THIS IS AN OPINIONATED PIECE.
This is an assignment for my college composition class and these are the views I hold. I am a new blogger, I stand with a Christian viewpoint, I am a pro-life supporter, and adoption changed my life.
My Life Story:
I was born and raised into a small-town Iowan family to two Christian parents that had an immense love for me. I was well provided for and never concerned myself with wondering where I would sleep or where my next meal would come from. I knew that I was special, unique, and loved by God. The only child cliché fit me to a “T” as I was spoiled, bossy and knew what needed to be done to get my way. However, the only thing that I really wanted, a little brother or sister, was something that was out of my control. After two heartbreaking circumstances, I thought that God was being mean and not giving me what I needed.
There seemed to be no way that a sibling would come into my life and I would never be a big sister…then, one day my parents told me they were going to become foster parents. At first, the idea of being a foster family did not make much sense to me as I was unsure why we would babysit for another family long term. I was a skeptic of the whole situation until one day, I scrambled in the front door after a rough day of fifth grade to find a diaper bag by the shoe rack. I rushed into the family room to see my mom holding a precious baby boy in her hands. “Now Leslie, this is Braden and he will be staying with us for awhile, but don’t get your hopes up.” One cannot tell a 10 year-old only child to not get her hopes up for a potential brother. Promising I would not, I snuggled up to the handsome 10 month-old. Flash forward a few years; January 16, 2009 came around and was the Adoption Day for my handsome Braden and adorable Isaac (who came to live with us a few months after Braden). Imagine a joyous 12 year-old with a smile that stretched from ear-to-ear and you had me. No longer was I an only child, no longer was I by myself, but finally, I was a big sister.
Now, eight years later, we have adopted four of the world’s cutest, sweetest, and funniest kiddos there are. Being a big sister to Braden, Isaac, Sadie, and Zachariah have taught me many life lessons that will for sure be saved for blog post for a later time.
ADOPTION CHANGES LIVES.
- 21 percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion (guttmacher.org).
- In 2011, 1.06 million abortions were performed, down 13% from 1.21 million in 2008. From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred (guttmacher.org).
- ¾ of women cite concern for or responsibility to other individuals; 3/4 say they cannot afford a child; 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or the ability to care for dependents; and 1/2 say they do not want to be a single parent or are having problems with their husband or partner (guttmacher.org).
- An abortion can result in medical complications later in life; the risk of ectopic pregnancies doubles, and the chance of a miscarriage and pelvic inflammatory disease also increases (womenissues.about.com).
- In the instance of rape and incest, proper medical care can ensure that a woman will not get pregnant. Abortion punishes the unborn child who committed no crime; instead, it is the perpetrator who should be punished (womenissues.about.com).
- Many Americans who pay taxes are opposed to abortion, therefore it’s morally wrong to use tax dollars to fund abortion (womenissues.about.com).
- Abortion frequently causes intense psychological pain and stress (womenissues.about.com).
- Those who choose abortions are often minors or young women with insufficient life experience to understand fully what they are doing. Many have lifelong regrets afterwards (womenissues.about.com).
- According to the U.S. State Department, U.S. families adopted more than 7,000 children in 2012 (ccainstitute.org).
- Around the world, there are an estimated 153 million orphans who have lost one parent. There are 17,900,000 orphans who have lost both parents and are living in orphanages or on the streets and lack the care and attention required for healthy development. These children are at risk for disease, malnutrition, and death (ccainstitute.org).
- 2007 breakdown of adopted children in the United States: Private domestic, 677,000 (38 percent); foster care, 661,000 (37 percent); international, 440,000 (25 percent) (americanadoptions.com).
- 62 percent of children adopted privately are placed with the adoptive family when they are newborns or less than one year old (americanadoptions.com).
- 21 percent of private adoptions are transracial (americanadoptions.com).
- 88 percent of adoptive parents describe themselves as a “happy” couple, while 83 percent of non-adoptive parents describe themselves as a “happy” couple (americanadoptions.com).
- Adoption is a viable alternative to abortion and accomplishes the same result. And with 1.5 million American families wanting to adopt a child, there is no such thing as an unwanted child (womenissues.about.com).
- There were 136,001 adoptions in US in 2007 and 135,813 adoptions in US in 2008 (childwelfare.gov).
Quotes About Adoption:
- “Adoption isn’t just because you couldn’t have kids. It’s giving kids a chance to have a forever family and a chance to be loved. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted. That’s why God called us to particularly love the widows and the orphans.” –Debby Pence, adoptive mother of four.
- “They (my birth parents) chose life for me and gave me the opportunity to live with a family that could provide for me and support me in all I do! I will forever be grateful for that gift!” –Sara Jansen, adopted at a young age.
- “As an adopted person, I am so incredibly thankful to my birth parents for making a very selfless act.” –Hannah Barlett, also adopted at a young age.
Throughout the past eight years of my life I have become a big sister to at least 60 foster children that have come into my home. That is 60 precious children that I have been able to snuggle, love, and show the love of Christ to. Their parents, although unable to keep a stable household, made the choice to save them instead of kill them, and I will forever be grateful of that decision. I am a supporter of pro-life. I do believe that life begins at the time of conception and that abortion is the cognitive murder of the individual’s life. I do think that abortions cause physical and emotional harm on the mother for the rest of her life.
