LIFE NEWS: JOSH SHEPHERD DEC 4, 2015
Parents of ten children, six of them through adoption, Randy and Kelsey Bohlender have more personal experience than most involved in the adoption process. Earlier this year, the Bohlenders re-launched their own state-licensed adoption agency — naming it Zoe’s House, after their first adopted daughter.
This determined couple places their pro-life convictions front and center in their work. “The idea that children are unwanted is a farce,” said Randy Bohlender in a recent interview. “We can find homes for these kids.”
It’s not by accident their agency opened less than a mile from the local Planned Parenthood clinic. Now Bohlender addresses recent concerns over unethical practices at Planned Parenthood, what he’s hearing in the adoption community… and how prayer gives his family strength for challenges they face everyday.
Bound4LIFE: With Zoe’s House Adoption Agency located near a Planned Parenthood clinic, what are your team’s hopes for local women facing an unplanned pregnancy?
Randy Bohlender: Our hope is that they would always choose life. We wanted to be near the local Planned Parenthood clinic when we established this agency.
But it is a major mental leap for a woman to go from I’m going to abort a baby to I’m going to make an adoption plan for my baby. You cannot navigate that path in one conversation; it takes several steps.
So we’re glad to be near Planned Parenthood, and some may see them as our competition; what we’re really focused on is serving birth mothers well.
Bound4LIFE: This past weekend, a tragic incident of violence occurred at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs; three people were killed and many injured. As one whose pro-life convictions define your journey, what is your response?
Randy Bohlender: Obviously, this is a tragedy that pro-life advocates mourn.
This was a mental health incident, not a pro-life incident; any truly pro-life protest is characterized by peace and nonviolence. I am saddened for the loss of life, as are people on both sides of the abortion issue.
I’m also somewhat embarrassed at the conservative pundits who were trying to spin the shooting as not targeting the Planned Parenthood office, even as the bullets were still flying. Sometimes the purely political arm of the conservative movement needs to put the phone down and just wait to see what’s happening.