“You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.” —John 15:16

One of the most commonly asked questions regarding reincarnation is about whether we choose our parents, and if so, why? The answer, which is of course, yes, happens to shed light on the concept of karma.

We do choose our parents. Yet it isn't merely the parents that we select, but the lifestyle, personalities, and experience a particular family offers. This is a selection over which our angels hold particular influence. There may be many sets of parents who are attractive to the incoming entity, and it is only with the angels’ help that the right ones are chosen. Even though we may be completely unhappy with our parents—and at one time or another most of us have felt this way—ours are the correct parents for our soul’s karmic needs.

Angels are able to access the Akashic records and to note an entity’s past deeds, intent and experiences. When it’s the soul’s turn to come into a physical body, a great deal of effort and co-ordination is involved. Should the entity be born to a single mother? Should it be adopted? Should there be two devoted, loving parents?

The possibilities are carefully explained to the entity. A lifetime of easy karma, comfort, and affluence, may offer little opportunity for growth or challenge. A lifetime of difficult karma, however, may be just what the soul needs to balance previous experiences, and proceed at an accelerated pace.

Being born into poverty to a single mother, may, for example, work out unfinished karma of a lifetime of selfishness. There may be a physical handicap, such as a short leg and a limp, to help work out the karma from the lifetime as a soldier when the entity took pleasure in maiming and killing. The problem with this soul was not that he killed, but with his attitude of enjoying the suffering of others. This is not in keeping with the universal law of love and compassion. Since at the time of his death the entity had still not learned compassion or mercy, his is considered to be unfinished karma.

While the angels of the Akashic records are patiently explaining to the protesting entity why he needs a life of deprivation rather than one of luxury, the birth experience might actually be occurring. This would explain why so many babies are born howling…

Before the birth experience many souls enter and leave or “visit” the developing embryo or fetus. This coming and going can occur up to six months after birth. Sometimes it happens that a soul will enter the embryo at conception and stay for a lifetime. On other occasions, no soul will stay within the fetus, unable to find the experience or vibratory level compatible with his needs. When this coincides with the parents needing that particular karmic experience, a stillbirth or miscarriage (or abortion) can occur.

A soul has to be born at the right time, in addition to being born to the proper parents and place. Can you imagine the cosmic work that’s involved in a challenge like that? When an entity takes his first breath, he is astrologically programmed for life, within an ethereal grid that stays with him for that entire lifetime. This grid indicates the lessons to be learned and to what degree. This pattern can be read in the aura, or the individual's electric field. Since astrological patterns contain all past, present, and future karmic indications, it is essential that the person be born at the precisely correct moment in time, and to the right parents.

Some parents need the experience of raising children born to somebody else, perhaps balancing the act of giving up one's own children at another time. So too, the birth mother may need a wrenching or a relieving experience, perhaps having perceived life with indifference, or still harboring grief over a related experience.

Incoming souls given up by the mother have experienced a cut-off from one of the most important ties a person can have. In another incarnation they may not have appreciated the bond of motherhood, or may have abused it, rejected it, or simply under-appreciated it, or may have been a child who left or hurt his parents. Having done the rejecting in another life they now have to experience rejection to fully understand that this is not God’s plan.

On the other hand, the adoptive mother in this incarnation is desperately seeking maternal satisfaction. Having not succeeded at natural conception, possibly due to having failed to appreciation the blessings of motherhood, she is now given the opportunity of having a child.

When a surrogate mother refuses to let go of her child sometimes her soul memory is jogged, and while it is true that she is reneging on the promise of a contractual arrangement, sometimes nature can’t be ignored. As in the case of infertility, nature has to be dealt with honestly. The Universal plan may be that the natural child stays with the natural mother. God may not care about contracts where a baby is concerned.

The mother's soul memory, or the Akashic record, may be touched when she's seeing her child for the first time, or it kicks in her womb and she realizes it belongs to her. Many of the fathers involved in the surrogate relationship have felt cheated, and have fought to the death to get their children, who often have come from their seed. Such a father may also have in his soul memory the experience of rejecting of an incoming child, or in some way failing to appreciate the bond of fatherhood.

Excerpts from the book Why Am I Here? A Revelatory Guide to Your Purpose and Potential By Joyce Keller with Elaine J. Keller