Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Why abortion of children conceived in violence should not be permitted

I wrote out a long thing as a comment on someone else's status about how they wished Ryan had stood up for children conceived in violence.

I wanted to put it somewhere, but don't feel like dealing with a facebook comment war right now, so I'm posting it here.

This is, in my opinion, how to approach the issue of being against abortion in cases of rape and incest without it being "political suicide":

Well, I myself cannot say how I would feel if I were pregnant as a result of sexual assault and I think a lot of those commenting on both sides of the issue cannot. But I have looked at what those who have been in this position say and do. The majority of them don't feel abortion solves or solved their problem--both those who chose life and those who show abortion feel this way. In fact, many feel like they were pressured to choose abortion, and many feel like the abortion itself was violating--the process is more invasive and painful than any ultrasound, and what it does is kill a developing child. The abortion rate among women pregnant as a result of assault is not any higher than among those who are unintentionally pregnant due to consensual sex, and the decision is often based on the same factors--am I ready to be a parent, do I have the financial and emotional resources I would need. I think that these are the needs we as a society need to help pregnant women with--and I feel the best way to do this is through private charity, and I myself give to support this cause. I think for abortion to be legal actually leads to more abuse for more women, to less women getting to make a choice, because statistics reveal that over 60% of those women who end up with abortions feel coerced, and an even greater percentage eventually regrets that decision. I think that the best way to protect the most women is not to present the option of abortion if she is pregnant, regardless of how the pregnancy occurs--listen to her actual needs and fears and meet her needs so that she can do what is best for her baby. Because I believe women instinctively know what science has shown us in the past 40 years--that the start of life can be no other place than conception, that before she even realizes she is pregnant the new life has started to grow inside her. I know women who have chosen adoption--because not every woman is at a place where she can parent--and I think that it is important that we uphold their rights and help them to have the relationship with their children that is comfortable and helpful to both them and their children. I think that as a society we have done terribly by women--to tell them that their fertility is an unwelcome burden, to tell them that they can't be pregnant or be a parent and still follow their dreams, to tell them that their children are better off dead than with them. I believe a woman is strong enough to make a choice to have a child and a career, to have a child and go to school, to choose a relationship where she is not the one raising her child if that is what's best for their family--that is, to make an adoption plan. And I believe women are strong enough to make choices and succeed without sacrificing their children. I believe it is never okay for anyone--a corporation, a health care plan, a family, a society--to make a choice which can come only at the expense of the innocent. And I don't believe those choices have to be made.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

So um... it's been a while.

God has made it clear that we are not going to adopt at this time. It is still something we hope to do someday. Part of his making this clear to us was blessing us with another biological child. Due to the point we were at in the adoption and the agency we were working with this meant we could not proceed with an adoption.

Tomorrow our little one will be 16 weeks old... and two weeks from then I am scheduled to have my gall bladder out.

I would appreciate prayers for the safety of our baby, "Melchizedek."

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Just as important as my religion

"Women’s rights are very important, just as much as my religion."

These are the words of a "pastor" who just so happens to also be a Planned Parenthood chaplain... who was not admitting to being associated with PP when he said this. He was describing how he was "prolife and prochoice." The full story is at Live Action, but again, I'm looking more at this particular quotation than at the story as a whole.

There are at least three HUGE, GLARING problems with this statement.

Number one:
If anything in this life is as important as following Jesus (or more important), you are not truly following Jesus. You are trying to serve two masters. You cannot follow Jesus and "Women's Rights." Either you will love the one and hate the other, or you will despise the one and be devoted to the other. Trust me, if you are trying to follow something else and Jesus, you will have to choose. And Jesus is the right choice. The only thing one can follow along with Jesus is someone else walking with him--and you must be prepared to leave off following that teacher if he leaves Jesus' path.

Number two:
Christianity is not opposed to women's rights. Because I am a Christ-follower, I believe in women's rights. Jesus was a radical in a time when women were property, could not work, and were considered disgraced if they left the protection of a male relative. Jesus had women who followed Him and His disciples, and told them plainly that their place was learning from Him, not merely housework. Jesus considered men and women equal in dignity, equally clean, equally able to serve God, equally worthy of spiritual and physical healing. Men and women, at least if married, have different roles, and biology dictates some things are reserved for women--but they are always equal in dignity and worth. To pit Christianity against women's rights misunderstands at least one of them. The radical idea that women and men are equal in dignity, in worth, and under the law is a concept that comes from Christianity, at least in the western world--not to mention any dignity and worth children are accorded.

