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.

Advertisements

Merry Christmas 2013

Christmas day

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating and Happy Holidays as well. Today was our home family Christmas celebration and it was a great deal of fun and luckily more relaxing because we were all pretty exhausted.

How we all felt Christmas Morning. LOL

How we all felt Christmas Morning. LOL

LM was more excited upon waking up that Doctor Who was on than the fact that there were presents under the Christmas tree but she got the hang of it soon.

christmas day2

Kipper was lounging in LM’s new play kitchen sink having a good time. When LM pulled the paper off and saw the kitchen she was way more excited that Kipper was there than anything else. She spent the whole afternoon watching Doctor Who and playing with her kitchen and it’s pieces. It was so nice to just relax at home and have our family time. We are truly blessed.

christmas day3 christmas day4

We haven’t decided quite when we will take the Christmas tree and decorations down (sometime before New Years I am sure but perhaps we will wait until Epiphany) but we did decide that until such time as we do Kipper will remain in a “chill” status. He hangs out in LM’s basket above her kitchen and she plays with him a little bit. When holiday celebrations settle down we will pick a date to take our stuff down and then Kipper will say his goodbyes. I think that will allow LM to get used to him not being as much of a factor in her daily life and we can phase him out until next year.

What a wonderful Christmas season this is and for us as Byzantine Catholics it isn’t over just yet. We start now the 12 days of Christmas as we read readings of holy follows and the journeys that lead to Epiphany, January 6th the visit of the Magi to baby Jesus. For us, the Christmas season ends then.

Blessings to you all.

Kipper’s Day 4

Day4 Elf

 

LM was very excited to find Kipper relaxing on the dining room table this morning surrounding by a very fun activity. All set up with paint and glitter Kipper had a set of Matryoshka nesting dolls all ready to be painted and designed just by her. These dolls are often seen in our Byzantine Catholic Faith and used  for a variety of purposes and activities. While often painted as depictions of Russian peasants or grand designs of Russian buildings, and churches, they can be found these days in many different styles.

day4.4

 

Day4.3

 

LM’s design was far from the typical Matryoshka design but I know will be a huge hit as a decoration each year. SCM may add eyes and a face to them if LM approves once they dry. We opted not to do the WHOLE set today and just did the largest one. The rest we will finish throughout the season with different paints, or perhaps stickers and crayons as well. I cannot wait to see how she finishes the whole set.

Beautiful Finished Product!

Beautiful Finished Product!

 

Along with her activity today Kipper indulged in some more ring around the rosie, riding her stick horsey, and even having a not so pretend sip or two of milk. The fun and glee she gets from him each day is truly contagious and I look forward to it.

What did your Elf get up to today?