“There are only two ways to live your life.
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
(DNA test kit from 23 and Me)
To spit or not to spit, that is the question…
Or actually, it was my question.
I initially had a different post I wanted to offer today, but I caught a story on the news the
other evening that preempted my plan.
About a week or so ago I wrote a couple of posts referencing the Governor of Virginia,
Ralph Northam’s notion that legislation should be created allowing third-term abortions.
I won’t rehash all of that with you but if you’re interested, you can find those links here:
And yet the irony in this is that the Governor’s potential questionable “racist” past has now
all but smothered his comments and views on third term abortion.
An observation that leaves me more than troubled with our culture’s priorities.
And whereas the Governor has since backed off from his initial wording used during
that fateful interview…it matters not…because more and more states are showing a keen
interest in such an “allowance.”
So lets back up a tad…
I am adopted.
Many of you already know this little fact.
I’ve written about it and shared tales about such since the inception of this little
blog of mine…
so this post is not so much about that…and yet partially…it actually is.
About two weeks back, a fellow blogger shared with me the fact that she had been adopted
as a baby.
She is a wife and mother as well as a wise Christian warrior here in blogville.
I shared with her the fact that I was adopted as well.
She continued her tale…
She shared the fact that she had found her birth mother.
It was somewhat by happenstance.
Her young sons were showing a deep interest in wanting to learn their family’s genealogy…
but my friend knew that her “tree” was rather incomplete.
She didn’t know her “true” heritage…
Her tree, like mine, was dormant.
So she really had nothing she could concretely share with her boys.
Let alone the importance of knowing their family’s true medical history.
And so my friend explained that she bought one of those DNA kits that are so popular
She decided it was high time to learn about her “real” roots.
Once receiving her results, alerts began coming her way.
The alerts were from folks “out there” who had some sort of genetic connection with her…
as in being related.
Alerts that one may opt to connect with or not.
My friend was now piecing her puzzle together slowly one piece at a time.
And one of those alerts, it turned out, was a person who my friend had the gut feeling
was actually her birth mom.
Through correspondence, her birth mother shared that she had always prayed for her
unknown daughter…praying that she would be raised up as a Christian…
of which she was.
A prayer answered and eventually Divinely revealed.
I told my friend that I’d email soon as I wanted to talk further about all of this…
I was curious because of my own questions.
But life, that being my current life, being what it is, we’ve not had the opportunity
to talk further.
But since our conversation, thoughts nagged and tugged at my brain.
I had never once considered my adopted parents anything other than my parents.
And yet, I’ve always had those nagging holes in my life’s story.
There has always been a feeling of disconnect with my “family”
Their heritage is truthfully not my heritage.
Their roots are not my original roots.
Their health history is by no means my health history.
Yet as long as my Dad was alive, I vowed I’d never search.
I feared, given our dysfunctional family mess with my brother who had
also been adopted, it would break my dad’s heart thinking he might lose me after having
lost my brother due to his angst, dysfunction, and inability to deal with his adoption…
all of which lead to family violence, my mother’s death, and his eventual suicide.
(I’ve written many a post regarding my troubled childhood in our
very dysfunctional family so now is not the time for all of that)
So along with the holes to my past, questions have always loomed large regarding
my health and that of my son’s and now that of my grandchildren…
I do know that my birth mother hid her pregnancy, moving to a city far removed
from family and friends.
She sought no prenatal care despite being a nurse.
She delivered her baby (me), a bit prematurely, and shortly following the delivery,
walked out of the hospital.
Later, the young adopted me struggled academically throughout school.
Those who read my posts often note my typos and mild dyslexia with certain words.
I was never diagnosed but I always knew something just wasn’t right.
Yet I persevered, I worked hard and yet I never felt any sort of peace of success
I imagine my son’s lifelong struggles with ADD, a Learning Disability, as well as Dyslexia,
are rooted somewhere in my own unknown genetic make-up.
He was diagnosed in both Kindergarten and 1st grade—early enough for us to seek help—
allowing him to work toward success.
He worked, struggled and persevered— doing more with his life now by age 30 than
many of his teachers ever imagined he would or could.
There have been medical struggles as well for both of us.
Discoveries that have come mostly by happenstance.
My thyroid disorder—Hashimoto’s Disease…which was discovered by routine bloodwork.
Migraines since I was 12.
