As we drove about town recently, I posed a question to each of our three boys:
“Who is the kindest person you know?”
Without missing a beat, Will, our happy eleven-year-old replied, “My birthmother.”
“But Will,” one of his brothers countered. “You’ve never met her.”
Diagnosed with severe dyslexia, Will is whip smart and an off-the-chart auditory learner. It bothers him that he can’t read like his siblings and friends. His younger brother is also dyslexic, but not to the same extent. But he makes up for it by reading as much as he can and listening to books all day long.
Like many other children with dyslexia, Will’s interests lean toward the creative. Homeschooled since kindergarten, he attends a welding class one day a week and is regularly forging all kinds of creations for himself, his family and his friends.
The summer of Will’s adoption, our family had been matched with a birthmother up in Denver. We walked through the final three months of the pregnancy with the young woman, eagerly anticipating the child’s arrival in early August. Shortly after her boy was born, the young woman changed her mind on the adoption and decided to parent the child.
The night we received the news, we huddled with our 5-year-old son to explain in simple terms that the adoption was off. He cried. We cried. But we also prayed – and reminded Riley that God sometimes surprises us. We held onto hope for a larger family.
The phone rang five days later. It was the adoption agency. A woman who said she didn’t know she was pregnant had given birth a day earlier. She wasn’t in a position to parent a child, and so she had decided to make an adoption plan for him. Were we interested? Through tears we said yes.
Will’s birthmother requested a closed adoption. We know she had her reasons. But because we know every child who is adopted has some degree of curiosity and interest concerning their family of origin, we regularly pray Will will one day be able to meet her and know firsthand that it was her love for him that propelled the adoption. In the meantime, we speak lovingly about her, and he beams each time her name is mentioned.
“I know I’ve never met her,” Will said to his brother that afternoon in the car. “But she must be the kindest person because she didn’t abort me. She gave me a chance at life.”
I took a big deep breath, holding back the tears.
It would be impossible to overstate the courage of birthmothers, who likewise carry their children to term knowing full well they will not enjoy the privilege of raising them each day. It is the ultimate expression of sacrificial love.
But I wonder how many abortion-minded women might have a change of heart if they knew their children would see them as heroes for doing the right thing.
I hope they know Will speaks from the innocence of his heart for many other children like him.
Some abortion-minded women have admitted they choose to end their baby’s life because they’re ashamed they’re not able to raise them. But that’s not how children think. They just want a chance, and adoption provides that – and so much more. And yes, the adoption process isn’t easy – but it’s worth it.
The abortion debate on the Left is often reduced to white-hot rhetoric about a woman’s right to do with her body as she chooses. But what about the baby’s right to life?
Kindness manifests in many ways, but none greater, more profound or poignant than when a birthmother makes an adoption plan for her child in order to help give that boy or girl a life they would otherwise not be in a position to live.