I had never had a child before so I did not know what to expect when my girlfriend became pregnant.
I had my own thoughts on the subject, like I need to get a job and I need to tell the families.
I also was given other people’s thoughts on the subject. Their thoughts were it’s not your body, it’s just a fetus, and it’s a decision between a woman and her doctor.
Having experienced fatherhood now, I’ve been able to reflect upon what I should have been told when I faced a crisis pregnancy. The following information, had it been presented to me, would have more accurately shaped my response to the situation I was in.
I should have been told “what your girlfriend is carrying is a human being who you have been designed to protect and provide for.” I should have been told “because you are made in the image and likeness of God, you have the ability to access His strength and resources in order to effectively carry out your responsibilities in this situation.”
I should have been told that by trusting in God and rising to meet my responsibilities in this situation, I would grow in healthy character and integrity. I should have been told that when I rose to meet this situation, I would grow in my abilities and character in such a way that I would experience great fulfillment and gain an irreplaceable relationship with a child.
I should have been told that if I reneged on these responsibilities, I would feel a guilt, shame and loss that I would carry throughout my life until I found forgiveness and healing. I should have been told that I would lose the joyful opportunity to invest my life in the well-being of a little person who will cleave to me in a bond that could be experienced in no other relationship.
I should have been told as well that I would miss experiences like the ones I would like to share that I have had with my adopted daughter.
Experiences like having a little girl ride around the neighborhood on her bicycle, doing her best to get the neighbors to sign their wishes for a happy anniversary for her Mom and Dad on a paper towel because that was all she could afford.
Or experiences like after a hard day’s work having a little girl sitting by the widow at home waving excitedly because Daddy is home. Or ones like having a teenage girl wanting to practice volleyball with her Dad so she could have a better chance at making the team at school.
No I wasn’t told those things.
It was only after actually being a father that I was able to experience the blessing of those experiences and recognize they would have there for me in some way in the little person who was called just a fetus.
Children are a blessing from the Lord. Today, I know that from experience, and wish I had been told that when my first one was conceived and on her way into this world.
I will see her in the next world however, and am looking forward to that reunion.
Maybe we will play a little volleyball up there.
I hope so.