This recent lead story on CNN (‘Surrogate offered $10,000 to abort baby’, March 4, 2013) came to my attention via a dear sister-in-Christ who, after the blessed birth and adoption, last June, is now related (albeit indirectly) to the child in question (a little girl, now almost 9 months old).
The number of angles and implications to the story are staggering, highlighting how late and dark the hour is (too few are aware of how the outlines of legal frameworks the story highlights mirror Nazi Germany in the mid/late 1930′s) but more importantly how much in need of Salvation the human heart is in any era. (E.g., see Jeremiah 17:9).
Before diving in, I recommend praying for a heart of compassion for the desperate lostness and depravity of some in the story whom we might be inclined to despise, remembering that we are all wicked sinners, saved by grace alone. (See Matthew 5:44, Jude 9 and Proverbs 24:17-18, for example.)
Among the more riveting elements I noted were:
The biological parents’ relentless desire to ensure the child’s death even at a steep financial price, and even when they were absolved of responsibility, all driven it would seem out of fear and dread of what the future might hold, both for her and for them. (See 1st John 4:18, Matthew 6:11 & Matthew 6:34)
The amazing grace poured out on the biological parents, leading to what would seem a change of heart. (One of the primary purposes of babies, I believe, is to soften our hearts, helping us to understand better God’s profound love for us and His desire to see us removed from filth and grow up into mature, full-statured heirs, in Christ.)
The degree to which cold financial calculations, negotiations and perverse legal maneuverings took hold, tempting all involved, often successfully, almost obscuring the fact that this child, like every child, is an image-bearer of the Most High God, YHWH and that our Christ, like this child, was profoundly marred and broken on our behalf.
How much the concept of “leading a normal life” has become an idol in our society where ‘normal’ really means health and wealth. What is ‘normal’ anyway? Last I checked, all of sinful mankind is destined to die, oftentimes slowly, prematurely and/or painfully. What we sense and long for is the truth of our eternal existence where health and wealth have been promised us if we will only submit and follow our Lord. What humanism would turn all that into is a physical existence in imitation of that, without God. In my fellowship Bible-study group we discussed the fact that so many in the most prosperous parts of the world are desperately unhappy (though few would admit it) and yet how often one encounters happy people in situations of grinding poverty.
The extent to which men’s ever-changing laws, increasingly divorced from God’s immutable Law, create the conditions under which perverse and agonizing situations like this can metastasize. (One thinks immediately of the well-known story of Solomon’s proposed baby-splitting, in 1st Kings 3:16-28 — something he never intended to carry out, but only used to draw out the deep waters of the hearts of those involved.)
How much biological ‘innovation’, particularly in the realm of reproduction, has unleashed a Pandorra’s box of unintended consequences, highlighting what happens when human hubris (masquerading as ‘wisdom’ and ‘progress’) is elevated above the Word of God. One does not need to be a Luddite (anti-science, anti-technology) to recognize that without the guidance of the Creator, things run awry. (The equivalent would be staunch refusal to consult an owner’s manual on the grounds that one felt one’s automobile had come about spontaneously and that any such document purporting to be an owner’s manual must be a fraud designed to enslave the vehicle’s owner.)
God’s Sovereign, Providential provision leading not only to this baby’s birth (praise God!) but the emergence of this as a national story (no doubt generating both prayer and financial support).
The birth mother’s flight from ‘Egypt’* (Connecticut) where the baby could have been cynically grabbed by the aforementioned biological parents and then ‘dumped’ as a ward of the state.
*(I do not make the Egypt-Connecticut analogy lightly. Texts such as Daniel 10:13-20 make clear that ‘territorial’ spirits exist, and that they fight fiercely to have darkness prevail over their domains. If I’ve got my timeline right, the birth mother’s flight from Connecticut took place some time last Spring, a few months before the Newtown massacre of children.
DePrimo [the birth mother's lawyer] received a phone call from Fishman [the bio parents' lawyer] telling him the parents had changed their minds. They now planned to exercise their legal right to take custody of their child — and then immediately after birth surrender her to the state of Connecticut. She would become a ward of the state.
DePrimo explained to Kelley that this was no empty threat. Under state law, they were the parents, not her, and under Connecticut’s Safe Haven Act for Newborns, parents can voluntarily give up custody of a baby less than a month old without being arrested for child abandonment.
Kelley couldn’t stand the thought of the baby in foster care. She’d heard the nightmare stories.
She felt like her back was up against the wall.
There was one more option, DePrimo told her. She could go to a place where she, not the genetic parents, would be considered the baby’s legal mother. That place was 700 miles away.
Over the years, states have developed different laws about surrogacy. Some, like Connecticut, say the genetic parents — the ones who supplied the sperm and the egg — are the baby’s legal parents. Other states don’t recognize surrogacy contracts, and so the baby legally belongs to the woman who’s carrying the baby.
On April 11**, in her seventh month of pregnancy, Kelley and her daughters left for one of those states — Michigan. While she was gassing up her car to leave, her lawyer informed the parents’ lawyer about her plans.
“Once I realized that I was going to be the only person really fighting for her, that Mama bear instinct kicked in, and there was no way I was giving up without a fight,” Kelley said.
**(April 11, 2012 was the 19th of Nisan, the fourth day of Passover — two days after the anniversary of Jesus’ resurrection on the 17th.)
Remind you of anything? E.g., Matthew 2:13-18.
Now when they [the Magi] had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you, for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” And he rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed to Egypt and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.” Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.”
Does the fact that the birth mother’s name is ‘Crystal’ mean anything? (Referred to as ‘Kelley’, her last name, above.)
I don’t know, but it sure is interesting…
“Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal.” (Revelation 21:9-11))