For several months now, having been moved by the Holy Spirit, I have been writing these articles about life. Much of my inspiration for my writing has come from my own family. I’m focusing this writing about adoption and how it’s impacted my own family.
My oldest daughter is pregnant with twin boys, and so far, she has taken our family on an amazing journey. She is now nearly 23 weeks pregnant. The boys are very active, moving and kicking and pushing constantly. When you tell someone that a pregnancy is twins, inevitably the first question is, “Do you have twins in your family?” While my husband does have identical twin cousins, our twins are fraternal. My internet research has taught me that identical twins are random, caused by an egg that divides early on (I’m not sure I completely believe this, as I hear a lot of anecdotal stories about multiple identical twins within some families). Only fraternal twins might have a genetic tendency that comes through the maternal line. As far as I have been able to determine, there are NO TWINS in my maternal line, so our little guys are a true gift from God! We are looking forward to the expansion in our family. The boys will be around 11 months younger than a male cousin; we all live here in the same town, so I’m anticipating years of good-natured mischief ahead for our family from the three boys. My oldest grandson will be 5 1/2 when his brothers are born and sandwiched in between him and the three younger boys is our nearly four year old granddaughter. She will either be the queen of the cousin pack or driven crazy by the four boys! Time will tell, but fun times await!
When my daughter was at around 21 1/2 weeks pregnant, I went with her to the pre-natal specialist appointment and witnessed firsthand the high definition sonogram pictures, which were amazing. We could see the babies’ spines, like a miniature railroad track. We could see their little hearts beating, pumping blood through their bodies. A femur was clearly visible and every so often a little foot would appear in the picture. One baby is slightly larger than his brother, just over a pound, while the other is just under a pound. The doctor measured their head size, growth, and activity. Everything is going just as well as it should be. Each day brings us closer to the goal of a safe and healthy delivery. Our prayers are working!
It is fun to speculate about what is ahead—who will they look like? Brown eyes or blue? Brown hair or blonde? You see, we really don’t know for sure. My daughter is the blue-eyed blonde, my son-in-law the hazel eyed brunette. And we have no idea what his birth parents look like, as his parents adopted him as an infant in a closed adoption 36 years ago. The only thing he knows about his birth parents is that his mother was a 16-year-old girl who became pregnant and chose life for her unborn child. Because of her generous and life-affirming choice my daughter has a husband, a beautiful 5-year-old son and now two darling twin boys on the way. Those are four lives that grace this earth due to a 16-year-old girl’s decision to have her baby and place him with a loving couple who were unable to conceive. We have no idea who she is. I know my daughter would love to tell her “thank you” just one time. I think of her often myself with gratitude and love. I hope she is living a full and happy life and can feel a whisper of the joy she has given my daughter through the incredible gift of life she gave 36 years ago. This girl chose life for her baby and as a result we have three beautiful grandsons, and my family’s life has been incredibly enriched.
We also have a young nephew who was adopted as an infant in an open adoption by my brother and sister in law. A short time ago we were all gathered together for his 18th birthday. He is truly a miracle in our lives, as my brother and sister-in-law went through 10 years of fertility treatment nightmares, along with two failed international adoptions, before adopting our nephew. He gave a very moving speech at his birthday about what family means to him. Recently, his birth father reached out to him through the adoption agency, and I believe they will be meeting soon, which is exciting for both of them. I think of this unknown man; instead of a lifetime of regret for the child he lost to abortion, he has the joyful anticipation of meeting his birth son.
Several months later
I started this article several months ago and picked it up to finish it today. Our precious twins arrived here safe and sound a little over six weeks ago. They were two healthy boys at over seven pounds each, who today are over 10 and 11 pounds respectively. And although I know it is too soon to tell, one boy’s eyes are getting lighter by the day – we think he will have blue eyes, while his brother’s eyes are a little darker. And one boy has considerably lighter hair than his brother. So, the great eye and hair color questions will soon be answered—maybe one of each?
This happy ending sharply contrasts to the dirty little secret that is abortion in our country. Those in the pro-life movement speak about the 60 million lives ended by abortion on our country since Roe v Wade. But just look at abortion through my family’s adoption experience and think about it – my son in law and three grandsons are four lives here on this earth due to one young woman’s decision to have her baby. So, if we take 60 million times 4…that is 240 million lives and potential lives lost to abortion, not 60 million. A quarter of a billion people lost to us forever—truly a horrifying thought. Why not “choose” adoption, if this is all about “choice”? I have said before that a woman’s ability to bring life into the world is an incredible power. Why not share the strength of that power with those who cannot conceive?
My family’s story is a window into the positive joy of adoption. These stories are just a tiny picture of what a blessing adoption can be. My charming nephew, along with my son-in-law and three grandsons, are all lives brought here through adoption and by two young women, who each unselfishly chose life for her child or children. And if you stop and think about it, you realize that Jesus had an adoptive father in Joseph. So, the message to us is clear; adoption is good in God’s eyes, as He chose it for His own son. Adoption is joyous and life-affirming for all involved in it. It is a chance for a young woman in a difficult place in her life to give incredible joy to another couple, a decision that can turn a possibly dark and scary time in her life into joy and love. This is how we are meant to live.
Written by Barbara Klingman. Barbara is a member of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Dallas, TX.