an After abortion

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Another letter to our never-born children:

Dear Matthew,

Your name means, "Gift of God." I picked the Feast Day of Saint Bernadette for your birthday, February 18, 1989. You just turned 13. You are so gentle, sweet and so inquisitive. I am amazed when I think of you. You love to read, to learn and to laugh. You are slender, with brown hair and blue eyes, and a beautiful smile. You've always loved nature, and exploring. You are a caring and protective older brother to your younger sister and brother. You are my beloved firstborn son. I am so incredibly honored to be your mother.

I was terrified when I found out I was pregnant with you. My biggest fears surrounded the relationship I had with your father. We should have never been together, he was so much older than I, and married. How could I have explained this to you, when you began to ask about your dad? I had so much shame. I felt like I couldn't tell you, or anyone. I cared more about what other people thought. I know now that I could have placed you up for adoption. If only I had placed you up for adoption, Matthew. You would be alive today, and I would have the most inconceivable peace in knowing this.

I was 22 years old at that time and my life revolved around alcohol and drugs. I was sure that you were going to be born with a physical or mental handicap. I've since learned that handicapped children are as much God's precious gifts, and have their own special place in the world. If only I had been stronger. I would have changed my lifestyle and welcomed you, however you came, as a blessing from God.

I didn't think that I'd be able to provide for you. I imagined that I'd end up on welfare, and never realize my dreams of going to college, or making something of myself. I was afraid that no man would want to marry me if I was a single mother. I was afraid I might hurt you. I was afraid that you would hate me. I understand now that in God anything is possible, and we would have been taken care of.

My life never did go the way that I had planned. How can I explain this, but it's as if you were with me anyway. After many years, I finally finished college. I haven't been married yet. But the worst of it is, I took your life. I wasn't aware that you were a unique human being, with your own contribution to make to the world. You had your own destiny, apart from me. I never once considered that you didn't choose the situation of being unwanted by me. You were innocent, and regardless of anything, you had a right be be born. You were my call to love and I denied you. I was so selfish. I can't tell you how much I've suffered. I would take it all back, if only I could.

I went as quickly as I could to the abortion center. It was July, 1988. I knew the truth, that the longer I waited the more you would grow, and the less I could deny. I tried to believe that at 8 weeks old you were "just a blob of tissue." Without humanity, without a consciousness. It was okay wasn't it? It was legal after all. I was in such denial. Remember the overwhelming horror I felt after all these years when I finally really looked at photographs of fetal development? There you were, 8 weeks old, a beautifully growing baby, with arms, legs, eyes and a beating heart.

This is so hard for me, the abortion. What you must have felt. The incredible violence, as your life was taken from you. I have to believe now, that in those moments your soul left your body and you were with God. But your tiny body ended up in the trash...

I left the abortion center numb, yet relieved. That's all I remember. I buried my feelings of pain and confusion. I truly believed I did. Yet the truth is, that part of me died that day with you. I thought I could just simply erase you and erase the relationship I'd had with your father. I could not. Life isn't like that. Why didn't anyone tell me?

Since I've begun this healing journey I understand now that you've forgiven me, and I thank you. Matthew, I love you so much and I miss you! You are a part of me. I am so grateful for all of the gifts you've given me, especially in bringing me home to God. In remembering you, I've been given back a heart of love, a mother's heart. I look forward with great joy to the day when we meet again. God bless us and keep us until then, my beautiful son.

Love, Mom
~ by one of our readers, Sarah, with permission

As invited in this post on "returning to our roots".

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