IBS, as well, since I was 12, that was pegged as simply a “nervous” stomach.
Despite my realizing it, I even struggled with infertility.
We had our son 5 years into our marriage yet we never had another child…
it was something that just never happened.
Due to health issues, I had to have a hysterectomy at age 35—
doctors told me then that they didn’t know how we had actually ever conceived our son
let alone the likelihood that we never would have been able to conceive again.
It was after another routine blood test that I was recently diagnosed as a
a carrier of Hemochromatosis Metabolic Disorder who has bouts with Reynaud’s Syndrome.
Something passed on to my son and possibly
All of which points to some sort of autoimmune issues as the list of discoveries
continues to grow.
Knowledge is a powerful tool—especially when dealing with one’s medical history.
A tool I want for my son and his children…a tool I’ve never had.
So as my husband and I both worry about what we don’t know…
what we don’t know that could affect our son and his health and now the health of his
children, our grandchildren…I therefore finally made my decision.
Rather than reaching out to the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry,
paying a fee for some sort of search with a potential meeting, or perhaps worse,
a denial of any sort of meeting…should anyone still be living…
I opted for a more broad source of information…albeit actually a bit detached…
A benign pie chart of heritage and a litany of genetic health information.
I ordered the tests from both 23 and Me as well as Ancestry.
I spit in the collection tubes, sealed everything up and shipped them off.
And so now we wait.
In the meantime, upon learning of my offering up a little spit, aka DNA,
my son was actually more reserved rather than excited.
“Mother you have just put the family’s DNA out there for every Governmental
agency to access…”
And it turns out he is correct.
However, my word to him has been… stay on the up and up and it’s all good.
And I suspect once we learn our true course of both past and future…
he’ll be a bit more curious.
But what does my adoption issues have to do with my worries over third term abortions
and of those who are thinking that such actions would be a good choice to offer…
It is the very fact that I was not aborted.
It also runs counter to my Christian faith.
Despite my biological mother’s obvious angst and crushing strain that she was
to then live with…
she still opted to give me life…despite this heavy burden carried alone.
She afforded me the gift of life…the gift of loving and being loved…
The eventual gift of my precious granddaughter and soon-to-be grandson.
Relationships and connections that may never have been…
And for that, I am grateful.
So the other evening while I was doing the dishes I heard Fox New Host Martha McCallum
talking about the latest state who was showing interest over third term abortions.
I put down the dishes, turned off the water at the sink, grabbed a dishtowel while
drying my hands as I raced into the den to hear her story.
She was interviewing a young man named Daniel Ritchie.
Ritchie was born without arms and has become an outspoken opponent to the
idea of abortion, especially third-term abortions.
His was a birth of extreme alarm.
He was delivered without arms and without actual vital signs.
It appeared he would not probably survive and since there was such deformity,
the doctors began explaining to his parents that to just let him “go” would be best.
But his parents, to the surprise of doctors, did not think such a decision was wise nor right and
thus encouraged the doctors to do their best to revive their son—of which they did.
Man might think he knows what is best based on clinical observations and deductions…
however, none of us can tell the future with any real certainty.
Our hypotheses of life can be, more or less, whittled down to nothing more than a 50 50 crapshoot.
Ritchie shared with Martha his challenges growing up learning to do everything with
his feet rather than what others were doing with their hands and arms.
But Daniel told Martha that it was at age 15, that pivotal age in adolescents,
that the real turning point in his life arrived…he accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
The choice to live with bitterness over a life of challenge, difficulty, stares, and rejection
or the choice to choose something bigger and greater than self…to seek a life even greater
then what he currently knew.
Daniel came to understand that God had a plan…
a bigger plan than he could have ever imagined.
A plan that would never have been had his parents opted to follow the doctor’s
suggestion in that delivery room that fateful day…
the medical suggestion to allow their newly born son,
a son without arms, to die.
Remember—God affords man choice…
A choice to allow a baby to live or a baby to die…
Despite our smug arrogance, man’s earthly vision is limited—
what we see as a burden, hardship or hindrance often has far-reaching and
reverberations that have the potential to change the lives of those we have yet to meet.
Hear and read Daniel’s amazing story.
Meet his wife and children…and hear his testimony to God’s amazing Glory.
The choice to spit or not to spit pales in compariosn to the choice to live or not live…
May we choose to live…may we choose life.