I Have A Say Thanks to My Mom and Dad!!!

Being the oldest of 11, I am so thankful, especially now, for my Mom and Dad saying "yes" to life! Growing up, we never had a ton of money. My Dad was a high school chemistry teacher and my parents decided from the beginning that they wanted to have one of them home with us. My mom gave up her teaching career, and raised me, followed by 10 others! My Mom also taught all 11 of us at home for part of our childhood before we would head off to Nativity Catholic Grade School. My Dad worked long hours, eventually earning other degrees so that he could first become dean, then principal, and finally, when I was a sophomore, he was named Roncalli High School's first president. My Dad and Mom both sacrificed SO MUCH for us.

I remember, even as a young person, getting stared at by people, and I remember the comments they would make. I can still hear a dental receptionist asking my Mom "Are these all yours? You know how children are made right?" followed by a real insidious but ditzy chuckle, followed by a secretarial gum crackle. My Mom and Dad were always tight budget wise, and I'm sure at times ached with a desire to not have to take bags of clothes from other families so that we could have clothes. I'm sure my Mom and Dad had desires to simply go to Nordstrom and buy us and give us all our own new clothes and Gameboys and Reebok Pumps etc. I'm sure they at times really wished they could just get a new car and not have to drive a fifteen passenger van around. I'm sure at times they wanted really badly to just go to a restaurant and sit back and enjoy a big expensive meal instead of having to cut coupons and craft together economic meals on the stove.

But they chose life for us, and they chose sacrifice for themselves.

I often think about that ditzy secretary now when our family gets together almost every weekend for dinner to laugh and hang out. Some of the siblings might be out of town or busy with other obligations, but inevitably, all weekend long, every weekend, our family gets together. Sometimes, when we're out at a restaraunt, I see the couples who are alone with each other. They hardly talk to each other and the loneliness is palpable. A part of me feels bad that we're having so much fun with our 8 tables shoved together, telling stories, laughing good hearty and healthy laughs. Sometimes I wonder if one of the couples sitting in the restaurant quietly and solemnly is that dental secretary - who now has piles of money and can eat wherever she wants, but doesn't have hardly anyone to share it with. My heart breaks for the people who are alone, especially the ones who are alone because, when they could have been having children, they instead bought into the contraception lie and lived for themselves only.

I have a say today, and so do my ten younger brothers and sisters, because my parents chose life. Mom and Dad - thanks a million!!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Shannon Harkins - Adopted at Birth (just like Jesus!!!)

My Mother couldn't have any more children. My parents decided they would adopt a child through Catholic Charities. They decided to adopt a little boy so that my older brother would have someone to play with. Then came the call that I was 'available'. My birth mother was a 16 year old girl who was at a home for unwed mothers in Charlotte, NC, and my father was soon to be deployed to Vietnam. My birth mother made the decision to give me life instead of taking my life. It would have been so much easier for her, I am sure, to do the latter, but she didn't kill me in her womb. I am so thankful to her for giving me the gift of life and for giving me such a wonderful childhood! I was so very blessed with two loving parents because of her gift of LIFE!

My parents were given 24 hours notice that I would be arriving if they wanted me... and they chose me! I was sometimes confused by adoption as I grew up - always wishing that I knew who I looked like or who I got my red hair from. Then, one day I realized, Jesus, too, was adopted! I was in the most perfect company! I would say to all those mothers out there that are thinking of aborting their innocent baby... give them the gift of LIFE!!! They are counting on you! You are there to protect them and love them and God has chosen you, specifically, for this task! Give them the gift of life and give them a say... and I can say this because my birth mother gave me a say!!! May the peace of Jesus and Mary be with you all! "Here comes the Catholic Church!!!"

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