Every so often, a certain status seems to trend on facebook, particularly from the accounts of pro-life Christians.
"If you're pregnant and don't want your baby, I'll adopt it," many of us proclaim, hoping that, by some miracle, a pregnant woman somewhere will stork-drop her baby in our arms.
If you have ever shared this, I'm not writing this to make you feel like an awful person, because I'm sure you're not and I completely understand your heart behind this status. But I do want to gently challenge you on this mindset, so I'm going to pull this phrase apart and look at it from a different perspective.
The very first words of this sentence make an assumption, and lumps all women considering an abortion into one stereotype.
"If you don't want your baby..."
What if she does want her baby, but she also wants...
her boyfriend to stay with her,
to finish school and follow a life-long dream.
to just go back to life like it was before she saw those two pink lines?
What if she knows her parents would kick her out of their home, if they found out she was pregnant? What if she knows the church would take away her ministry position? What if she wants her baby very, very much, but is absolutely terrified of a hundred repercussions we've never even thought about?
If you're willing to adopt her baby, are you also willing to stand with her as she tells the baby's daddy she will choose life, even if it means he leaves her and she will face life as a single Mom? Will you be there when she faces criticism from her family, her friends, even her church?
Choosing life is always worth it, but it may seem impossible to a scared and lonely young girl. We need to choose to honor her, so she can choose to honor the life of her baby.
What about when she's going through week after week of morning sickness? Getting up every morning to go to school or work, but spending 15 minutes dry-heaving by the toilet because she's too sick to eat anything to throw up. Would you be willing to invite her into your home so you can be there for her in these moments?
Or what about when she feels her baby kick for the first time and breaks into agonizing sobs because a thrill of love courses through her body and she knows she can't keep this precious little life that only she can feel.
Or what if she decides, in that moment, that she will do whatever it takes to raise her baby - will you still love her and support her through her pregnancy? Will you still support her financially? Would you love her so much that you'd throw her a baby shower and help her get a job and a home? Are you willing to put yourself and your feelings on the back burner, so a family can stay together? Or is it a secretly all about getting a baby?
I say this without any condemnation, because I've been there. I have prayed fervently that a Mommy would sign the papers that would make her daughter ours. But I know that Jesus calls us to a higher path.
A path of pure love, with no room for selfishness.
Will you be there for her when she's screaming through contractions and weeping in between them, because delivery means the end of her physical journey of motherhood? Will you sit with her through the next couple days, while her postpartum hormones rage, her milk comes in with no baby to nurse and she wavers between choosing you to parent her child and parenting her baby herself?
Choosing adoption is one of the biggest decision a mommy will ever make, and she has to do it when she is scared and facing the unknown, while her hormones are wreaking havoc on her emotions and even her ability to make clear decisions.
She needs love, support and a friend to walk beside her every step of the way, no matter what her final decision may be. And if she chooses you to adopt her child, she is part of your family for the rest of your life. How this looks will be different in every situation, but you are bound to love her and respect her, always, no matter if you continue to have physical contact with her or not.
What we need to be saying is,
"If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy, I'm here for you, in whatever way possible. Message me - you will be safe with me."
And then we need to put a precious expectant Mommy first. Ahead of our own feelings and our desire for a romantic adoption story.
It is not always possible to be this hands-on in loving an expectant Mommy who chooses you to adopt her child, and I'm not saying that you're not fit to adopt if you don't ask an expectant mom to move in with you. What I'm saying is, adoption is about so much more than getting a baby. And we need to be willing to open our hearts and homes in whatever way Jesus calls us to. And always, always be willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
And to love others like He does.
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I am on a journey to know Jesus better, and be the wife, mommy and friend that God created me to be, all within the walls of my own little home. <3