Number 3:
Abortion is no part of women's rights. I am all for women's rights. Killing an innocent child is not a right. If in this day and age, the only way for a woman to be considered equal with a man is to destroy the child growing within her--thus repudiating what makes her different from a man and going against every feminine instinct--then the women's movement has utterly failed. Men don't get to decide whether they are pregnant either. They don't get to decide that the death of their child will open up all sorts of opportunities and make it so. And so long as a woman can only be equal if she is unpregnant--as much like a man as possible--women are not equal in dignity, or even opportunity. Anything I have to kill my child for can't be worth it. And being able to do the same things as a man if I kill my own child doesn't make me equal. It is still saying that I must become like a man to have the same opportunities. No. My fertility, my breasts, my lactation, my pregnancy when I am pregnant, my period are all part of being a woman. How can I be equal unless I can bring the package with me? How can I be equal if I need a surgery to make me equal? Why can't I be equal as I am, as God made me, whole and undrugged and alive? Equality means that I am already equal, have always been equal, and will always be equal, the whole package of me. I cannot become more than I am by taking parts of myself away, and that will only make me equal if I started out greater (which I do not believe I did, but if I were greater for being a woman, why reject that?). Abortion is a great human rights tragedy, often used to abuse and manipulate women--more abortions are coerced than not. And it certainly does not give equality to unborn women, who in many countries are being killed at unprecedented rates for the crime of being female.

So this so-called pastor denies the equality of women by insisting they need abortion; he denies that his religion encompasses women's rights and has given that cause all the progress it has made; and he denies Jesus by setting the idol of "women's rights" on a pedestal beside Him, and choosing that over Him. Pray for his conversion, or at the end he will be worse off than those of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Jesus, in all this, through all this, with all my life I follow you.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Musings on life

Came across some quotations recently.

"When the baby was born, I felt like I had just witnessed a miracle. Before I saw Kiera with my own eyes, she was like a fantasy-enigma that we were all pretending was there inside Shannon's belly. I couldn't wrap my mind around it, and then all of a sudden, it was real — here was this beautiful, perfect baby girl with a body, breathing the same air I was."

The article from which I pulled the quotation is on homebirth. But it is interesting that the author mentions it's hard to see the baby as real when she's inside her mommy. Even with the big belly, it's hard to believe there's a real little baby in there. Then she's out--and you can see her, hold her, touch her, she has a name and a face and a personality. Maybe this is part of why some people accept the killing of these babies? Is this why it's okay to kill a fetus at 30 weeks but not a newborn 10 weeks premature? I also hate the hangup on looks, as if a baby who is quite literally a blob of cells at a few days old has less value than a little one who can hiccup and suck her thumb and kick little feet. Littler and less developed tends to make people more protective... until that means looking "not human," whatever a specific person means by that.

PS Our first home study visit is TONIGHT; please pray for us!

My savior was beaten until He didn't look human. And then He died to save humanity.

And of course nowadays I relate everything to adoption. It's easy to ignore a description of a child with no picture. It's less easy to ignore a picture, even a poor one. It's even harder to ignore a picture of a sweet boy who is smiling at the camera. But behind every picture is a real child, and if we held and talked to that little boy or girl there's no way we'd be able to turn our backs... at least, I hope not, and I wouldn't. So remember that all children, whatever their size, whatever their abilities, are so precious to God. They are living human beings equal in value to you.

And I'm gonna save the other quotation for later, because two children that I have and hold every day want me now :)

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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Ready to begin home study!

We got word yesterday that the agency we've been in contact with will be able to do our home study! We've been assigned a social worker, put some money into the process, and presumably our application is now being processed.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Next to Godliness ;)

One of the major things on our agenda besides paperwork as we prepare for adoption is picking up our house. If you know me in Real Life, you are probably aware that this is not our family's strongest points. "Stuff" accumulates on our shelves, on our tables, and you have never even seen the computer room. So/Because that's where we just throw piles of stuff when company's coming.

We have been (slowly) working on this. There was the night I found every empty cardboard box in our house and broke them all down. Probably 40 of them. There was the day our friends watched our kids for the morning so we could work on the aforementioned computer room (so. much. better. now.) There was the day we took 4 totes, 4 boxes, and 2 bags of toys up to the attic. I've worked out a plan for rotating them. There was the first day I rotated the toys, which also resulted in cleaning a couch and organizing the kids' books in the computer room (the ones that aren't out). There was the day I cleaned under the couches. And there are still many days and many little things ahead of us... but we are working on it. Putting stuff away. Donating stuff. Cleaning stuff.

