Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The sweet face of Jesus

Two weeks ago we started fostering a little baby girl, eight weeks old. She came to us when the mother and father voluntarily placed her through DCF for 90 days. I don't want to say anything that might compromise the privacy of the family, but the parents are young, and drugs coupled with domestic violence is involved.

So here we are, two dogs, three kids and a newborn, my husband works two jobs, trying to get through the days of exhaustion and craziness. It's exhausting. And exhilarating. And scary.

I certainly never planned on being a foster mom. I'm doing it because I was asked to do it. I get a little uncomfortable with some of the comments I get "You are so good to do this." "What an angel you are." Actually, I'm neither. I just happen to be a stay at home mom who can take care of a baby.

What really makes me think, though, is the common theme that it will be really hard to give her back to her parents. It's true, it will be really hard. But she doesn't belong to me, any more than my own children do. They are loaned to me by God, and my job is to give them back to Him. As Catholics, we believe our job as parents is to get our children's souls into heaven.

This little baby, I am sure, will break my heart. I love her as my own biological child, and II feel a unique responsibility to care for her - her mother has entrusted her to my care, but above this, I believe God has asked us to take care of this child. I don't know if she will stay with us, or go home tomorrow, but I know that I cannot close off my heart to her because she is only here temporarily.  

Mother Teresa said that Jesus came to her in the distressing disguise of the most poor, the most unwanted, the most diseased. She did what she did, as do all of the Missionaries of Charity, out of love for Jesus. She always said she was not a social worker - she was a bride of Christ, doing God's will and seeing Jesus in every person.

Jesus has come to me as a helpless, vulnerable baby. He is telling me I am worthy of His love. I am worthy to care for Him. What if I said no? I am too busy, too tired, too frightened...What would I say to Him when I meet Him face to face? I have to give my all, and when my all doesn't seem up to the task, I ask Him for strength and He gives it to me.

How is Jesus coming to you today? How will you answer His call?                                                                                                                                            sus

Monday, January 2, 2012

"They don't care about babies."

One of the common themes of Planned Parenthood's rhetoric is that pro-lifers don't really care about babies. They claim that the "radical right/Christians" are crazy, violent fanatics bent on taking away a woman's rights, but once the baby is here, we scatter and are nowhere to be found.

When I worked for Planned Parenthood, I really believed this. Not being personally acquainted with anyone on the "other side," I truly thought all pro-lifers were women-haters obsessed with controlling women's autonomy.

As a women's studies major in college, I was taught that feminism was synonymous with progressive-ism. Feminists could not be racist, because we were fighting against oppression. Feminism equaled anti-poverty, anti-racism, anti-oppression in all forms, because once the genders were "equal" society would be perfect.

 Planned Parenthood has been extremely effective in marketing itself as a "pro-women's" organization. It has allied itself with radical feminists, such as Gloria Steinem, and in doing so has effectively crushed any dissent. Any criticism of PP is perceived and labeled as an attack on womanhood itself. (Or, womynhood, as some feminists prefer to spell it). This rhetoric has become so accepted by the popular culture and media that nobody even questions it.

Yet, one of the first things that troubled me while I was working at PP was the overt racism and classism that permeated its mentality and business practices. In fact, one of the prime arguments of PP supporters is "how are the antiabortion extremists going to pay for all these babies on welfare? How are they going to support all of these poor women?" Basically they are saying that if you are poor you should have an abortion so we don't have to pay for all your d*&n kids! Right?

The logic is that an unwanted baby = misery, drugs, violence and poverty, therefore abortion is the answer. Does that make sense to you? I started to realize how awful it was that the largest "feminist" organization was the worst perpetrator of violence against women. Because abortion is a violent act. It intentionally murders a child. A child inside a woman's womb. PP doesn't care why you want the abortion - they just want you to have it. The majority of women I dealt with were having abortions because a baby didn't fit into their life plans. We never counseled them as to how they could have their baby and still have a great life, we simply took their medical history and sent them to the abortion room.

Here is what I have learned.  They lied to me. They lied to me, manipulated me, and used me to murder babies. And the so-called radical fanatics? They are the only ones doing anything for babies. They financially support women who need it, they pay for cars, apartments, doctor appointments. They help people get housing, medical care, parenting classes, birthing classes, clothes for baby, diapers, daycare. they do whatever it takes to help women have their babies.

. I don't want to give any details that might compromise the privacy of the mother, but through a mutual friend I met a young lady last summer who was thinking of having an abortion. She was in her second-trimester. After emailing and sending her some information, she decided to have the baby. Now, she is not in the best relationship and the baby tested positive for drugs when he was born, but mom is trying to do all the right things because she loves her baby and wants to be a great mom. My husband and I are foster parents to the baby and have taken her into our home so that her mom can get her life together. Now, Planned Parenthood says she should have had an abortion. As I gaze down on this precious child, I can only think that she disagrees. And her mom, who had she walked into PP would have had an abortion, is so happy she chose the gift of life for her child.

Planned Parenthood claims pro-lifers and crisis pregnancy centers trick women and don't really help them. I have living proof that this is not true.If this mother had an abortion, she would have to live with that for the rest of her life. Already using drugs and in a bad relationship, she might have sunk lower and lower into despair. But now, having a child, she is trying to do the right thing and get her life together. Her child has given her hope!