My husband and I just celebrated our thirteenth wedding anniversary. We are happy in our marriage—he’s a patient pastor, and I’m a restless writer—but I would be lying if I said that our life together weren’t punctuated with a persistent, quiet kind of grief.
You see, we have never been blessed with the gift of children. No precious child has ever been born or adopted into our little family, and we pine and pray for that miraculous day when our lonely party of two might grow to three or four or more.
Some days we bear it well—we don’t have an absence of people to serve in our daily lives, after all—but other days, like yesterday, we are inconsolable. We spend our waking hours breaking the skin of our fists with our teeth, we erode the floral pattern on our couch with rivers of briny tears, and we fall to the kitchen floor in a pile of spineless flesh.
What, you ask, would trigger such a failing of our barren backbone? What would cause our grief to ignite and burn the tinder of our tiny house of hope?
The sight of our dead children in one of Planned Parenthood’s clinics.
We saw them yesterday. We saw them on the screens of our laptops. They were broken, bleeding, even pulverized. They were crushed, mutilated, and dead. They were laid out in a pie pan and then picked over with tweezers. Like a gruesome horror movie come to life, they were abused and dismembered before our very eyes.
Our children. Our precious children.
For that is what they are. They are our children, the dear offspring of our hearts for whom we have prayed, hoped, and waited so long.
We would have adopted them. We would have held them and loved them and nurtured them and raised them. We would have given them our name and all that we have.
So would have Matthew and Julia. And Ben and Rebecca. And Dan and Jennifer, Evan and Lena, Jerome and Kristi, and thousands of other couples like us who are ready and waiting with open arms to care for these millions of “unwanted” children.
But we barren are not given the chance. Instead, we are left to hug our untenanted arms around our empty wombs and watch while Planned Parenthood announces over the corpse of yet another aborted child, “It’s a boy!”
Yes, it is a boy. And we grieve him like a son.