Twin brothers Taylor and Tyler wouldn't be here without the help of guardian angels in heaven and on earth. "Now, I can't believe that it ever crossed my mind," Daniella said of the day she came to Little Rock to get an abortion. "I have two beautiful children. I told my mom, 'I have two babies,' and she said, 'That's right, you do.' I had to kiss them and hold them very tight." Daniella (whose last name is withheld to protect her privacy) became a mother Dec. 28, but her journey began long before that date. This summer, she had an appointment at Little Rock Family Planning Services to get an abortion but decided against it after sidewalk helper Maria Maldonado, who regularly prays outside the abortion clinic in west Little Rock, urged her to request to see her ultrasound. Maldonado, a member of Christ the King Church in Little Rock, and other prayer warriors prayed for Daniella while she was inside the clinic and continued to help her throughout her pregnancy. They threw her a baby shower in November and were at the hospital when the babies were born. Daniella's story was featured in the Dec. 4 issue of Arkansas Catholic and was instantly shared by e-mail and Facebook across the country. "I got to meet a lot of people. I think I met every one of the prayer warriors," Daniella said during a phone interview with Arkansas Catholic. "The labor and delivery area was full of people." Taylor and Tyler weren't born on Christmas Day when they were due. The two were born in the early morning Dec. 28 at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center in Little Rock. Dec. 28 is not without significance -- it is the feast of the Holy Innocents, which commemorates the massacre of all Jewish boys 2 years old and younger in Bethlehem and surrounding areas, ordered by King Herod. Joseph fled to Egypt with Mary and the baby Jesus, which spared him. On Dec. 28 the Church and pro-life community often remember children who have died because of abortion or children who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death. "They're gaining weight good and eating and crying a lot," Daniella said. "My mom has them spoiled rotten already." Daniella, 19, is adamant about helping other women. "I have a story to tell and if telling it can result in stopping someone else from making that choice just because they are scared, I have to tell it," she said. She's already counseled two friends who were considering abortion. Both chose to have their babies. "It's not worth it and they see that," she said. Daniella, who lives in Lake Village, and several family members plan to train to be sidewalk helpers and prayer warriors like Maldonado and the other volunteers. "My family doesn't believe in (abortion), but I was scared and I thought of it. God blessed me to be able to say 'OK, there is help. I can do this.' He gave me what I always wanted and I didn't even realize it at first." She was being selfish too, she said. It's something she thinks of often. "I ask myself a million questions when I think about it. If I hadn't talked to Miss Maria that day, I wonder sometimes -- would I have done it? Would I have gone in the room?" she said. "I think about these things a lot, but what I can't imagine is a world without my boys." She thanks God for the courage to walk out of the clinic after seeing her twin boys on the ultrasound. "God blessed me. He works in funny ways, but I can see his blessings. I thank God that Miss Maria and the prayer warriors were there to tell me that I had other options," she said. The baby's father will meet his boys for the first time this weekend. He is currently in Marine boot camp. "I know he's so excited to see them, be with them and care for them. He can't wait. He's always asking how they boys are doing," she said. "He wishes he was closer to us." Her sister asked if she would tell the twins their story one day. Daniella said she will because it might help them. "They might come into a situation like that, and I want them to make the right choices in life. I wish I could do something to stop it," she said. "You don't have to do it. It doesn't make things better; it makes them worse." The best gift this year was her twin boys, Daniella said. "In the middle of the night," she said softly, "I just get up and go look at them. I tell them 'I can't believe you are here.'"
Intention: Pray for fathers who participated in the decision to abort their child, and for those who did not have a voice, that they would find freedom and healing in Christ.
Scripture: If indeed you have heard Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. -- Ephesians 4: 21-23
Reflection: According to the Guttmacher Institute, one-third of American women will have had an abortion by age 45. Seldom reported however is the fact that an equally significant number of men have played a role in terminating a pregnancy. Some have participated through persuasion, or by providing the financial means for the abortion. Still others were against an abortion, but had no sway in the decision to terminate their child. Only in recent years have we realized that men suffer from their loss, as more and more seek healing. Warren Williams, founder of Fathers and Brothers Ministries says he believes men are coming forward for help because God instilled in men a desire to be a protector of their lineage, a provider for their families, to be a husband and father. Men are suffering and grieving the loss of their children, and though their grief may be expressed differently than that of a woman, it is grief nonetheless and they too need tender care and biblical counseling to experience forgiveness and healing. Intervention at the appropriate time in the decision-making process may spare both the young man and woman from the lifelong pain and trauma of abortion. Biblical counseling for post-abortive men and women is essential for them to heal and begin their life anew in Christ.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, We pray for young men who participated in the termination of their child and are broken as You are over their loss. Forgive their sin, Lord, and bring opportunity for healing and renewal of their minds in Christ Jesus. For those suffering from an abortion they did not choose, restore their joy as they learn to forgive others and trust You with their future. In the name of Christ, who heals the brokenhearted, amen.