Archive for the ‘Family Planning’ Category

A New Option for Adoption

In Family Planning, IVF, Sanctity of Life on January 15, 2015 at 1:19 pm

embryoWith so few children available for traditional adoption, here’s a way to help parents and honor life.

By Gary Boyd

Imagine that, through in vitro fertilization, you were able to have the children you had always hoped for, but which had not come as easily as you might have anticipated when you were first married. Life is good, and you feel your family is complete. In your quest for children, however, you were not able to utilize all of your embryos that the clinic had stored up. You feel concern about your embryos being used for research purposes, and you certainly do not believe in destroying them. What is the answer?

Rebecca and Chris Henderson found themselves in the very scenario described above. Their story may be read in a news article by Karen Weintraub, Couples give up frozen embryos for ‘Adoption’. As the title of the article indicates, Rebecca and Chris gave up their embryos for adoption. In addition to their concerns over embryo use in research or embryo destruction, the Hendersons wanted to give someone else the opportunity they had been fortunate enough to realize. Weintraub concisely expresses the case for embryo adoptions, paraphrasing Kimberly Tyson of Nightlight, one of the two substantial embryo adoption organizations:

In part, interest is increasing as conventional adoption gets tougher, says Kimberly Tyson, marketing and program director for of Nightlight. International adoptions have been drying up, teen pregnancy rates continue to fall, and having children out of wedlock has become socially acceptable, reducing the numbers of babies available for adoption.

Those who have been blessed by the institution of adoption can understand that in most circumstances, children are not going to be left on one’s doorstep. Whether domestic or international, and with much more involvement from birth mothers than in the past, adoptable children may not easy to come by.

It would seem that embryo adoption, though an option for making adoption opportunities available to more couples, also comes with greater uncertainty in some respects. When a financial outlay is made in a traditional adoption situation, the adoptive parents know they are getting a child; with an embryo, there is still the possibility that the pregnancy does not survive. And, one may suspect that to even a greater degree than in traditional adoptions, helping the child to understand his origins may require great wisdom and delicacy.

Notwithstanding the uncertainties surrounding embryo adoption, some things may prove more certain, such as the superior medical information on the embryo that would be available to adoptive parents. As in most choices between similarly good things, there are both advantages and disadvantages to traditional adoption and embryo adoption.

Notwithstanding possible obstacles that accompany this relatively new kind of adoption, embryo adoption seems to be emerging as a viable possibility to complete families, and provide opportunities that would not otherwise be possible. As changing social conditions limit adoption possibilities, at least for the time being, technology has come through for adoptive parents.

Mom Shame

In adoption, Birth Rate, Breastfeeding, Child Development, Families, Family Planning, father, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, stay-at-home mom, The Family, Values, working mothers on November 13, 2014 at 9:40 am

  busy mom  Rebecca Mallory

We thought there was pressure raising our four girls during the 80’s. All four girls are now very busy wives and mothers but believe me, my life was cake compared to theirs.  In the 80’s my diaper bag said “Safeway” on it. We bought an $80 crib that we used for all four kids until the last baby karate chopped the spindles on the bottom so she could simply roll to the floor to escape. It was not required to have a designer diaper bag, a $200 blinged out cover for the car seat (Heck! We didn’t even have a car seat!) that matched the high chair, stroller, toddler seat, crib and the partridge in a pear tree.

Whew! It’s expensive, and exhausting to be a mom today. Another “must” are clever 4×6 glossies printed for the baby shower invitations and cutest shower deco that matches the car seat, diaper bag, and decked out nursery. Nursery?! A Pinterest original, of course. And when mom arrives at her own shower, she can’t look stressed, tired, haggard, huge, or miserable. She must be perky, fun and at all times joyful.  What’s worse though, beyond this perfect personae that most mommies can’t afford let alone master, is the shame or judgement that moms fling at each other. Why is it that many opinionated mothers seem to grow mother claws as they have children. It’s their way or the highway. I recently read an article by Stephanie Barnhart about this very subject that really struck a cord with me. Here’s my take on some of her insights.

