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I didn’t give you the gift of life… life gave me the gift of you

In light of the fact that November is National Adoption Awareness Month, I would like to share with you my reflection on abortion, in-vitro fertilization, and finally… adoption.

Sometimes, when we are faced with a situation that is so vastly different than what we had planned, we can be tempted to give in to acts of desperation- to seize the object of our focused attention, such as a man stealing a loaf of bread to feed his hungry family. Abortion and in-vitro fertilization (IVF) are two such acts of desperation, predominantly driven by fear.  In the case of abortion, a woman might fight such fears as, “I am scared I won’t be able to afford this child.” “I am scared I will have to try to raise this child all by myself, with no help.” “I am scared that if I have this child, I will never be able to experience the life I had imagined for myself.” Similarly, in the case of IVF, a woman might experience such anxieties as, “I am scared I will never get pregnant naturally.”  “I am scared I will end up old, childless, and lonely.” “I’m not getting any younger and I’m scared that if I don’t act now, I’ll be too old to parent a child.” Amidst all these fears, however real and true they seem to us, Scripture offers us a clearer truth to crush all of our fears…

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment, and so one who fears is not yet perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18

Acting from this verse, when we finally let go of our anxieties, our plans, our will, and instead embrace God’s will, we will find a more perfect love, a deeper joy, and a lasting peace. What is a choice of love which combats the desperate decisions of abortion and in-vitro fertilization? Adoption. Through adoption, a birth mother who could have ended the life of her unborn child, makes a decision to give her child a chance at life. She focuses not on what is most convenient for herself, but what is for the greater good of this baby. Similarly, via adoption, a couple who longs for children, makes a decision to embrace a child who needs a loving home and may not otherwise have one. They choose not to utilize unethical and destructive means to become parents, but to embrace an opportunity to become a family in a way which honors the sanctity of human life.

My husband and I married in June 2007 with the hopes of having many children throughout our marriage.  After several years of trying to conceive, I learned the hard way that I am not in control. God is. Thankfully, we were taught even before our marriage why IVF is condemned by the Catholic Church and is not an ethical or valid means of achieving pregnancy.  IVF has, as its end goal, a good desire of trying to have a baby. However, the procedure is peppered with a plethora of objectively mortal sins, including but not limited to masturbation, the union of the egg and sperm outside of the marital embrace, selective reduction (a.k.a. abortion), and the indefinite freezing of embryos.  My husband and I knew and agreed that we would never use IVF to try to get pregnant. Lest you think I am looking down upon those who have used IVF, I must borrow John Bradford’s words, “There go I but for the grace of God.” I am not praising myself for my goodness, but thanking God that He has prevented me from yielding to this temptation.

With IVF out of the pregnancy picture, my husband and I attempted just about every ethical means of trying to conceive.  Time continued to pass and I continued to be un-pregnant.  Dozens of cycles, plenty of doctors visits, oodles of medication refills, a couple of Kleenex boxes, and one false positive pregnancy test later, still no bambino.  Over time, after we continued to pray for God’s will and the blessing of children, God began to work on our hearts and open us up to the idea of adoption. What at first seemed undesirable became our heartfelt longing.  In the summer of 2010, we began the adoption process.  We went to classes at the adoption agency, filled out paperwork, completed our home study, created an adoption profile which would be presented to birth mothers, and began our hopeful wait.  The first phone call we received about a birth mother who might want to look at our profile, made the decision to parent the child. Though a bit disappointed, we had been very well prepared by the agency that this is a fairly typical occurrence and that the adoption process can sometimes feel like an emotional rollercoaster.

The second phone call that we received about a birth mother who might look at our profile was “the one”.  I remember every detail of where I was and what I was doing when the call came to notify us that the birth mother, 8.5 months pregnant, had chosen our profile. I sat breathless, motionless. My brain buzzed with ideas, thoughts, and questions. What if she changes her mind? What do I still need to buy to prepare for this little one? What do I need to scratch off of my to-do list before we take this baby home? We got to meet the birth mother in person in early March.  Three weeks later, she gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. Forty-eight hours after that, we were full-time parents. He’s seven months old now, and I am still in awe of the birth mother’s selfless and generous decision, and of God’s divine power and goodness. I am not in control. God is.  In the midst of our painful infertility struggle, I never would have been able to imagine myself happily bouncing a baby boy on my knee such a short time later. It turns out that God’s plan is even better than what I could have created on my own accord. Thanks be to God!

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About Christine

I am the grateful wife of a wonderful husband and a stay-at-home mother of our beautiful baby boy. I enjoy growing in my Catholic faith, reading, sewing, teaching, taking family walks and sharing life's comical & sorrowful moments with my wonderful family & friends.

  • Adrienne - Love the great story, thanks for sharing!November 9, 2011 – 7:40 amReplyCancel

  • robbie - Wonderful! In every way!November 9, 2011 – 8:11 amReplyCancel

  • Lisa Steger - Beautiful!November 9, 2011 – 8:30 amReplyCancel

  • W Beth - Beautifully put!November 9, 2011 – 9:19 amReplyCancel

  • Irma Galvan - God is good all the time, and always in control.

    God contiue to bless you, your husbund and your adorable baby.

    God bless much love.

    IrmaNovember 9, 2011 – 10:46 amReplyCancel

  • Theresa - Beautiful, Christine — It brought tears to my eyes!November 9, 2011 – 11:56 amReplyCancel

  • Emily - Christine, so beautiful! I loved reading it. Thank you for sharing! God has done wonderful and marvelous things for you both!November 9, 2011 – 1:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Tammy - From one adoptive mom to another, thanks for sharing the joy!November 9, 2011 – 8:08 pmReplyCancel

  • Irene Z. Richard - Christine, thank you for being such a good mother & wife. God’s plan is for you to be a mother. A very good mom who loves her son eternally. Ronnie & I prayed together for this & asked God to let you be a mother. God saw that you would be perfect like the Blessed Mother. Loving you. IreneNovember 10, 2011 – 12:23 pmReplyCancel

  • Chris Stravitsch - Christine,
    Would you mind if we posted your blog on HLI America’s “Truth and Charity Forum”? HLI America is an educational initiative of Human Life International. The National Director is Arland Nichols, a fellow Aggie. We like to post testimonies on the forum and your witness to the blessing of life and adoption will be a wonderful contribution. Let me know and I can give you more details.
    Peace,
    ChrisNovember 14, 2011 – 12:15 pmReplyCancel

  • Chris Stravitsch - I just came across this article again. Here is another one on the gift of life, addressing how to find peace and rid yourself of anxiety during pregnancy. Faith is so important! http://rejoicecounseling.com/news/?p=22March 24, 2015 – 6:30 amReplyCancel

  • The Truth Was Said - Well for the millions of people out there that have been very Blessed to be married with a family which you really do have so very much to be Very Thankful for since many of us still Don’t have that at all since this really does make us Very Angry. I am a very good man that really had Hoped to meet a good woman to settle down with to have a family since i really Hate being Single And Alone when i really Shouldn’t Be at all. So this hurts me very much to see that Millions And Millions of other men and women that were Very Fortunate to have that Gift Of Life that i Would’ve certainly wanted as well. It is bad enough that many of us Never asked to be Born in the first place since we now have to deal with it Unfortunately since God Never should’ve done this to us at all from the beginning since it really is Not Fair to us.October 25, 2016 – 8:39 amReplyCancel

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