policies. Now it's too late to see A, so I pull up a picture of Obie & I on my phone and the charge nurse takes it in for her to see.  Then we wait for over an hour in the waiting room, thinking she was having a baby... The state social worker comes out with a frustrated expression. Nope. No baby. At least not today. Again, we're not allowed to know the details, but apparently she was totally ready for surgery when the obgyn came in and said today is not the day. The c-section is tentatively re-scheduled for Wednesday. It's now been cancelled twice with no end in sight.  We all go home. We make the 5 hour drive back, and the agency workers, who have been there since Friday, fly back to Utah.

Tues, Apr. 5 & Wed, Apr. 6 - Radio silence. Seriously. Nothing. I get a sliver of info from the state social worker, saying A probably won't contact anyone unless she's admitted to the hospital...so we assume no baby is being born today.

Thurs, Apr. 7 - I wake up today feeling a little crazy - I just want to know SOMETHING, ANYTHING.  Even if the answer is no, even if she changed her mind, please God, please let A contact someone!!!  Was she just going to stop responding? Disappear? Go MIA? Was this going to be failed adoption #2???  The uncertainty was killing me!
           But my prayers were answered - and then some!!!  A told the state social worker that she was at the hospital and at 1:11 pm we got the most amazing text: "Baby is here!" We were over-joyed!!  Later in the day something else amazing happened - I had a text conversation with A!!! And it was wonderful! So positive and affirming! My doubts faded. I went to bed that night with a heart full of joy & a smile on my face!

Fri, Apr. 8 - The state social worker & attorney visited A in the hospital. They told us A was doing great & we were "doing everything right." :) I spent the entire morning trying to find us an attorney. I had purposely put off doing this, just in case, but the state social worker said she needed a name asap & I found a great one! A & I speak more via text. We even discuss names.  I'm getting excited - still super tense - but optimistic that things are going to work out. We're making plans for the future...

Sat, Apr. 9 - A & I text a little today. We try to stay busy, doing normal Saturday chores and attending evening mass. After learning baby is a little bigger than expected, I sort through & clean some bigger clothes. Signing is scheduled for 4 pm on Sunday night. Then, Obie & I are scheduled at 5:30 pm. Last time I begged God, Please let her sign!  But this time was different. This time I prayed for peace. Peace for A - that she's confident in her decision. Peace for us - that we find acceptance in whatever she decides. I go to bed feeling calm.

Sun, Apr. 10 - Today's the day. So many futures are potentially about to change... I text A to let her know we're thinking & praying for her everyday, but especially today. We leave around 12:30 pm for the long drive. Four pm comes...then 4:30...then 5...Obie & I speculate, If she changed her mind, we would know by now, right? Since it's been so long, they MUST be going over paperwork, right?!?!  At 5:02 pm I'm about to text the state social worker, when she texts me: "She signed..."!!!  PTL!!! Joy & relief flood over us!!!  We make it to the hospital and meet the state social worker. They wheel out our precious baby boy and we see him for the first time. Tears. Joy. Amazement. I hold him as we sign our papers. Welcome baby DK!!!!

First pic!
My turn to sign
We head to our hotel with our sweet baby boy to await ICPC approval. We can't take DK out of Ohio until we are approved by both OH and IN. It could be up to 2 weeks!

First car ride & first hotel stay :)
Tues, Apr 12 - Obie heads back to IN to be with our other kiddos, so it's just DK & me chillin' in a Homewood Suites in OH.  I don't even have a car!!! Thankfully, Ob stocked me up with groceries before he left. :) Plus, the state social worker, my sister's MIL, & pretty much everyone I meet at the hotel has offered to help me if I need it.  And how neat is it that we ended up so close to my sister's in-laws?

Wed, Apr 13 - OH approval!  Now it's Indiana's turn...


Thurs, Apr 14 - IN approval! WHAAA?!?! We
 were told to prepare for 2 weeks & we're approved  to go home today?? After only a few days?!?  How awesome is that?!?!?  At 7 pm we're home!!!! PTL!!!  Greeted by family & neighbors, I'm so happy to be here!!  Ready to start the adventures as a family of 8!!!

