Being pro-life can lead you to unexpected paths sometimes.
My husband and I adopted our fourth child from Armenia in 2016. Guyana is a full-time wheelchair user and has endured a dozen surgeries, hundreds of medical appointments and who knows how many thousands of hours of physical therapies. It’s been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.
Guyana’s first mother, as we call her, had a difficult pregnancy with twin girls. One was perfectly healthy; the other had the most severe form of spina bifida, at the very least. “It’s not a problem,” doctors told her mother. “You can just abort the defective one, and take home the healthy one.”
That brave woman said no. “I am not God,” she insisted. “It is not my job to choose when my daughter’s life ends.” She knew that letting Guyana live meant adoption; there is not a single children’s hospital in Armenia, for starters, and our shared girl’s needs are pretty intense, even for America. She gave birth to both girls, despite the pain of separation she knew was coming (Guyana’s twin still lives with them in Armenia).
Recently, Guyana’s biological adult sister contacted us on Instagram. “My parents are so grateful to you,” she wrote. “My mother is happy, as Guyana is alive and healthy now due to you.”
The word humbling is not remotely adequate in this situation. The realization that were it not for this lady’s incredible inner strength and belief in the inherent value of all life — even so-called “defective” life, like Guyana’s — that the world would be absent one of its brightest rays of crooked light slams into me regularly.
I send them a photobook every year, so they can watch our daughter grow. Can it erase the trauma and heartbreak that adoption inevitably brings? Absolutely not.