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 believed teenage pregnancy meant 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