Unwed Pregnancy, the Stigma Needs to Stop

I recently read an amazing blog post by one Chad Ashby that moved me very much and I feel called to discuss it. His article, entitled “Brothers and Sisters, Unwed Pregnancy is not a Sin” is about as on point as one can get. I urge each and everyone reading to click his link and read his powerful and ever so true words. This thought process is a huge flaw in the pro-life movement and in the mindset of many people in general.

When I was pregnant with AG, my birth-daughter, I was young, alone, afraid, and not ready for the world to know I was pregnant. Raised in a very religious household and within a very strict community I knew what people would think, or say, no matter what was actually the truth. Once people started to find out the whispers began. And it wasn’t outsiders that whispered, it wasn’t members of my town or strangers. No, it was people I had once called friends, it was family, it was the congregation at church. It was easier to shun me and call me names than dare accept me or the child in my womb. And yet each one of these individuals called themselves “pro-life”.

I was chastised on a regular basis for being joyful about my pregnancy despite its struggles and difficulties. This was unfathomable to me. Why wouldn’t I be joyful? It’s a life. And yet I had people around me telling me to not be happy, that things were horrible, that I was horrible.

It was this point in my life where my faith was truly tested, and quite honestly it was at this point that it started to first crack. I saw around me, constantly, members of my church, people of my faith openly condemning me for my pregnancy and my choices in that pregnancy. I struggled to rectify beliefs with the actions of the people I was surrounded by. It was in this darkness, feeling utterly and completely alone and abandoned that I found my safe haven.

The Nurturing Network gave me hope again. Pairing me with a peer counselor, helping me make doctors appointments, and reminding me that I was worth it and that my life would be okay and so would my child’s. Mary and Ann helped me beyond measure and through them and my counselor I met the women my daughter would call mom.

I had many people tell me what I should do, what I needed to do, even commanded of what I had to do. But through the support of the Network I was able to make those decisions for myself. It wasn’t easy, but my knowledge of child development, life, and my ability to see where I was at in it I knew in my heart that adoption was the best possible thing I could do for my child. I was unsure of how it would work but through the support of the family and the Network I am blessed to have an open adoption and the ability to see my first daughter grow up every day.

I am blessed beyond measure to have found an outreach that reminded me that unwed pregnancy isn’t a sin and that I had no reason to allow myself to be cast aside or treated as infected. If one is going to preach “pro-life” in any capacity one must know truly what it means and how to advocate for it. Because if we condemn a mother for being pregnant we condemn that child inside her and there is nothing pro-life about that.

Mr. Ashby had a very good line in his article stating

When we overlook sexual immorality but condemn unwed pregnancy we spread Satan’s lie: “Fornication is fine, but babies are bad.”

How true that statement really is.

It’s time the the “Pro-Life” community, and the Catholic community especially realize that unwed pregnancy isn’t a sin and that by continuing to operate under that overly pious belief and react in manners that tear down unwed pregnant women or make them feel ashamed, you contribute to the destruction of life. And therefore have no right to call yourself “Pro-Life”.  Additionally in that condemnation you pull people from the faith. It is our job as as Catholics, as Christians, to lift up people. To make them feel the love of Christ, a Savior born to an unwed mother himself. Perhaps it’s time to look back on that fact my Catholic brothers and sisters and see the grace, the humility, the love, and the reaction we are supposed to be giving these women.

For Elizabeth said unto Mary “Blest is the fruit of your womb” Luke 1:42

Not what the hell did you do? What were you thinking? How could you? How dare you? For shame? What are we going to do with you? Get out. Not let’s hide you away so no one knows. But “Blest is the fruit of your womb” … with open and loving arms Elizabeth met the unwed Mary. And with open and loving arms so must we meet every pregnant mother that comes our way, wed or unwed. For it is in that we spread the message that life is Scared. Valued. And Irreplaceable.

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Four Years Ago Today…

Four years ago today I woke up early in the morning realizing that 5 days late one very special little girl was about to finally make her entrance into this world. To the hospital at 5am and she was out and crying by the afternoon. An easy and quick birth for an emotional event. Four years ago today I gave birth to my amazing first daughter, my birth daughter. I can’t believe how much she has grown and what the little lady she is today. She may not reside in my home, but she will always be my first little girl and I am blessed to be her first mommy.

