Letters to the editor – August 12, 2010

| August 17, 2010 | 0 Comments

Birth mothers deserve our thanks and blessings

Mail envelopeAs an adoptive mother, I was pleased to read about the Day of Honor and Recognition for Birth mothers in The Catholic Spirit [July 1]. Although my daughter and I always keep a day to honor her birth mother, it is important for birth mothers to know that we are forever grateful for their sacrifices.

Personally, I was still reeling from an earlier remark made in The Catholic Spirit by Teresa Collett [Jan. 28]. She said that a child thrives best when raised by its biological parents. This is a hurtful and misinformed statement regarding adoptive families and birth mothers alike.

As part of our family’s pre-adoptions preparation, we listened to birth mothers’ testimonies. Their stories were raw, painful, courageous and beautiful.

The testimony I will never forget was one where a young birth ­mother acknowledged that the hardest thing anyone ever said to her while she was making her difficult decision was, “You have to do what’s right for you.” Through her tears she told us that keeping her baby would have been right for her, but she had to think of her baby’s needs first. So, she made an adoption plan because she did not think her child would thrive best if she raised her.

It is an often heard sentiment that to adopt is “a leap of faith.” I suppose it is, but it must be even more so for the birth mothers. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of my own adoptive daughter’s birth mother and whisper prayers of thanks as well as blessings for her. What if she had thought it was simpler to have an abortion? Instead, she risked everything by making the only adoption plan available to her in China — leaving her child at an orphanage.  She is my hero.  In fact, all birth mothers are who put their children’s needs before their own.

Someday my daughter will understand her birth mother’s act of bravery and complete selflessness. We will continue to honor her by lighting two candles in our church on the anniversary of the day she left that little bundle at the orphanage gate. We will pray for my daughter’s birth parents and I will silently thank them for being so brave. Then, I will thank God for bringing us together — my daughter who is not part of my body but will always be part of my soul.

As pro-life Catholics, we need to be more supportive of birth mothers through our actions, and more sensitive through our words.

Greta Schertler

Nativity of Our Lord, St. Paul

Birth mothers retreat appreciated

I wanted to write to thank the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Catholic Charities for recognizing birth mothers enough to set up a retreat just for us.

I received The Catholic Spirit several years ago, and then stopped when I moved.  I recently subscribed again through my parish, and the first edition I received in June had an article on birth parents and mentioned the retreat. I was floored — no one ever thinks of this special group of women!  Like Ms. Sperrazza in the article, I, too, felt I didn’t deserve to stand during the Mother’s Day blessing in church, though I considered myself a mother.

I signed up and was so blessed to be in a room with 34 other women who also relinquished their children — though many of them were forced to, at least I had a choice. Thank goodness things have changed.

I was so happy to see a priest there, available to talk to us, and who celebrated Mass just for us. I was with a loving group of women who understood what it felt like, who have been through the shame of pregnancy outside of marriage, and the complete and unending heartache of placing a beloved child for adoption — the part of the triangle between the birth parents, the baby and the adoptive family that no one ever thinks of or remembers.

I can’t express my gratitude enough. Thank you.

Barb Steffes LeCuyer
St. Wenceslaus, New Prague

Children shouldn’t disturb at Mass

I read the editorial “Small children at Mass? We need more of them” [July 29] and couldn’t disagree more.

My wife and I had four children. While any of them were infants or toddlers we attended separate Masses so that one of us was at home with them. When they were able to understand we took them to Mass, where they made the Sign of the Cross, sat, stood, kneeled and put money in the collection basket. No coloring books or cereal. They accompanied us at Communion time with their arms crossed and their hands on the opposite shoulders.

I might add that this enabled us to concentrate on what we were saying instead of just uttering words while our minds were on what the children were doing.

Roland Franceschi


Category: From Readers