There is no such thing as a ‘pro-choice’ Christian | The Matt Walsh Blog

What if I told you that I believe it’s OK to physically abuse your household pets?

Hold on. Don’t jump on my case about it. I’m saying it’s acceptable to torture and torment pets — but only pets. And only your own pets. You certainly can’t go around drop kicking, headbutting, or pile-driving your neighbor’s dog, but your dog is a different story.

And you can only punch, pistol whip, and karate chop your gerbils, cats, puppies, parrots, etc, up until a certain age. And only in the most humane way possible.

That’s all. I’m not some kind of psycho animal hater — I’ve never even assaulted my own cat, and I don’t think I ever will — I just happen to think you should have that right, should the need or desire ever arise.

But, beyond this one admittedly unique viewpoint, my overall ideology is pretty mainstream. I mean, I think it’s important to recycle and eat healthy and be nice to people and all that stuff.

Now, what if I told you that I also consider myself an animal rights activist?

Do you think the other animal rights activists will embrace me as their own? Will they allow the title “animal rights activist” to be bent and broadened to the extent that it also includes maniacs who think we ought to vociferously defend a person’s right to smack their pets around?

Alright, maybe this is a bad example. PETA kills thousands of animals every year, yet they seem to be celebrated in the animal rights community.

Still, you get my point. And in case you don’t, I’ll spell it out:

Our beliefs are not packaged, sealed, and sold separately. We don’t formulate our personal philosophy in a vacuum. Your views on one subject will be colored, or clarified, by your views on everything else.

If you think you live in a world where it is morally acceptable to do X, then your opinion on Y must be understood in the context of a world where X is considered righteous.

So this is why you can’t, for instance, advocate for slavery while also being a proponent of civil rights. Either you’re lying about your civil rights stance, or else you have an understanding of ‘civil rights’ which does not include a right to be free from enslavement. If that’s the case, then you are not a believer in civil rights at all, no matter how loudly you insist otherwise.

For very similar reasons, you simply cannot be Christian and pro-abortion.

In order to be both, you’d have to change Christianity into a religion that does not and would not condemn the murder of human children. You’d have to turn Christ into a Savior who embraces infanticide, and God into a Father who creates children but does not necessarily expect us or command us to refrain from violently destroying them.

What you are left with is something that bears no resemblance to Christianity. In fact, you’re left with something that is, in every way, exactly the opposite.

You are the pro-animal abuse animal rights activist, the pro-slavery civil rights proponent, the circular square, the north south. You are attempting to be two diametrically opposed things simultaneously. You’re trying to do something that is not only theologically impossible, but scientifically impossible as well.

If churches in America had any guts, this message would be proclaimed from the pulpit at least once a month. Especially this week, after that revolting story about a ‘Christian’ abortionist.

This man — a mercenary killer of infants — insists that his faith ‘calls’ him to decapitate babies. ‘Dr.’ Willie Parker says that abortion “became this conviction of compassion in a spiritual sense of the deepest level of love that you can have for another person, that you can have compassion for their suffering and you can act to relieve it.”

He’s right when he says that Christianity is a religion of love and compassion.  But he understands (or claims to understand) love and compassion to include the extermination of 50 million children worldwide each year.  His version of love leaves  the ground scattered with the corpses of slaughtered babies.  Christ’s love called us all to protect and love children, and warned us that we’d be better off with a stone around our neck, drowning in the sea, than defying that commandment. (emphasis added by me)

Continue reading via There is no such thing as a ‘pro-choice’ Christian | The Matt Walsh Blog.

Y is for You #AtoZChallenge

A to Z Letter YToday is a shout out to those who carried us through this adoption journey, who prayed diligently for us, who prayed for our birth mom, who generously provided references, who encouraged us through the rough patches, who rejoiced with us when we were matched, who grieved with us when matches fell through, who counseled us, who reminded us of God’s tender mercies and perfect timing, and who ultimately praised the Lord with us when we brought our sweet son home.

You are appreciated.

You are valued.

You are important.

You are reflections of grace.

You are sources of strength.

You are cherished.