No doubt you’ve heard all the hubbub about breast feeding especially in public. To breast feed or not is very controversial in the mom community. My girls were all bottle fed. Not one grew up to be an ax murderer. Pretty good, huh? If you’re a breast feeder aficionado, congrats. But before you pass judgement on a mom bottle feeding her baby, consider this. What if she tried for weeks and just couldn’t do it? What if the baby requires a special formula? What if this mom had breast cancer and a double mastectomy? Maybe she simply chose to bottle feed? What if?

Snacks and eating habits. I’ve had to seriously consider super glueing my lips shut on this one. To see the kids eat an entire bowl of “Goldfish”, chips, or some other equally “fake” substance makes it hard not to blurt. But here’s the deal. My kids didn’t always… no they never…. ate totally balanced meals nor followed the four food groups 24/7. In fact if we were on a road trip, we’d lay the seats down, spread a few blankets, load them up with chips, candy, and other yummy but tooth-decaying items just to make it to our destination without fights, whining, and screaming while maintaining an iota of sanity. And yes, you read that right. No seat belts. Those were the days when saying “Be careful!” was enough, I guess.

Dress and fashion. Ok, we all need to back off on this one. “Mom jeans” to you, may not be “mom jeans” to her. Maybe that’s all she has, or can afford. Maybe she thinks yours are “mom jeans”! Looking perfect is in the eyes of the beholder, right? Let’s judge each other the way you want other women to judge you. Fair enough?

Lots of Parenting Styles

Discipline and parenting styles. All of our girls and their husbands have different parenting styles. It’s fascinating to watch them parent; especially having grown up in the same house with the same parents and rules. But as we choose a spouse we become “one” with them in almost all decisions which is an awesome blessing! (Ok maybe not totally awesome…) We have one daughter whose husband has been pretty stern with the kids. Result? They go to bed perfectly, eat their broccoli, and sit quietly in church.

We have one daughter who has five little kids, the fourth and fifth are twin 1 year olds. Her biggest concern used to be shopping, getting her hair and nails done, and keeping up on “What Not to Wear.” Now she stars in her own “Survivor” episodes and hopes to make it to bedtime each night without any broken bones or something catching on fire.

One daughter speaks very softly in all situations and is amazingly patient. All three oldest girls have five kids each. Their baby sister has one and vows she will never have five. Our kids have crazy lives.

We’re all in survival mode

Stay at home or have a career? Another potentially heated topic. I had to teach school when our kids were little. I was overcome with guilt a lot of the time and wanted to be a stay at home mommy. We just couldn’t afford it and had four jobs between us at times.  So when you see a mom dropping her child off at daycare, don’t judge. Is she going through a divorce? Did her husband lose his job? And if you drop your kids off at daycare while passing a mom in her husband’s sweats, with a stroller and three other kids walking to the bus stop, don’t immediately assume that her life is boring and unfulfilled. Or vise versa. What good comes of that? Nothing.

I have two sisters who had horrible experiences with trying to have babies. They both adopted and then were able to have their own naturally. Go figure. I have another sister who was nearly killed in a tractor accident at age 14 which resulted in the heartbreak of her inability to ever have children. Yet she’s had to endure the stares and insensitive questions from non-thinking women. “When are you going to have a baby? Or “Why don’t you have any kids?” She even had to endure her seven sisters whining about the day to day stress of motherhood when she would have given a million bucks to be experiencing our pain.

So you get the drift. Most moms are in survival mode. We all yearn for love and acceptance. It’s such a boost when it comes from our peers. (I know we’re not supposed to care what others think; but darn it, we do!) Instead let’s all admit that parenting is the hardest but most rewarding job there is. But when those sweet kids get out of the bathtub and into their jammies with faces shining, and hair dripping wet, and throw their arms around your neck with an “I love you mommy” it becomes more than worth the daily wear and tear.

