Some folks in our area will remember a Roller family that lived in the valley several years ago. Mark served as principal at Toms Brook School for 28 years and his children participated in local community events. I was delighted to recently reconnect with his son, Richard, who now resides in Dayton with his wife Evah.

Richard and his first wife, now deceased, suffered through eight disappointing miscarriages. They finally adopted two children and raised them as their own.

Sarah’s birth mother was a junior in high school at the time she became pregnant. Faced with intense pressures and tough choices, she decided to carry her baby to term and then offer it for adoption. The Rollers welcomed this little girl into their family and enjoyed much happiness together with her and still do.

About three years later, David was conceived during a one night stand. As such, he became a prime candidate for “termination”, which is a polite term for abortion. Thankfully, his birth mother did not choose that and instead delivered her son prematurely and offered him for adoption as well. The Rollers welcomed this tiny boy into their hearts and home and today David is serving us in his 17th year in the U.S. Army as a master sergeant.

As an adult, David reconnected with his birth mother and they now enjoy a good relationship. This woman has such an appreciation for what the Rollers did that every year on Mother’s Day, she places flowers on the grave of the woman who raised David as her own son. Continuing the story, David and his wife made Richard and Evah grandparents with the birth of their own son, Devon.

With the openness and ease of modern adoptions, such stories are not uncommon and there are millions of well-adjusted, joyful, and thriving individuals who were adopted by others. Instead of their lives being terminated before they were even born, their mothers gave them life and today they are grateful as are their families.

Next Friday, Jan. 22, marks one of the saddest days in American history when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in all 50 states. Since then, the lies surrounding that case have been exposed but the decision stands nevertheless.

During 2020, we Americans mourned the deaths of over 300,000 relatives, friends, and neighbors who succumbed to COVID-19. Sadly, over twice that many children were killed last year before they ever left their mothers’ wombs. Even sadder is the fact that a nearly equal number of couples awaited them through adoption but were left with empty cribs.

Since 1973 when abortion was legalized, 61 million American boys and girls have been denied the ultimate privilege of life. If one cross were erected for every one thousand babies, you would need over 6,100 crosses to represent them all. It confounds me how many who wish to welcome immigrants into our country favor prohibiting unborn children from doing the same.

I understand that outlawing abortion would not end it, just as murders still occur even though they are illegal. Nevertheless, we as a society need to clearly state our value for human life and hold doctors who take it liable.

Thankfully, American support for this practice is declining as more and more people discover what this horrific procedure actually involves. If we follow the science, modern ultrasounds and fetal monitoring make it impossible to deny that these are tiny living human beings.

Once again, I’m thankful for the faithful work of the Shenandoah County Pregnancy Center that assists expectant women before birth and young mothers, fathers, and families afterward. Through this ministry of love, many children have been born to prepared and affectionate parents while others have been spared and joyfully adopted by loving families. May God continue to bless and guide this holy work.

As we mourn the nearly 50-year-old court decision, let us give thanks for adoptive parents like the Rollers and continue to work and pray for the day when abortion will not be rare, but illegal. Praying, George

George Bowers is the Senior Pastor of Antioch Church of the Brethren and has authored sixteen books including Blessings Volume 3 which is a collection of these articles. It is available at Four Star Printing and Shenandoah Stuff. He can be reached through www.georgebowersministries.com or at gabowers@shentel.net.