You are LOVED.

You-are-Loved

X is for The eXtraordinary #AtoZChallenge

A to Z Letter XA couple of days ago, I wrote about all the unexpected things that happen as you navigate through an adoption.  They are countless and continuous.  Among them, though, are truly extraordinary details that regularly confirm that you are on the right path.  We had many of those along the way…too many to remember, but here are some of the biggies:

  • Being asked (entreated) to join the Domestic Adoption program:  There weren’t enough potential adoptive families to present to birth parents.  How is that even possible?  We had already decided to pursue adoption through the foster system, but we had not signed any contracts, and the phone call came.  How do you say no?  You don’t.  We didn’t.  In my heart of hearts, I wanted a baby.  From the beginning, I wanted a baby.  I was, however, cowed by outside concerns…concerns that if we didn’t make limitations on some issues, we would encounter problems along the way.  We set the limits.  In reality, I set the limits, and I was never comfortable with them, so when we started over after our move, I removed them.  And here we are.  I came to the conclusion long ago that God was working on me, bending & molding me, usa domesticforcing me to trust him completely, and when I finally did, he gave me exactly what I wanted.  A baby.
  • pca crossHaving a Christian social worker involved in our case:  She wasn’t ours, but she impacted us tremendously throughout.  She serves God faithfully and without reservation, and it shows all the time.  Her boldness and sincerity encouraged us and inspired us.  Her knack for mothering those who are in need made our birth mom feel safe and loved.  We were (ARE) all better for knowing her.
  • A volunteer doctor at Crisis Pregnancy:  I don’t know if this doctor is a Christian or not, but I do know that he is compassionate, and he believes in life.  When he saw our birth mom at Crisis Pregnancy, he offered to treat her himself at his private practice, and he followed through on that.  He is a good doctor, cautious and thorough, and he provided excellent care.  He treated our birth mom kindly and with respect, as he did all of us.  Org-AZ-Phoenix-Crisis-Pregnancy-CentersHe never withheld information, or acted as though anyone of us was an imposition on his time.  He is the type of doctor every pregnant woman should have, but especially those who are tempted to choose another alternative.  We were blessed to be under his care.
  • hippocrates symbolStellar hospital care for both our birth mom and our baby:  Without a doubt, our birth mom and our baby received top of the line care in the hospital.  The NICU, where our son spent four days while his blood sugar stabilized, was as good as they get.  The nurses were (are) phonomenal.  Further, they treated everyone involved with great respect. With two exceptions (attitude problems), our birth mom experienced the same stellar care.  The nursing staff in the maternity ward could not have provided better care, and they were kind and respectful to all of us.  The nurse manager personally cared for our birth mom one day, and I believe her lovely outlook sets the tone on the ward, and all of us benefited from her positive influence.
  • adoption symbolRooming in with our birth mom:  When you adopt, the maternity ward tries to provide a room (if one is available) to adoptive families, so they can stay in the hospital with their baby.  Such was not the case for us…the maternity ward was full.  Our birth mom, though, asked that I stay with her.  I was reluctant, because I didn’t want to be a constant (sad) reminder of what she was giving up, but she insisted that she wanted me to stay, so I did.  I will never regret doing that.  It enabled me to be there with our son much more than if I had been in a hotel, and it gave me the opportunity to spend a lot of time with our birth mom before we all (finally) went home.  Things were easy and comfortable, as they had always been.  I made sure to give her space, and I spent a lot of time with our son.  My husband was able to come every day to see us, and I was there when our birth mom discharged, and was able to say goodbye to her.  Those are memories I would not have had I not spent those days with her, and I cherish them.
  • The angel working in our county adoption division:  This paralegal secured an expedited hearing so we could finalize before our home study expired.  She pushed through paperwork at CPS when no one else – our agency included – would not make an effort, and she saved us a continuance (and probably some money as well).  She was kind, and she went the extra mile Jeremiah-29-11to make sure our hearing took place quickly and without problems.   At a time when I have lost faith in virtually anything to do with government, she proved that there are still good people working there, people who genuinely seek to help the public.