Let’s love each other for trying to raise productive and happy children. With so many people choosing not to have children, let’s applaud and lift each other up for our efforts in parenting. Let’s look for the good.  It’s right in your own mommy community.


Too Many People…

In Abortion, Abstinence, Birth Rate, Drug Use, Eugenics, Euthanasia, Families, Family Planning, Government, Health Care, Human Rights, motherhood, Parental Rights, Physician Assisted Suicide, Planned Parenthood, Population Control, Sanctity of Life, Values on September 6, 2014 at 2:22 pm

over population


The next time you think that everyone else sees the world as you do, remember the following.



Grandmother’s Wisdom

In Child Development, Divorce, Education, Families, Family Planning, father, Grandparents, Marriage, Parenting, The Family, Values on August 19, 2014 at 6:33 am


by Nathalie Bowman

Last week my grandmother passed away peacefully in her sleep. She was almost 92 years old. Grandmothers have wonderful life lessons to share.

The wisdom of Grandma Nielsen:

  1. Gambling is NOT allowed. One year, when I was 16 or 17, one of my favorite cousins was surprised I didn’t know how to play poker, so he arranged a game. But we needed something to bet with. hhhmmmm…… There was a new convenience store across the highway, and several of us cool teenagers walked across the busy highway and stocked up on penny candy as our poker chips. We got swedish fish, sour patch kids, gummy berries and I can’t even remember what else. But it was awesome. We were all ready to play. Our family cabin had lots of open space, but we managed to find a quiet, secluded corner for our game. We knew face cards were forbidden, so we used a deck of Rook cards for our game. My cousin got us all situated and gave out some of the candy to start. Just as he began explaining how to play, we hear grandma’s voice screeching, “Are you playing POKER?!?”  Yes, we had to admit sheepishly. How did we think we could get away with that? Grandma says No Gambling. Even with penny candy. We were foiled.
  2. Families ties are important! Grandma had a dream that someday she would have a cabin for her children and grandchildren to gather every year for a family reunion. That dream came true in 1981 when we built our family cabin. Grandma even gave it a name: NielsenHaven. This cabin became a haven where we made many happy memories. Grandma’s highest priority during her life was her family. She and grandpa had 8 children, 44 grandchildren, 147 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great grandchildren at the time of her death. And her greatest legacy is that we enjoy being together.
  3. Make everyone feel special. I was never personally very close to Grandma. We lived about 40 minutes away, and we mostly visited her during family events, so there were many people around. However, even with the lack of personal time with her, I always knew I was very important to her. She loved all of us, I could tell, but whenever I talked to her, she made me feel like the most important person on the planet. She had a wonderful ability to be interested in each of her family members and remembered details of her 44 grandchildren. I always felt special with her.
  4. Tell Family Stories. Grandma always wanted to make sure we knew about her parents and grandparents as well as my grandpa’s family. They were our family, and she wanted us to know these wonderful people who were a part of her life.  She put together an amazing book of stories and history about our family. By telling these stories to us of our pioneer ancestors she helped create a sense of pride in who we are and a feeling of belonging that has spanned over the many many years.
  5. “You can create your own…” When I first heard of my grandma’s passing last week, I was surprised at how much it affected me. She was told by her doctors that she only had 2 months to live, and she kept going for 4 more years! She had gone downhill recently and the family knew she wouldn’t last much longer. The news that she had finally gone shook me to the core. I realized that because of my parent’s divorce and my dad’s subsequent remarriage, the little-girl self inside me didn’t feel like she ever belonged in a family. Then I realized that the only time I truly felt like I was a part of any family was when I was at those family reunions at our cabin. I knew I belonged there! And now the creator of that family legacy was gone. What would happen now? We would all drift apart, and that would be the end. It felt so final. Then I felt a thought come into my head….I could create my own family heritage with my children and their families. I can teach them about who they are and why their family ties are important just like my grandma did! I can create happy memories and fun times with my family even if we’re struggling at times. I can do what she did!

