Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thankful for Life?

Several weeks ago, a thread popped up on an adoptee forum I visit. The author of the thread, an adoptee herself, offered to adoptees a suggestion for how we might celebrate November's National Adoption month. Her suggestion? To share our adoption testimonies while emphasizing our gratitude for our natural mothers choosing life over abortion. For the first time ever, another person, another fellow adoptee, telling me how I ought to feel about my life and my adoption really rubbed me the wrong way. This was an interesting experience for me. Immediately, upon reading her post, all those things that I once accepted and even believed for myself suddenly felt wrong.

As a teenager the concept that my natural mother had every right to terminate her pregnancy often occurred to me, and privately, inwardly I felt thankful that she chose for me to live. However, it never occurred to me that I should be pro-life for that reason...for my own gratitude at being given an opportunity to walk on this Earth. I resent being told that I SHOULD be pro-life for that reason. And I resent even more the concept that someone would use MY story to further THEIR agenda; the suggestion that I "be a voice for the unborn" because of my own experiences.

I will say right now, just for the record...I AM pro-life. BUT, I am pro-life because I believe in the sanctity of life, not because I am thankful I wasn't aborted. I agree with a natural mom's view that "abortion is an alternative to pregnancy while adoption is an alternative to parenting". Abortion is NOT, in most cases, an alternative to parenting, which means very few pregnant women who question their ability to parent consider abortion as a means to prevent parenthood. I say this merely because I do not believe my natural mom EVER considered an abortion. While it would have been legal for her to do so I believe her first instinct WAS to parent. I would imagine that the thought of abortion never even crossed her mind. So, to suggest that I be thankful for her choosing life seems preposterous to me.

The concept of ending a life just to eliminate the need to parent is ridiculous and I truly believe it happens very rarely. Women who choose to relinquish their child for adoption LOVE their baby with all their heart and soul. And they mourn the loss of that baby to adoption, oftentimes regretting their decision. I believe, perhaps naively, that the idea of terminating their pregnancy is about the furthest thing from their mind. They don't have an interest in aborting. They have an interest and a concern in their baby living a life, that sadly, they feel they can't provide. That does NOT mean they feel that the only alternative to parenting themselves is abortion.

I believe that a mother has an innate ability and DESIRE to be a parent and to protect her child. For that reason I will NOT show gratitude for my natural mother choosing life! It was her responsibility to do so as MY MOTHER! She and I were bonded together as mother and daughter for 9 months, and as my mother she took responsibility for my life during that time (and for 2 years after that). I consider her decision to carry me to term no different than if my adoptive mother stepped out in front of a car to protect me. As my natural mother it was her responsibility to protect me! I should NEVER be made to feel grateful to her for accepting that responsibility and BEING my mother!

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