We're so thankful that we said "YES." It was truly meant to be. We will continue to pray for A's peace, comfort, & healing everyday. The process wasn't always a walk in the park, but God didn't put this desire to adopt in our hearts & tell us it would be without struggle. He didn't say, Adopt! But, ya know, only if it's easy... It was bumpy - emotional- messy - sometimes painful & confusing - sometimes full of frustration & unknowns. But so worth it! And we have learned that we are strong. We are confident. We are faithful. We are grateful. We are so blessed. And we trust in Him.

-Becky


Thursday, March 24, 2016

On Failed Adoptions...

My husband & I joined a club this week that we never wanted to be in...

Failed Adoptions...

Let me back up a second.  So, Obie & I are adopting again...well, trying to adopt again. In Oct '15 we signed with Christian Adoption Consultants (I highly recommend.) In Jan '16 with our paperwork finished, we applied to placing agencies and began seeing "situations."  We "presented" our profile to about 5 different situations and got 5 "no's," which we were okay with. We trusted God's timing and His plan. Then, on Feb 26, 2016 I got an email & a text from one of the agency workers, E.  She said she had a situation with an expectant mom named 'T'. T was pregnant with her 3rd child, although she wasn't parenting her first two. There were many unknowns. T had received no prenatal care, so we were warned that we wouldn't know anything about the health of the baby or whether there was in-utero drug exposure - And we were okay with this. We feel very open to whatever God sends us...either gender, any ethnicity, and a list of special needs, so we presented. A few hours later we got the call every prospective adoptive parent dreams of - Of the 3 families that presented, WE WERE PICKED!!! WE WERE MATCHED!!! We had prayed for this day! And we thanked God for this wonderful blessing! I was nearly doing cartwheels around the house, LOL!  Obie was so shocked!! (Me too!) Now it was time to prepare for a baby that was due in less than a month!

Tues. Mar 16, 2016 - We got a text that T was having contractions.

Wed. Mar 17, 2016 - St. Patrick's Day!  We got a text that T had given birth to an 8 lb, 10 oz baby BOY at 7:35 that morning.  I could not wipe the smile off my face!  We packed, gave our other kids lots of hugs & kisses, and made it to Ohio that night around 11 pm. T was too tired for visitors, so we headed to our hotel.

Thurs. Mar 18, 2016 - We met T, the father, and their little baby boy. T was super sweet. We felt so good about our match.




We spent the next few days loving on her little man. We fed him, changed him, and did a lot of cuddling! The hospital staff was even nice enough to give us a private room in the nursery.  During our time together I told him how much I wanted to be his momma.  His life was truly at a cross-roads - two very different futures were possible.


I wish you could see his face in this pic! His eyes are so wide and bright looking up at Obie with such innocence and trust! 



Signing was supposed to be on Sun at 8 am, but the hospital unexpectedly offered to let T stay another day, and she took them up on it. So signing was moved to Mon at noon. During our entire time there T seemed so resolute. She said she was completely committed to her adoption plan. She refused to take this baby home "to a leaky basement" (she lived in her parent's basement.) She wanted a better life for this child.

Mon. Mar 21, 2016 - I got a call from one of our agency workers around 10 am.  My hair was still wet from showering, and I was just getting ready to put a picture of the little man in an engraved frame that we had bought for T.  "I wish I had better news..." began our agency worker.  T had changed her mind. She said she wanted to at least try to parent this child...

We were shocked at how hard this hit us.  We had tried to protect our hearts. We were rational and logical - we knew this was a possibility... But it didn't matter... It hurt so badly... So much worse than we expected...

I was grateful for the long drive home.  There were a lot of tears.  I thought I'd never be able to talk about this or even think about this without crying, but here I am writing about it, and although I'm not "fine," I am okay. The dull ache in my chest is less & less...  But it wasn't only sadness, it was also guilt. I felt like this was somehow my fault. I had done this. I had brought pain to my husband, children, and myself.  I was the one who suggested we adopt...  And then there was anger. I was so mad at myself for being sad. How could I sit here & cry when I had so much to be grateful for? Thankfully, Obie pointed out how ridiculous that was. Just because we have 5 healthy children at home, doesn't mean we can't mourn the loss of our 6th. One child does not take the place of another. I heard a wise mother once say that her 9th child was just as loved and wanted as her 1st child. :)

Thank God for my strong, sweet husband who listened and comforted me as he was dealing with this himself. And for my wonderful family.  They were there for us in every way. Our parents watched our other children while we were in Ohio. Our oldest was worth his weight in gold - Seriously, he was an amazing help!  My sisters made me laugh when I felt like crying, sending flowers & chocolate to brighten my day. We are very blessed & so lucky to have such an awesome support system!

