There’s a lot of talk about how to be pro-life on November 3rd.
But what we really need is to know how to be pro-life on November 4th.
And the next day. And the next.
Because regardless of who wins the presidency, there will still be a huge job to do.
This beautiful girl was born addicted to so many substances I can’t even remember them all. But her mama, for all her brokenness, chose life.
But I remember in our foster training, the social workers saying, no one wants the babies any more. They used to, there were hardly any babies who needed placements, because wasn’t it a dream come true to get a fresh little bundle? But not anymore. Not since the opioid crisis. Now no one wants the “drug babies”.
And I remember learning about the cots. The cots they keep at DSS so that foster children can sleep in their social workers’ offices. Because there’s not enough foster homes for them to have a placement.
I mean we know that, right? You know that? We talk about it, we talk about how there’s not enough foster homes. But do we stop and think about what that actually means? Children are pulled from their abusive, toxic, broken homes, and instead of even being able to be put in another home, they have nowhere to go. So they sleep in their case workers’ offices. On cots.
And for all I hear about being pro-life, for all the push to vote a certain way and keep these babies alive, I have to ask myself, then why do we let them sleep on cots in offices?
If we vote for them to be born, can we not hold them once they are?
The Church could be crushing this. This, this epidemic of orphans in the richest country on the globe, this long list of little ones, many of whom are on waiting lists ready to be adopted. The Church could step into this agony and provide homes and real beds and the lists would be gone and the cots unneeded.
But this is what I’ve heard:
“I could never do that.”
“I have to think about my own children.”
“It’s not the right season for me.”
“I sure wish the government funded adoptions like they do abortions.”
And that last one, that last one really gets me, every time I see the meme or hear the remark, because guess what- they do. (And even if they didn’t, when did we decide the government has to pay for our ministry? Did God say “take care of the orphans if the government pays for it”?)
But it’s easier to have excuses than to do hard things.
That’s really what it comes down to- it’s hard. Fostering and adopting are so, so hard. But voting is easy. So once in a cycle around the sun we get really pro-life-loud and communicate that we must have an impact and we do the easy thing. We vote. And feel good.
But when you foster and adopt it doesn’t always feel good and you don’t get a sticker to brag about.
So kids sleep on cots and wait on waiting lists, and we wanted their mamas to choose life and we said, “Why not just put them up for adoption?”, “I would adopt your baby!” But we don’t. We don’t. Because it’s messy and hard and not on our terms. So we are the ones who don’t choose life, we choose easy.
And the irony is only a small portion of us would even need to foster or adopt to obliterate the statistics. And yet all of us could be involved in an all-year pro-life movement.
Because even if you don’t foster or adopt, you can:
- Support a family who does. Provide respite, give a gift card, make a meal. Include their children- ALL of them!
- Get involved in a foster-support ministry. If you can’t find one, start one!
- Help a crisis pregnancy center. Donate supplies, volunteer, financially support.
- Show grace, love, and support to an expecting mama in a crisis pregnancy. Help her choose life instead of just telling her to.
So how will you be pro-life on November 4th? Are you ready to welcome the little ones you say are valued? It won’t be easy, but oh, it will be good. Hard things often are.
Kingdom work awaits.
This piece originally appeared at Sorrow Rejoicing, published with permission.