Yesterday we celebrated the work of my colleague, Emily. Eleanor said that Emily is poised. I agree. I can’t imagine raising five children at age 32.
I told Eleanor that I should have four kids. She looked confused, knowing that I have two children. “How? Did you have miscarriages?” No. “Did you have an ectopic pregnancy?” No.
A year after I had my daughter, I found out that I was pregnant. I had an abortion. “How did that make you feel?” Eleanor asked. I was 18 years old. I didn’t feel any particular way. I just knew that I didn’t want another child.
Then, when I found out I was pregnant with my son, Danny, I scheduled an appointment at the abortion clinic. But I counseled with my pastor, who persuaded me not to terminate the pregnancy.
Then I told her the big secret. After I had Danny in January of 2001, maybe eight months later, I found out I was again pregnant. Contrary to everything I believe as a Christian, I had another abortion. Eleanor listened, silently.
I tried to comfort my guilt. I said, “My daughter saved my life: If I hadn't had Porshai when I was 17, I wouldn’t be sitting in your tan Buick right now.”
“Why didn’t you have the babies and put them up for adoption?” Eleanor asked. I could not sleep at night knowing that I have two children in the world that I am not raising. “They wouldn’t be your children,” she said, “You would be giving a baby to a family who can’t have any.” But at some point that child is going to want to know why my biological mother gave me away. It would be really selfish to respond by saying, “I just didn’t want any more children.”