Thursday, October 4, 2012

Choosing Life

She was on the exam table about to have a major procedure.  Scared, she felt she had no other choice. She was in this country on a student visa, had just completed high school, and was headed back home. This had been the plan. Come to America for an education, for a chance. But things hadn't gone according to plan. She had just found out she was pregnant...six months along. And if she boarded the plane next week headed for her country, still pregnant, she would be killed by her parents. Having a baby out of wedlock was considered a sin against her family and her village.

So here she was, in an abortion clinic. The money was paid and she was almost prepped for the doctors. Then, something happened that changed everything. "I saw a vision of God and my baby judging me on the last day...and I walked out."

She walked out of the abortion clinic and into a pregnancy resource center. And called me.

We walked together for months; attending prenatal appointments, chatting over coffee, making an adoption plan for her baby, and dreaming and laughing together. She had an infectious belly laugh and eyes that still sparkled even after all that she had been through. She was amazing. I was in awe at her strength, her fortitude, her faith, and her determination.

She was risking her own life for the sake of her baby's.

All too quickly, it was time. "Susan, I think the baby is coming" in that sweet accent I will always treasure. After over 24 hours of labor, the doctor had bad news. A c-section was necessary for both mama and baby. I had talked to the doctor about this before. "But you know she can't have any visible signs that she's had a baby, her family will still kill her!" But there was no choice.

I remember crying and praying as I was getting my gown on for the OR. She had decided she didn't want to know if she had a boy or a girl, didn't want to choose the family who would raise her sweet little one, didn't want any contact afterwards. In an effort to guard her heart and save their lives, she only heard her baby cry once just after birth. She never knew she gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

I stayed in the hospital with her for the next five days. Me, going between mama and baby, creeping out of her room only when she was sleeping soundly in order to be with her sweet little girl and tell her what a miracle she was. Her adoptive family was coming from halfway around the world to be with her and knew they were walking right into God's redemptive story.

It was only three weeks before I put her on a plane to fly home. By now her student visa had expired and she was here illegally. We had to act fast. Too fast. On my way to pick her up I was concocting stories in my head she could tell her family to explain her scar. But on our way to the airport, she explained, dumbfounded, that when she woke up that morning her scar was completely gone.

And then she was gone.

Her daughter is still here. Her beautiful, energetic, amazingly smart daughter is two now and just a few miles away from me. Our families just met for a play date the other day. She calls me Miss Susan like her birth mama did just without the accent. But her eyes have that same sparkle.

As she was sitting on my lap, pointing to pictures in a book and playing with my hair, I was overwhelmed at the bravery and sacrifice of her birth mama, thankful for her adoptive mama sitting across from me, and amazed at God's goodness and sovereignty.

Even though you're across the world, you will never be forgotten sweet birth mama. Your choice for life has forever changed more than just the two of you...


  1. wow. incredible. bless her, and praise God for his miracle of physical healing on her body... may He similarly heal her heart in the places where it hurts.

  2. I remember this day well. Good times, Susan.


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