A Father’s Cry

Interracial relationships are the norm today, but in our small town in the late 1980s, it was still a little taboo.  

I met a young lady of Caucasian descent in one of my classes, and we instantly developed a relationship and fell head over heels in love. From the beginning we faced opposition; our parents were totally against us dating. As I look back, she came from a more affluent and connected family in our community, and I was just a middle-class kid whose heart was consumed by her very presence. Because of the stigma and our parents, we kept the relationship secret to avoid any problems. The only people who had any idea that we were involved were a few isolated friends.  

Our passion was so intoxicating that the more our parents forbade us to be together, the more we desired one another. The best analogy I can think of is like throwing gasoline on an unquenchable fire.  

Eventually, the story takes a turn, and she calls me in a panic explaining that she is pregnant with my child. At that point in my life, I was not mature enough to be a father, and I’m sure that she felt the same way. But the decision to terminate the pregnancy has haunted me for years because I always felt that neither she nor I had the right to decide about the life of our preborn child.  

What we lost 

As I approach 50, I find myself thinking more about the child who was taken from me. I often wonder about my preborn child’s physical features. Would our baby have had blue eyes like his mother, or would the child be tall and skinny like me? Would our child have been outgoing like me or more of an introvert like her mother? These questions run rampant in my head on a constant basis.  

At the time of writing this article, my preborn child would have been over 30, and the pain has not ceased. I am filled with guilt because I never spoke up about the situation. I basically suppressed my feelings to cope with the fact that I was complicit in the death of my child.  

The one thing I now understand is that my preborn child is just as much a part of me as the children I have on earth today. Was this child aborted simply because of my race? I have never been naïve to the fact that one of the reasons that my girlfriend’s parents were so adamant about us severing ties was because of my ethnicity. But in full transparency, my parents also had an issue with me dating outside my race.  

Only God knows the answer, but the one thing I know for sure is that this child was created in love, and that was never considered by the people making the decision.  

Being a father, I can partially understand the rationale behind my girlfriend’s parents’ choice, but the gravity and weight of not having a voice in this decision has caused me trauma for years. That preborn child was the older sibling of my current children and was my parents’ and her parents’ first grandchild. This child was a niece or a nephew, and to act like the baby wasn’t a life is an injustice to God.  

The only solace I have is that as a Christian I know that my baby is in heaven with God, but I would have loved to have seen my child grow into everything God had planned. The lie of abortion is that the fetus is not a life, but I know that life starts at creation, and it hurts that my child is not here.

I often wonder what impact my preborn baby would have had on society. Could the child have become a doctor, a lawyer, or simply an educator? Besides cheating ourselves of the miracle of a life, we also robbed the world of the child’s gifts. 

As my youngest son turns 18, I have begun to think about life’s milestones. I remember when he took his first steps, I remember his first piano recital, and I remember cheering when he made the winning basket in one of his basketball games. This is the heartache of abortion: It kills the milestones in life.  

A cry of pain 

As I write this piece, my eyes are full of tears reflecting on the missed milestones concerning my preborn child. “A Father’s Cry” is my attempt at dealing with the loss that has saturated my soul every day since my child was aborted.  

Society has politicized abortion, but human life goes way beyond the scope of politics. Pro-abortion advocates constantly chant and put an emphasis on women’s rights, but what about the right of a baby to live? Does a father have a legitimate voice in the matter concerning a child they both created together?  

The last three decades have been filled with lies I’ve told myself about the emptiness I feel when I’m reminded of my preborn child. 

For years when I saw an interracial child, I would think that if my child had been created a few years later, maybe we would be here together.

Unfortunately, time was not on our side. Our love was not enough to save our baby from the poison of racism.  

Yes, I’m black and the woman I once loved was white. Why should this be justification to end the life of a miracle?  

My hope in writing this article is that people come to truly understand the magnitude of abortion and that the pain it causes can last a lifetime. I suppose I will continue to adapt, but I will never get over the untimely death of my preborn child. 

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About the author

Calvin Barnes

Calvin Barnes currently resides in Northwest Florida with his wife, Marsha, and their children. Calvin has been a minister of the gospel for over 28 years and is the author of the book Evolution of a Christ-Centered Life.