Paul Rohs, a first-time guest at Immanuel, shared this story with us on Sunday, December 1st. Sharing it here is intended to encourage your support for the sanctity of life, adoption, and foster care.
This is a very difficult story for me to think about, much less talk about. I deserve no attention for it. The story itself deserves consideration. However, I am so burdened to share it, here goes. 63 years ago, a certain woman was close to giving birth. However, for some reason, she had determined her pregnancy was “inconvenient.” 63 years ago last week, before abortion was legal and readily available, a baby boy was born and immediately shipped off to an orphanage.
Some 5 months later, a young couple was led to add me to their family. Perhaps it was my magnetic personality. Maybe I was just that cute. Well, most likely neither. I have no memory of my earliest days and know nothing about why I was put up for adoption so I render no judgment. I grew up only knowing my adopted life and family. This is my family. These are my parents. The life they gave me was steeped in the love of God and as good as anyone ever had. I thank God each and every day for merely surviving until birth, my biological mother for giving me up for adoption, and my true “parents” for adopting me.
Dad was a truck driver, tough as nails. The four of us kids, all adopted, grew up in small-town America on a family farm. We raised most of our meat and had a huge garden so I never learned the easy life. It was hard work and long days. We got one new pair of work boots a year and a new pair of jeans twice a year when the Outdoor Store had its sale. At age 13, I began working on our farm and at least one other. Life was hard work, honest, and right out in the open. There were things you did and things you just didn’t do. All this wrapped in a God-loving “in touch” family.
Now, after a wonderful 41-year marriage to my best friend, three daughters with their own families and lives, a career in the Air Force and a second career with other agencies, undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees, I am retired. As a little farm kid who always knew I was adopted but never knew where I came from, I realize I never cared about the where. Ever.
I have read many things about the benefits of adoption, but never written by us kids, who were adopted. Although I never boasted that my life on its merit or by my actions has been exceptional, I can attest to what I’d consider a positive impact—one that would make my parents proud. All resulting from an act a young, couple, my parents, were led to make many years ago.
Anyone reading this and contemplating adoption or knowing someone who is, let me encourage you to do so. You can be the parent of a child who for whatever reason, deserves to be saved. If abortion is being considered, someone today is looking for a little one to call their own. Only recently had it hit me that if abortion was legal and as readily available then as it is now, I most assuredly would have been one of them. That is a very tough realization.
Ever since murder by abortion was made legal, some 60 million of us, souls deemed inconvenient and unplanned, have had our lives ended in the blue barrel. If you have seen the movie “Unplanned” you will know what I mean. If you have not seen it, you should. With the expansion of abortion criteria, I cry at the thought. You must know that if a wall like the Vietnam Wall were built with the names of those babies inscribed on it, that wall would be more than 48 miles long. Yes, 48 miles. You can do the math—more than 1,000 times the total number of casualties of the entire Vietnam War.
I am not trivializing the trauma of an unplanned pregnancy. I can only consider it from my perspective and the Word of God. One hears about the guilt felt by those surviving battles while others did not. I live with that daily. Yes, daily. My life could easily have ended the same. I was deemed inconvenient before I was born. I thank God every day that I was adopted instead.
by Paul Rohs