This is the fourth installment in our reality series about Paul and Susan Lim, who have chosen to adopt an abandoned embryo, even though the pregnancy could cost Susan her eyesight. Read the first chapter of their story to learn why they decided to pursue embryo adoption.
Paul and Susan Lim like to choose names for their children that illustrate the gospel. They named their first child Justin after Justin Martyr, the second century apologist. His name means just, upright, righteous. They gave their second child, Karis, which means grace, a name that completed the gospel picture. Or, as the Bible expresses it: “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (Psalm 85:10)
The Lim’s third child, an adopted embryo due in December, is Madeleine Kara. “First you receive an understanding of God’s justice, then you receive grace,” Paul said. “But God doesn’t stop there. Joy flows out.” The Lims chose the name Madeleine because they liked it. The middle name, Kara, comes from the Greek, chara, meaningjoy.
The Lims recognize that great sorrow comes in the midst of the joys of godly parenting. “We have this idea before we get married and have children that ‘marriage and children will be good for me like a tasty meal is good for me,’” Paul said. We don’t expect a hard, active, painful good that exercises our spiritual “otherliness” muscle. Marriage and children represent incredible responsibility and restriction of liberty for the sake of greater joy.
The exercise has its reward in the enjoyment of God.
“I don’t want people to think we are so noble, altruistic,” Paul said. “We go through all the sorrows and sacrifices for our good as well. We would love to see more people [adopt embryos] for their own good.”
In Paul’s recent writings, he explains his choice of terminology when he refers to the form of adoption he and Susan have chosen. Their daughter is not an embryo. She is their daughter. Paul labels many titles applied to embryonic children as “tactical euphemisms” used by “pro-embryo-destruction writers,” as well as pro-life authors. They mask the reality of what's happening to the children created through the process of in-vitro fertilization.
Paul calls “embryo discarding” exposure, “embryo donation” abandonment, and “embryo destruction” murder. Terminology is vital for describing both reality and relationship: “Parents do not commonly refer to their offspring by their stage of development (‘this is my infant’ or ‘my pre-pubertal’ or ‘my adult’) but by their relationship (‘this is my child’ or ‘son’ or ‘daughter’).”
Both Susan and Madeleine remain healthy. Susan has not had any reoccurrence of the eye condition that could cost her eyesight. She refuses to take the medicine that controls it while pregnant, as the drug could harm the baby.
The Lims expect Madeleine in less than six weeks.