THANK YOU, FAMILY!!!


We still have so many questions... But we know they will probably never have answers. We still pray for T and her son. We hope they have a safe, happy future...

It's tempting to just walk away...just forget about adoption...move on with our lives...focus on other things....Protect ourselves from this EVER happening again...Because I seriously NEVER want to feel this way again... BUT we know that's not the answer for us. We still feel passionate about adoption, and called to add more children to our family through adoption.  We may not understand God's plan, but we trust Him. We hope and pray that someday, He will bless us again with another child.



"God can see the end of the story when we can only see the part we’re in right now. And we can trust that He’s still working in our lives, in good times and bad."

In Hope & Healing,
-Becky

Update: Just to be clear, we feel no ill will towards T. I didn't write this to paint her as the villain or us as the victims. We just wanted to share a part of our journey & recognize those who deserved our gratitude. I'm sure that her story would be just as emotional. Even though this didn't end the way we wished, we're still proud of her for choosing LIFE for her son, and we wish her and her family the best of luck in their futures!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Story of One Brave Family


I read this and had to share.

In I am alive today because my Chinese mother broke the law & gave birth to me, Lisa Smiley shares the heartbreaking and heartwarming story of what her family had to do to protect her and her siblings from China's oppressive one-child policy.  She explains how the recent change to a two-child policy will likely not end the abusive treatment of mothers and forced sterilizations and abortions. 

She also links to the story that came out a few years back of Feng Jianmei. When Feng was 7 months pregnant with her second child, she and her husband were unable to pay the $6,300 fine, so she was taken, blindfolded, and forced to abort their child. The photo of her laying on the hospital bed next to her dead child went viral. You can find it here, although I won't be sharing it on my blog because I find it too disturbing. :(  And this is just ONE example, the New York Times elaborated.  

I post this story to open some eyes. Even I, who traveled to China and adopted a precious little boy, was unaware of just how awful the enforcement of the one-child policy could be.

Human rights violations are happening all over the world.  When I taught, I remember being so frustrated, thinking These kids don't know how lucky they are to be born in the US, to be receiving a free education, to have access to food and health care, to enjoy so many freedoms that other countries don't have…  If you're like me, you may find it easier sometimes to just ignore. I know, that doesn't sound nice, but this stuff keeps me up at night.  It makes me feel so heartbroken and helpless...

I wish I could solve it all. But I don't have the answers, folks. Other than prayer. And if you ARE in a position to help or bring about change, please do.

Much Love, -Becky


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thank You and More

It's been quiet on here for a few months…sorry…that happens…a lot… ;)
But I had to say, THANK YOU to everyone after my last post. I've been overwhelmed and humbled by how positive, understanding, supportive everyone has been! I'm seriously shocked at the wonderful response! :)
Since then I've seen so many powerful prolife posts, quotes, and other stories. Today, there are many wonderful resources for women suffering from past abortions. Some are large organizations. Some are individual speakers sharing their personal experiences...


I'm so lucky to live in a time when the prolife movement recognizes the need for compassion, healing, and peaceful change. (And for my pro-choice readers: Before you exclaim, Peaceful, Whaaaa??? Did you not see what happened in Colorado?!?!  Remember, the actions of a few don't define the intentions of all. A few bad teachers make all teachers look bad. A few radicalized Muslims make all Muslims look bad. A few extreme anti-abortionists make all pro-lifers look bad…)

It still makes me so sad when I hear women defend abortion and abortion providers. How can two people look at the same image and each see something totally different? I'm reminded of the dress drama a while back. Remember that? White and gold? Or blue and black? Unfortunately, this time the issue is a little more serious…

