They asked me, “Are you allergic to Demerol?” I don’t know. I’m fifteen. I don’t even know what Demerol is. They just said, “Count backward from ten.” The next thing I knew, I woke up in a chair next to several other very groggy young women.
I grew up in a home with plenty of money but what we didn’t have was unconditional love and acceptance just the way you came.
Next thing I know, I’m twenty. I’m in college and I meet the man that becomes my future husband. I still had nightmares. I still couldn’t hold a baby or hear a baby crying. I had not shared my past with him at that time. That drew us both into the church. I made a mental note. Christians don’t like abortion so don’t tell anybody what you have done. They won’t understand. I was twenty-seven years old before that secret sin came to the surface.
I found myself alone in a room with the lady that led the Hope Group. Hope stands for Healing Of Post-abortive Emotions. Before I knew it, the secret spilled out. I started balling in front of this lady. I said, “I don’t know why I can’t stop crying.” She said, “Laura, you are crying because you lost a baby.” That was the first time that I ever felt like I had permission to grieve. I had lost a baby. I had never permitted myself to even think that. Yes, it was my fault. Still, I had been a mother and I had lost a child.
Knowing that I am washed in the blood, I can stand before anybody, let you see the ugliest skeleton in my closet and that my unborn child is in the arms of Jesus not holding this against me. That’s the story of redemption to me.
I named my child. I prayed about the gender of my child. I feel like it was a boy. If I get to heaven, I meet my child and it’s a girl, that’s just okay. I needed to give dignity to him by signifying that he was a real person with a purpose. I have even been able to go on, facilitate and lead several hope groups as well.
There’s an amazing place here in Chattanooga, the National Memorial for the Unborn. It’s the first one of it’s kind. It’s very similar to the Vietnam Veteran’s Wall in D.C. It’s just a large wall of granite where you can place a plaque remembering your child, giving dignity to your child as a once-living human being. At the memorial, as I was placing his name plaque on the wall, this is what I shared with my family I had invited to be there at the memorial with me. I said, “Jeremiah David here today, I am giving you dignity in your life and your death. What I want to say is that your life made a difference. It’s made a difference in me because it’s helped me to understand how deep the mercy of God can go. I promise you, son, that I will use this. I will use this pain and these lessons to tell other mommies about the heartbreak that I feel every time that I realize that you are missing from my life. I don’t ever want to forget or take away any of his dignity as a person that was planned with a purpose and is still to this day changing lives.