Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is God Pro-Choice???????

It was a topic of conversation that come up in my life today. Before you start flagging me for objectionable content take a moment to read our thoughts on this. We did not resolve this issue, but it made me think, even if you end up disagreeing with our thought process, I'm hoping it will give you pause.

First, human life is precious to God. We did not dispute that. God of course would love for all people to dwell with Him forever, He thought of us, He created us, He made a way for us. But He knew if given the choice between A and A, and we chose A, would it be our choice?

Second, if there were not a legal choice, would the "problem" go away? We thought not, so what would Jesus do? Would he send desperate and hurting women to the back alley with a coat hanger or would it be more Christlike to have a safe and legal option? One that is being watched and regulated.

Alright, even my own head is swirling at this point. It will be over soon.

This lady and I are around the same age. We predate the "choice", but we grew up in the age of choice. Choice is out and proud and only a medical procedure, or so we've been told early and often. I know people who have faced the "choice" and I would say the choices made split fairly evenly. If you have never been faced with an unplanned pregnancy you do not know what choice you would make. No, you don't. I chose to view my babies as a "surprise" rather than an "accident". Of course there is no such thing as a surprise or an accident, I was having sex, I got pregnant, I felt my choice had already been made. On the other side though, I knew girls who were forced there by their own mothers or boyfriends. Girls who couldn't stand the thought of being tied to a certain guy for 20 more years. Girls who thought it more convenient and private than condoms. Others who believed that it was just a simple medical procedure. And then I also knew others who gave up their babies for adoption. Which complicates it even more.

I've always considered myself pro-life. I've always viewed choice as something that should be made prior to the "surprise". I consider myself a Jesus freak. I am, however, very offended at people who hold up signs outside of clinics screaming at girls who are seeking an option.

I'm gonna speak from a little experience here and say that unplanned pregnant equals looking for love. I wanted love from a guy, or a baby and now that the guy is gone, I the unloved cannot love a baby.

Now alone and scared what's a girl to do? Are you helping her with your sign? No, you're scaring her, and she's still going inside, where people are being nice to her, where people are helping her. Even if those people are wrong, who do you think she's going to believe? When she finds her way to you, it will be too late.

Six months or so ago was the first time I've come across such a scene. The God squad with their signs and crying women with escorts. It was also the first time I thought that maybe I should go and volunteer at a clinic. A pro-lifer in an abortion clinic, I probably wouldn't be there long, but I might be able to help for awhile. I might be able to tell them the truth about the "procedure" they are about to undergo, I might be able to offer up other options, or I might be able to love someone while they are making a decision that will stay with them for the rest of their life. Let's face it, clinics will always be open, wouldn't it be more helpful to be on the inside? It's not a choice I can make for someone else. How do I know? God told me so. He set an example, here is A and B. I'll leave the choice up to you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Alphabet Soup

Earlier this week a group of people, most of whom have never met us, got together to assess our parenting of little middle born of the heart boy. There were Phd's and LPC's, and MSW's and God only knows who else, but as has been done quarterly for almost four years now, all the letters got it wrong.

Funniest issue was the Phd who declared my biggest problem with my three year old was that he wet the bed. If only. If the potty issue were the biggest problem I had, I would have more of an issue with him peeing in his dresser drawers in the daytime than in his pullups in the middle of the night.

Second issue I have is that someone reported that little middle tells Mama "you're not my mom." This has never happened. I will admit to having issues early on, but I am now 1000% on board with him being very clear exactly who Mama is. The only time he's ever mentioned his relationship with Mama in a way less than enthusiastically is when he declared he didn't want to go back there.....not to her house, but in her belly "cause that would be gross". Amen. He gains greater understanding daily with the fact that he grew in my heart and lives in Mama's. I shouldn't be so surprised that a three year old understands it better than people who have spent his life 10 times over studying it.

Other issues, it was indicated that his "adaptive ability" is low to the point of being "clinically significant" yet he has "adequate coping skills". Really? they sound awfully similar to me. And as someone who interacts with him daily, he has the worst coping skills on the planet, even for a three year old.

