A childless father who has a son
By Dr. Robert Owens
I am blessed. My wife gave me a son. He was hers before he was mine. Then he became ours. In my heart he is always mine and I feel as if I am his dad. But it often feels like a homerun record with an asterisk, an almost. You see, I’m a stepfather. That’s as close as I will ever come to experiencing the life of a father and for that I am forever thankful to God for I am a childless father who has a son.
I know the pride of watching my son play little league. Together we experienced the joy of victory and the agony of defeat. I encouraged him to play music. I helped with homework. I watched him march in band. I raced against the stop lights time after time to make it to events and meetings with teachers, doctor’s appointments, and birthdays. I watched him graduate grade school after driving him from one town to another so he could remain in the same school with his friends after we moved. I blessed God when he graduated high school and earned scholarships to college. I was happy when he chose the girl my wife and I prayed for long before we ever met her, enjoyed being the father of the groom, and I love my grandchildren with all my heart. I am truly blessed. My wife gave me a son.
But there are four other children I have never known. Four other children blood of my blood and bone of my bone that I never had the chance to know.
These are my aborted children.
They were aborted without my consent, told by the women involved and the courts that it was none of my business, murdered within the law, slaughtered beyond the pale. They are still alive within my heart.
Let me say in defense of the women who aborted my children, before I gave my life to Christ, I was a snake. As a matter of fact, I’ve always said that before I was saved snakes would cross the street when they saw me coming. I was a drug addicted; drunken scheming dreamer convinced I should be something I wasn’t and equally convince I wasn’t what I was.
Any young woman who learned they were pregnant and that I was the father could not be blamed for deciding I was a waste of space, a self-indulgent loser, and a disaster as a potential father. And although none of the three young women involved ever told me why they aborted my children, that’s what I have always thought was my addition to the equation.
Once I gave my life to Christ. Once I sobered up, straightened out, and stood in the light of His love I knew he forgave me for any part I played in the deaths of these innocent children. I know He forgives everyone who lays their sins at the foot of the cross.
Over the years He has ministered to my heart, my spirit, and my soul as I have cried tears for who could have been. I am healed for when He said, “It is finished,” sin was defeated. When He rose from the grave life conquered death, and since He ascended into heaven where He took His place at the right hand of the Father together, we all live in Him. I am healed.
But there is not a day I don’t miss those children. There is not a day I don’t think of what might have been. There is not a day that I don’t imagine seeing them in Him.
I struggle sometimes knowing that two of the women who aborted my children later had other children. They’ve had an experience they took from me. I don’t begrudge them the joy of parenting. I have forgiven them. But sometimes I’m jealous of what they have and of what I shall never have and for this I repent. I also struggle sometimes watching other women I know have had abortions and later had children. I know God has forgiven them. I don’t have anything against them but at times I struggle with my own emotions.
All of this is the burden of this forgotten father. I was forgotten in the decision to abort my children. I have been forgotten in all the years since.
I may be forgotten but I cannot forget.
My children died. Four lost lives in the American holocaust of millions. They are four souls whose blood cries out to God, four cracks in my broken heart, four children of God I long to know, four tears I shall cry till the day we meet.
A stepfather is like a used shoe. It may look good, it may wear well, and at time it may even feel good. But it’s still a used shoe.
However, my stepson may feel about me I know how I feel about him. He is my son. I may have lost four, but I have gained one. I am blessed. My wife gave me a son.