“Adoption is real–and it’s forever.”
– Dr. Bill Platypus, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood: Season 16, Episode 4: “Families”
Jan. 29, 2013 (JewelsGreen) – I’ll talk to anyone. No, really. I chat up the other shoppers in line at the grocery store, then carry on a conversation with the cashier and the fella bagging the groceries. I’m Facebook friends with a couple I met on the four-hour bus ride home from last year’s March for Life. So it was this year.
I’ve only taken the train a couple of times, so I must have been visibly befuddled at the Amtrak kiosk, holding my eTicket printout and staring at the screen waiting for it to tell me what to do. (Insert joke about me being over 40 here.) A pretty young woman offered to help me. She showed me how to scan my paper and voila! my boarding passes printed out. I thanked her and glanced at her boarding pass and noticed she was also headed to Washington, DC. This was my chance! I’ve done this in line at the bus terminal many times when traveling alone. I start a conversation with a woman and then ask her if we can sit together “so neither of us has to sit next to a big sweaty man” for the trip. It works every time. (THANK GOODNESS.)
“Oh, I see you’re going to DC, too!”
“Yes, I am.”
“Would you like to sit together so neither of us has to sit next to a big sweaty man?” (cue: laughter)
“Great! My name’s Jewels.”
That’s how it started.
This lovely young lady (I’ll call her Angela) was 19 years old and going to D.C. to visit with a friend she hadn’t seen since summer. I told her I was bound for the March for Life and some of the attendant conferences, as well as meeting up with friends I hadn’t seen in some time. Her friend had participated in LIFE Runners last year. Smiles, nods, and we both went back to checking our phones and arranging our coats and handbags.
The silence between us didn’t last very long. She looked out the window and beaming said, “I just love snow!” ME TOO! This instantly kicked off a delightful conversation about how everyone else seems to be complaining about the cold and the snow and how much we both just love it. There wasn’t any silence after that (I hope we weren’t in the Quiet Car!)
She is the middle of a year off from college to work as an adoption advocate. She told me that she was adopted and wanted to help others as a way of expressing gratitude for her own life. How cool is that? She told me about her parents, and how just a couple of years ago she and her mom went together to meet her birthmother, half-siblings, and assorted extended family. She told me about her favorite success story from her work in a private adoption firm, and shared a bit of the downsides, too. Clearly proud, she clicked on her phone and brandished a photo of a smiling happy family she had helped through the adoption process. She was planning to continue working through college because she disliked the idea of piling up debt. I was so impressed by her realistic attitude and how far-sighted her goals were. She was sensible and determined, with a level of self-possession and insight rarely found in people her age (indeed, rarely found in people my age!). I admired her.
She clicked her phone again and I asked if the picture of a brand new baby girl (pink hat, it was a girl) was another of her “success stories” from work. She smiled and shook her head, but said nothing at first.
“I don’t tell people this, I haven’t even told my grandpa yet, but I’m also a birthmom.”
She showed me photo after photo of this gorgeous little baby girl (just born in December!), then a shot of her hugging the adoptive parents while she was hugely pregnant, all smiling in the sunlight. I cried.
For the final months of her pregnancy, she’d moved to the state where the adoptive parents live, and invited them into the delivery room for the birth of their daughter. She didn’t want pain medication right away, because she said she “wanted to remember what it was like to go through this,” so she wouldn’t put herself in that position again until she was married. Moments after this precious baby took her first breath she was placed into the arms of her adoptive mother, skin-to-skin.
(I’m still crying.)
We arrived. The train came to a stop and I nearly fell over myself hugging her. We walked into the station together and her friend spotted her right away – her friend who hadn’t seen her since she’d moved away, pregnant – and they hugged each other fiercely.
What a gift life is! What a gift that pretty young woman gave that baby girl and her parents. What a gift she gave me by sharing it all.
I walked away and realized Angela wasn’t pretty, she was beautiful.
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Editor’s Note: Jewels Green is a post-abortive mother of three who worked in an abortion clinic before becoming pro-life. Read her original testimony here and her other articles here. This article is reprinted with permission from her blog.