Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world. Clare Herbert Woolston
Today is Sanctity of Life Sunday, and like many other churches across the nation, our pastor took a few moments this weekend to speak about the significance of this day. Thousands of Americans will be marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, by actively recognizing our God-given right to life. Since that infamous Supreme Court decision in 1973, over 50 million children have been sacrificed in terminated pregnancies. In the majority of these cases, the life of the mother was not at risk. Tragically, our society places little value on the smallest among us-the very ones who are most in need of our protection.
When a woman desperately wants to have a child and miscarries, the event is tragic and the loss is mourned, which is as it should be. But if the same woman is pregnant with a child she does not want, the event is an inconvenience, and the baby is regarded as a lifeless clump of fetal cells. Under current law, the value of a human life is left to the discretion of the mother, and the baby’s worth is based solely upon whether or not she wants the child. Think about that. If the baby is wanted, the child has infinite value and is welcomed into the world. But if the baby is not wanted, the child has no value and can be brutally ripped from his mother’s womb and discarded like a piece of trash. What kind of a society are we to impose such an irrational, indifferent and immoral sentence on some, while celebrating the birth of others? Life belongs to God. He gives it and he takes it back. Who are we to make that choice?
The Bible says that we are made in the image of God, meaning that he placed within each of us, characteristics of himself. And not only are we uniquely designed, but we are uniquely purposed.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16, NIV
The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:4-5, NIV
These two verses clearly show that God is involved in the development of the unborn, and has in fact, a plan for each human life. If God values them as children, why don’t we? In the New Testament, Jesus shows his love and regard for children, when he rebukes his disciples for trying to shoo them away.
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Mark 10:13-14, NIV
Jesus clearly didn’t see children as members of society to be discarded, so why do we?
The miracle of life is a blessing and children are gifts from God. Since Roe v. Wade, countless babies could have known life, if only their mothers had considered adoption. For young women who find themselves with an unwanted pregnancy, there is a tremendous opportunity to provide a childless couple with a baby. In my own family, I watched my sister and brother-in-law struggle with months of fertility testing, and then nearly two years of waiting for the chance to adopt. It was a long and difficult struggle, but in God’s perfect timing, he orchestrated events to bring about a miraculous pairing of one little girl with new parents to make a family.
Lori shares their adoption story: Within a year after our wedding, the inevitable questions began. “So when are you going to have a baby?” In the first few years, we did try to get pregnant, but after a while it became obvious that something wasn’t quite right, and the testing began. After several months, the urologist confirmed our worst fears: we were infertile and would have to consider other options if we wanted to have a baby. We decided on domestic adoption and settled on a local Christian agency, and with high hopes, began the process with the social worker. She asked us many questions about ourselves including what kind of adoption we would be comfortable with. We were instructed to create a picture album about ourselves and our families, which were used by the birth mothers to help them decide which couples to meet with. Additional questions for us centered on acceptable and unacceptable parameters with respect to birth parents’ drug use, health history, and the degree of post-placement contact we would consider. The goal of the agency was to match like-minded birth mothers with prospective adoptive parents, meeting the needs and preferences of both.
As we discussed our hopes for a child, we consistently referred to the child as she, which prompted the social worker to ask about our reference. Being a Christian agency, we felt it appropriate to tell her that we believed God had promised us a little brown-haired girl, whom we had already decided to name after my Grandmother Catherine. Victor’s father had a dream about a little girl with long brown hair, and we just felt that God was giving us a glimpse of what he had planned for us. Even our families already considered the little girl a “promise yet to be fulfilled” and affectionately referred to her as “Katie,” which was Grandma’s nickname. After relaying all of this to the social worker, she seemed to imply that this might be “wishful thinking” on our part. However, she would note our preference for a baby girl.
The dream about Katie reminded us that all things were possible with God, and that we could trust him with the desires of our heart. A part of those desires was the hope that Katie might even look a bit like us. Although I knew adoption was the right choice for us, I was also a little sad to think that our child might look nothing like us. I knew it was not important in the grand scheme of things, but it was a prayer I had nonetheless. Also as an adoptive mom, I was nervous about the maternal bond with my daughter, wondering if I would share that same kind of connection with Katie that I had with my own mom.
