Saturday, February 24, 2007


My wife's adoption story is an important part of our family history. When her birthmother's boyfriend Tommy returned from Viet Nam, he and Jane rekindled their relationship, discussing marriage. Around this time, Jane found out she was pregnant. Tommy understood that they had not been officially "together" when Jane had the fling with John that resulted in this pregnancy. He still wanted to marry her but he asked her "Don't make me raise another man's baby".

For his part, John was willing to help Jane "take care of" this problem. When he went to his parents to ask for the funds to do this, they said "absolutely not". Abortion was legal by this time, though not in the state where they were living. Still, a young woman in Jane's economic class could easily have accessed a legal or illegal abortion.

John's parents disagreed. They gave Jane the moral and practical support she needed to complete her pregnancy. Adoption in those days was still shrouded in shame so Jane did not have the opportunity to pick the parents herself. But Jane's pastor knew a couple who were eager to have a baby. Jane decided to go through with her pregnancy and in due time give birth to the most wonderful woman ever to grace the planet, my wife Sonia.

We are obviously happy Jane made the difficult choice to bear a child for another couple -- Sonia's parents. We are particularly glad that Jane's consent was an integral part of every aspect of this story. Not all women are so lucky, which is why we strongly believe women should have the choice whether or not to go through with their pregnancies.

Many of my feelings about how destructive lies are in a family are shaped by how Jane chose to handle the information within her own family that she had given birth out of wedlock. Before I go on with this story I ask that you put yourself in Jane's shoes. Jane made the choice to have a baby she knew she could not keep. She dealt with a difficult situation in the way that seemed best. That is her right. We cannot judge her unless we have walked in her shoes. If we can all agree that Jane dealt with her pregnancy and its aftermath in the right way for her I will tell you what that was next time.