A Mother's Memorial to Her Aborted Child
I am not a brave person. More often than not, when God has a difficult assignment for me, I pull a Moses: “I can’t, Lord!...why me???” Recently He gave me a chance to stretch a little... I needed a root canal. To put it mildly, I wasn’t thrilled at the prospect. Yet I made the appointment, knowing I didn’t really have a reasonable alternative.
A couple of days before my appointment, the receptionist called to confirm. When she gave me the address in a downtown medical building, my heart fell into my stomach: it was two floors up from the clinic where my husband and I, then unmarried, aborted our first child eight years ago. My instant reaction was NO WAY! Despite the fact that I’ve been through a biblically-based support group to deal with the trauma of my abortion, this was just a little too close for comfort. I thought of approaching that building engulfed in fear, much the same way I had in the winter of 1992, within days of what should have been my child’s eighth birthday. I was afraid of flashbacks, ugly memories, and reopening the emotional wounds.
After some serious prayer and the godly counsel of friends, I decided the Lord wanted me to do this. Not only would I go ahead with the dental appointment, I would create a memorial to my baby to leave outside the door of the abortion clinic.
My appointment was on Monday. I spent the weekend talking myself out of the memorial idea. I was terrified of being confronted. Scenes of hysterical abortion workers screaming at me played out in my mind’s eye. I backed out a hundred times, telling myself that God wouldn’t really mind.
Monday arrived, and I was still waffling. My husband and several close friends were praying for me. A few minutes before the babysitter arrived, I took a deep breath and got out the art supplies. I pasted pretty floral paper to a piece of cardboard, decorated it with ribbon roses, and inscribed a message: “In memory, baby Adriel, died here 12/5/92... if I had only known.”
My husband picked me up and we drove downtown. I battled fear and a strong desire to skip the memorial the entire drive. We parked the car, prayed, and headed into the building. I felt as though I should be trembling, but somehow I wasn’t. I kept reminding myself that I am more than a conqueror in Christ, that He was going with and before me, and that He wanted me to do this. Carrying my sign and our camera, we got off the elevator on the ninth floor. My heart was pounding, yet God’s strong presence compelled me forward through the fear.
We came around the corner to the door of the clinic. I stood by the door holding the sign while my husband took a picture. Then I placed it next to the door, and after another picture, we returned to the elevator area.
We had barely turned the corner of the hallway when the door to the clinic burst open. Our eyes were as big as saucers, wondering what we were in for. The furtive voices spoke in hushed tones, betraying tension and fear.
“They just left it... there were two of them” “It’s just cardboard” “Don’t touch it!!” “We can’t leave it here!”
The feeling of the presence of evil was so strong!
The elevator arrived to take us up to the dentist. As the doors closed, we embraced in joy, eyes filling with tears at God’s goodness. The feelings of oppression and heaviness, even fear, lingered. But while they were unsettling, the sweetness of the victory in Christ was triumphant. I wanted to dance! We had just fought a mighty spiritual battle, and won!
Everyone who has experienced abortion understands this battle. It wasn’t the abortion industry I was fighting, it was the fear in my heart that keeps me from speaking the truth in love about the effects of abortion. But this time, abortion didn’t conquer me, I conquered it in the strength and glory of the Lord.
This article appeared in the Fall 2001 issue of Eternal Perspectives.