Christine Dhanagom

‘You don’t go to a country and expect to be given a baby’: missionary returns from India a mom

Christine Dhanagom
Christine Dhanagom
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DELHI, March 9, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Four-year-old Kyle Morlock may not be alive today were it not for the intercession of a compassionate nurse, a network of Christian missionaries, and above all, the courage of a young woman who had come to India prepared to do whatever God asked of her.

Kyle’s biological mother hailed from a remote Indian village hundreds of miles from the hospital where he was born. She was pregnant out-of-wedlock, and her family wanted no part of the shame that comes with that status. They told her to leave until the pregnancy was over, and to come back without the baby. The country’s trash dumpsters were a common fate for such children.

The young mother chose to go to the city of Kalimpong, where she gave birth to a three-and-a-half pound baby boy at the local hospital. Not far away, an American missionary was about to get a phone call that would change her life. A nurse at the hospital wanted to save the little boy, and when she contacted some Christian missionaries, they gave her a name: Becky Morlock.

The nurse was not looking for an institution to put the baby in. Few of India’s crowded children’s homes had the staff or the facilities to care for a newborn. She knew there was a good chance that this baby, most likely born so tiny due to inadequate prenatal care, would not survive such conditions. She was looking, instead, for a mother. She wanted to know: would Becky take this child as her own?

“As soon as I got the call, I just had this peace come over me that this was why God brought me to India and this was what I was supposed to do,” Becky told LifeSiteNews.com in an interview.

The New Jersey native had come to India with the intention of working at a children’s home in the foothills of the Himalayas, and perhaps assisting unwed mothers. She arrived with a special package that she thought was destined for an Indian mother who would cross her path. The package contained baby supplies which, she says, God told her to buy in a dream.

At the time, she never imagined the baby carrier and clothing she brought with her from the United States would be the items she needed herself.

“You just don’t go to another country and expect to be given a baby,” she laughs.

While she didn’t expect such a dramatic request, Becky says she had a sense all along that God was asking something more from her than just her work at the children’s home. She didn’t know what it was, but she told friends that she was praying for God to prepare her for something, and to open doors.

Becky had been in India only a month when she got the phone call that answered her prayers. Her response to the nurse in Kalimpong was unfaltering. Yes, she would take him.

She made the drive early the next morning, so early a friend had to pick her up because the taxis were not running yet. Once there, she was greeted by the sight of a third-world hospital.

“The maternity ward was a mess,” she recalls. “Overcrowded. Women practically going into labor on mats on the wooden floor.  Blood all over the place.  Really dirty.”

Amidst the squalor was a young Indian woman attempting to feed warmed cow’s milk on a spoon to her newborn. The baby was naked, unbathed, and wrapped in dirty blankets when Becky took him into her arms. It was love at first sight.

“From the first moment I held Kyle in my arms, this sense of peace and love came over me and I just knew, ‘this is my son,’” she says.

The two women sat and talked for a few moments, prayed together, then walked outside. The Indian woman arranged with Becky to sign the adoption papers at a later date, said goodbye, and pulled away in a taxi as Becky watched, clutching her newborn son. Tears were streaming down her face.

“I was thinking about the fact that I had just become a mother, and I was thinking about her and what it must be like for her to just walk away like that, and how she must be feeling,” she remembers.

That was 2008. Finally, four years later, Becky and Kyle will be coming home to the United States next week.  They have spent the intervening time in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Delhi, dependent on the financial support of Becky’s church because she has been legally unable to work. Her full time job, besides being Kyle’s mother, has been fighting for the right to bring him into the U.S.

Because their story was no “cookie cutter” adoption case that Indian courts and U.S. immigration usually deal with, it was, in a nutshell, a bureaucratic nightmare.

She recalls one immigration representative telling her during a video conference: “All the documents are there, it’s just not in the order that we usually see, so we don’t know what to do with that.”

“It seems like if they haven’t seen a situation like this, they just deny it right away. They don’t really know how to think outside the box,” Becky says.

It took eight months just to find competent Indian lawyers willing to take their case, and two years to obtain legal guardianship. Kyle had turned three before a verdict was issued, and according to U.S. Immigration, he could not have a Visa until he had lived in India under Becky’s legal guardianship for another year. 

Meanwhile, Becky has been forced to navigate the challenges of being a single mother in a third world country. Getting by in a tiny apartment in Delhi was “really daunting” for the new mother, who says she’s not too keen on cities to begin with - much less one where modern conveniences are few and far between.

Safety concerns kept them trapped inside much of the time, where they have no washer, dishwasher, or oven, and unreliable electricity sometimes left them without heat in the winter.

Today, their saga is almost over: U.S. Immigration has issued Kyle a Visa, and they are readying to fly home. While Becky says she’s eager to return home to loved ones and familiar surroundings, she says she nonetheless treasured all the one-on-one time with her son.

