As the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate continues to rage, I want you to know I am pro-adoption.
Now, I am a 52 year old man with a 4 month old baby girl (Piper Marie) and a 24 year old son (Samuel John). Most folks quickly recognize Samuel as my son when we are seen together, but I’m often mistaken for Piper’s grandfather. Yet they are equally adored by me.
As I consider both of my kids, it is no wonder I’m unashamedly pro-life. These births have given me blessings beyond measure and joy unspeakable. This alone would compel me to stand with those who stood this past Sunday and publicly acknowledged Sanctity of Life Sunday, as we celebrated God’s creation of life and mourned the 40th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.
You don’t have to agree with me, but hypocritical and contradictory is how I would describe the philosophy of those who say that terminating life in the womb, often encouraged for expediency, is an acceptable “right.” Suffice it to say, these “pro-choice” proponents are all grateful, at least on some level, their mother didn’t abort them before they experienced the comfort of a human embrace and the beauty of God’s creation. That they were given the right to smile, giggle, and laugh…and pursue happiness. That they were allowed to stare admiringly into the eyes of their parents with overwhelming need and indescribable love. That they were permitted to have a voice and an opinion, even if it was one that promotes an ideology which would have condoned their own premature death.
On the other hand, the Religious Right’s machinations and rhetoric alone, as right as they are on this issue, don’t move me to agree with them on this critical cultural topic. To me, this debate is not a political one – it is a moral one. And one that Christ-followers have not addressed holistically.
Yes, Scripture is unambiguous that God creates life and it is His alone to give and take away, but that is only half of the story. The other half is adoption. And I’m convinced we should just as passionately promote adoption as we zealously condemn abortion. The Christian community correctly cries out in the cause of the unborn, but we are far too muted and immobile in the cause of the orphan.
This is also hypocritical and contradictory. If we believe in God-given life then we must pursue adopting those who are unwanted or could be extinguished by their parents.
When we realize that apart from Christ we are orphaned from a familial relationship with our Creator, God, this begins to make sense. God has adopted us into His family instead of letting us die. He could have let us perish but instead graciously called us His children and made us joint heirs with His beloved Son. Becasue of His love and by His grace we are now part of the family of God.
To oppose abortion demands that we endorse and practice adoption. If we don’t believe a child should die, we should also be willing to include them in our family.
But beyond all the Scriptural and logical arguments, this issue is intensely personal to me. Although I’m confident that my mother never had the first thought of aborting me, it was not legal in 1960. But it was, at the time, a very high-risk pregnancy (and I weighed in at barely over 5 pounds despite arriving a week late). Today things are different.
But because of her decision I have led a full, meaningful life and I have participated in the treasure of having children separated by over 2 decades and crossing 2 millenia. I’ve twice seen the heartbeat of my unborn at just a few weeks from conception. I’ve seen, through the marvel of modern medical technology, the development of that heartbeat into a life ready for entrance into this world. I’ve watched the miracle of delivery. I’ve held newborns who have inherited my genes. I’ve snuggled with an infant who looked longingly in my eyes and grasped my finger. And I’ve watched one grow into a man that I’m extraordinarily proud of. These children are a gift of incalculable measure and one I would never have contemplated terminating.
And the most recent of these experiences occurred while Rebekah and I were seeking to adopt. Yes, the adoption system is broken: it is outrageously expensive and overly bureaucratic. Although our efforts to adopt were thwarted (I was too old, we hadn’t been married long enough, there was too much age difference between the 2 of us, the country had discontinued adoption, America doesn’t allow adoption from certain countries, etc.), God blessed us with conception. And eventually Piper.
Simply said, I’m convinced that life is precious. All human life…at any stage…anywhere.
So, while imploring us to be as pro-adoption as we are pro-life, I leave you with God’s Word and a couple of personal thoughts:
- “God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and called you…” (Jeremiah 1:4-5).
- “But God in His grace chose me even before I was born and called me to serve Him” (Galatians 1:15).
- “You created every part of me; You put me together in my mother’s womb…..When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb. When I was growing there in secret, You knew that I was there – You saw me and knew me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began” (Psalms 139:13,15-16).
- “He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will…” (Ephesians 1:5).
- “See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 John 3:1).
I’m so thankful my mother loved me more than she loved herself and gave me this chance to voice my opinion…and God’s. So, as a family, we will continue to seek His direction in once again pursuing adoption.