If you are reading this and have advice on these:
hard water stains in tub
getting that last bit of dirt off hard floors when you sweep
robotic vacuums
vacuuming carpets in households with long-haired persons
teaching one-year-olds to clean up after themselves
I would love to hear from you in the comments!

My adoption blog has a post about why to advocate for specific orphans, if you are interested.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Lord of this world is hard at work...

As I have mentioned before, there is a lot of need in this world.

Children are dying. Some are dying due to neglect because they do not have a mommy and daddy, some are dying because their mommy doesn't want them, and some are dying because our medical science simply cannot save them. People are hurting and need our help.

Satan is at work in our world. There can be no doubt that those who give in to the evil side of human nature are serving him. But Jesus is also at work in this world. With miracles? With signs and wonders? Not precisely. Like all of us, Jesus uses His hands and feet to do the work... but we are His hands and feet. We are called to do His work in our world. You don't need to worry that you aren't doing everything. You can't do everything. That's why Jesus' body has so many parts. But if you are doing nothing... are you sure you're part of this body?

I want to share 3 stories I have heard today about people who need help. If you had time to read this, you have time to pray for them. There's no reason not to do that much. And then I'm going to share 3 stories about how Jesus (in the form of His servants) is at work in the world, because we all need some good news too. But you will have to get through the hard stuff to read the good stuff.

Caleb is an unborn baby boy. He's due to be born in less than a month. And he has been given less than a 50% chance of survival. Caleb has a diaphragmatic hernia that will require surgery as soon as he is born. He may also have a heart defect.

What you can do:
You can pray.

Joshua is a young man with spina bifida and a host of other diagnoses. He has 8 siblings and a very hard-working mommy and daddy. He has just been placed on hospice care. Spina bifida is not fatal, but because of the other issues Joshua faces, including cancer and genetic differences, he does not have long to live. He is five years old.

What you can do:
Joshua's daddy is a great provider who has been working 60-hour weeks to make sure his son (and other children) have excellent medical care. At this point, though, he needs to be home with his family, spending precious time with his little boy and his grieving family. But he has no more vacation or sick time. Joshua's mother is seeking donations to help her husband take some time off to be at home with them.
UPDATE: You can read about and donate to the Parker family here.

Dakota (not his real name) is an orphan in Eastern Europe. He is 8 years old. I don't think I even understand what his special needs are, but because of them he lives in a mental institution. On the Reece's Rainbow board, someone posted pictures of Dakota from an organization called His Kids Too. I don't know for sure whether this was taken before or after his RR profile picture, but no child belongs in an underfunded, understaffed mental institution. We--the body of Christ--need to help these kids, who are images of their Father in heaven.

What you can do:
You could commit to adopt Dakota. You could not officially commit before completing a home study, but if you start NOW, Dakota will not have to spend another year in the facility he is in now.
You can donate to Reece's Rainbow. Younger children--who might already be in an institution like Dakota's, and will definitely end up in one if they are not adopted--have specific grant funds. You can donate to an adoptable child (like 5-year-old Oleg, who has Down Syndrome), and their grant will help them get adopted. You can donate to a family in the process of adopting, like the Warner family. Because older boys are rarely adopted, you can't specifically donate to Dakota (until a family commits to him), but you can donate to a fund for older boys with special needs, and the next boy 6 or older with special needs will have that money toward his adoption when his parents come for him. You could also donate towards Reece's Rainbow's administrative costs.
Or, you could donate to organizations that are making a difference in the lives of children in Dakota's country, like His Kids Too, Life 2 Orphans, or Project TLC.

Now for 3 more positive stories:
My friend Jodi is adopting a beautiful little boy named Niko (Kody on RR). Niko has a craniofacial difference and lives in Eastern Europe, in a different country from Dakota and my little girl. But soon he's going to live in Pennsylvania! Every day families are stepping out and committing to supply the needs of the least of these.

Here in the US we are making legislative inroads to prevent children from being killed by their families. The latest in a long line of pro-life bills making sure that women know what abortion is, stopping federal funding for organizations that kill babies, and criminalizing doctors who kill viable children is a bill from Ohio, signed yesterday. It would prevent doctors from killing children deemed viable, and the governor estimates it will save 700 lives a year. We can't rest until every person's rights are upheld from fertilization to natural death--but we are making great strides toward protecting at least some children.

Elizabeth Anikuzhikattil, a mother of 15 children, passed away last week at the age of 94. Eleven of her children are serving the Church as priests, nuns, and a bishop. She goes to join her husband, who died in 2006. No doubt she and her husband were extraordinary parents, as they raised 11 children willing to give their whole lives to the service of Christ.

What will you do to make more happy stories and less horrible ones?

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