This week I listened to two Christian radio programs talking about abortion and the emotional pain involved afterwards.
I'm glad Christians are reaching out to women who have had abortions, trying to help them and understand their pain. I know it is done in love. They also want to make it clear that an abortion is not something you have and then just forget about it. Sounds familiar to us bmoms, doesn't it?
In fact there are alot of similarities concerning emotional pain between women who have had abortions and women who have placed their children for adoption.
I realize that the Christian Community for the most part is very focused on stopping abortions and they really don't see that adoption is anything less than the perfect solution to the "abortion problem". (for the record, I don't believe in abortions either, but I don't condemn women who've had them. I feel we are all women in the same predicament making different choices. I know women who've had abortions, who would never consider adoption as an option)
But I believe there is another reason they hold adoption in such high standing.
I believe the voices of bmoms just have not been heard in the Christian community. Especially the voice of the grieving bmom.
I will tell you how I used to feel. I used to sit in church surrounded by happy families and be filled with such shame and feelings of unworthiness. I used to think that my church family would turn their backs on me if they ever found out that I "gave" my baby away. No one made me feel this way, it was just something that I thought.
In my case, this thinking turned out to be wrong. My pastor noticed that I was never at the Mother's Day services over the years, or Father's Day for that matter. He noticed that every May I was not myself for the whole month. He reached out to my husband and myself, wanting to help. We got together with him and his wife and told him about my son and the circumstances surrounding his adoption. They showed us so much love and compassion, and I wondered why I had kept it a secret for so long.
He went home and studied the Scriptures and wrote a Bible study to help me, and came over once a week until he had gone through it with us. He helped me to deal with the guilt and shame and other feelings that I was dealing with. At some point I would love to share that study, bit by bit, here on my blog.
Then I began to talk with my best friend (who is also a Christian). She was someone who had considered adoption and always thought it was a wonderful thing. She thought she was infertile and she and her husband considered adoption as an option in their early years of marriage. She was not infertile, she just hadn't given the Lord enough time. His plan was for them to start having children about 5 years into their marriage, and they've since been blessed with 3 boys of their own.
She was the first person (outside of my family) that I was really able to tell all the details to of the adoption, and of my life afterwards. I must say her heart broke for me and my family and my son. She had NO IDEA the guilt, pain, and grief that is caused by adoption for some bmoms as well as some adoptees.
She's been there by my side for the last almost 5 yrs and has been a big help in keeping me grounded during my reunion with my son.
Yesterday she emailed me asking for help. The church board is meeting to talk about community issues and where they might be able to help in the upcoming year. She wanted me to gather some information for her to take to them and present the down side of adoption. She has such a desire to help unwed mothers to be able to keep their babies and help them after the baby is born, until they can get on their feet.
So, there was my pastor and his wife, and also my best friend helping me and supporting me. But what about the rest of the congregation? What was their reaction? I was very nervous as I began to tell people, but I didn't need to be.
They reacted with love and compassion. I never had anyone treat me any differently than they had before. Instead I gained their prayers and their help in my struggles to deal with my pain and with my reunion.
When my son came for a visit shortly after, he went to church with me. He was received with warmth, as so many people wanted to meet him and welcome him! Boy, I was one proud momma that day!
That was almost 5 years ago.
Do I expect everyone to have the same results as I had? No. But we need to start talking. Start small. Tell one person. They may not even listen to you at first. It took my friend a while to understand. But if we can all just get one person to listen and understand, it can spread out from there. My friend and I are planning to talk to other pastors in our area. We feel we need to start there.
I believe it's time. It's time for the Christian community to hear our voices! They simply do not realize that adoption is not what they think it is. I'm not saying it will change over night. The secular world has not exactly embraced the truth yet either.
We really need the churches to change their focus to keeping babies with their mothers and to focus on helping them with their newborns, whatever it takes, and to stop focusing on adoption as the best and/or only answer. I believe it's possible. It's something I will be praying for.
"And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." (Mark 10:27)