When many people think of the pro-life movement, the first thing that comes to mind is being anti-abortion. Although this is certainly a large part of the movement, as Catholics we are taught that being pro-life means being open to all life; from conception to natural death. Adoption is often an overlooked part of the pro-life movement.
However, it is in fact a crucial part of being pro-life because it provides a child with an opportunity to be part of a forever family. I have had the unique, yet beautiful experience of learning how adoption is part of the pro-life movement.
I am the oldest child in my family. I have one biological brother, and three adopted sisters. For as long as I can remember, my parents always talked about growing our family through adoption. Before moving to North Carolina, my parents started going through the adoption preparations with an open adoption agency in Chicago. However, when my mom’s job moved our family, we decided to put a pause on the adoption process.
After a few years of living in North Carolina and not much luck with any adoption agencies in our area, my parents decided that they would explore fostering. On March 26, 2013, my family received a phone call that two little girls, Mulan and Christly, ages two-and-a-half and four months, respectively, were entering foster care, and needed a home that same night. In just a few short hours, our family of four became a family of six.
After a long year of making adjustments to our schedules, monthly court hearings and countless home visits, my mom received a call from the social worker assigned to Mulan and Christly’s case. She shared that their birth mother was about to give birth to another baby girl and that she was unable to care for her; she, like her sisters, would be entering foster care. After a brief family discussion, we decided that we would request that she join our family to make sure all the sisters stayed together.
On March 17, 2014, Mia was born, and two days later, my mom went to the hospital nursery to pick her up. We then became a family of seven.
This was only the beginning of our long journey to adoption. Our story is especially complex because there were two separate cases open since the girls did not enter foster care at the same time. This meant double the court hearings and double the home visits.
After 1480 days (four years, 19 days) in foster care, 119 home visits, six social workers, and 144 pages of documentation, my family finalized the adoptions of my sisters in April 2017. The court made official what we had known for years: we are a forever family!
As an active member of the pro-life community, I believe that it is important to spread awareness of the beauty of adoption. Sadly, it is not talked about as much as it should. We need to share the good news that adoption can help redeem the difficulties of unplanned and unwelcomed pregnancies and make a positive impact on all involved in the “adoption triad”: the child gains a family, the adoptive family gains a child and the birth mother can work to meet her needs while knowing her child is being loved and cared for.
To encourage women to choose life, we need to show that adoption can be a beautiful and supportive option for those birth mothers who do not feel like they can take on the responsibilities of raising a child.