She wants any family who is considering adoption or who has begun the process to know that “it’s really hard but really, really worth it.”

“God’s heart is just totally for adoption,” she said. “If anyone is thinking about it or in the middle of it and feeling discouraged or frustrated, just be encouraged because it totally is worth it and God does make a way where there is seemingly no way.”

Becky’s church, New Covenant Community in New Jersey, continues to maintain the fund that has supported Becky and Kyle for the past four years. Tax-deductible contributions will go towards travel, legal fees, and other final expenses. Anyone who would like to contribute can send a check made out to New Covenant Community Church with “Becky Morlock” or “INDIA” in the memo. The mailing address is New Covenant Community Church, c/o Becky Morlock-missions, 701 New Hampshire Ave., Somers Pt. NJ, 08244, USA. An online giving option is available here. Click on WEB GIVING. And put “INDIA-MISSIONS” in the “notes” box under “Tithing Information.” Paypal donations can be made using Rebecca’s email address, bringbeckyandkylehome (at) gmail (dot) com. 

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Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signs the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
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Indiana faces backlash as it becomes 20th state to protect religious liberty

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By Ben Johnson

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, March 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) – On Thursday, Indiana became the 20th state to prevent the government from forcing people of faith to violate their religious beliefs in business or the public square.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (SB 101) into law, saying the freedom of religion is a preeminent American value.

“The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action,” Pence said.

Gov. Pence, a possible dark horse candidate for president in 2016, cited court cases brought by religious organizations and employers, including Catholic universities, against the HHS mandate. “One need look no further than the recent litigation concerning the Affordable Care Act. A private business and our own University of Notre Dame had to file lawsuits challenging provisions that required them to offer insurance coverage in violation of their religious views.”

The new law could also prevent Christian business owners from being compelled to bake a cake or take photographs of a same-sex "marriage" ceremony, if doing so violates their faith. In recent years, business owners have seen an increased level of prosecution for denying such services, despite their religious and moral beliefs.

The state's pro-life organization applauded Pence for his stance. "Indiana's pro-life community is grateful to Gov. Mike Pence for signing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law,” said Indiana Right to Life's president and CEO Mike Fichter. “This bill will give pro-lifers a necessary legal recourse if they are pressured to support abortion against their deeply-held religious beliefs.”

“RFRA is an important bill to protect the religious freedom of Hoosiers who believe the right to life comes from God, not government,” he said.

The state RFRA is based on the federal bill introduced by Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1993. The Supreme Court cited the federal law when it ruled that Hobby Lobby had the right to refuse to fund abortion-inducing drugs, if doing so violated its owners' sincerely held religious beliefs.

In signing the measure – similar to the one Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed – Pence and the state of Indiana have faced a torrent of venom from opponents of the bill, who claim it grants a “right to discriminate” and raises the spectre of segregation.

"They've basically said, as long as your religion tells you to, it's OK to discriminate against people," said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign, a national homosexual pressure group.

The Disciples of Christ, a liberal Protestant denomination based in the state capital, has said it will move its 2017 annual convention if the RFRA became state law. The NCAA warned the bill's adoption “might affect future events” in the Hoosier state.

Pence denied such concerns, saying, "This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way I would've vetoed it."

The bill's supporters say that, under the Obama administration, it is Christians who are most likely to suffer discrimination.

"Originally RFRA laws were intended to protect small religious groups from undue burdens on practicing their faith in public life,” said Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy. “It was not imagined there would come a day when laws might seek to jail or financially destroy nuns, rabbis or Christian camp counselors who prefer to abstain from the next wave of sexual and gender experimentation. And there's always a next wave.”

The bill's supporters note that it does not end the government's right to coerce people of faith into violating their conscience in every situation. However, it requires that doing so has to serve a compelling government interest and the government must use the least restrictive means possible. “There will be times when a state or federal government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression – to ensure public safety, for instance,” said Sarah Torre, an expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom.”

Restricting the ability of government to interfere in people's private decisions, especially their religious decisions, is the very purpose of the Constitution, its supporters say.

"Religious freedom is the cornerstone of all liberty for all people,” Tooley said. “Deny or reduce it, and there are no ultimate limits on the state's power to coerce."

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Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting.
Jonathon van Maren Jonathon van Maren Follow Jonathon

Porn is transforming our men from protectors into predators. Fight back.

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By Jonathon van Maren

Since I’ve gotten involved in anti-pornography work, I’ve met countless men who struggle, fight, or have beaten pornography. Each person seems to deal with the guilt and shame that accompanies porn use in a different way—some deny that it’s “all that bad,” others pretend that they could “stop whenever they want,” many insist that “everyone is doing it,” and most, when pressed, admit to a deep sense of self-loathing.

