SPOILER ALERT: This post contains information about certain plot elements of the movie, “Lifemark.”
Yesterday I went to the movie theater to watch “Lifemark,” starring Kirk Cameron, with my husband and oldest son. It’s a beautiful movie, depicting a true adoption story. I encourage everyone to see the film, but as I watched it, my heart was torn in two.
Like the birth mother in the movie, I was a teenager when I discovered I was pregnant. Like her, I felt hopeless and ended up at the abortion clinic. Like her, I put on the dingy white gown and laid on the table as the doctor rolled the stool close to me.
But unlike her, I stayed on the table.
Unlike her, I didn’t have the courage to get up.
Unlike her, I let the abortionist rip my baby from womb.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the years thinking about my baby, wondering what life would have been like if I had chosen to keep her, but for some reason I’ve never really thought about what life would be like if I had chosen adoption.
“Lifemark” caused a flood of thoughts and emotions to wash over me as I considered how my baby could have been a blessing to so many others.
The adoptive parents in the movie previously lost two children, so David — the child they adopted — was their gift from God. He was a tangible answer to their prayers. Because of David, they became parents, and their parents became grandparents. David is someone’s best friend, his life is an encouragement to others, and he continues to bless so many he encounters.
The day I aborted my baby not only left a hole in my heart, but it also left a hole in the lives of others in my family and in our community. If I had chosen adoption, my baby could have been the answer to another family’s prayers.
She could have been someone’s sister or grandchild.
She would have been someone’s best friend and eventually had a family of her own.
I didn’t consider adoption when I was a teenager because it was a foreign topic to me. No one brought up adoption or offered it as an option when I was figuring out what to do about my pregnancy. I didn’t know much about abortion either, but it was offered as an option, which led me to believe it would be a quick, easy way out of the mess I had created for myself.
In one scene in “Lifemark,” David and his birth mother embraced one another for the first time; it took my breath away. Just the thought of wrapping my aborted child up in my arms is almost more than I can bear. My heart aches for that opportunity, but then I remember — my baby is in heaven and one day I’ll join her there, and peace settles in my heart.
I wish my story was the same as Melissa’s from the movie. If I could go back and choose adoption, I would, in a heartbeat. I know adoption isn’t an easy road either, but thankfully she can be proud of her choice because she gave her baby a chance to live, to be a blessing to others, and to be the answer to someone else’s prayers. And now, she gets to hug him and talk to him, instead of longing for the day when she can.
I had my abortion in 1999, which means my baby would be 23 years old now. It took me 17 years to even speak of my abortion because I was so ashamed of what I had done. Over the past few years, only because of God’s mercy and grace, I have found healing. I am no longer covered by shame or bound up in self-hatred. God has even used my story to help many others who have experienced abortion find healing and help women facing an unplanned pregnancy choose life.
If you’re like me, a post-abortive woman or man who watched “Lifemark” or a similar movie, I’m guessing you’ve felt a similar sting in your soul.
Even if you’ve found healing after abortion, stories like this one may cause shame to try and creep into the crevices of your heart. If that happens to you, I hope you’ll remind yourself that these stories are not intended to heap shame upon those of us who chose abortion. These stories need to be told so that those facing unplanned pregnancies today and in the future will know that adoption is a incredible gift to both the adoptive family and the birth mother.
That’s why it’s so important for us to share our stories as well. People need to know the truth about abortion, how it damages us and leaves us yearning for something we destroyed.
We can’t go back and make a different choice, but we can make the right choice now. We can come out of hiding, share our stories, and allow God to use them to help others make a choice they can be proud of or heal from one they regret deeply.
To the makers of “Lifemark”: thank you for sharing a story that redefines adoption as a beautiful option. It’s my prayer that many will see it and if they should be faced with an unplanned pregnancy, this film will come to mind and they’ll know that abortion robs everyone, while adoption gives life in so many ways.
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