Well, At Least I Wasn’t Adopted
Diane E. Schroeder, President, National Lutherans For Life
This column is dedicated to the birth parents of my children and all the millions more who sacrificed to give life and love to their children through adoption.
“Well, at least I’m not adopted.” The hurtful words spoken by a fourth-grade classmate of my oldest son, Michael, rang in my ears. Mrs. Perez, the teacher, had apologized for the behavior of her class but didn’t know how to correct the situation and the negative perception of adoption. So the next day I outfitted Mrs. Perez with books for kids that talk about why birth parents place their children for adoption. By the end of the class, kids were saying to Mike, “How wonderful it is that you are adopted.” A little education can go a long way.
How typical of our culture. The “me” generation with magazines such as Self cannot understand why a woman would think of her child first. You see, that’s what birth parents do. Recognizing that they cannot care properly for their child, they love their children so much that they make a plan to place their baby with a loving adoptive family who can provide for their baby’s needs. It’s not an easy task being a birthparent – denying your own needs for the sake of another.
You see, God chose to bless my husband and me with parenthood through adoption. I could not be happier with God’s plan. Adoption has been the biggest single influence on my life. It pushed me to pro-life involvement with Lutherans For Life. It taught me a great deal about emotional pain and trusting in God’s providence and provision. Raising adoptive kids also taught me a great deal about the uniqueness of every individual and the purpose that God has for each and every person that He creates. I have the most respect for the birth parents of my four children. They chose the hard route. They could have terminated their pregnancies and denied the world the wonderful gifts of their children. Behind the statistic of 46 million children lost through abortion are kids like mine.
Michael (23) with his quick wit and winsome personality; Liz (21) with her unique abilities and artistic talents (ask me about the time she made a skirt out of her laundry bag); Paul (20) my sensitive Korean male who is always thinking of others – whose high school driving record drove his father crazy; or Rebekah (15) my beautiful Korean daughter with a heart of gold.
All of my children were created by God for His unique purposes. God doesn’t make any mistakes. All people, no matter of their conception circumstances, handicaps, economic situation, etc., are unique individuals created by God with distinct purposes for their lives. I’m very grateful that the birth parents of my children were visionaries that could see past the difficult circumstances of their pregnancies to the fine young men and women their children have become.
Of course, all of them are abortion survivors and strongly pro-life. To them, abortion is not an intellectual discussion, it is a visceral attack on their humanity. The following excerpt is from a letter received by the student paper at Illinois Wesleyan in response to a discussion on abortion.
. . . As an abortion survivor myself (as the child, not the mother), I would like to address a few things here. When I was three weeks old, I was adopted by a very loving family of which I am still a part. I do not know much about my birth mother. She was college aged, 20 or 21, and she chose to give me up to a family that she knew could care for me and love me the way she wished to.Far be it for any person, man or woman, to tell me that I did not have a RIGHT to live. I love my life, I love my family, and how dare anyone propose that I should not be here because it would have been easier for my birth mother to have me torn apart by a “doctor” and put in a jar. . . .
I am not advocating any hate or intolerance toward people that have had an abortion, only healing. Terminating a pregnancy is indeed a very traumatic experience. What I am advocating is that those who are pro-choice consider the effects of abortion and what alternatives lay before anyone that faces such a decision. I do not believe that any person has a right to decide who should be allowed to live or die.
Please try to think of the countless babies that have not been allowed a chance at life, and ask yourselves if that is really very sensitive or tolerant.
Liz Schroeder, Class of 2006
Comments from Liz’s adoptive mom: YOU GO, GIRL! Your birth mom would be proud!
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