The statistics strike me as shocking. They say that 21 percent of pregnancies end in abortion! That means that 21 out of 100 mothers will choose to kill their baby that is growing inside of them for selfish reasons, instead of choosing to save that baby’s life. Abortion causes physical, psychological, and emotional problems for the mother for the rest of her life. The guilt of the death of her baby would be an unsettling thought that will become unshakeable. And the sad part? It is completely avoidable. The baby could be carried to term and then given to a family who wishing for a baby through adoption. The pain and guilt of abortion should be inexcusable and replaced with the joy of adoption.
The Commendable Part:
Even though abortion causes all this pain, our God is a forgiving God. He will comfort the hurting and heal their broken hearts so there is hope for them. As Christians, we are called to help the broken hearted and support them through their struggles. God will always be there to hold them in His outstretched hand. He is holy. He is just. He is love. He will comfort the weary and provide for the weak.
As a Christian, I do not condemn those who have had an abortion even if I do not agree with their decision. I do want to help and comfort those women who struggle with the remorse and guilt of an abortion. It is a feeling that will not leave them and they need to be comforted and told that they are loved and forgiven.
If a mother doesn’t want to be a mother, then why is murder the choice? Why not choose to bless another family with the life of their child? Adoption changes lives. It changes the life of the child and of the families that adopt. If the birthmothers of my siblings chose abortion, my family would have missed out on the opportunities to adopt and I would still be a sad, only child who was irritated with God for not blessing her with a bigger family. Adoption saves lives.
This statistic kills my heart: “153 million children are orphaned at the loss of one parent while 17.9 million children have lost both of their parents” (ccainstitute.org). There are so many poor, sick, and hungry children around the world that will be stuck in an orphanage until they turn 18 who desire the love of a family. This does not just involve children in foreign countries either. Many underprivileged families that cannot provide for their children end up losing them to the foster care system. Even though the goal of the foster care system is to reunite families, many parents cannot do what needs to be done in order to regain the custody of them. Far too many children are bounced from foster home to foster home until they reach the age of 18 and age out of the system.
Those who agree with abortion may ask why bring more children into this world when there are already so many children stuck in poverty and waiting to be adopted. Quite frankly, it is a very good question since we do not want more children impoverished in orphanages. However, according to the beliefs I have, the Bible commands, “Thou shalt not kill.” It makes me sick to think about the starving and needy children who want a family of their own, want out of the orphanage and need the care of a family. There are numerous, capable families out there that are too comfortable with what they have to even think of adopting. This is a problem Americans (and Christians) face: being too comfortable to help the less fortunate.
All Christians are without excuse! Christ calls us to help the orphans. James 1:27 says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” The Christian viewpoint of looking after the orphans should not be to stand back and let someone else do it through an orphanage. It should be US who goes out to save them and I think adoption is the PERFECT way to do so. It is almost hypocritical of a Christian to not adopt since Christ has adopted us into His family. He did not have to, yet He chose to. We should choose to love and cherish the fatherless and live as an example to those around us.
Let me put this adoption versus abortion debate into perspective. Let’s say you have been wanting the iPhone 6 since it came out and have been begging your parents, spouse, loved one, etc. to get it for you as a gift. Finally Christmas morning arrives and you see a shiny box with your name on it. As you tear open the wrapping paper, you discover the iPhone 6 sitting in its plastic container. You are overjoyed and cannot stop thanking your family for giving you this gift! But then, when you least expect it, your little brother comes over and steals the phone from your hands, sprints away, and tumbles onto the floor. The iPhone is cracked and you are devastated. Your anger burns as you scream and yell at your brother for breaking this newfound prize. Life is this precious gift. A mother is blessed beyond belief to discover that a child is growing inside of her and yet some chose to rip that life out of the baby and never allow it to see the light of day. Those around you are devastated. Although some may not show it, the thought of a dead baby does not please anyone. I know this may seem harsh, but the truth hurts. Abortion is equal to murder. It is the ending of a life. I can’t even begin to comprehend the thoughts that go through a mother’s mind to justify this situation. In my mind, adoption outweighs abortion immensely. I believe that a fair amount of people would agree that life is better than death. Adoption gives life and abortion takes it.
Even though the statistics of orphans and foster care are negative, the parents of those children still chose to save a life instead of end one. There are countless families with a passion for adoption and saving the hearts of orphans. If there was one thing I could say to all Americans, it would be begging and pleading unprepared mothers to think of ADOPTION before of ABORTION.
Two simple letters can change a life.
“American Adoptions — America’s Adoption Agency.” Adoption Statistics. American Adoptions Organization, 2012. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
“Child Welfare Information Gateway.” Child Welfare Information Gateway. Administration for Children and Families, n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2014.
“Facts and Statistics.” Facts and Statistics. Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute, 2014. Web. 05 Nov. 2014.
“Induced Abortion in the United States.” Induced Abortion in the United States. Guttmacher Institute, July 2014. Web. 05 Nov. 2014.
Lowen, Linda. “10 Common Arguments For and Against Abortion.” About. About News, n.d. Web. 11 Nov. 2014.