Although I didn’t used to believe it, I now know that family ties and happy family relationships are possible for all of us! Start by following grandma’s advice – the advice of your grandma,  or mine, it doesn’t matter. Just begin. and enjoy the fruits of wonderful family relationships!

More than two Parents: Not so New and Not so Enlightened

In Abstinence, Child Development, Courts, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Families, Family Planning, father, Government, Marriage, Parenting, The Family, Values on July 16, 2014 at 9:25 am

child sad 2

Diane Robertson

In 2013 California made it legally possible for children to have more than two parents. More states will surely follow suit. The diversity-in-family-structure-loving-liberals think this is enlightened. They’re working hard to bring society out of the dark ages of Married mother and father families into the “Brave New World” of many parents.

Except this idea isn’t so brave and isn’t so new. Some children have already had a similar experience through divorce and they are speaking out. The Ruth Institute is collecting stories from children of divorce. As it turns out divorced couples, remarried couples, step families, broken families, and shared custody don’t actually feel so enlightened to the children who grew up in these situations.

One such personal story, told by Jennifer Johnson, illustrates what it actually feels like growing up with 5 parents. Johnson’s parents divorced when she was about three. Her mother remarried once and her father remarried twice. Johnson explains what her life was like growing up with five parents:

“it means going back and forth between all those households on a regular basis, never having a single place to call home during your most tender and vulnerable years. It means having divided Christmases, other holidays, and birthdays–you spend one with one parent, and another with the other parent, never spending a single holiday or birthday with both parents. Imagine having each of your parents completely ignore the other half of you, the other half of your family, as if it did not even exist. Meanwhile, imagine each parent pouring their energy into their new families and creating a unified home for their new children. These experiences give you the definite impression of being something leftover, something not quite part of them. You live like that on a daily basis for 18+ years.”

So why would so many adults push for this type of family brokenness and even make it possible for many adults to have legal control over a child? It’s called selfishness. Adults want this so they can have children and have sex with whoever they please and at whatever stage of life they wish. They want this sort of life legal so their partner can make medical and educational decisions for their children. They want convenience for themselves, but not their children.

Johnson writes about a woman, Masha Gessen, a prominent LGBT activist, who grew up with a married mother and father and speaks frankly about how her children have 5 parents. Gessen bemoans the fact that there, as yet, isn’t a way for her children to have all of their parents legally:

“I have three kids who have five parents, more or less, and I don’t see why they shouldn’t have five parents legally… I would like to live in a legal system that is capable of reflecting that reality, and I don’t think that’s compatible with the institution of marriage.”

Johnson’s replies to Gessen simply calling out the truth of the matter:

“If what I had is so great, then why don’t they want it as children? Here’s my conclusion: they want it as adults but not as children. They want the benefits of the socially conservative family structure when they are children. But as adults, they want sexual freedom, or at least they want to appear ‘open minded’ and ‘tolerant’ about others sexual choices, even at the expense of children, even though they themselves would never want to live under what they advocate. It’s a bizarre sort of a ‘win-win’ for them, I guess.”

Children don’t need more than two legal parents. Society doesn’t need diversity in family structure. All children and all of society needs responsible adults who marry before having children, work daily on a loving relationship and together raise their children in stable, happy homes. It can be done and would be the source of a truly “enlightened” society!

Win at the Supreme Court

In Abortion, Courts, Democracy, Diane Robertson, Drug Use, Family Planning, Free Speech, Gender, Government, Health Care, Human Rights, Population Control, Religious Freedom, Sanctity of Life, Supreme Court, Values, Women's Rights on July 2, 2014 at 6:24 am

Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decisionDiane Robertson

Monday morning in the west, we awoke to the good news that the Supreme Court actually sided with Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood!! These companies and other companies that can show “closely held” religious beliefs can opt out of the HHS contraceptive mandate. A win for religious freedom—yes! A sweeping win for religious freedom—no.

