Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Letter

Over the last day, my heart has been heavy over what has happened. For Luke's 5th Heaven Day which was Thursday, February 6th, I shared a letter and poem to him. It was shared on quite a few pro-life news sources as well as on The Blaze website.

Anyways, I got a message on Facebook this morning from a woman who said I had taken her words as my own... I feel the need to explain what happened and to apologize.

While I was in the midst of writing a long letter of love, from my grieving mother's heart, to Luke Shiloh in February 2013, I googled "letters to aborted babies" and came across a sweet letter written to "Aubrey" in 2008 from her grieving mother, Carla Stream. The letter deeply resonated with me because I had felt and expressed some of the same words about my beloved baby that she wrote in her brief letter to her beloved baby. I realize now that I crossed the line of simply being inspired by her letter to the point of actually copying a few of her sentences and ideas. (Side note: I did not go looking for letters to "steal" as some people have accused me of. My heart was hurting and I was simply looking for people who understood).

These are the parts of the letters that I am referring to:

Hers:
I was distraught even as you grew. I was distraught before the vacuum suctioned your body from mine. I was distraught after. Regret hardly conveys the depth of my emotion. A grief and a sorrow that consumes me at times. I can hardly bear it because I did not fight for your life. Fight to protect you. Fight for your right to live and grow and be. I did not place your life before my desperate thoughts of self-preservation. I was deceived into thinking you were a clump of cells, tissue, you were nothing, you were not even a baby.

Mine:
Regret barely conveys the depth of my profound emotion. At times over the past five years, the deep grief and sorrow has threatened to consume me...I was distraught as you grew, distraught as I took that little pill that I thought would “fix things” and distraught afterwards. I can hardly bear it that I did not fight to protect your life, like a mother should. I did not place your life before my desperate thoughts of self-preservation. I was deceived into thinking you were not really a baby yet at that gestation (6 weeks), so what I was doing was perfectly okay.

Hers:
The grief I feel is hardly as big as the love, Aubrey. The love I have for you knows no bounds.

Mine:
The grief I feel is hardly as big as the love, dear Luke. This love I have for you knows no bounds.

I want to apologize for making such an unwise and unthinking choice. Even though I shared some of her thoughts and feelings, I should have clearly expressed them in my own words, rather than using someone else's. I am genuinely sorry for hurting Carla and taking some of her words to her daughter.

"Nothing so clearly discovers a spiritual man as his treatment of an erring brother." -St. Augustine

I realize that I did something wrong. I admit that. I am not saying it is insignificant. However, I have been shocked and saddened by how people have treated me in regards to this. I have honestly felt like I am being bullied. People are gossiping about me and slandering me and saying things that aren't true. It's almost like people are delighting in this "juiciness." People have accused me of using this as a way to make a "name" for myself or make a "buck." People have accused me of wanting 15 minutes of fame. That I am trying too hard for recognition and looking for an audience. People have accused me of stealing another post-abortive mother's relationship and grief and passing it off as my own. That I am cold and callous. I have been called a fraud. That this is the most despicable thing they've ever seen. I have been called an emotional vampire. I did something wrong, but how is it going to help anything or anyone for people to talk about me with each other, as if they know anything about who I am?

First of all, if I were trying to gain fame or make a name for myself, why would I want to be known for having an abortion? Of all things. Also, I wrote the letter a year before sharing it publicly, meaning I did not merely write it to publish it. Some people are suggesting that I made it up and that I never even had an abortion. If I were going to make up something about my life, why would it be this? I will release my records from Planned Parenthood if need be. Secondly, I don't charge a single penny for anything I write or when I speak. I am a nanny and a full-time college student, living in my parent's modest home.

I did not steal another post-abortive mother's relationship. I used some of her words which I am so sorry about. But my grief over Luke and my loss is real.

I did not maliciously do this. I am not cold and callous. Her words poignantly captured something that my heart felt. I am someone who made a dumb mistake. I did not want anyone to be hurt. I care for the unborn and post-abortive women. I had nothing to gain from sharing this letter.

I have also been accused of only responding to Carla when this went public. I responded to her as soon as I read her message to me and immediately apologized. I tried to work it out with her just the two of us first. I didn't want to hastily post something about this on Facebook, so I took my time in praying about how best to respond... that was the "delay." I feel like I've been hit with a ton of bricks and I honestly had no idea how to go about this. This just happened today. I am sorry if people think I am not moving fast enough.

People have also accused me of not taking her words down and for continuing to take credit for her words. I am making every effort to have her words removed and have done so already on my personal blog. Where is the letter on my blog that people say is still here? Seriously, I don't know where it is and have tried to find what you are talking about. I would never want anyone to think Carla copied my words, as has been suggested. Anyways, observant people would see that she wrote her letter in 2008, a year before I had my abortion.

I know that some people will think that I have lost all credibility. That is okay if you think that. A few words that I shouldn't have shared does not negate the thousands of words that I have shared about Luke and Lily. It doesn't take away the letter that I wrote to him. It doesn't change the beauty of their lives and legacies. It doesn't change my genuine grief and love.

