Pro-Life is Complicated, and How You Can Help

Last month we had the unfortunate anniversary of Roe v Wade. Many cities, including my own Los Angeles, hosted Walks for Life, but our family wasn't there. We weren't there because we were at a funeral, for a baby named Emily Rose Marie.

We are fortunate enough to live in a vibrant Catholic community, and the church was packed with families. And I couldn't help thinking how very pro-life that funeral was.

Because everyone there knew that Baby Emily wasn't going to live long. There was a great deal of doubt that she would survive her birth. But she did. And she lived for six weeks past it. The whole of her life, people who loved her provided meals and support to her family. Her tiny life touched others and brought them together in love.

In the circles in which I run, we often think that being pro-life means having lots of babies.

Some folks on the other side, of course, think that being pro-life means putting a bunch of uncaring rules on people.

We know THAT'S not true, but what I think we sometimes forget is that being pro-life means so much more than not having abortions. For some, it means having more kids or fewer kids than you thought you would, or none at all. For a few, like our friends, it means cherishing a life for the short time you get to have it. For many, it means accepting a child who isn't exactly who or when or what you had hoped or planned for, and finding the beauty in that.

If you've been following my blog for a while now, you might remember the story of my sister- and brother-in law.

They were one of the cautionary tales in this post:

Dear Newlywed, You're Probably Worried About the Wrong Thing

They spent many years trying everything they could try in good conscience . . . and weren't able to have a baby.

Two years ago, my sister-in-law visited the Trappist Monks of Our Lady of the Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, VA. She and my brother-in-law decided to sponsor a giveaway on my blog, to send someone on a retreat with the monks to pray for their intentions. And four months later, they became the parents of a handsome little guy they named Luke, adopted in June of 2014.

Prayers answered, right?! Yay!

But God wasn't quite done with them yet. Because when our family went out to Washington D.C. last spring to meet baby Luke, she and I were BOTH sporting baby bumps. This despite being told by fertility experts that it was very unlikely that they would ever conceive.

So, our cousin Brendan was born in August, just a couple of weeks after Mary Jane was born, and ten months after his brother Luke.

Two babies in a year. The whole family was thrilled, especially after having wondered for so long if they'd have any children at all. Good to go, right?

Nope, not quite yet.

Just a couple of months later, they got a call from their social worker that Luke's birth mother was expecting again, and was hoping that my brother- and sister-in-law would adopt this baby too.

Another boy, due in May of 2016. Eleven months younger than Brendan.

And after hoping and praying for so many years, how could they say anything but, "yes."

Since the adoption is through an agency again, they are incurring all of the same expenses as their first adoption.

I told them that after all the readers of this blog have been through with them, I thought we could help. I asked them to set up a crowdfunding site, and they did.

You can find it here. That day at the funeral really convinced me that we are all made better when we live out our pro-life convictions together.

Update: I'm so excited by your donations, you guys. Seriously. I'm seeing all these names I know from comments and Facebook and I'm tearing up and I'm not even pregnant. (I think. I really shouldn't ever say that.) So, here's a free printable for you all, whether you donate or not, just because you guys are the best. :)

As with all my printables, you are welcome to save the images to your computer for your own personal use. You may print the images and / or upload them and have prints made for your personal use or to give as gifts. First click on the image to bring it up in a new window, then right click on the image to save it to your computer. You may use my images on your blog, just please link back to my blog. If you would like to sell my images, please contact me first.

For LOTS MORE free printable prayers, check out my Pinterest board.

And for custom images, old favorites, and prayers, quotes, scripture, and catechism, available as high quality digital downloads, check out the shop!

And, because I seriously cannot stop with the picMonkey-ing even when I am definitely supposed to be working on writing projects . . . I created new sections in both the Etsy Shop and the CafePress Shop with all new printables and items for babies and about babies and 100% OF THE PROFITS FROM ANYTHING SOLD IN EITHER SHOP SECTION UNTIL MAY WILL GO TO HELP COVER ADOPTION EXPENSES.

Here are all the new printables in the Etsy Shop:

Adopted Too, Fictional Friends 8x10 Quote Set {digital download} Set 1: Anne of Green Gables, Princess Leia, Dorothy of Oz
Also available in pastels, by request!

Adopted Too, Fictional Friends 8x10 Quote Set {digital download} Set 2: Spiderman, Superman, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I Prayed For This Child 8x10 Quote Set {digital download}

They Prayed for Me 8x10 Quote Set {digital download}

Every Good and Perfect Gift / I Was Born to Do This 8x10 Quote Set in blue {digital download}
or in red

And here is all the new gear in the Cafe Press Shop:

Gifts for babies . . . here and here
Gifts for moms . . . here and here

Gifts for babies AND moms . . . here and here

And a whole bunch more stuff for moms, babies, and kids including gowns, onsies, bibs, blankets, burp cloths, t-shirts, sweat shirts, necklaces, key chains, journals, note cards, pillows, posters, and framed prints.

If you don't see a particular image on a particular item, just let me know and I can make it up. (Except I can't put Superhero or Star Wars images in the Cafe Press Shop.)

We would all also very much appreciate your prayers, whether or not you can contribute.

I hope you have a very festive Fat Tuesday and a most fruitful Lent!