I look at the ultrasound picture on the left and see a baby, while others see a "clump of cells," "products of conception," or "pregnancy tissue." I'm truly amazed at how perspectives can differ so greatly. I wonder how this is possible, especially for women who have carried a child until birth?  How can one feel the kicks, flips, and hiccups, and not think this is a live human being?  How can one see the face, arms, legs, fingers, and toes, and still deny the child's existence?  And what happens when we hear the thump, thump of the heart beat and the whoosh of the amniotic fluid?  How can we still refuse to believe?  Sometimes differences of perspective can create a more colorful world, but sometimes they can be deadly. At one point in history, blacks weren't considered deserving of human rights.  At one point, Jews weren't considered deserving of human rights…

The cynical side of me thinks it may be intentional blindness: If I refuse to admit that this is a real-life child, then I don't have to feel guilty when I get rid of it. I understand this because I felt this way after I had Blake. Giving birth to him didn't automatically make me prolife.  I mentioned before that I stubbornly clung to the belief that since it's legal, it's cool.  If we just refuse to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn, then it's no big deal to get rid of them, right?  Thankfully, my heart softened and I accepted the truth. I pray that others can eventually understand this, too.  There seems to be so much anger and defensiveness on the pro-choice side.  I wish everyone can feel the peace and hope on "the other side."

I try to focus on the positive side of this issue, but every so often I'll come across a prochoice argument that breaks my heart…
"My body, my choice" - Actually, the mother is the vehicle by which a child enters the world.  The unborn child is a separate individual with his/her own unique set of DNA. Ever known a women with two sets of DNA? Two hearts? Two brains? Two livers?
"The fetus can't remember anything from 'it's' time in the womb. Plus, 'it's' just a parasite, completely dependent on the mom." - Yikes, if we follow this logic, we open the door up to much more killing! I don't know about you, but I can't remember anything from, like, the first 4 years of my life. And I was completely dependent on my parents at that time too, so I guess we're all fair game until elementary school, eh?  Plus, have you ever been unconscious? Under general anesthesia? Asleep??? Can you remember everything from when you were out?  And what about those dealing with disabilities and dependent on others for basic care? Should we be able to off them too? What if it's only temporary? For, say, like 9 months?
" 'It's' not a baby! 'It's' a fetus!" - I never really cared much for the name game. Call him a fetus. Call him a baby. Call him a potato, for all I care! What's in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet…. ;)  It doesn't change the fact that his life has value. I mean, if his tissue does, shouldn't his life??? Can I get an AMEN!!! ;) ;) ;)

The sad truth is ABORTION KILLS ONE, HURTS ANOTHER.  In fact, it probably hurts more than just one other, too.  What about the father? The grandparents? Too many have been fooled into thinking that having an abortion is a part of women's health.  But there's nothing "healthy"about having an abortion - physically or mentally. There is plenty of medical and psychological evidence that reveals the short-term and long-term risks. Kristi Burton Brown elaborates on this in her 10 Reasons Not to Have an Abortion. (You can also find more here, here, and here.) But it's not just unhealthy for mom and baby, it also hurts the doctors, nurses, and staff who work in the clinics. No one just walks away from this and forgets.  An unplanned pregnancy is a crisis of not one life, but two.  Unfortunately, when a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy enters an abortion facility, they don't see a woman in crisis, they see dollars signs.  For them, she's just a line on a spreadsheet.

I was so disturbed when I saw a recent popular tv show promoting abortion and it's largest provider, Planned Parenthood. I don't get to watch tv that often (thank you, 5 kids. ;) ) But I did hear about it and saw a few stills online and I wondered…So this is what we're taught is a sign of equality and advancement for woman???  The lead character, laying on an exam table, legs up in stirrups - Does she
look strong and empowered to you???  NO. She looks conflicted and sad. And why? If abortion is no big deal, like some would have us believe, then why would anyone have any reservations about having one? I mean, it's not like "it's" a living thing or anything.  "It's" just a clump of cells; she might as well be getting a mole removed, right?

Of course, this is all just pretend. If you want to watch the real thing, you can hop over to YouTube and watch an abortion by the perspective of the doctor or the victim/patient. You can also Google it, if you want to understand the various abortion procedures or see all of the gruesome "products of conception" pictures. But, as for me - I don't need to see the gory details to be prolife. However, if you're prochoice, I encourage you to take a look - After all, you should know what you support.