One worry surfaces often in conversation: What do my past or current struggles with pornography say about me as a man? Can I ever move past this and have a meaningful and fulfilling relationship?

I want to address this question just briefly, since I’ve encountered it so many times.

First, however, I’ve written before how I at times dislike the language of “struggling” with pornography or pornography “addiction,” not because they aren’t accurate but because too often they are used as an excuse rather than an explanation. It is true, many do in fact “struggle” with what can legitimately be considered an addiction, but when this language is used to describe an interminable battle with no end (and I’ve met dozens of men for whom this is the case), then I prefer we use terminology like “fighting my porn habit.” A semantic debate, certainly, but one I think is important. We need to stop struggling with porn and start fighting it.

Secondly, pornography does do devastating things to one’s sense of masculinity. We know this. Pornography enslaves men by the millions, perverting their role as protector and defender of the more vulnerable and turning them into sexual cannibals, consuming those they see on-screen to satisfy their sexual appetites.

What often starts as mere curiosity or an accidental encounter can turn into something that invades the mind and twists even the most basic attractions. I’ve met porn users who can’t believe the types of things they want to watch. They haven’t simply been using porn. Porn has actively reshaped them into something they don’t recognize and don’t like. 

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Porn is this generation’s great assault on masculinity and the role of men in society. It is essential that we win this battle for the sake of society’s survival. Contrary to what the gender-bending and family-morphing progressive elites claim, good husbands and good fathers and good church leaders are necessary for a healthy society. But pornography is destroying marriages, creating distant and disconnected fathers, and, metaphoricaclly castrating men, hindering their ability and desire to make a positive difference in the society around us.

So, with this sobering set of facts in mind let’s return to the question: what do pornography struggles, past and present, say about a man?

The proper way to respond is with everything that is good about masculinity. We have to fight pornography as men have fought countless evils throughout the ages. We need to fight pornography to protect women, and wives, and children, and our society at large. This is how pornography threatens society, by castrating men, and turning them from protectors into predators. Rooting out the evil in our own lives allows us to better fulfill the role we are called to perform in the lives of others. Battling our own demons enables us to battle the wider cultural demons. Every day without porn is another bit of virtue built. Virtue is not something you’re born with. Virtues are habits that you build. And one day without porn is the first step towards the virtue of being porn-free.

Many men ask me if men who have had past porn addictions are cut out for being in a relationship or working in the pro-life movement or in other areas where we are called to protect and defend the weak and vulnerable. And the answer to that is an unequivocal yes. Our society needs men who know what it means to fight battles and win. Our society needs men who can say that they fought porn and they beat porn, because their families and their friends were too important to risk. Our society needs men who rose to the challenge that the evils of their generation threw at them, and became better men as the result. And our society needs men who can help their friends and their sons and those around them fight the plague of pornography and free themselves from it, too—and who can understand better and offer encouragement more relevant than someone who has fought and been freed themselves?

So the answer to men is yes. Fight pornography. Beat pornography. And join the ranks of those who support their fellow men and women still fighting. Lend them support and encouragement. We cannot change the fact that porn has left an enormous path of destruction in its wake. But we can change the fact that too many people aren’t fighting it. We can change our own involvement. And we can rise to the challenge and face this threat to masculinity with all that is good about masculinity.

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Red Alert!

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By John-Henry Westen

I don’t like having to do this, but we have always found it best to be totally upfront with our readers: our Spring fundraising campaign is now worrying us! 

You see, with just 6 days remaining, we have only raised 30% of our goal, with $125,000 still left to raise. That is a long ways to go yet.

We have no choice but to reach our minimum goal of $175,000 if we are going to be able to continue serving the 5+ million readers who rely on us every month for investigative and groundbreaking news reports on life, faith and family issues.

Every year, LifeSite readership continues to grow by leaps and bounds. This year, we are again experiencing record-breaking interest, with over 6 million people visiting our website last month alone!

This unprecedented growth in turn creates its own demand for increased staff and resources, as we struggle to serve these millions of new readers.

And especially keep this in mind. As many more people read LifeSite, our mission of bringing about cultural change gets boosted. Our ultimate goal has always been to educate and activate the public to take well-informed, needed actions.

Another upside to our huge growth in readers is that it should be that much easier to reach our goal. To put it simply: if each person who read this one email donated whatever they could (even just $10) we would easily surpass our goal! 

Today, I hope you will join the many heroes who keep this ship afloat, and enable us to proclaim the truth through our reporting to tens of millions of people every year!

Your donations to LifeSite cause major things to happen! We see that every day and it is very exciting. Please join with us in making a cultural impact with a donation of ANY AMOUNT right now. 

You can also donate by phone or mail. We would love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for your support. 

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