The other day, a precious Chinese friend opened up to me.
I’ve asked her before if she wants children. She clearly loves children. She would make a great mom. Most Chinese families only can have one child, and I’ve wondered why she has none though she is in her mid-thirties and has been married for 10 years. She had given me an answer then, but I didn’t believe it. I could tell that there was more behind the reason she gave.
The other day we were talking about “girl stuff” and the subject came up again. This time she opened up to me. I gently asked if she can have children. “Sure, I can,” she said. “I’ve been pregnant three times.”
She went on to explain that as some people get morning sickness in pregnancy, she gets fevers. All three times she had a fever during pregnancy.
So what happened?
The doctor told her that a fever can cause birth defects, so the baby should be aborted. All three times this happened.
With tears in her eyes she told me that the first time she was five months into the pregnancy, and when the baby was taken out, they told her it was a boy.
I was speechless. (The whole conversation was in Chinese, so I’m easily made speechless for lack of vocabulary, but this time it was for real.) My heart is broken for the sorrow and pain and loss this friend has endured.
She told me she doesn’t want a child anymore. She’s too afraid. I told her that if she did get pregnant, we would support her, help provide medical care for her through David’s clinic, and pray for her. But her fear is too great.
I cannot and will not share my opinions about family planning measures or the flawed practice of medicine in our adopted country on a blog (ok, I did insert a little opinion in there). I certainly can’t get into the topic of abortion.
It’s just that there’s such fear of having your one child be “flawed”. Fear also seems to be a tool in the hands of physicians who will not honestly examine and explain the evidence-based reality of medical risk. And fear certainly drives many countless women to abort their babies.
I do not judge my friend, I only have great sorrow for her. I am angry at the brokenness and injustice of this world.
Please pray for my friend that her heart would be healed by the Great Physician and that she would know the joy of truly trusting in him.
P.S. Another Chinese friend also shared her story with us about a week ago. She is a strong believer and home group leader. But when she became pregnant the second time, she and her husband were faced with public criticism and the prospect of a huge fine (about a year’s wages). They were under such pressure that they decided to go get an abortion. However, they got to the clinic too close to closing time and were told to come back the next day. That night they had God’s peace calming their fears and anxieties. They decided to keep the baby and trust him with the consequences.
They walked a difficult road. They had to find a hospital that would even let them birth a second child, then face the wrath of the authorities. They decided to trust God step by step, and through a long series of amazing events, ended up only having to pay a third of what the fine was originally supposed to be. Some precious old women pooled money saved for their own burial costs and loaned it to our friends. The couple was able to pay it all back within a few years. And now this miracle child is six years old an an incredible blessing to his parents and all who know him.
“I sought the Lord and he answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4