Yesterday we had the privilege of joining the Respect Life Apostolate and over 700 attendees for the annual Respect Life Convention, held in St. Charles. It was the 41st year this convention has been held, and the theme for 2017 was “Celebrate Life”.
In joining with agencies, organizations, parishes, and individuals, we had the gift of seeing the incredible pro-life work that is being done in our community. In addition to seeing the great presence respecting, supporting, and uplifting life in St. Louis, we also had the opportunity to hear from many of those who are celebrating life. The keynote speaker was John Foppe, who gave a powerful testimony to respecting all forms of life. Read more about John here.
After lunch and John’s witness, the conference broke out into workshops. Our very own Infant Adoption program was featured as one of the workshops entitled “Adoption: A Pro-Life Option”, presented by the Office of Natural Family Planning and Good Shepherd. Our Expectant Parent/Infant Adoption Liaision, Jessica, and our Infant Adoption Coordinator, Mary, both presented. We also had the gift of one of our adoptive families, Lauren and Matt, share their experiences with growing their family through the adoption of their daughter, Claire, in spring of 2016.
It was an invaluable gift to hear from so many different sides of the adoption process. Mary, who brings over forty years of experience, shared what it’s like working with adoptive families and how adoptions have changed since she began her career in the early 1970s. Jessica, an adoptive parent herself, was able to touch on the aspects of working with birth mothers and how the language we use surrounding adoption influences our perspective. Lauren and Matt gave a beautiful testimony of what it was like struggling with infertility, pregnancy loss, and how they chose adoption. As they were speaking and sharing their family’s story, 18-month-old Claire joined the audience with her grandparents, occasionally chiming in and saying “hi” to her mom and dad as they stood at the podium.
The entire day was an incredible witness to the way life is respected in our community. Thank you to the Respect Life Apostolate, the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and all that helped to make the 41st Annual Respect Life conference a reality!