The justices limited their ruling to laws made by the federal government. If a state makes a law that limits the religious freedom of business owners, this ruling will not apply. The Supreme Court could have ruled that every American citizen could run their own companies according their consciences. As Matt Walsh put it:

“This ruling is a limited victory for freedom and sanity, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The justices could have issued a sweeping decision fortifying every person’s right to run their lives and their companies according to the dictates of their conscience, rather than the dictates of an authoritarian government bureaucracy. Instead, they focused the issue down to the specifics of Hobby Lobby’s particular situation, meaning that other companies, businesses, and corporations will still be subject to Orwellian speech infringements.”

And of course, if anyone is still under the belief that Judges aren’t partisan, here is another 5 to 4 ruling along party lines. As is often the norm, more conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and chief Justice John Roberts joined by the most independent Justice Anthony Kennedy ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby and the more liberal justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Ruth Ginsburg ruled against Hobby Lobby.

As a conservative, I am quite happy about this ruling and hope and pray that none of the conservative justices retire until after 2016. There is always hope for the future right?

Some in the media will accuse the men who ruled in favor of religious freedom as furthering the war on women and taking away women’s reproductive rights. That is just silliness.

Unlike Justice Ginsburg, who in her dissent lamented: “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.”  Women need not be concerned with how well they can participate in the economic and social life of this nation. This ruling in no way limits women’s ability to get birth control. Women are still free to purchase any birth control they want. They are still free to apply for work with whatever employer provides the sort of health insurance they want. Women are still free, and now business owners are free from burdensome federal laws that keep them from acting according to their consciences.


A Waste of Talent

In Child Development, Demographic Decline, Education, Families, Family Planning, Feminism, Marriage, Media, motherhood, Myth Buster, Parenting, Population Control, Schools, The Family, Values on May 2, 2014 at 11:16 am

women freeze eggsMaryn Holladay

My husband subscribes to Bloomberg Businessweek.  This magazine and I have a good thing going on.  Like weekly clockwork: the magazine arrives, I thumb through, I focus on a fascinating article or two (or six), and a few minutes (or… longer) later, I feel rather amazed at the ingenuity of some of my fellow humans. Knowing this routine of mine—this expectation of curiosity and awe—I was taken aback with the front cover of a recent issue that was sitting innocently on my kitchen counter.

Now, I believe that women are just as capable business leaders as their men counter parts, in fact I think women can bring perspectives to the conference room table that men can’t.  I’m grateful that our country has fought for the capability and opportunity of women.  I fully believe in education, especially for women, and I think every woman, no matter their marital status or their plans to be stay-at-home-mothers, should have an education, training, or vocation to provide for themselves and their families if necessary.

But this article crossed a line for me.  A renowned business magazine is not only giving this sort of intimate advice, but they blew it up all over their cover with a confident looking, successful white woman.  It’s like they’re saying, “Here!  You wanna play with the big boys?  Go through expensive, invasive medical treatments to put your eggs on ice like bulk hamburger meat and then we will accommodate you!”

That being said, I am grateful for this technology.  I can see the wonderful blessings that can arise from it when used appropriately, such as freezing eggs before chemotherapy, or early hysterectomy.  And though I believe in the strength, love, and power that can come from getting married and building a life and family together, I can see why unmarried women who are the “latchkey kids of glass-ceiling breakers” (as the article so put it) would see this technology as a blessing.  They want kids, haven’t found the right husband, were so focused on a career that they all of a sudden look around and realize they’re 39 years old and are running out of time for the family they wanted to have.  I can understand their fear.