My favorite part is that the outcome of his assessment puts him at a coping, and socializing age of about two years six months. Guess how long he's lived here....two years five months. So with all they got wrong they got it right that he was lost without us, and that he should not be moved.

Looking forward to next quarter when they decide that not letting a 45 pound two year old "graze" is depriving her of her "right to eat". I'm hoping they get all their letters together, put them in a pot and make some soup. That would be helping me.

Sunday, February 10, 2008


20/20 had a story on Friday night about ripping a child from the only family it has ever known. I went in with the opinion that I was going to side with the born of the heart family. How wrong was I? This story is why people hate foster parents, Christians and Americans.

Eight years ago a little girl was born. Her born of the body parents were Chinese students, the baby was premature, they needed help. A "nice Christian" family stepped forward and offered to take the baby "temporarily". Two months later, they asked the ESL parents to sign over custody of the baby so they could get health insurance. Here we are eight years later, the girl is finally back with her born of the body family.

The problem I have is not that the born of the heart family wanted and loved this girl, I get that. My problem is they thought they had to lie, cheat and buy her. This is not the way to get a heart baby. They said they'd help temporarily, that might have been their original intent, but when the baby came home and they fell in love, that did not give them the right to change their mind.

They took advantage of a couple in a strange land who did not know the language let alone the laws. On top of that they told the baby that her parents had abandoned her and that China, where they had never been, was a bad place.

When it came to the courts, the Americans had the distinct advantage of money and familiarity with the language. The body parents were willing and able to take the child only a few months after she was born, they might not have been able to provide all that the heart family would, but they were able to provide all of her needs.

One might think that I feel biology trumps all else. No, if I did then I should probably spend more effort undoing the medical procedures that are preventing pregnancy. I don't think that there are any absolutes on either side. I think that if the body parents put the children at some kind of risk, then they should be with a heart family that will keep them safe.

In our situation the children would be at risk if they returned to their body family. This does not mean that I feel that Mama is a bad person. I don't agree with her lifestyle or her choices, but she loves her children the best way she knows how. And I think that she knows they are in a good place where they are loved.

The 20/20 story reminded me that I need to honor her to her babies. There may be a day where they have to return to her, I don't want them to be further scarred by my actions. As they get older I have to keep in mind that it is I that needs to maintain their attitude towards her. And if I have a hard time with that, that is my problem, and I don't need to poison them with it. I have to remember Moses who was the biblical foster child. His mother could not keep him safe in her home, so she sent him to live in a place where he would be safe. I know she herself was not putting him in danger, but bottom line, she could not keep him safe.

Schools are big on family projects. Draw Mommy and Daddy and brothers and sisters. We are the family that our heart babies draw. I have to remind them that they also have a body family. Little middle is understanding more each day, I told him that he was born in Mama's tummy, his reaction was "I don't want to go back there". I asked a clarifying question. He's not worried about living at Mama's house, he just didn't want to be put back in her tummy.

So back to 20/20. The little girl resisted going back with her body family. I"m guessing that it was made worse by the histrionics of the heart family. I pray that the day will never come that my heart babies will return to their body family, but I also pray that I will have the strength and courage to do it in a way that helps the children. I'm sure there would be crying and screaming, but it will not be done in front of the children.

In the meantime, I try every thing I can to build a relationship with Mama. It is hard enough to build relationships with two willing people, let alone, when one is not so much interested. But everyday I try. I know that the best chance our babies have is to be loved by as many interested parties as possible. And if nothing else I must honor her as the mother of some of my children.

Because of the efforts of the 20/20 heart family to try for eight years to get the body parents deported, they were unable to build a life here. As soon as the custody situation was resolved they had to return to China, taking the little girl with them. I'm wondering if they are still wide eyed in awe of America. Wondering if they even want to take the chance that they'd have to choose between their kid and their dreams. I'm sure they will return. While they were transitioning the girl they reached out to the heart parents to maintain a relationship for their daughter. They set up very strict boundaries, and stuck with them. Had the heart family done that eight years ago, they could have helped them build an American life, and even if they couldn't have the girl under their roof, they'd have been in her life a lot longer.

Having my heart babies adopted is my primary goal. If that is not possible, having them in my life will be better than not. So that is why I do the hard thing and not the easier thing.