Making babies and loving them: Starting the conversation about the joys of parenting

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“The beautiful gift God has given our congregation is to fight abortion by adoption.”
— Mother Teresa

Happy Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to all you moms and dads out there. And to all of you who might be on the verge of becoming a parent, I say congratulations as well.

And to any of you who are foster parents or thinking of adopting, thank you so much for the incredible blessings that you are giving to a child. May is National Foster Care Month — a time to celebrate those who have opened their hearts and homes to those who have lost their parents or whose parents cannot fulfill their parental duties.

Chris Benguhe is a columnist for The Catholic Sun. Opinions expressed are the writers’ and not necessarily the views of The Catholic Sun or the Diocese of Phoenix.
Chris Benguhe is a columnist for The Catholic Sun. Opinions expressed are the writers’ and not necessarily the views of The Catholic Sun or the Diocese of Phoenix.

Together we should all take an important moment to recognize the value, the blessings, and the gift of parenting and the opportunity it brings.

And finally to give what might be a forgotten but extremely important thank you to any and all of you who have chosen to become parents rather than aborting a child. You are part of the reason we can also celebrate the fact that the U.S. abortion rate declined by more than one-third over the past two decades to a record low, the lowest abortion rate since the CDC began tracking the procedure in 1976.

There have been many reasons offered for the reduction from stricter laws to better education. But I would like to offer another view and idea for how we can bring the number even lower in the future.

Maybe if we as a society talk about the value and blessings of parenting, and more about the option of foster care and adoption, it would go a long way to changing the conversation and the situation in America revolving around abortion. That might be the best way we can continue to bring down the number of abortions.

I raise this issue at this time of year because parenting and its importance only seems to get discussed in America in the public square from a negative perspective when some individual or group is being castigated for not doing it well. Or in the occasional fluff pieces that feature a beautiful parent/child story. Great stories all of them, but never linked to the bigger picture.

What doesn’t get talked about much is the powerful blessings of parenthood in general. I myself am not a parent, but I have interviewed countless parents from a hundred different situations including those who have placed their children in adoptive care. The extraordinary gratitude, positivity and love those parents felt was undeniable, even when the circumstances of their parenthood was not ideal.

I have never heard any single parent tell me they wish they never had their child. On the contrary they have always told me how much that child has made their life and love more abundant. That includes a woman I knew who gave birth as a teenager then signed adoption papers.

As I watch and listen to people on the pro-life and the pro-choice movements argue their case, I hear a great deal of talk about right, wrong and rights. But what I wish I heard more of was the idea of that blessing and amazing feeling of love. That which is always connected to being a parent, whether it’s the joy of having a child, adopting a child or even the knowledge that you gave a child a life, even if adoptive parents raised your child. Why isn’t that a huge part of the conversation?

That’s what we all could and should be talking more about in our politics, in our newspapers and newsrooms and in our movies and our living rooms.

If it was, then maybe it would be easier to make people realize the single most beautiful thing a society can do to prosper is to produce and protect the next generation. Not to destroy it whether in the womb or later in life by not respectfully rearing those children, or choosing not to adopt them when they need good homes and parents yearning to love and be loved.

Hopefully I just started the conversation here. Now it’s your turn to adopt a Better View on the topic.

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