The Forgotten Story
When I sat down to write “Almost Daddy: The Forgotten Story” a couple of years ago it wasn’t an idea that just came to me. It wasn’t born of anger or a deep wounding. And it wasn’t meant to diminish the thoughts, feelings or beliefs of anyone.
It was a story I had to tell because many men who regret abortions in their pasts didn’t have a voice.
So how did I get there?
It started about twelve years ago. At that point I was around 20 years past my abortion story. I never really talked about it much and I had been pretty much convinced that it didn’t matter. I believed, as so many men do, that my thoughts and feelings about the abortion didn’t matter.
But we know that stuffing feelings and issues doesn’t work as a long term solution. We know that issues that aren’t dealt with surface in other ways. We know this, but we often still try.
I was at a men’s book study one night and a voice in my head said to share my abortion story with this group of men. I didn’t want to but I eventually gave in and shared. To my surprise I wasn’t the only man in the room that night who had lost a child to aboriton. This was revolutionary to me.
The next day I shared this information with my pastor. I started looking for groups but didn’t find any in my area. I started reading book that centered on post-abortion issues and recovery for men. Most of the ones I found were written by women. With the best of intentions, women don’t think and process like men. And so the resources were lacking in speaking my language.
Eventually I found a few good books and study guides. I worked a process and felt a great deal of healing. Looking back there is one unfortunate part to this. Not one of the men that shared that night in the book study joined me on this journey.
Anyway, a few years passed and I was looking for an opportunity to volunteer somewhere. I first looked at local crisis pregnancy centers. Again, folks with the best of intentions but not one of them had anything for men. They communicated that they understood men need to be reached; they just didn’t have anything set up.
I stumbled into a leadership role with a 12-Step recovery group. It was Biblically based and I was able to work more deeply on post-abortion issues through the 12-Steps as well as other issues. But with this group every other week is a testimony week. As leaders, we were asked to volunteer to share our testimonies at other locations.
And here’s the thing…each and every time I shared my testimony with a group a few men came forward after. They shared their abortion stories. They shared about how life changed after but they didn’t make the connection. Many shared about the pain of not having a voice in the aboriton decision. Others shared about regret as they were in agreement with the abortion or even pushed for it.
The common thing was they had stories too.
Many women shared their regret too. And I started seeing a pattern. A good number of women stated that they wished the fathers had been more vocal. They said that the men didn’t seem to care either way or that they seemed to want it. Unfortunately, some women told me that they felt pressured into it.
For years the theme kept returning…there was little to no communication between the mom and the dad before the abortion and there was a ton of misinformation about the process, what was being aborted, and life after the abortion.
As a man, I didn’t feel particularly qualified to truly delve into the woman’s side of things. Though since “Almost Daddy: The Forgotten Story” was published I have had dozens of women share their stories with me. Maybe someday I’ll write about that. But, as for the confines of this post, I was not prepared to share the woman’s perspective.
Because of all of this the idea for a novel started to take shape. I wanted to write a story that would take a man from the abortion through PASS (Post Abortion Stress Syndrome) and show in a real way what life can look like for some men.
In truth, I tinkered with the outline and first few chapters for a few years. It was early in 2020 that I finally decided to dig in and start writing the story. By November of that same year it was published. So far it has been received incredibly well…by women and men alike.
And here’s the funny thing…it has been well-received by pro-life and pro-choice foilks alike. The feedback suggests that it’s because it is not political. My goal in writing it was to give voice and validation to those hurting.
But I’ve also gotten push-back from the extremes in both camps. Each for different reasons, but still push-back. And that’s ok.
Going forward I have no idea what’s next. The road since November of 2020 has been strange and exciting and unexpected and humbling. But it has shown me there is so much more work to do. I have learned that I have barely scratched the surface. Indeed, the post-abortion healing community has barely scratched the surface. And men’s ministry groups have barely scratched the surface. That, however, is for another post.
I leave you with an encouragement today. If you’re a man and lost fatherhood to abortion, share your story. It doesn’t matter when it was. It doesn’t matter the circumstances. But your thoughts and feelings about it do matter. And, after working your own recovery, your story will be used by God to help other men find peace as well.
Never forget…your story matters.
Published on: April 25, 2022