I am one.
With one heartbeat.
I have one chance.
I made one choice.
A choice to have sex. That one choice I made changed everything for my one life when I was 17. One heart began to beat apart from mine inside me. There was now one life inside my one life.
I learned in school that one plus one equals two early on. I learned from my, outspoken say it like it is no matter who is in ear shot, grandfather that killing babies is wrong early on. “The women that do this have dreams of their dead babies crying and they are never the same,” he would say . This was scary to me as a little girl and now these words haunted me week after week as the secret heartbeat inside of me continued to beat. I knew one in a one+one situation that had an abortion and so I mustered up one ounce of courage to ask that hideous question that kept playing like a broken recording my head. With love and respect I said, “Could you please tell me, is it true? Do you dream about your baby? Do you dream that it’s crying?” She gave me one look I will never forget and simply said, “Yes don’t do it.” she knew I was no longer one but one+one.
I was still determined to save face of my one little-miss-perfect-life that I thought I was fooling my family with.
I made one appointment.
Found one adult to consent.
I waited for the one day this one heartbeat would dissolve and my one life would return back to normal. But one thing happened. One morning before that one day I was anticipating, I was in the shower getting ready for school. I took one look down at my now belly with a bulge and while taking this one look down, I heard one voice inside my soul. “Are two wrongs going to make this right for you?” The equation took on a whole new meaning. I had made one decision to have sex outside of marriage as a young teen. I was about to make one more decision to end the the life of the child growing inside of me. I thought my equation of one minus one would equal one again. And in some ways I suppose you could argue that it would. But that other one would not just be erased. It would remain somewhere. If I have one of something and subtract it it does in fact equal one but it doesn’t change the fact that there was once one more.
The rest of the morning that phrase continually played in my head “Are two wrongs going to make this right for you?” I battled focusing on the morning lectures in class; each one sounded like the muffled teacher’s voice off a Charlie Brown cartoon. My aching heart could no longer take another moment and in the middle of a psychology lecture I burst into tears and quickly made my way to the school counselor’s office.
That one office visit changed everything. I was now one blubbery bawling mess, spewing out 16 weeks of cooped up emotion. The sweet counselor who was more versed on dealing with career paths and college choices over bawling pregnant women rose to the occasion and patiently listened to my panicked heart. One phone call of dread was made to my mother and she was on her way. How was I going to explain this one that was no longer one but one+one?
One conversation was had. To this day I cannot tell you how it went. It is one big blur. Except for one statement. A statement that my normally overly emotional and dramatic mother said without tears, anger, or panic. “This doesn’t surprise me, I love you, we will get through this.” One phrase shed one little light onto the unlit path in front of my one+one life.
One more crucial conversation still had to take place. Telling my grandparents. You remember the one out spoken, say-it-like-it-is no matter who is in earshot, not to mention doesn’t say I love you and rarely-ever-hugged-you-in-your-whole-life grandfather? The one who had made harsh, but now I knew, true comments about effects of abortion on women. To say the least I was petrified. One Saturday they listened to my one+one equation confession thru sobbing and shaking. One long pause remained as I finished my words to them. My grandfather was the first one to speak in a tone of voice I had rarely heard from him. With divine compassion and mercy, as unnatural as it seemed, coming out of his mouth he said, ” Your grandmother and I love you very much, we will support you…and he placed his hand on my shoulder and began to pray for me+one little one. One more blessing from my mess, I knew my grandfather loved me yes by the words that came out of his mouth but more by the action of it displayed that one Saturday morning.
In 13 days we will celebrate one life. On October 26, 2012 my son, Logan Michael Foose, will have his 20th birthday. So much has happened since that Saturday morning conversation. Most of it has been very difficult. Some of it has been incredibly wonderful.
My teenage life came to a screeching halt three years early. I was immersed into adoption counseling, doctor visits, birthing classes, summer school to be flexible to still graduate on time, filling out forms for medical aid, living in a small town and going to a small church where stares were a given and gossip was rampant. All when one is normally immersed in career counseling, college visits, college prep classes, summer jobs, filling out forms for financial aid, and small town gossip about the latest crushes.
The last 20 years and nine months have been filled with struggle. I will not paint a fairytale picture of my one story. It was hard. I will never forget the day my mom and grandma picked Logan and I up from the hospital to take us home. We settled in. I laid Logan in his borrowed bassinet. My mom said, “Grandma and I are going out to run some errands.” I shockingly said to her, “You’re leaving me?” And they left.
The reality of being responsible for another human being overwhelmed my naive young soul. It was as close as I’ve felt to having an out of body experience, standing over his bassinet and looking at his swaddled little being peacefully sleeping as I thought, this can’t be real. Even still, I declared that morning to take this mama thing seriously even though I knew nothing about it.
The beauty and honor of knowing my son and being his mom was and is worth every second of doing countless hard things. I look back with no regret. Logan’s life has taught me more than I could have ever possibly taught him. I think about what would life be like if if my one story had turned out another way and I can’t even process it without being overcome with an aching emptiness of grief.
I am one.
With one heartbeat.
I have one chance.
I am making one choice.
A choice to tell my one story. Not because I am a great person and I think you should sing my praises. Not because I want to bash someone who had a life end in abortion. Simply because, every time I have shared my one story, there is always another one. Another story. Different from mine yet with striking similarities.
Sometimes its a story that has been kept a secret for decades. Sometimes it is a story that has kept a life captive in guilt and shame and fear and condemnation. Sometimes its a hideous story with heartbreaking lines that has an ending of forgiveness, processed grief and now a passion to share. Sometimes it’s a story of one+one that considered one-one but didn’t which resulted in life. Whatever one story it is, it needs to be told. If you have not personally walked down the road labeled choice to the destination or near destination of abortion you have most likely been closely related with someone who has.
This is my plea to you.
Share your one story. In person, in your own handwriting, on social media, in your home, in your circle of friends, at your church, through your e-mail, post a picture, on a video, etc…
Uncover the lie of the holocaust happening at a rate of 3,700 per day on the children of our own people, in our country. This is not a political, spiritual or scientific plea. This is a plea to shine an illuminating light on a lie so that a freeing truth may come to one who is facing a one+one equation right now.
You are one.
With one heartbeat.
You have one chance.
You can make one choice.