On a brisk January morning, just after my 37th birthday, I was about to leave the house to meet Lynn for a day of antiquing and tea, when the phone rang. It was the social worker. She had a fifteen-year-old birth mother in her office who wanted to meet with us. Accompanied by her mother, the young girl was due to deliver within two weeks and was expecting a girl. The next evening we met with the birth parents who seemed just as nervous as we were. But as we talked, we discovered that we all had similar expectations of the adoption process. They told us that they had really felt a connection to us while looking through our album. Although the social worker encouraged them to meet with other prospective parents, they made the decision that evening to choose us to be the adoptive parents for their child.
With only two weeks before the due date, we busily wallpapered and painted the baby’s room. A few days later, the phone rang. The birth mother was in labor. We began the forty-five minute drive to the hospital just as it started to rain. The birth mother was allowed to have two people in the delivery room with her, and, after her own mother, she graciously chose me to be present for the birth. Victor and I had been impressed by her maturity during this very difficult and emotional time in her young life. From the first evening she had met with us, she referred to the child she carried as “your baby.” Once she had decided upon adoption, she carefully and purposefully attempted to distance herself emotionally as she made every effort to make decisions that were in the best interest of the child, however painful they might be for her. We were blessed that this extraordinary young lady chose us.
At 6:40 in the morning, Catherine Elizabeth made her debut! I was allowed to re-cut the baby’s cord before the nurses took her away for a newborn evaluation. The birth mother had requested to be moved off of the maternity floor for her recovery, and was later moved upstairs to another room. Once the nurses had completed testing, Katie was swaddled and given to me to hold. They showed Victor and me how to feed her with a tiny bottle that reminded me of a little doll’s bottle. I sang “Jesus Loves Me” to her as I held her for the first time. I couldn’t believe we had been given such a wonderful gift. The desires of my heart were indeed from God as I gazed at our newborn daughter. She was the one we had waited for. Contrary to our expectations, her physical characteristics resembled her biological grandmother as well as her biological parents. Katie had a perfect blend of Hispanic and Caucasian features which perfectly matched our own. Although she had none of our DNA, she looked like both of us. She sported a beauty mark, which runs in my family and “angel kisses” across her eyelids and nose, which were commonly seen at birth in members of Victor’s family. Even though she had no biological relationship to us, God chose to express parts of her DNA that gave her physical traits resembling us and our families. He was in control of the situation from the moment she was conceived. God knew what Katie would look like, but he wanted to know if we would trust him regardless of the circumstances.
The next morning the sun shone over the beautiful jacaranda tree outside our window. The rain clouds had gone, and warm sunshine had taken their place. We dressed Katie in her “going home” outfit and waited for the birth mother to meet us one last time to say goodbye. She wanted to give Katie a gift, but she chose not to hold her. Again we were struck by this young woman’s maturity. The final papers were signed, releasing Katie into our custody. In God’s perfect timing, we brought Katie home as our daughter on January 26, Grandma Catherine’s birthday. God had given us a promise, and although it seemed to be out of reach at times, he was faithful to bring it to completion. (Excepts from Held by God)
It is God who collects the broken pieces of people’s lives, and refashions those pieces to make something new. That is his gift of adoption.
To learn more about Adoption, Sanctity of Life Sunday, or how you can get involved to make a difference in the fight for life, please visit the web sites of Pastors John Piper and Russell Moore, Be a Voice for Life, Life Advocates or the Family Research Council.
On Sanctity of Life Sunday, we recognize each human life as a precious gift to be treasured and protected. We also pray for women who find themselves with unwanted pregnancies to realize the incredible opportunity they have to give the gift of life through the process of adoption.
It is my prayer and hope that you will join pastors all over America in standing for the value of every human life from conception until natural death by actively promoting Sanctity of Life Sunday…Never has it been as vital that we restore the respect for human life in a nation that has increasingly devalued it. –Dr. Sonny Foraker, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Pearland
Amen to that!
On the journey toward Home,