I'm taking off work this Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013. You see, my youngest daughter was born on January 22nd, and each year, with each of my daughters, I take them on a day-long father-daughter date. Together we choose where to go, what to do, and I take them shopping for a new dress, a new book, and generally find different places to go and be so we can spend time together.
Watching her grow up, and learning about her as her personality develops is amazing. With all her little quirks and playfulness, she captivates my heart every time I see her. I love it when she comes into my office, crawls up into my lap, gives me a kiss on the cheek and says, "Papa, I love you." I don't have any boys, though after watching some boys from other households and then looking at my experiences with my own two daughters, I believe I am much happier.
In the end though, I know I have the children God gave me. In His infinite wisdom, God knew that these two little girls would bring perspectives and experiences into my life that I needed, and that they would change me into someone that they would need. However, things did not have to be this way.
What I realized today, is that this Tuesday with my daughter quite possibly may never have even been a possibility.
You see, 40 years ago, on the same day my daughter would be born 40 years later, our country made the decision to make it legal for women to kill their unborn children. According to nature and the way things work, the very next month after the Roe vs. Wade decision was handed down, my mother became pregnant with me. She had a legal choice to make. My life was in her hands. Nine months later, on a cold November day, I was born into this world, and things were set in motion that would lead to my father-daughter date this coming Tuesday with one of the most beautiful of all of God's creations. (Though I admit I am quite biased.)
It reminds me of a saying I heard somewhere that goes, "Just because you can do a thing, doesn't mean you should do a thing." There is a lot of wisdom in those words. Every choice you make has implications, and there are both the foreseen intended consequences, and the far reaching and mostly unseen and unintended consequences.
I suddenly realize, looking at my family and my two daughters, that had my mother made the legal choice to abort me, then the two wonderful little girls who are my children would not exist today.
Too often people are too quick and too eager to speak up for their rights, for their choices, and for their freedoms without understanding that with those rights, and choices, and freedoms comes responsibility for the outcomes, and consequences both intentional and the unintended. As it turns out, Norma McCorvey, the woman whose personal life was used to argue the case of Roe vs. Wade, never had an abortion. Her baby was born and adopted by another family. Just two days ago, I saw a TV commercial where she openly acknowledges regret.
I believe if we were to all be open and honest, the conclusion could be made that the main reason abortions take place today are due to the personal inconvenience of life an "unwanted/unintended pregnancy" would represent. Despite the myriad of social, medical, and economic factors, the truth is simply that the pregnancy is compartmentalized as "a problem" and abortion has been offered as an expedient and legal "solution" to that perceived problem.
I cannot say I do not understand that line of thinking. My life was not easy growing up. My family had it very hard economically. I understand what it means to grow up poor. My father left our family when I was 14 years old. By all indications, the legal murder of my life would have been justified looking back on how hard and how tough life was not only for my mom and myself, but the other children in our family. If my mom could look back on her life and see with 20/20 vision how much easier her life could have been without me being born, maybe she would have decided to end my life. Furthermore, she may have chosen to end the lives of my two brothers that followed.
Yet, if my mother had only looked at her own personal circumstances and made a decision that was convenient for her, the unintended consequences of ending my life would be that my two daughters would not exist.
Abortion, as of this date, is legal; however, it is the legal killing of unborn children.
Just because you can do a thing, doesn't mean you should do a thing.
This Tuesday I get to go out on a date with my daughter. Exactly 40 years after the killing of unborn children was made legal, I will celebrate another year of life with my own child. As I look into my daughters eyes, I am very glad that just because my mom could do a thing, she didn't do a thing.