In our church, October is Respect Life month. This week, the focus was about respecting life. All life. That every life is worth living. Before mass began, the children were invited to be a part of the procession. My 3 kids joined in with many of their friends. I was so full of pride when I watched my older kids help their youngest sister walk down the aisle. At that moment, I was so incredibly thankful that I’ve been blessed with these kids. Three lives that are very much worth living. Three lives that make my life richer. Three lives that could have went in a very different direction.
My kids were all adopted at birth. The fact that they were placed for adoption tells us that their parents were facing a crisis pregnancy. For whatever reason, they felt they could not handle a baby at that time. Or they simply weren’t ready to be mom. To be dad. We all know what their options were.
I don’t know if any of my kids’ birth parents ever considered abortion or not. That’s a personal and extremely emotional question that I will not ask. It’s an option that many choose but it’s definitely not something that everyone considers. I’m going to assume it really wasn’t an option that my kids’ parents seriously considered. If they had, my kids might not be here. Not with their first parents. Not with me. Just not here. My world would have been a whole lot darker.
When you’re facing a crisis, you do things you might not normally do. You’re scared. You panic. You’re desperate. You look for something to make it better. Whatever it is. It’s a hard place to be in.
When you’re facing a crisis pregnancy all of the options seems scary. Parenting is hard (but especially when you don’t feel ready to take on that role). Adoption is also so incredibly hard. It’s full of unknowns and saying good-bye. None of it is easy.
I am so proud and thankful that my kids’ birth parents respect life. They could have made a different choice. Ended the pregnancy. Make those little lives simply disappear. Pretend it never happened. Instead they gave our kids life. It wasn’t an easy process for any of them. They had to face questions and judgement from others. They had to make the gut-wrenching choice to place those lives in someone else’s care. They had to say good-bye to the life they had a hand in creating. They sacrificed so much for those kids. They get glimpses of the children and the lives they are living. While those visits and pictures aren’t ever really enough, hopefully it’s enough to help ease the pain of all they went through, if even just for a moment. It wasn’t necessarily the easy choice (none of them are) but because they respect life and love our kids, our kids are living and enjoying life.
And my life is certainly a whole lot brighter with all of them in it too.