The emotional ups and downs of her pregnancy and birth are many and the struggles and decisions that led me to what I did are also numerous but I don’t ever hold a single regret for choosing to give her the life I wanted her to have and the chances and dreams and opportunities I knew I just couldn’t provide for her at that time in my life. I am beyond blessed and thankful for the open adoption and amazing relationship that we as a family hold with her family. I am grateful every day that we are all able to be a part of one another’s life. It is truly a blessing.

Happy 4th Birthday to my Angel Baby and I hope it is a fantastic day for you my darling. ❤

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The Unconventional Family

My family isn’t ordinary, in fact the dynamics of my family I find to be rather extraordinary. My blended family isn’t the typical one many think of, to be sure, it is far from it. While the family that most people see on a regular basis from me is SCM and LM and now the ever growing baby bump, that is far from what my family really is. Beyond the surface is the rest of our family, the first of our family, my birth daughter.

Angel Baby as I have referred to her here a few times is nearly four years old and we see her and her family (her mom, dad, brother, and doggy) a couple times a year and thanks to modern technology stay in touch daily. With the open adoption that we have AB is able to grow up not only knowing where she came from originally and know how much her first family still loves her,  but how grateful *I* am that she has such an amazing family to grow up with. She is also able to see and play with one of her favorite people in the world her “baby shishter” LM which is truly a precious thing to behold. Having the gift to continue to be in AB’s life is truly a blessing, as is the connection that both SCM and I have with her and her family.

This previous weekend (I am so slow at keeping up with this blog it is horrible) AB and her Momma came out to our neck of the woods for a 4 day visit and boy was it a blast. With swim time, sleepovers, play dates, and a big extended family gathering I couldn’t have ask for a better, albeit busy, weekend with my family and I am beyond blessed with what my family is made up of.

I have been ask a few times how I could “give up” my daughter, a term by the way that I loathe, because the truth is I didn’t give her up, I chose a family for her that could, at that point in my life, give her all the things I ever wanted for her. I didn’t lose her I gained a whole other family to add to my own, and that isn’t a sorrowful thing by any means.

And now without further a-do some snapshots of my family on our fantastic gathering!

My girls AB & LM

Me with the girls ❤

The girls and their momma’s.

 

SCM & the girls.

 

AB with her Mom and FIrst Mom. <3<3<3

 

 

Happy Birthday Angel Girl

Three years ago 12/28/2009 I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. So tonight I want to say Happy BIRTHDAY ANGEL GIRL!

I can’t believe it has already been three years. I love getting to see her and her beautiful family, I love watching her grow up into such a spirited girl.

12/28/09 7lbs 1oz 20inches

This year we were able to go visit and boy did Angel Girl have a fantastic time visiting with her “shish-ter” Little Miss!

First time seeing her “shister”

She loved to hug her!

Today! A beautiful big girl! ❤

Our family might not be conventional. In fact it is very unusual but I am extremely blessed because of each and every one of them.

Even the dog got in on this family picture

Me with two gorgeous girls!

Being mothers brought us together – and now we are family. So grateful that Angel Girl has such a fantastic family and that I continue to be able to be a part of her growth, life, experiences, and can continue to learn from her and her family. So beyond blessed.

 

When people hear that I have a child that I chose to have adopted I get a combination of interesting responses, many of which include

I’m sorry

or

Wow how hard

 

But the truth is there is nothing to be sorry about. My birth daughter has a fantastic family of which I am still a part and that is not a sad thing at all. And while it may have been difficult to come to the decision of adoption, and while leaving a hospital without a baby was horribly difficult, and while my pregnancy was emotional, I can say that all and all it isn’t hard, because once I found her family and knew beyond a doubt that they were meant for her, and her for them, she no longer belonged to me in the same way and that was perfectly okay, because while Angel Girl has and will continue to teach me so much she was meant for the family and home she is in and is blossoming ever so wonderfully. It is a special thing to get to watch.

 

Happy Third Birthday Angel Girl!