The Scandal episode is a bit ironic if you know a little about Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. Known as a crusader for birth control, but if you dig a little deeper you'll find her intentions were a bit darker.  Sanger embraced the idea of eugenics, saying the genetic makeup of minorities and the poor was inferior. (Pivot of Civilization, by Margaret Sanger, 1922, p. 80) There is a plethora of information, much written in her own words, of her sad, scary views on abortion and forced sterilization. "More children from the fit, less from the unfit -- that is the chief aim of birth control." she said. (Birth Control Review, May 1919, p. 12) She even focused on blacks in particular, stating, "We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population," she said, "if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members." (Woman's Body, Woman's Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America, by Linda Gordon) More info on Sanger and the history of Planned Parenthood can be found herehere, and here.



After the Holocaust, eugenics became widely out of style, so Sanger and Planned Parenthood, originally named Birth Control Federation of America (BCFA), rebranded themselves, instead touting women's rights, women's equality, women's advancement…and sadly many women bought it hook, line, and sinker… And many still do. Which is why today, so many years later, Margaret Sanger would be cheering - not just because the lead character is having an abortion, but also because she's black. 

African Americans continue to be the victims of 
abortion in higher numbers compared to others."In the United States, black children are aborted at nearly four times times the rate as white children..." (Abortion and Race,  2015) According to Pastor Clenard Childress, Jr, "The most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb." He goes on to say, "Abortion is the greatest deception that has plagued the black church since Lucifer himself."

The reality is, regardless of race, STRONG WOMEN VALUE ALL LIFE, SCARED WOMEN TERMINATE THAT LIFE. All women deserve better.  We deserve quality health care that doesn't involve taking an innocent life. We deserve to know the truth about abortion and its lasting effects.  We deserve safety, compassion, and honesty. We deserve to be educated about wonderful life-affirming options.

"Life offers no guarantees, but abortion offers no chances" - National Right to Life

Many Blessings,  -Becky

Friday, September 25, 2015

#ShoutYourAbortion

#ShoutYourAbortion

So the media wants to de-stigmatize abortion by women sharing their stories, eh? Okay, here's mine… 

When I was 18, a senior in high school, I became pregnant.  This was a bit dramatic because I had been pretty "straight-edge" in high school.  My immediate, knee-jerk reaction was: Abortion. It was the quickest "solution" to this "problem."  I had plans and I refused to let this derail me.  So I called Planned Parenthood and made an appointment. They'd take care of the "tissue" for me. I could forget and go on living my happy normal life.  I had all the "right" reasons to get an abortion:
  • I was too young
  • I was unmarried
  • I was poor
  • I had so much "potential" that would be wasted (over 4.0 GPA, a valedictorian, Lilly Scholar finalist,...)
  • I had plans (a scholarship to Butler University)
  • I would be an embarrassment to my family
  • It was just too inconvenient
  • I would set a bad example
  • I was suffering from HG (another blog for another time...)
My naive teenage mind equated teenage pregnancy with ending up some poor, white-trash, uneducated, welfare mom…a failure forever dependent on someone else. (Good job teen pregnancy prevention programs for beating that into my brain…) 

Thankfully, my family convinced me NOT to proceed with the abortion.  I will be forever grateful to them for that. I realized that I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself ("Omg, I'm pregnant! My life is over!!!") and be grateful that God (or fate/nature/dumb luck/whatever you believe in) gave me NEW LIFE.  I could have been dealt much worse cards. This point was driven home later in the school year when a classmate was killed in an automobile accident. It was smack in the face - I was so lucky.

And guess what? My life actually wasn't ruined!  :)  I still went to college and five years later earned my Bachelor's in math with highest honors, plus several math awards. I became a successful professional. I was still able to accomplish my goals - I just took a slightly different path. I look back at this time in my life fondly now. Blake attended the on-campus daycare. During my lunch break I'd take him out and we'd eat together (and he would steal my food! ;) ) Sometimes I'd chase him around the beautiful campus grounds.  And it was on that campus that I met my wonderful husband, who fell in love with BOTH of us!  Had I gotten the abortion and attended a different college, we may have never met...

Now parenting is not for everyone. I would never push a women to parent if she didn't feel ready. It's a life-long, life-changing commitment.  When I turned away from aborting Blake, I knew I could choose to parent or create an adoption plan. I chose to parent, but adoption is a wonderful option. Our family has been blessed by a courageous birth mom who made the brave decision NOT to abort. Adoption is a win-win for all involved.  

