Saturday, August 3, 2013

Her Wonderful Life

This is the week that my husband and I celebrate the anniversary of our becoming parents.  Most couples remember some crazy, nerve-wracking moment when the lady's water broke, followed by a sweat-inducing drive to the hospital, followed by anywhere from three to thirty-five odd hours of agonizing childbirth, followed by a burst of piercing cries and their first look at a face as wrinkled as a raisin and as purple as a plum.

It didn't happen that way for us.  That's because our daughter is adopted.

Sometimes, when I am out in public with Lilia, someone will comment on her cuteness or sweetness, or they will say she looks like me.  Those conversations naturally segue into the fact that she was adopted, and at some point in the conversation I inevitably and joyfully acknowledge my gratitude to her birth mom.  As far as I'm concerned, her birth mom is a hero.  Whenever I say this, I know that I risk offending someone:  What if he/she is pro-choice?  And guess what?  It's okay for them to be offended, and they have every right to be so, if they will.  However, I simply won't apologize for being happy my daughter's birth mom chose life.  That's like asking a biological mother to refrain from expressing her thankfulness that her child was born healthy.

So this is the part where I explain why I am "pro-life."  I could go into the science and biology behind it, or I could elaborate upon the spiritual and philosophical aspects of the issue.  And although there are a good many scientific and moral reasons why I am against abortion, I will not deal with that today.  The main reason why I am pro-life is very short and very simple:

Her name is Lilia.

Here it is in a nutshell:  If my daughter's birth mom had chosen to have an abortion (and she very, very easily could have done), we would not have Lilia.  When I say "we," I am not only referring to Jerry and I.  I am referring to the world at large.

The world would not have Lilia.

That means that her grandparents wouldn't have purchased the toy baby doll stroller last Christmas, wrapping it up in red and green ribbons and bows.  It means that her cousin Jasper wouldn't have had anyone with whom to fight over an empty water bottle when they were eight months old.  It means that little Carlee wouldn't have a best friend named Lilia, someone with whom to share three-year-old giggles each week on play dates.  It means that the rough-and-fallen-on-hard-times-looking man at the grocery store wouldn't have smiled and waved like a little boy when Lilia joyfully told him "hello."  And it means so much more, too...

It means that some gentleman someday would miss out on a lovely wife, that her potential future children would not exist, and that her unique talents and gifts would be blotted from the world.  What if she ends up discovering the cure for cancer?  Now I doubt that she will, but what if I'm wrong?  There will be other gifts, though, for her to give.  Gifts that only she, Lilia, can give.

In the well-known movie It's a Wonderful Life, there is a scene where George's guardian angel explains to him why the world as he currently sees it has changed so dismally and drastically.  Clarence tells George:

"Strange, isn't it?  Each man's life touches so many other lives.  When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?"

I'm so thankful that my daughter isn't one of the millions of holes in this world.  What a dismal, dreary place it would be without the sound of her laughter and her little bare feet running through the house.  She's here, right now, with us.  Living her wonderful life.