Imagine my son’s delivery room. He has just been born, and our family is huddled together with the love and warmth and security that only a mother and father can provide.
Too bad it didn’t happen that way.
I wasn’t there. I couldn’t be there. I chose to work in an Alaskan fishing village while my son was being born so I wouldn’t have to see him being given to another family.
It’s a complicated story.
After graduating high school, I moved to Maui. One day God sent me a sweet girl to come and share His love with me. I had prayed for her arrival for some time, and when she finally came I treated her well. We were best friends and we soon fell in love and became lovers. Shortly thereafter, she conceived a child.
We were 18, unmarried, dependent, and without health care. We were also strangers in a land largely unknown to us. All we had was each other.
I’d never made up my mind about my stance on abortion, but she had. She was Catholic and would never consider it. She would rather die herself. I was torn and hoped my trouble would dissolve itself somehow. I don’t know how the option of adoption came into consideration, but I soon began to spend whole days thinking about it.
It finally struck me how my biggest problem with becoming a father was that it would only be an illusion. In my situation, I would be working full time and dropping out of college to be a “father,” and in return I would never have any time to enjoy my child. This was something I could not stand. More than anything in the world, I wanted to be an attentive father, like mine had been, and that would not be possible under these circumstances. Then I thought of others like me. I thought of all the good men, just like me, who pined for the chance to raise children– the way I pined.
After that, I couldn’t even think of abortion. I couldn’t imagine denying that pleasure of fatherhood to any man, as I had been forced to deny it to myself. So I made my decision. I made the right one.
I feel it was the right choice in every way. I am reminded of how good a choice it was every time I receive a picture in the mail of my son’s birthday party, a Christmas card, or a thank you letter with a personal drawing and autograph on it.
The adoption didn’t cost us anything. In fact, the adopting parents, whom we selected personally from one of the many adoption websites that exist, actually helped us pay our bills after my angel got to the point where she couldn’t work anymore. The reason that adoption needs to be considered more seriously by young people is that it turns the dangerous, costly, or dream-shattering reality of premature parenthood into something loving and beautiful.
I am not a hard-line pro-lifer. I don’t feel that the government has the right to tell people that they cannot make the decisions they want to, but that doesn’t mean I don’t cry for every child who receives a salty saline injection instead of a parent’s love.
The choice of adoption gave me some very close new friends, a new person for me to love passionately for the rest of my life, and even helped me pay my bills when things got hard.
But even though I made the right choice, it didn’t prevent me from making the biggest mistake of my life, which was not being at my son’s birth.
I was afraid that if I was there watching, I wouldn’t be able to let go of him. Maybe I wouldn’t have.
Running from your toughest choices is never the right way to do things. Even though I thought things would be fine in the delivery room without me, I can’t help but think that’s where I should have been.
If I had been there at beautiful Josh’s birth, I may still be tightly clutching his tiny hand, with my other hand gently holding the love of my life.
Though that life may have had its rewards, adoption was the right choice.
Even though it was a mistake that I wasn’t in the delivery room, it would have been an even bigger mistake if I had opted for abortion. Adoption doesn’t cost anything, but allows you to do something beautiful for the world.