There's a reason women don't want to talk about their abortions….A reason post-abortive women get angry…A reason society has "stigmatized" abortion. Because, in our heart-of-hearts, we know we did (or almost did) something very wrong. That uneasy feeling is our conscience. And that's a GOOD thing - it means we know the difference between right and wrong. Though we may try to ignore it, most of us are wise enough to understand that the journey through the birth canal does not magically transform a non-human into a human. We know that we just took the life of our child. We're hiding our guilt. The abortion industry tells us that it's nothing. We'll walk out of there and be fine. We'll forget and move on. BUT THEY'RE WRONG. It's a business, selling abortions, profiting off of vulnerable women. They move on, but we will always remember. Especially when we have a "planned" baby.  All the moments: the kicks, the flutters, the hick-ups, everything that will never be for that first child….

Try as the #ShoutYourAbortion movement might, there is nothing "freeing" or "empowering" about laying on an exam table while a doctor injects poison into your child's amniotic sac, so he or she can drink it and burn from the inside out, or perhaps the doctor decides to cut your child up into small pieces and vacuum him or her out.  No. This is more of a "Misery loves company movement."  As in, I did something bad, but look at all these other women that did it too, so it must not be that bad, right?!?!

It took a solid 10 YEARS before I could talk about this without feeling defensive. I was angry and embarrassed and ashamed and regretful. I even felt uncomfortable when anyone around me mentioned anything abortion-related. I stubbornly clung to the I-have-the-right-to-an-abortion, so-lay-off!!  attitude. But just because something is legal does not make it right. Thankfully, with age came maturity and acceptance.  Plus, it seemed the pro life culture slowly changed from an attitude of condemnation to one of compassion - And that did it - That opened my eyes and made me realize that it was okay to admit I had nearly made an awful mistake. Thankfully, mistakes don't define a person. Good people can make bad decisions. No one is beyond help. The key is to accept, heal, grow, and learn. In fact, I once heard a counselor say that after helping women who faced unplanned pregnancies, those who had chosen to abort definitely need the most healing. 



My "clump of cells" or "pregnancy tissue" will begin driving this winter. I nearly ended his life. But Blake was Blake from the second he was conceived.  Just because he was too small to fight for his life, doesn't mean it was any less valuable than mine.  I can't imagine my life without him.  Blake is the reason I am so pro life…I not only want to save kids like him, but moms like me.  I echo the statement I realized about 16 years ago - I.AM.SO.LUCKY!!  :)  

-Becky
#ShoutYourAbortion #Prolife #Prowomen #Prochild #Profamily #AdoptionNotAbortion #ShoutYourAdoption #CompassionNotCondemnation 

P.S. Yes, I have discussed this with Blake. Yes, I felt like a horrible mom.

P.P.S. I imagine if a post-abortive women were to read this, she may feel the defensiveness and anger welling inside her. I know, had I read this 16 years ago, I would have. And that's okay. But just know, no one is beyond conversion. And there's so much peace on this side. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Parenting bio vs adopted kiddos

I read this from Hope at Home, a Facebook group for foster and adoptive families and it stated it so well…


"I've tried to describe the difference between parenting our adopted children and our birth children over the years. My friends who have not adopted will often say that what we are dealing with is no different than their situations, or of someone that they know. It is hard to explain, because on the surface it doesn't sound that different. But for me it is as if someone has taken a situation and put it down on paper, and then come along with a bright yellow highlighter and colored over the words.
There is something different-- it is highlighted, more intense, more urgent. It stands out and draws my parental attention in a more alarming way. And I realize that my feelings, my reactions, are also highlighted. They are more intense, more loaded with fear for this child's future and a deep awareness of the healing work that has yet to be complete. Maybe it is because I see that my biological children have, underneath the difficult issue we are facing together, a solid foundation of unshakable truth-- they know they are loved, they are safe, they are accepted. But when our adopted children are in the midst of a similar life-issue I sense a vulnerability that simply does not exist in our birth children. A behavior that in one may be simply an immature expression of a desire, or a character trait that needs some direction, or a season of testing, in the other is an expression of the residual fear of being rejected, of being unsafe, or of an illogical drive to remain in survival mode long after the need to do so is over.
Do you know what I am talking about? Does this ring true? {Beth}"

Thank you, Beth, for putting it so well!!

-Becky