There were many other moments like this, but these are the ones I remember the most.  Even if they were the only ones, they would be enough.  God is extraordinary.  He loves in extraordinary measure, and he moves in profound and extraordinary ways to show us.

V is for Visits #AtoZChallenge

A to Z Letter VSince we have an open adoption, we have a contract with our birth mom and birth dad stipulating visitation and written communication for them.  Because they are not together, we have separate contracts.  She is entitled to up to three visits per year, and four written communications per year (including pictures).  He is entitled to one visit per year and four written communications per year (including pictures).  The written communication is required, and we are sending an update approximately every three months.  The visits are not required if the birth parent does not request them.

We have had one visit so far, and it went well.  Our birth mom, from the very beginning, was not sure she wanted to have any post-placement visits, but she did request one when he was about 3 months old.  We met, of all non-neutral places, at her mother’s home.  I was nervous about the visit, but everything went fine.  Her social worker was there (a minimum requirement for me), and we had a set time to arrive and leave so it would not be an open-ended visit.  Standard visits last 1-2 hours, so that is what we arranged.

past adoption experienceI am very glad we were able to have that visit, because not only was our birth mom present, but her mother and grandmother were there as well.  I wanted them all to be able to see our son, to see that he is happy and thriving, and most importantly that he is loved.  I was even more grateful the next month that we did this when we did, because we learned that our birth mom’s mother passed away unexpectedly.  She, in particular, had some big reservations about the adoption…at least, until she met us and learned what open adoption is.  Her concerns stemmed from the fact that she surrendered one of her own daughters (she has four), and was never given the option to know the adoptive parents or see that her daughter was ok.  She never stopped grieving about it, and once she understood what our post-placement relationship would be like with our birth mom, she was completely supportive and on board.

adoption is love circleI don’t know if we will have any more visits.  None have been requested so far, and our birth mom told us when we saw her four months ago that she probably wouldn’t want another visit.  You do have to take those comments with a grain of salt, because even though she has access, there is still a grieving process.  And even though she is still certain she did the right thing, she still needs the reassurance that he is ok.  He is more than ok…he is wonderful, and happy, and growing like a weed…all things I make sure are evident in the pictures we send her.

worthy of gods loveMy hope and prayer for her is that she is buoyed by our letters and pictures.  I hope that she doesn’t ever feel we want to prevent her from seeing him and knowing he is doing well.  I hope she requests a visit if she needs it, and doesn’t deny herself what is her contractual right, especially if it will calm her heart.  I hope that she sees God’s presence in all that we have been through together, in the clear connection that we have with our son, and in our continued affection for her and gratefulness to her.  Most of all, I hope she sees God’s incredible, empowering, and steadfast love.

U is for The Unexpected #AtoZChallenge

A to Z Letter UFor as many things as you anticipate, going through adoption, there are that many and more that you don’t.  There’s simply no way to fully prepare for everything you will encounter.  In fact, there’s no way to even predict what you will and will not encounter…it’s both the beauty and the curse of the process.  So here are some of the unexpected things that happened to us:

  • planned parenthoodA start at Planned Parenthood:
    Considering the bulk of Planned Parenthood’s business, and the percentage of adoption referrals (1 adoption referral per 149 abortions in 2013 per CNS News), it is an undeniable miracle that our birth mom found her way to Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
  • Three matches…one baby:
    We never anticipated that it would take three matches to get us to our baby.  We expected a long wait, and the possibility that we would have to renew our home study, but we (and truly, maybe it was just me) never expected to have three birth moms select us…
  • broken-heartTwo disruptions:
    Equally as unexpected as having three birth moms select us was to have two fall through.  And it wasn’t the fact that the first birth mom changed her mind that was the bigger surprised, but the second whose mental illness (undisclosed) got the best of her and rendered her not competent to make sound decisions for her baby.
  • Our first match pregnant again, and requesting (begging for) us:
    Yes, this happened.  Yes, we were stunned, for several reasons.  She was pregnant again within two months of the birth of a daughter with medical complications.  She was begging to be matched with us again (and we were matched by this time to our birth mom), after changing her mind and costing us thousands of dollars.  We had to decline – our son would not have been six months before her baby was born – and as it turns out she was no more dependable the second time around, and the agency ended up letting her go until she made up her mind what she wanted to do.
  • Both birth parents involved:
    When we were matched with our birth mom, the birth dad was not in the picture.  A few weeks later, he was…until toward the end, when he ended up in jail (again) and missed our baby’s birth.  Back in the picture after he got out of jail, and they both requested to see our son at 3 months, but then they fell apart again, and he didn’t show up.  family supportSo where we didn’t expect him to be involved at all, at least he was…somewhat…was on board with the adoption, and gave his written consent.
  • Both birth families involved:
    We truly didn’t expect to have the birth families involved, especially as much as they were involved.  Both families have a lot of dysfunction, but they pulled together to meet us, and to support the decision of our birth parents.  We were surprised and thankful that this was the case…both because our birth parents needed whatever support their families could provide, and because it allowed our birth parents to feel confident in their decision.
  • law-and-order-logoHaving more than a little in common with our birth mom:
    I was really surprised at what I had in common with our birth mom…height, shoe size, blue eyes, fair complexion.  Add to that a penchant for crazy hair colors (pink!), flip flops, tattoos, loaded Subway sandwiches and Law & Order marathons (the original show, early episodes being our favorites).  There are a lot of other little details where we found we were similar, and it was a great connection point for us.
  • attitude is everythignGetting attitude from our agency at the end:
    This was so totally unexpected (shocking, actually) that, had I been inclined to recommend our agency to other potential adoptive couples, I am no longer.  I did not appreciate the head of the agency getting short with me on the phone when we were trying to push the final paperwork through…and it happen twice. “Big mistake. Huge!” (to quote Pretty Woman)  I wanted so much to have a warm relationship with them to the end, and have that be a part of our story, but that was not the case.  We are so very grateful for our son, and we know that God directed every step of our journey, but that hiccup at the end soured what was, until that point, a warm working relationship.

Stay tuned for more…the eXtraordinary surprises, because in the end, every detail was worked out perfectly, and God was glorified in everything.

flower do all to the glory of god

L is for Love #AtoZChallenge

A to Z Letter LAdoption is, ultimately, an act of sacrificial love.  Sacrifice on the part of the birth parents, who choose to surrender their children to parents who can provide what they can not.  Sacrifice on the part of adoptive parents who are willing to jump through the hoops and come up with thousands of dollars, to bring children who are very much wanted – and loved – into their homes.  The thing is, from the adoptive parent perspective, it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice at all.  It really just feels like we did what was necessary to expand our family…just as we did with our biological child.  Was it harder?  Maybe…maybe not.

adoption is loveWe have always felt that we were called to adopt.  Not because we didn’t want biological children (we did, and we have one), but because we felt keenly for these children in need of stable homes…homes that are not possible without adoption.  In so many cases, I wanted us to be the right family for them, wanted to scoop them up and bring them home.  My heart has been full to the point of breaking so many times for the needs of these kids.  We have hoped and prayed for them, and that it would be clear to us when we were the family that was needed.

It was clear, in myriad ways, and most surprisingly, in ways we could not have predicted.  I am so grateful for that, and for knowing that God was guiding us toward the birth parents whose needs were needs that we could meet, and who committed themselves, without being believers themselves, to make a sacrifice for the sake of their child that would radically glorify God.

adoption_is_another_word_for_love_ornament_roundI have mentioned more than once that I don’t know how people go through adoption without God.  It takes a fortitude and strength, and I don’t have it without God.  Still, there are many non-believers who undertake both sides of this journey, and they may not ever know the powerful witness they are for God, just in doing this one thing.  Why?  Because they are modeling the sacrificial love that God shows us daily…love that is steadfast, love that they (we) choose to take on, love that may or may not be returned, love that is unconditional, love that does not measure what can be gotten in return. God uses us…all of us…to show the depth and breadth of His own love.

He used our birth parents, and he used us, and I am so grateful for it. 1cor13