Wilberforce, MLK Jr., Kim Bean, and Adoptive Parents

Early in 2012, God orchestrated a few circumstances that challenged us in our thinking and consequently, our action. I read a biography of William Wilberforce and John Newton and we watched Amazing Grace, a movie about their fight against the slave trade. We also were educating our girls more about the Civil Rights Movement and in turn got more of an education ourselves. Matt encouraged us to identify what the main civil rights issue was of our day that we were ignoring like so many white-privileged Christians had done in the past with the issue of slavery. We became convinced the issue in our day was *abortion. Obviously, some Christians (and Catholics for that matter) had been fighting for life for decades before, but we had never personally gotten involved in actively trying to speak up for the most fundamental right – the right to live – of those who couldn’t speak for themselves. *(Interestingly, earlier this year, Thabiti Anyabwile, posts his similar conclusion here.)

We weren’t sure exactly where to get started, but explored an opportunity with a ministry called 40 Days for Life which we heard about through our homeschool co-op. We visited an abortion clinic near us to hold a peaceful prayer vigil organized by that ministry. We also attended a memorial service for babies whose lives had been taken there within the past year. It was on these occasions we became acquainted with a woman named Kim Bean, leader of the Dearborn chapter of 40 Days for Life.

Kim is one of the most approrpriately compassionate people I’ve ever met. I say appropriately, because she isn’t controlled by her emotions (although she feels the right things passionately) and she opens her mouth discerningly, with great wisdom. Her influence was unforgettable.

Around this time, not realizing how the two tracks would eventually coincide, God also crossed our lives with a few families, also from our homeschool co-op, who had adopted transracially. We were praying about adding to our family again and had considered the possibility of adoption, but were still very uninformed. With these new friends, I had the chance to get some of our questions answered. I would sit in the nursery when it was our time to serve together and just grill them with questions. I also got to see them interact together as families and some of my uneducated apprehensions were dissolving.

In May of 2012, we attended our first meeting at Bethany Christian Services in Madison Heights, to gather more information about the possibility of adopting. Sadly, the main things we took away from that first meeting were that there was an overwhelming need, particularly for minority adoptions, and that it was overwhelmingly expensive! We knew we didn’t have that kind of money and left less certain than we were before that this was something God would have us pursue.


One thought on “Wilberforce, MLK Jr., Kim Bean, and Adoptive Parents

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  1. I read you post with mixed feelings. I love that you and Mat are developing your kids' critical thinking skills and the ability to extrapolate from historic issues into modern society.
    Abortion is a weighty issue and i hesitate to introduce small kids into this subject because it's not black and white and that can be difficult for kids to get. over the years I'm more and more convinced abortion is a symptom of a problem and not the problem. For this reason i am firmly Pro Choice.

    We have created this environment where women feel abortion is their best option with an unplanned pregnancy. we cultured that environment for centuries. To fight for the baby's rights now while continuing to nurse that culture is counter productive.
    The problem is bigger than the baby.

    We cannot force a religious perspective on a secular society when it comes to sex and the aftermath.
    Sex before marriage happens more often than not. Most non-religious (and many religious women) are not virgins when they marry yet many really want to ignore that fact and keeps pushing for abstinence when they should be pushing for (the reality) birth control. If birth control was more accessible, taught, and encouraged the number of abortions would drop dramatically.

    Instead we have the following environment
    1. Pregnancy is a very public “mistake” and the consequence of shaming women for having sex outside of marriage leaves many feeling they have few options.
    1a. Even if a woman decided to give the baby up for adoption, which is no longer just the decision of the mother in many states which creates a whole new set of complexities, there is still a period of time when EVERYONE is aware that they're preggers and they'll have to be able to handle all the comments, disappointments, and “advice” from total stranger and friends/fam. Abortion provides a discrete way for many to bear the weight of their shame singularly without all the outside reminders.
    2. Convincing a pregnant woman to keep her baby doesn't guarantee that child a life.
    The statistics surrounding single mothers who have a baby before going to college aren't good. These range from the mother more likely to be unemployed or underemployed and on welfare for the rest of her life to the child more likely to be arrested and serve jail time. A baby cannot improve his or her situation or escape it. in the decades after Roe vs Wade crime actually went down and many attribute this in part to low-income women having access to legal abortions.

    Instead, we need to be teaching girls to think practically and responsibly about sex and their body. The campaign for having protective sex has been pretty successful, most single sexually active men carry a condom on them. we need that for women. You're 15-16, starting to explore your sexuality, let's talk birth control and get vaccinated for HPV. it's not an emotional drama talk, it's sensible planning for a girl turning into an adult.

    Do i hate abortion? absolutely. i look forward to its demise as both religious and secular women educate themselves in family planning. I'm intentionally keeping this non-religious.


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