Thursday, January 14, 2010

There are moments you remember all your life...

Yesterday, I had the momentous pleasure of introducing my 21 year old son to his 25 year old sister. After 7 1/2 hours were were still laughing and talking, so I believe it was a successful first meeting.

Twenty-five years ago, I had my beliefs and convictions put to a hard test. At the time, I believed a woman should have "choice" if she found herself inconveniently pregnant. But I believed that I personally would never choose to "terminate" (what a euphemism) a pregnancy. When I found myself pregnant at 19, with a boyfriend who honestly believed he was "doing the right thing" by me by simply offering to pay for an abortion, I have to admit that I was tempted. He wasn't an evil man - just weak. And I was young, afraid of the huge responsibility I had just created, afraid of the disappointment my parents would feel, afraid of censure, and so very alone.

The decision was in my hands, and had to be made by me alone. 

No one could make it for me, and no one could share the weight of it - or the consequences. So I chose the only option I could live with. I chose to love my baby - and I chose to give her parents who were older and wiser than I - wonderful parents who could not be parents without her. A lovely couple who adopted her and raised her with love - and the stability I could not provide. And do not think this is a choice made lightly - carrying a beloved child and giving birth knowing that you are choosing a different life for this child is a deeply painful and traumatic experience - akin to loosing a child to death. It is not the "easy" option many pro-life picketers paint it to be. But then again, abortion isn't the "easy" option many pro-choice picketers paint it as either...

Any decision involving a life is a serious decision, with life-long consequences.

So I made my choice - and for 25 years I wondered, "Did I do the right thing? Does she understand? Is she happy? What sort of person is she? Will I ever see her again?" and much, much more. Her new mom sent me letters and photos, and the adoption agency allowed this anomaly for a few years. So when I read horror stories about adoptive families who abuse their new children, I prayed for those children, knowing in my heart that my own daughter was safe. And when I read about adopted children seeking out their birth parents and being rejected, by heart bled for them, knowing that I would welcome my daughter with open arms should that day ever come. And when I read of adopted children rejecting their birth parents, I silently feared my own rejection.

For years I grieved in secret and in silence. I went on to have my beautiful son, and to raise him "alone" with the help of family and dear friends. And all the while, I waited. Wondering how I would explain all of this to my son. Wondering if there would ever be the need.

And then one day I found her ... and I drummed up the courage to communicate.

As hard as it was, as painful as it was, I did make the right decision all those years ago. Life and love are always the right choice!