‘For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!’ – Psalm 139:13-17
My Dearest Aiden,
Somehow, I always knew with each of my pregnancies whether the baby would be a boy or a girl. You would have been a boy, and I would have called you Aiden. You would have been the oldest, and I’m sure a loving, protective brother to your little sister and little brother. How much more, as your mother, should I have loved and protected you! I often – in fact constantly – find my soul longing for you. My grief pierced a deep wound in my heart the day I “lost” you, and it’s grown more painful with each passing day. I wonder what you would have been like as a sweet baby, an energetic boy, and now an increasingly independent teen…your personality, looks, voice, laughter…what sports, books, movies, music, hobbies, and food you would have liked…what school subjects would have been your favorites…what random gifts of kindness and blessing you would have brought to many others…what a treasure trove of drawings, crafts, and other creations by little hands would fill our home…what mischief or bad habits would have driven me crazy…what your passions, dreams, and plans for your future would have been…what it would be like to hug you, ruffle your hair, and look into your eyes when I say, “I love you, Aiden.” When your baby brother hugs me, wrapping his arm around my neck and kissing my cheek, I’m reminded of you. When your teenage sister tells a story and laughs, her eyes lighting up, I’m reminded of you.
‘…my mother was drivin’, and I was just a baby. The car flipped over, and I was trapped underneath the car. You know what she did? She lifted up the car…She lifted up the car, and she pulled me to safety. She had this moment of unbelievable strength, ’cause she had love. That’s what love does.’ – Bobby, Pieces of April
For 15 years, I’ve been hiding the shame of what I did to you, regretting it with every part of my being and trying not to think of you – let alone say anything to you. I try not to think of what your life meant…or could have meant…to God…to me…to the world. I am your mother…next to God alone, I was supposed to love you, nourish you, care for you, comfort you, hold you, teach you, and move cars and mountains to protect you. You were supposed to be able to trust me to be good to you. Instead, I was too weak, leaning on my own understanding of love. I robbed you of your life…robbed you of your choice to have a life. I made a choice to have sex, outside of marriage, as part of a volatile and abusive relationship. I lacked the self-control and patience as well as the discipline, maturity, and wisdom to naturally and safely prevent pregnancy. When faced with the reality of the consequences of my choice, I took the coward’s way out, the cruel path of shedding your blood to make the “problem” go away. I listened to the surrounding voices of my family, my friends…saying, “How could you do this?! You were supposed to go to college, then get married, then have kids! You’re throwing your life away!”
Despite the people around me, I felt alone…confused…and afraid. I focused on myself instead of you. How could I have been so misguided and believed so many lies when the truth was so much simpler and clearer? I thought I was a Christian because I believed Jesus was the son of God as I was taught throughout my years of Catholic school…I prayed since I was a child…I believed in God, but never read the Bible. I believed the lies that it was full of contradictions so I saw no reason to. Instead, I read books on the occult, new age theories, past lives, spiritualism, etc. while I drank, smoked, and partied to make myself feel or cope with life and disappointment better, but still remained empty inside. I did not know God or His Word. I believed what the world told me without question and lived for myself and my own pleasure. I was arrogant, selfish, and prideful. I thought I knew it all. I knew nothing.
I am haunted by the blur of memories that remain…I cannot believe that the person who rejected and threw you away was me. It feels like an alternate reality, a fiction movie, a nightmare from which I’m screaming with all my soul to wake up! Your heart started beating 18 days after you were conceived. A couple weeks later, your eyes and ears were forming. You may have been sucking your thumb when I went to the doctor’s office. I remember the doctor coming into the waiting room…she gave me a look of condolence and announced the pregnancy test was positive. She gave me the information for a “good” and “safe” abortion clinic. I remember the feeling of hopelessness after talking to my family. I remember the selfish justifications…he will never be a good father or care for me so I would have to be a single mom…what kind of life would that be for the baby or for me…I can’t consider adoption; I would never be able to give a baby up after carrying it for 9 months…I’m sure every religion has some truth to it; if reincarnation is true, he will just get reborn to someone more prepared, someone who actually wants to have a baby. I did not even know to seek out a pregnancy clinic for counseling first…I did not know about the support, help, and resources these places of light and life provide in ensuring I would have made the right decision for you. Instead, I remember walking into the abortion clinic, a house of death…my own mother shielding me as she screamed at the protestors to shut up. How I wish I would have stopped and listened to them. I remember being taken into a smaller waiting room after I changed into a gown, and mourning what I was about to do. The two other women in gowns were talking as though they were in a beauty parlor…from what I could gather, each had several abortions before so this had become routine for them. I remember going into the room with the doctor…I don’t remember what he looked like, but I remember him looking into my eyes and saying, “I never want to see you back here again.”
