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Mother’s Day: Embracing the ‘Gift of Life’ Through Adoption

05-07-2022
Mother's Day
Mother's Day

COMMENTARY 

This year will be the first Mother’s Day I celebrate my wife for being the strong and wonderful mother she is to our 4-month-old son, our first child. I will shower her in love and give her a card with a little baby handprint smudged on it. I will partake in all of the wonderfully mushy Mother’s Day traditions because we have waited so long to have this celebration. But she will not be the only mother in my prayers.

We are parents to a beautiful boy - whose heart began beating at 6-weeks old in the womb and who could feel pain as early as 12-weeks - because of his courageous birth mother.

It’s because of her strength and her courage that we became parents through adoption. It’s because she didn’t succumb to our modern culture’s narrative that abortion is the easy solution to a difficult situation that I can write this while our baby sleeps on my chest.

To be sure, the process of adoption is not easy. Nor is it free of emotional challenges – for the birth mother or the adoptive parents. On Mother’s Day, the scene of my son’s birth mother hugging him in the NICU, crying, and saying goodbye after she was discharged from the hospital will be playing on repeat in my mind. I was in awe of her that day and have been each day since.

Today there are between one and two million couples seeking to adopt, which by best estimates means nearly 40 couples waiting for each child placed for adoption. And yet as a country, we fail to discuss adoption as the viable alternative to abortion that it truly is. We fail to embrace how modern adoption as it is today can bring fulfillment to both birth parents and adoptive parents through the gift of life. In this failing, we give room for the darkness of abortion to seep more deeply into our culture. We allow the “solution” of taking an unborn child’s life to be perpetuated because we have not championed the life-affirming choice of adoption.

I will never know just how much pain our son’s birth mother felt that morning in the NICU, but when she said goodbye it was not forever. Like 95% of domestic adoptions in the U.S., we have an open adoption. We text and FaceTime with our son’s birth mother, we share pictures of our son, and receive pictures of his sister who he will get to meet and love. When we adopted we grew our family, but not just by one.

Following the leak of Justice Alito’s Dobbs opinion, the news has been bleak. Tense confrontations came to pass in front of the Supreme Court. Talking heads yelling on TV about settled law being turned on its head. A map of the Justice’s homes was put on the internet to excite their intimidation. What we are forced to confront is a far cry from what this Mother’s Day should be about.

The end of Roe condemns no one to anything. It returns the difficult task of making policy decisions back to the American people. It means the culture of the last 50 years that wrongly put forward abortion as an easy, no-harm solution will be dampened. It means as a country – left, right and in the middle – we must take on the challenge of standing with mothers and providing them the love and support to bring life into this world – a challenge I believe we will meet with great enthusiasm.

This Mother’s Day I will be serving my wife breakfast in bed – eggs, bacon, toast, and a bottle for our son. And while I sit with them that morning, I will be thinking about our son’s birth mother, and praying for all mothers contemplating abortion that they might choose a different path – and know that they too have the strength and courage to bring joy into our world through the gift of life.

Stephen Billy is currently executive director of the Charlotte Lozier Institute and transitioning to the role of VP for State Affairs with Susan B. Anthony List. He formerly served in the Trump White House Office of Management and Budget. @StephenBillyCLI

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