Still, I am angry that business leaders think they can dangle the carrot of promotion alongside the caveat of “but you’ll have to stall your God-given role and right to have and nurture a family.”  What is that telling women?  That their roles in society are secondary to trying to be like men?  Think about it.  That is not empowering women.  That is degrading.

Recently, I watched a television episode of a popular law drama where a female associate lawyer decided to quit because she wanted to have a family.  My applause at her courage quickly turned to frustration as her female boss somberly sighed and commented that it was a waste of talent.  A waste of talent?  What do you think will happen to our world when society tells us that raising a family is a waste?

I am an educated, intelligent woman.  I do have ambitions to use my graduate school degree towards giving back to my community.  But now, I am using my education to raise my children.  Women have been charged with the role of nurturing future generations, and I embrace that role whole-heartedly and gratefully.  My children bring me more joy, more growth, and yes…more patience, as I carefully nurture, teach, care for, and observe them.  I learn things about life, the world, humankind, and frankly physics that could never be learned in the workplace.  And my kids learn things from me and feel things from me that don’t necessarily come from a daycare worker.

I absolutely know that I can have more influence on this world by shaping my children into the best selves that they can be than I could have by going to work.

I have found that putting off a family for career reasons is the real waste of time and talents.  Don’t let industry leaders, Hollywood, or misguided friends and family tell you otherwise.


Parenting: A Couple Effort

In Birth Rate, Child Development, Diane Robertson, Divorce, Education, Families, Family Planning, father, Marriage, Media, motherhood, Parenting on April 23, 2014 at 2:48 pm

mom:dad:babyDiane Robertson

As a stay at home mom of 9 children, I get many people asking me the question, “How do you do it?” My answer is simple. I do not do it alone. I am a stay at home mom of many children only because I am married and my husband and I have chosen to bear our children together and to make the financial sacrifices necessary to keep me at home.

While staying home to raise my children, I have the time to keep a clean and organized home, make healthy meals, help with homework, and be there for the little struggles and triumphs of my children. I could not be the same mother if I had to leave the house every day to work a full time job. I have the option of staying at home because I am married to a man who is willing to work hard to provide for a family. Being a mother is not hard when it is coupled with a supportive and loving marriage. In fact, motherhood under these circumstances is beautiful and rewarding.

However, our society is teaching the opposite– marriage is difficult–being parents is too hard–staying home to raise your children is a waste of your education and talents. These teachings and ideas about family life are simply not true. Sure, a happy marriage requires time and sacrifice, but the benefits always outweigh the costs. Yes, parenthood is tiring and messy. It is also wonderful and amazing, and completely worth the time and mess.  Of course, when a mother stays home she is not using her education and talents to earn money, but she is using her education and talents to teach and train the next generation—nothing is wasted.

Unfortunately, the negative voice about marriage and parenting is the louder voice and it is taking a toll on the family. With 41% of children being born to single mothers and 40% to 50% of first marriages ending in divorce, many, many mothers do not even have the option to be stay at home moms.  Not only do these mothers have to work, they are much more likely to live in poverty and their children are disadvantaged educationally, socially, and economically. These statistics are sad and sobering.

Yet, the answer to fix these problems is simple. As a society, we need to stop listening to the negative voices about marriage and family and make the choice to get married, stay married, and make child rearing a couple effort. Family life is a happy, fulfilling life, and marriage is the best place to raise a child.

Choosing Children

In Birth Rate, Child Development, Demographic Decline, Families, Family Planning, Feminism, motherhood, Parenting, The Family, Values on January 17, 2014 at 6:03 am

mother-daughterElise Ellsworth

In the last number of years a good amount of material has been published about the rewards of parenting.  Are parents truly happier?  Is parenting worth it?  Many of these articles highlight the downsides of being a parent.  Dirty diapers.  Crying babies.  Bulging tummies.  Tyrranical teenagers.  Authors (often childless) tell us that parents are more stressed, their marriages are less idyllic.  They convey the message that parents are less happy than their childless counterparts who travel the world, grow their bank accounts, eat out, attend the movies and pursue ambitious professional dreams.  In a culture that values immediate gratification many now assume that parenting is just not worth it.  Choosing a child-free life has become an increasingly acceptable option, even among married American women.