I can’t wrap my head around what was done to you and the pain you felt in the moments after that. It was horrifying and my very soul was soaked and permanently stained with your blood. I remember sitting on my bed alone and crying my eyes out for days…a couple friends coming to visit, one of whom brought me a coffee to make me feel better. I remember getting the call to come back to the abortion clinic because the weight of your remains was below what it should have been so they were afraid parts of you had been left inside of me. I remember driving away from the clinic the second time, yelling at your father not to take the pamphlet from the protestor as he reached to take it. With all his faults and refusals to change, this was one moment I pray God blesses him for…his humility in that moment was greater than mine in knowing the evil of what I had done. I remember finding out a few months later that I was pregnant again, by that same man, as the words of the doctor echoed in my head, “I never want to see you back here again.” I knew that I could never have another abortion, and that I would find a way to have and raise this baby. How could I let that happen again so soon after what I did to you? I guess I just wanted what we all want: to be wanted and loved. Only my short-sightedness, impatience, desperation, loneliness, and pride led me to look for love in the arms of the unfaithful and untrue…instead of waiting for a godly man who would respect me, protect me, and love me with a loyal, grace-filled, and redeeming heart. God brought us together in marriage years later, and I know that this man, my husband, would have loved and raised you as his own too.
‘However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.’ – Acts 20:24
Before I began to know God, I was both in the world and of the world. I lived to please my flesh and the things of the world. That all changed once Jesus met me where I was with the loving kindness that only He can give. After your sister was born, I finally had to think of someone other than myself. When she was about a year old, and taking a nap, I opened for the first time and began to read the New Testament in the little green pocket Bible that had somehow come into my possession…though I don’t remember how. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with regret and repentance at all the evil I had done…especially the evil I had done to you. All my evil that scourged the innocent back of Jesus…set the crown of thorns in His innocent head…nailed His innocent hands and feet to the cross. I fell on my knees and face on the floor sobbing and overwhelmed with grief at my sins. In my mind’s eye, I saw Jesus standing there with His arms open toward me. He said nothing, but the love in His eyes said it all. There and then, I gave my life over to Him and began the journey to get to know this Almighty God who created me, made Himself a servant in human form, and conquered evil and death for eternity. I began the journey to learn to live my life verse: Acts 20:24. You and your sister both helped carry me to Jesus who healed me of my blindness, opening my eyes wide to his truth and setting me free so that I could spend eternity with Him and you.
Ezekiel 16 of my Bible has tear stains all over it in lamentation for my past. I was the ungrateful, fickle woman who was worse than a prostitute, lavishing gifts and money on others as I gave myself away and dishonored my husband who only was good to me. I shed my child’s blood and made altars to worship idols. I had no answer or account for my sins…I just knew Jesus washed them away with His love, compassion, and mercy…I knew He forgave me completely, but somehow I could never forgive myself for killing you. Pain leads us all to do the strangest things that later don’t make any sense. God commanded us to not kill. Why didn’t I realize that abortion, along with suicide and euthanasia, is killing and should be considered murder. They are against God’s law and premeditated. They do not save from suffering and pain; they cause it. Only the One who creates life should be the one to end it and call us home in His timing and within His will, not ours. Thankfully, I am not condemned by God’s law, but rather saved by His grace. Where sin abounds, God’s love and grace abound all the more. Jesus changed our covenant with God from one of salvation by law to that of salvation by grace. Nothing we do or don’t do earns that; it is a gift when we choose to believe the truth…much like you.
Still, good works flow from a heart filled with love and grace. And God takes all our evil, pain-filled messes, and creates something good from them. From even something as horrible as a rape, God can create a beautiful, good baby to bless that mother or adoptive parents, and the world. You were one of well over 50 million babies who have been aborted in the United States and in the last 40 years alone. Once I discovered Caris Pregnancy Clinics, I walked to help raise money. Overcoming my hatred of public speaking, I confessed what I did to you in a room full of women at a Christian retreat, and implored them to get involved with Caris or similar organizations so they too could help teens and women who were like me. So these women could have information, assistance, and a caring, supportive, and non-judgmental shoulder to cry on, if needed. So that they could feel that they thought through their decision, and will not have to live with this pain.
‘…But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.’ – Philippians 3:13-14
I’ve tried to forget the pain and guilt of my past, but I can no longer sweep your memory under the rug along with the rest of it and pretend you never existed. You did exist, except that I interfered, chose to play God, and cut your existence in this world short. You are the missing piece in my being. I wish I could have you with us, and feel whole again. But, I cannot bring you back into the world and our lives with wishing. Since I that was of the world considered you least, unwanted and insignificant, I that am no longer of the world pray you have been among the most honored, loved, and significant of the saints in the kingdom of heaven. I thank Jesus for holding you in His arms and loving you all this time in my place. I imagine that, like Jesus, you told Him to forgive me because I knew not what I did. When I was your enemy, you loved me still. And with knowing this, that you are in a far better place and that you have forgiven me and still love me, may my wounded heart finally stop bleeding, be healed, and know peace.
‘At that time I will gather you; at that time I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes,’ says the LORD – Zephaniah 3:20
You are my fortune that I long to see restored, and I have faith that God will do it because He is faithful. You are my precious child, a gift of grace that I did not deserve. I will cherish your memory each day I draw breath until I can meet you face to face after God calls me home. Forgive me, Aiden…forgive me for being so blind…forgive me for betraying your love and trust…forgive me for the pain I caused you and the life and experiences I robbed from us all…forgive me for not loving you enough and not being strong enough to do what was right and good. I love you and will try to make you proud of me by living both for our Lord Jesus Christ and in honor of your memory.
Love always and forever,