Eleven years ago this coming May, I had a "therapeutic" abortion when I was four and a half months pregnant with my only son, a Down’s syndrome baby—James Kent. Well-meaning professionals impressed upon my husband and me how we were rescuing our son—and ourselves—from a life of needless pain and suffering.
My son’s pain and suffering did indeed end shortly after his abortion, for now he plays with God the Father, Jesus, and Mary in heaven. My husband and I are still left, however, to deal with our pain and suffering—needless pain and suffering.
Our family doctor told us James Kent would be our shadow for the rest of our lives in choosing to birth him. We didn’t realize my son would be our shadow for the rest of our lives in choosing to abort him.
A year after my son’s abortion, I spent three weeks on the locked unit of our local mental hospital. Just last year, I spent another week there. Both times, I was suicidal.
Upon my release from the hospital last year, I attended my second Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, a healing retreat for post-abortive women and men. There, I finally made the choice to live after accepting God’s mercy, forgiveness, and love.
I live now to be reunited with my son in heaven some day and to care for my nine-year-old daughter and for my husband of seventeen years. It is, at times, a hard choice. It is, at times, a daily surrender—times like the anniversary date of my son’s conception, of my son’s death, of my son’s due date.
Breaking the physical bond has left me with many unanswered questions—unfinished emotions. I wonder about the color of James Kent’s hair and eyes. I often wonder how it would have been to hold him, especially since I saw him clearly put a fist to his open mouth during an ultrasound. I wonder how it would have been to feel James Kent snuggle in my arms like he fluttered in my belly, soft as the caress of butterfly wings against my skin, the night before he was aborted.
Thank God, the spiritual bond will always remain in tact between my son and me. Nothing can take away the experience of his brief life on earth and his eternal life in heaven. James Kent has taught me to value human life, no matter how limited it may seem. He has taught me that my own need to love him is far greater than his physical needs could ever have been. Truly, he is a miracle baby.
For me, the only broken physical bond that has brought healing is the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross. The healing comes, of course, because Jesus’ death brings eternal life. It’s the great mystery of Christianity. Abortion is a great mystery also.
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-The support, information and encouragement provided by the PPFL parents is not meant to take the place of medical advice by a medical professional. Any specific questions about care should be directed to a health care professional familiar with the situation.