When women/men come to Project Rachel seeking healing from their abortion choice, there are many emotions that we discuss and share in group, such as: anger, sorrow, guilt, etc.
In addressing one of the most dominant ‘emotions’ in this healing
journey – grief -- the women/men come to
the realization that it is not the
abortion they are grieving, but the child who was lost due to the abortion, and even deeper than this, the love lost due to the abortion.
What an eye-opener! What a relief. Because we can’t change the circumstance of what happened, but we most certainly can change how we look at and acknowledge our dear baby now and into the future. Our baby is physically dead to this world and that is reality. However, our baby is alive in the Lord, loving and forgiving the parent and desiring a loving relationship with them.
So baby needs a name!
Not everyone who comes to Project Rachel has named their baby beforehand. Yet everyone, by the end of the 11 week support group, has named baby – with tears of great joy and relief.
“I didn’t understand about the rejoicing in heaven when a mother is reunited with her baby when I first heard of the (Project Rachel) ministry, but now I do.”
One of the dads, even before he started with the support group told us that he had named his baby “Baby Smith”. We encouraged him to give baby his own name. The next day he told us it was Loughlin!
Gracie’s parents told us during one of the support group sessions that they were adamant about NOT naming their child. We gently replied “oh but you will”. It is such an essential part in post-abortion healing acknowledging the humanity of the child in your heart and before God! The following week, Gracie’s mom came to group and told us that she had heard someone calling a little girl, Grace, in a shopping mall, and it struck her that Grace was her child’s name!
Another mom, while out walking in the woods, said it suddenly dawned on her that baby’s name was Autumn. When she was at the group the following week she told us that she was looking forward to buying a Christmas ornament and putting baby’s name on it. We facilitators were thrilled!
In 2005, a woman from out-of-town, chose to journey through the Project Rachel support group. She had not named her baby, yet. While walking on the beach during that summer she saw a name in the sand "Sheila" that someone had made from sea shells. So this marine biologist knew instantly that this was her dear baby's name.
We sometimes don’t realize that when we name our baby,
other family members with whom we share this great moment in our healing journey may
find it hard to comprehend at first why we are doing this. Let us share an example with you. Just recently, one of our gals from the 2014
Fall post-abortion support group told the group that her husband who is not the
father of Catherine, yet was fully supportive of his wife attending Project
Rachel, mentioned to her that he felt that when she spoke about her dear baby
by name, that it also took her back to reminisce about the time spent with the
father of the child. Catherine’s mom
gently reassured him that that was not the case.
Giving the baby a name enables you to talk about someone real and good in your life now, not about something real and haunting that happened in your life some time ago. The baby will always be an on-going love presence, your child, whom you love and honor with a name.
Imagine the rejoicing in heaven when a child is ‘called by name’ for the first time by his/her mom or dad!!
PS. We also encourage parents who have lost a baby due to a miscarriage to name their dear child. Recently at Steubenville Atlantic, July 3-5, 2015 in Halifax, a Mom (chaperone) stopped at our Nova Scotians United for Life information table and picked up our brochures on Miscarriage, noting with a sadness in her voice that “it is something you don’t forget.” When we asked if she had named baby, her response was no. So we told her to consider doing so. The next day, as she passed our booth, she said with a huge smile “His name is Thomas.”