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Being Pro-Life Means Embracing the Ugly Childhood Stories of Adoption Also

alec vanderboom

I'm so blessed as a pro-life person to pray for dozens of happy adoption stories, both in-person and online. Because of my general pro-adoption attitude, I feel this special obligation to pray even harder for kids from a disrupted adoption situation, than I would for the kids with seemingly happily ever after endings.

British poet, Lemn Sissay, was on NPR this afternoon discussing his painful past as a child who spent 18 years in the British Foster Care System. He suffered emotional and physical abuse. There are parts of his story that make my heart fall to the floor.

I appreciate his comment that children in care, don't need my pity. They need my respect.

One way I want to respect foster care children is by reading their stories. I'm not going to a pro-lifer who pretends that all adoptive parents, all foster parents, all social workers, and all Religious Sisters who are involved in adoption and foster care are always great, perfect, saints. There are sometimes sinful actors in this situation. The harm they can cause to a vulnerable adoptive or foster care child is great.

For me, being pro-life, means that I'm pro-child.  I'm always grateful whenever an unplanned pregnancy didn't end in an abortion. Lemn Sissay, who was the poet of the 2012 London Olympic Games, is for me, an example of a terrible loss we'd all suffer if we didn't have him on Planet Earth. His words poke me in the heart, and encourage me to do better and to love more.