Yet, interestingly, when researchers ask parents whether they would make the choice to be a parent again they get an overwhelming response.  Yes.  94% of parents would do it again.  On the other hand, only 24% of childless adults over 40 would choose childlessness again.

Why the discrepancy?  Perhaps the hard work of parenting has its own rewards.  Studies support this idea.  A study recently published in Psychological Science showed that older adults with children are happier than their childless peers.  Another worldwide 2011 Pew Research study showed that while parents in their twenties rated themselves as less happy than their friends without children, this trend equalized during the thirties and then reversed itself in a person’s forties and fifties.  After fifty, the more children one had, the greater the happiness.  Other studies have supported the idea that the happiness of parents grows as they age.  Interestingly, studies also show that parents of all ages, happy or not, find more meaning in life than parents who do not have children.  Parenting is hard, creative work akin to planting a garden, playing the piano or painting.  But the work of parenting has both tangible rewards and intangible satisfactions.  Many of the tangible rewards come in the middle and later years of life as children become interesting adults and as parents begin to realize their own multi-generational impact on a growing family.

Of course there are those who cannot have children of their own.  Many of these adults can and still do choose to impact the lives of children in other meaningful ways.  But to those who have the option – consider the rewards.

Parenting is not glamorous.  But choosing to have children pays great dividends.  It is a choice to devote oneself to an endeavor with endless potential and with limitless possibilities for growth and for good – choosing children is choosing to invest in, to advance, and to create life itself.

Putin Promulgating Procreation

In Abortion, Birth Rate, Child Development, Demographic Decline, Families, Family Planning, Government, Homosexuality, Marriage, motherhood, Parenting, Population Control, Same-Sex Marriage, Sanctity of Life, The Family, Values on December 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm

PutinRachel Allison

What do I have in common with Vladimir Putin?  Apparently more than I formerly realized.

In September, 2014 the World Congress of Families Conference is being held in Moscow, Russia. The Conference focus:  “Every Child a Gift:  Large Families—The Future of Humanity.”  Take note:  The conference in Russia is focusing on large families. Why? Russia’s population has been in decline since 1991, falling at a rate of about 0.5%.  Not until 2010 when the government started supporting and even encouraging childbirth has Russia seen a population increase of 0.4%, the highest in Eastern Europe. More recently Russian lawmakers are pushing to limit or completely ban abortions believing that they are partly responsible for the country’s dwindling population. Currently the birthrate in Russia is 1.7 children per woman. Their society is unsustainable at that rate and they know it.  In June of 2013 the Russian Parliament past a law that prohibits propagandizing of “relations not conducive to procreation.” Russian leaders are pulling out all the stops.  They want their country to thrive again, and they see large families as the key feature in the accomplishment of this goal.

Growing up in the fifties large families were the norm where I lived.  My mother had eight children.  Dorothy, who lived across the street, had six.  Elma next door had five.  Aunt Barbara had six. Large families were everywhere.  So when I got married in 1975 I couldn’t imagine my newly created family without children…lots of them.  In May, 1985 my fifth baby was born, and I knew my family was complete. Was my life frenzied? Most of the time, yes. But it got better and better as I focused on learning how to keep our lives scheduled, positive, and always moving forward.  My memories are sweet and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world! When honesty, goodness, hard work, and responsibility are taught in the home, the result is not only a strong family, but a stronger community and thriving society. This is what Russian leaders are hoping to bring back to their country.  How unfortunate that it took the demise of the family and society for Russian leaders to recognize the correlation.  The laws being implemented are to encourage a family-centered society. It may take generations to recover what they have lost, but Vladimir Putin is finally coming around to my way of thinking.



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