Monday, July 27, 2015

When Baby Makes 6...And That's What You Had Planned

As many people know, recently, videos emerged on the Internet showing Planned Parenthood doctors discussing the sale of aborted baby organs and body parts over casual meals.  They call this 'fetal tissue' and say it is for 'scientific research' and there may be disputes over just how much money is being made (or not made) over these 'transactions', but no one is disputing that they happen.  Babies, some well into their second trimester of development, are being aborted out of the mothers who are sustaining their lives and then subsequently have vital organs cut out of their tiny bodies and sold to researchers.  This is horrifying and heartbreaking to me, but the horror especially resonates with me right now because the day before Father's Day, we very (very) unexpectedly found out I am pregnant (due date is February 26, 2 years to the day we came back to the United States from China with Josiah).  While amazing, this was a very overwhelming moment for me.  I cried for two days.  The fact that we already have a 3, 4, and 5 year old in the house is a constant reminder of just how much children ask you to give-everything!  And it is really, really hard.  My Father's Day began with throwing up in the shower, just the beginning of weeks and weeks and weeks of miserable and severe pregnancy sickness.  And it is really, really hard.  But, as I listened and read about these babies' lives ending, on purpose, before they barely had a chance to begin, I am reminded that God is the Authority on life, not me.  He is the One who knit these lives in their mother's wombs (Psalm 139) and made those heartbeats start (our baby's heart started to beat just 2 or 3 days after I found out I was pregnant) and no organization or doctor or mother is the ultimate authority on taking another's life.  It only took about 14 hours after I found out I was pregnant to start getting sick-because a true life was already there, taking and taking from me so she or he could continue living.

Like the title of this post states, we did not plan on having another baby (we were open to adopting an older child in the future, but did not plan on starting all the way from the beginning again!).  In fact, I felt like shouting from the roof tops when Josiah turned 3 that we were finished with the baby and toddler stage!  I love my children, but the pregnancy/infant/toddler stage is very difficult for me.  Anyone who truly knows me, knows I have never been good or natural with young children!  I am reading a book right now called The Color of Grace by Bethany Haley Williams in which she talks about the amazing therapy and rehabilitative care she and her organization Exile International are giving to former children of war in Africa.  She is doing the exact thing I set out to do when I decided to get extra schooling for my counseling masters 8 years ago.  But, a baby puts most plans I would have in moving towards that calling on hold.  (Side note:  her organization is doing amazing things to help former children of war and I recommend checking out her website to see how you can be involved:  Nonetheless, like I said earlier, God is the ultimate Authority on life.  He is the Author of life and if He has given us this child as a gift, for however long He has the days of our child to be, then I trust He will give us strength and wisdom for this calling.  In her book, Williams quotes Mother Theresa as saying, "I never look at the masses as my responsibility.  I look at the individual.  I can love only one person at a time.  I can feed only one person at a time.  One.  One.  One."  As I read those words, thousands of miles away from the life saving work she did in India and from these amazing surviving and courageous children in Africa, it encouraged my heart to know that loving this baby is my responsibility.  To speak up for him or her.  But what about the babies who have no one to speak up for them?  I hope our baby's heartbeat speaks for them too.  I hope that even now, God's different plan for our family than we had will speak life and light into this world.  Please consider the truth that no one needs that beating heart more than the baby in which it resides, just like the heart I beautifully saw beating today on our baby's 9 week ultrasound.

Friends, if you are pregnant and contemplating having an abortion (or know someone who is), please contact your local pregnancy care center (we have CareNet here in Frederick, MD) or me or a trusted friend.  Every day I am grateful that our precious, rambunctious, mischievous little boy Josiah's birth mother chose life for him.  If you have had an abortion and struggle with that decision, I hope these words do not feel condemning to you.  I hope and pray that you know that there is hope, redemption, and healing found at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Josiah is wearing Isaac's 'gege' shirt.  'Gege' means 'big brother' in Chinese. :)  What a blessing that this little boy gets to be a little brother and a big brother!

Okay, so I know ultrasounds can be hard to decipher, but that is our littlest one in the middle of the oval.  His/her head is to the right.  The baby is looking right at the camera (did not pick up this skill from his/her big sister!) and his/her body is to the left, with arms out at the sides.  It never gets old seeing and hearing that little, precious heartbeat.  Amazing.