I have removed my Facebook page entirely. I know that people are already saying that speaks to my character and that I don't want people to see my apology. Well, here is my apology. I had to take my page down for I could not take it anymore. I feel broken. No matter what I say, people are going to believe and say what they want about me.

I am sad that people think this defines me. Those who do know me know where my heart is. They know the truth of who I am. I am so thankful that God has a plan and purpose beyond what I can see right now and that HE sees my heart.

Again I am sorry and I ask for forgiveness. I am just so, so sorry to everyone who has been affected by this...

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This post left me:

13 comments:

  1. Hey there, Hannah. This isn't the end of the world, even if it may seem like it. You'll move on and grow from this lapse. God is the best comforter. Stay connected to Him. During awful times I read 5 Psalms a day. There are 150, so it's easy to divide them by 30. We have a lot in common with David. :)

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  2. Hannah, I just wanted you to know I support you. I have found your story and message very inspiring. I think anyone who looks at the fact that you have dedicated your life to spreading this message long before you wrote that letter will see you are genuine. It is terrible that people are focusing on this opposed to the overall message, that life is precious. As a young Christian woman, I am refreshed to hear such strong faith and dedication come from you. It is rare for women of our generation, in our society, to be so open about their faith. I applaud you for that. I am most inspired at how you have managed to find His light, even in your darkest days, you have seemed to find the love through all the hate. I have faith this will be no exception. I wish you all the best, my prayers are with you, and all who hear His Word through you. Keep fighting the good fight. This world could use more women like you.

    Madalyn Lander

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  3. Hannah - we all slip up. Don't let this slip up silence your testimony to the great harm abortion does to preborn children and their mothers and families. We need you out there on the front lines with us.

    Facebook will give you 14 days within which you can undo your page deletion. I encourage you to undo the deletion. If you wish, you can "unpublish" your page for a period of time. If you need any assistance with this, let me know.

    Don't give up!!

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  4. I agree, Hannah. Undo the deletion. Your intentions were pure and those that support you and know what you believe in will support you. This is a small blip on the radar screen. You don't need to continue to apologize. Let it go and continue to spread the good word that you are. <3

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  5. Hannah, much of the time, post abortive women have stiffling difficulties in putting words to their grief, and their entire abortion experience, pre and post. When doing post abortive recovery with women who can't even utternwords about it het, it helps them when they hear another person speak of their own circumstances, especially when they themselves have been crippled by their own, and feeling alone and isolated in it. It's a "secret language" so to speak that exists among post abortive women. One can literally speak, and it will make another silent woman say, "How does she know and precisely say what is in my heart?" Comfort can come when that happens. Comfort comes when someone else breathes out the words that another tattered heart cannot. There are a million other silent women that would say, hey, what Carla and what Hanah wrote is exactly what I felt and feel. Their experiences are exactly my experiences. That's how I felt.

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  6. Hannah, I have just recently discovered your blog, and already I'm inspired by your strength. What you stand for is beautiful. Thank you for sharing, and know that you have tons of support through this.

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  7. Hannah you are so love!!! I am praying for you! Just hold on my friend this too shall pass.

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  8. Oh Dear Hannah! How horrible!!! Do not let Satan bully you for this is exactly what is taking place. I'm praying that the Lord will give you the sight to see through His Eyes what is really going on here.

    If you need to protect your heart then by all means do but should you feel led, stand strong! Fly in the face of those who would tear you down because, dear friend, you are shaking the walls and the enemy is afraid and is attacking where he can.

    You are human, you are grieving, and ;) you are young.... if this is the worst mistake you ever make, then good grief! You're a saint! ;)

    Do not cower from those who are trying to beat you down but stand strong in the knowledge that God will use this to make you stronger... when you make waves opposition comes... know that you ARE being prayed for! and that you are dearly loved and supported. You are brave. You are a voice for those that have none. And when all is said and done, your children know the truth and your Father knows the truth and no one else's opinion matters! Seriously, God will not put it to a vote nor consider the thoughts or words of others when you stand before Him. :)


    (((((hugs)))))

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  9. Belle is correct.

    This is a case of a few making a mountain out of a molehill. Hold your head high and know that your sharing your heart is helping so many who are hurting. You are helping them heal.

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  10. In the words of Misty Edwards... "Don't give up, don't give in. If you don't quit, you win, you win. He's gonna turn it all around, just wait and see. He's gonna make everything beautiful in its time." Focus on Jesus not your circumstances!! He will guide you through this trial. :) love you, friend. -Rachel

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  11. Carla Stream wrote about what you did and called it "Stolen Love Letter." Anyone can clearly see that although you very wrongly stole a few of her words, you did not steal the whole letter. Her title is less than honest and maybe she should think about not throwing so many stones.

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  12. I dont know all the details but I was sad and surprised to read Carla's article on a pro life website that I have had a lot of respect for. Sad to read what one post abortive mother had to say to another. Whatever you do, don't stop the good work you are doing!

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