Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Infertility, Adoption, and Abortion

I recently read another book on my Kindle, titled Fill these Empty Arms by Janice Hanna Thompson. A Christian novel, it dealt with the problems of infertility, teen-age pregnancy, abortion and adoption. It was dedicated to mothers and fathers who suffered from the inability to conceive, the death of a child, the placing of a child for adoption, a miscarriage or abortion, or the trauma of empty nest syndrome.

We first meet Grace, who has been trying to conceive a baby. She and her husband had been through all the infertility treatments with no success. They even did the very expensive in-vitro procedure, with no pregnancy following. The reader can feel her despair as month after month, she only has tears, no hope for a baby.

Next we meet Lexie, a defiant fifteen-year-old who wants to do her own thing without her mother's rules and regulations. She wants to do whatever is necessary to attract Brandon, the local high-school hero. He eventually gets her pregnant, then leaves her to take care of the problem herself.

Alternating chapters lead us through the lives of these two women, one a settled first-grade teacher dealing with the angst of infertility, the other a flighty young girl trying to decide what to do when she finds herself pregnant.

As I read, I was reminded of our daughter's struggle with infertility. For years she and her husband tried to conceive, to no avail. After fifteen years of marriage, they were able to adopt a beautiful baby girl.

Then we meet Joanna, Grace's mother, a woman troubled by an event in her life twenty-five years earlier, and the reader comes to realize this woman had an abortion when she was a teen-ager. All these years later, she struggles with her feelings, realizing she caused the death of her baby to ease the problems a pregnancy would cause her and her family. She is unable to forgive herself, yet her husband and children know nothing of this event.

Alternating chapters tell about these three women, their lives and their problems and feelings as they deal with thoughts and desires. As the lives of these women are recounted, the reader comes to know them and the pages turn faster and faster.

Later in the book, we meet Reena, a sixty-three year old widow who needs something to do in her life. Her pastor recommends that she volunteer to counsel women at the local pregnancy center, and though she feels inadequate for the task, she agrees and begins her work.

Now everything falls together. Reena meets Lexie and helps her to see that aborting her baby would be wrong. With Reena's help, Lexie comes to realize that in her body she carries a real person, formed during conception, and that abortion would cause the death of that person. Joanna continues to struggle until she finally confesses to her family that she had an abortion years ago. Grace, of course, will adopt Lexie's baby.

The author deftly wove all these women together as she told a compelling story, one I didn't want to put down. The book is well-written and well-formatted, easy to read and it holds the interest of the reader. It lacks the distraction of errors that are often found in Kindle books. I applaud the author for her writing style and her interesting dialogue throughout. She did an excellent job of writing (show, don't tell) and of editing.

I saw my daughter in this book. I saw other people I've known through the years, an older woman who always wanted to be a mother, but was unable to conceive, young women who became pregnant out of wedlock in churches and towns where my husband served as pastor, girls who gave up their babies for adoption, and the joyful women who were able to become mothers because of the sacrifices of others.

I highly recommend this book with its forty-one chapters. You will come to know each of these women and will be blessed. You won't want the book to end, either. Thompson was a very adequate author. I hope to see more books authored by her.


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  2. There are many women who consider aborting their child at home. But they are ignorant of the negative consequences associated with home abortion methods. If you are considering terminating your pregnancy, you've got to know the risks you are facing.

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  3. I hate to see any baby aborted. I am pro-life and feel that each child deserves a chance to live. At conception, a baby is a baby. At 21 days, that child has a heart-beat. God has a plan for each of us, and it begins at conception. That's what I believe, and I'm so happy for each of my children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren. I have a great-granddaughter who is 6 months old and a great-grandson who is 3 months away from his birth. They are all precious.