October is Respect Life Month. It's a time where we give a special focus to the sanctity of life at all ages - from the pre-born to the elderly and also the disabled and those with special needs. This past Saturday night I had the pleasure of MC'ing (I don't think that's a word) the Foundations of Life Gala to benefit the Foundations of Life Pregnancy Centers, ministries of Catholic Charities.
Like many of our local pregnancy centers, the FOL centers are a beacon of hope to so many families in our area. This year they administered 424 pregnancy tests, gave 312 ultrasounds and handed out over 32,000 diapers plus wipes. And it wouldn't have happened without the help of over 2,300 hours of volunteer work. If you are interested in giving your time or donations, click on the link above.
The testimonial given on Saturday was unbelievable. I'll sum it up quickly although it's no short story. The young woman was married at 17 and became pregnant shortly thereafter. At an early appointment she was told she was having twins. The following appointment, triplets. The following appointment, quads. She said what I was thinking, "My husband said, we're not coming back for another appointment!". One of the four babies died and they were advised to terminate the pregnancy because there were signs that there would be problems with the other three. She was told she could take five minutes to talk it over with her husband. Five minutes.
Abortion wasn't an option. They headed to church to pray for strength. She said, "God, if it's your will that I have three disabled children, then it is your will." WOW. She (now 19) and her husband now have healthy, happy 15-month-old identical triplet boys. Sadly, a few months ago she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, which from the sounds of it, the doctors wouldn't have found if not for treatment related to the pregnancy. So on some days when she would get her chemo treatment her husband would have to take off work. They struggled to pay their bills and sometimes didn't have money for wipes, diapers or food, so they looked to Catholic Charities for help. She said the highlight of her month is to go to her appointment at FOL and her counselor there calls her a hero. I agree.
In celebration of Respect Life Month, I have a special giveaway. Maybe you need some encouragement and a reminder that motherhood is a gift, children are a blessing and marriage is a sacrament, then the book, The Life I Dreamed by Kari Burke is perfect for you. You know the drill. Leave a comment to enter to win!