Miracle Monday: Letter from a Birth Mom

Today at The R House I came across this letter from a birthmother to her child, explaining the way she came to decide on adoption. Mrs.R’s post “Another Reason I Love Open Adoption” is a compelling one. And I wanted to pass it along in case you’re interested in reading about open adoption. (I believe Mrs. R is a foster-adoptive mother.)

Bottom line: The birth mom in this letter had a loving, supportive friend made it possible for her to weigh her options — all her options — completely and without judgment.  You can read the story here.

Like many young moms, she started out vascillating between motherhood and abortion. Only gradually, as she learned more about adoption and realized how unprepared she and the child’s father were for parenthood, did she find the courage to reconsider her original position.

It’s not often you find such selfless courage. May God bless her for it.

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NYTimes: “Abortion Foes Tell Their Journey to the Streets”

Today I came across “Abortion Foes Tell Their Journey to the Streets,” a remarkable article in the New York Times by Damien Cave, which (though not entirely sympathetic to the pro-life cause, as the title suggests) nevertheless provided a truly useful and balanced account of those who consider themselves pro-life. Far more balanced than I would have thought possible in the New York Times, frankly.

The commentary is predictably negative: (a) denial (no such thing as absolute truth), (b) demonize (those with religious convictions just want to oppress women), (c) distraction (why aren’t pro-lifers doing more to help children already born?). However, there was one response that struck me as being one of the few that truly invited discussion and further reflection, and I wanted to post it here.

J. Eve, Florida
“I think it’s a shame that this discussion seems to have deteriorated into a question of choice vs. no-choice. I believe the real question is where life begins and ends and who controls it.

“When does life begin? Is it when biological processes are initiated? When consciousness is reached or is it a spark of the divine that creates a “living soul”? Is a comatose person on a ventilator truly alive? Are individuals that died and were resuscitated dead while their heart stopped beating; or when brain death occurred? With medical science pushing further and further out in it’s abilities to sustain life, even prenatal life, where do we as a culture decide life begins. Should abortions be stopped beyond the time of medical viability?

“When is medical viability? Could it be considered after the first trimester when the majority of spontaneous abortions cease or 28 weeks when a child may survive outside the womb with medical assistance? From the perspective of genetics a baby is separate and individual, though dependent, from the moment of conception. Some might say that yes, a fetus is genetically individual but then so is a tumor, so what separates a baby from a tumor? Is it merely someone stating that the baby is of benefit or desirable? How do you decide when science has not been able to define these answers? Religion and philosophy are left to fill the gaps.

“It is unfair to ask young women to make decisions about someone else’s life, without making them aware of the complexity and psycho-social ramifications of this issue. Some people would say that her choice was made when she chose to have sex, supposedly possessing the understanding, maturity and forethought to understand the consequences. I tend to believe that the typical teenager or young adult if woefully ill prepared to deal with the consequences or the choice of abortion. They may have been taught about birth control or STD’s, but has anyone introduced them to the differing philosophies on life; reality of the power and responsibility inherent in the ability to create more life?

“My public school education was woefully lacking in those areas and only when I became a health care professional did I begin to understand the complexity of the question, and the weight of having someone else’s life in my hands. Since we cannot define life or abortion in merely scientific terms it is reckless in the extreme to try and exclude philosophical viewpoints from individuals making adult decisions whether they are offensive or not. Instead I am in favor of an educational program that addresses all viewpoints on life secular and religious; with a foundation in scientific understanding as we know it, as well as experiences that expose women and men to the realities of birth, life, death, pregnancy, and parenthood. What a great alternative that would be to the shallow selfishness of “it’s my body and I can do what I want to” of which some people seem to be so fond.”

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

small-family1Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunication, the day the angel appeared to Mary and announced that God had chosen her to be the mother of the Incarnate Christ. Her gesture of obedience — the “yes” to God’s plan for her to become a mother while she was still unmarried, and to raise His only Son to manhood — was an act of pure courage.

God’s act, one of pure mercy. Despite the fact that the world didn’t understand, didn’t recognize, and certainly didn’t want the sacrifice … He came and lived among us, first as a helpless infant, then as a young man, then as a teacher … and finally, a living embodiment of God’s eternal grace.

Today, God continues to live among us, though in many ways His Spirit is resisted even more than it was two millennia ago. Lives through the Church, both through the sacraments and in His people. The Spirit continues to speak, through the ongoing tradition and teaching authority of the Apostles and their successors, through the written Word of God, and through divine interventions — miracles — all around us.

Most of the time, we think of these “miracles” as positive outcomes. A healing here, a reconciliation there, a flash of inspiration or transformation that yields tremendous spiritual fruit. And yet, in the words of C.S. Lewis, “God shouts to us through our pain.” From this perspective, even tragedies like this can, from a certain perspective, rightly be seen as divine intervention. Our Good Shepherd knows what it will take to reach even the most stubborn sheep.

May God grant that even in this situation, the shout of His Spirit fall on ears ready and willing to listen.

Miracle Monday: A Daughter’s Story of Life

handy-ultrasound

The other day “Mighty Mom” sent me this link to a moving story about a mother who chose life for her daughter, despite having every medical reason not to do so!

Thanks, Sarah, for being willing to share your story.  Your mom sounds like an amazing woman.

(At the author’s request, this story may not be reproduced without her permission. But please do follow the link and read it … you’ll be glad you did!)

Sent the President a Valentine…

missing-piece1This idea came from Alexa — for all of us who are praying for a change of heart in our president concerning his stance on abortion.

Get a red envelope. On the front, address it to:

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

On the back of the envelope, write the following message.

This envelope represents one child who died in abortion.
It is empty because that life was unable to offer anything to the world.
Responsibility begins with conception.

Put it in the mail, and send it. Then forward this to every one of your friends who you think would send one too. I wish we could send 50 million red envelopes, one for every child who died before having a chance to live. Maybe it will change the heart of the president.

If you’re looking for another way to celebrate the holiday, pick up a copy of Lee Ezell’s book The Missing Piece, a touching account of her only child, who was conceived after Lee was sexually assaulted. She made an adoption plan for her daughter … and years later was reunited with her.

A wonderful book for any woman, but a real Godsend for any woman in a crisis pregnancy. Pick up a copy today!

From OSV Daily: Baby Thrown Away

Today at the OSV Daily is a report from AP about an infant scheduled for abortion who was born alive … then place in a plastic bag for disposal.

In the first century AD in the Roman Empire, Christians were a hunted sect … yet they had many converts from among the Roman citizenry because of their loving care for the sick and imprisoned, and their practice of adopting infants who had been discarded by their parents. (Infanticide was legal up to the eighth day of the child’s life.)

We cannot count on our leaders to denounce this kind of horror. Indeed, President Obama has made this abundantly clear. And yet, history has taught us … no nation can remain strong, or continue for long, if this kind of moral cancer encroaches unchecked among our people.

How can we ask God to bless America, if we throw away His most precious gifts?