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Chrissie's Story

Choosing Gentry

Growing up in a minister’s home, my childhood was filled with teachings of Jesus. I was taught to love God with everything, and to love others as I love myself.  My parents, grandparents, and other family in the ministry unanimously agreed on one thing: God first!  So, it’s understandable why Tom Velie (New Beginnings Director) had such a puzzled look on his face during our counseling visit.  In a confidential conversation at the New Beginnings office, I had just shared with him my immediate response to finding out I was pregnant.  On that day five months before, my mind raced with questions, anger overwhelmed me, and the last thing on my mind was the right thing.  Everything around me was a blur of fear and compromise as I scribbled my name on a waiting list and proceeded to announce my intention of abortion to several nurses.  I don’t remember being taken into the back, switching rooms, and taking tests, though I’m sure it happened.

“If you knew abortion was wrong, why was that the first option you considered?”  I thought about it, not sure how Tom would accept what I was thinking.  The confusion showed in his expression, so I felt like I needed to give him an answer that was completely honest.

“First of all, your generation doesn’t think like my generation.”  He seemed to understand that part clearly.  Then, using my fingers to count the names running through my mind, I continued, “I could name ten of my friends right now who have chosen abortion.” His face now wore a shocked expression.  “My friends and I choose this option because we’re not convinced it’s really wrong.”

Tom leaned back in his chair and paused, as if to take everything in.  “What made you change your mind?”  I smiled.  That part certainly wasn’t hard to answer.

January 2007, five months earlier, I rested on a cushioned clinic table as the ultrasound technician gazed at the screen, determining exactly how far along I was in my pregnancy.  Being curious, I asked her if I could see it, too.  “Sure,” she answered as she turned the screen toward me.

“What is it, I asked?”

“Look right there.”  She pointed toward the bottom of the screen at a small oval.  “That’s the body, and the smaller circle next to it is the head.”

“Oh.  I see it now.  What’s the blinking light?”

“It’s the heart beating.”

I stared in shock.  This was a baby!  It didn’t look like a clump of cells; it was obvious this was a baby.  I began to sob and asked her to call my mom.  I couldn’t follow through with this choice.  This baby was depending on me for life, and all of a sudden that was the only thing in the world that mattered to me.

Adoption wasn’t the first scenario in my mind, but it shortly proved to be the best one.  The baby was a boy, and boys certainly need a father.  He deserved nothing less than a Godly, married mother and father, and that wonderful couple and I were connected through New Beginnings.  Little did I know the many beginnings God had in store for me!  Tom and Debbie Velie and the entire NBI staff were gracious and sensitive to the emotions I was experiencing as a birthmother.  Few people in my life knew I was having a baby, and the counselors prepared me as well as they could for the process and aftermath of adoption.  What I didn’t expect was God’s love at an intensity I had never felt before!  The Lord met me many times in such strong ways, each time reminding me that I was not forsaken by Him.  Scriptures had new meaning, and I was overwhelmed by the love that Jesus never failed to express, whether in the sermons on Sunday morning or in the quiet moments of my early morning walks.  He has been nothing less than wonderful to me.

I chose life for my unborn baby, and then I chose adoption for my infant son, Gentry.  His adoptive parents give him more love than a child could ever ask of a parent, and they have shown me more love and appreciation than I ever expected.  They are faithful in their promise to send pictures and updates, and every time I get a package in the mail, I can’t stop smiling for a week!  They brag about how smart he is and how much everyone loves being around him.  Tom and Debbie see him occasionally in their travels, and they tell me he is the funniest child they’ve ever met!  I have pictures framed all over the house with him posing and smiling with the smile of someone who sees life as one thrill after another.  I love Gentry and his parents very much!

This is not to say that my choice wasn’t hard, because it has proven to be the hardest decision I’ve ever made up until this point in life.  Grief has made itself familiar in my life, but it is a sweet grief.  The pain of my loss is filled with the sweet reminder that I made the best decision for a boy that depended on me to fight for his life.  I have done so with strength that can only come from God because He is the one I depend on to fight for me.  As the saying goes at New Beginnings, “Babies are worth fighting for!”


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