Jeanne Condon

How my unplanned, out-of-wedlock pregnancy turned into ‘Happily Ever After’

Jeanne Condon
By Jeanne Condon
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November 24, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - To tell my story it is important to share the reactions of my parents when I told them of my pregnancy.

I was 24 years old and working full time at a job that I really liked.  I had felt quite flu-ish when someone suggested I might be pregnant. Impossible, I thought. So I took an at-home pregnancy test that instantly came back positive. I took several deep breaths. 

I kept my secret for a few days while doing much thinking and soul searching. Finally, I picked up the telephone and called my Mom and told her my news. She began to cry tears of sorrow and, I imagine shame, for my future and their present. I knew she loved me and was hurting for me. Mom would tell Dad at the appropriate time, whenever that was.

How surprised I was when seconds later my telephone rang and it was my Dad. The first words out of his mouth, which I now cherish, were “Jeanne, we’re going to make this scar into a star!” Relief and gratitude for parents who loved me so much poured into my heart. I was not going to be rejected or thrown out into the street to fend for myself.

Back at work, people told me to just get an abortion and get on with my life. Deep inside with wisdom only from God, I responded that abortion was murder and I could not kill my baby.

I did let the father of this baby know that I was pregnant. He had moved away to Texas and though he suggested that we get married, the lack of verbal and emotional support expressed over the telephone, told me loud and clear that I would rather be “single and happy than married and miserable.” 

The pregnancy progressed and everyone in my large family - I am the oldest of 6 children - started to get excited about the birth of this first grandchild and niece or nephew. I moved back home and waited for my baby to be born. Daniel John made his arrival on April 26, 1984. My Mom and 4 sisters were all present. Everyone agreed that life and birth is always a miracle and there was great rejoicing!!

In my heart I knew it would be just ‘the two of us’, Mommy and baby, and no man would get near me now, and maybe, ever again.  I had 4 months being home with Danny until I went back to work part time at a new job. My Mom delightedly watched and cared for Danny, which was a tremendous blessing! The two of them developed a very strong love for one another that still exists to this day.

Part time hours became full time work. When I got home at the end of the day we would all gather in my ample bedroom and drink a beer (good for breastmilk) while I nursed Danny and then passed him around to be burped and held, for he suffered from colic. These were precious hours of laughter and sharing with my sisters and Mom that we all treasure.

My next younger sister got engaged to be married and I volunteered to be the photographer. I took my camera to the local camera store where I had pictures of my darling son Danny developed. There I hoped to be given some tips on photographing weddings. Brian, the store manager, was there and helpful, as usual.

Four days before my sister’s wedding I literally ran into Brian as he was coming out of his camera store. He asked me if I would like to go for a quick soda while he was on a 15-minute break. I said ok.  That short break turned into 1 ½ hours where Brian finally made the connection with the woman who brought in baby pictures and the woman who was getting tutored on wedding photography, and that they were one and the same: me.

When I told Brian that I had a 9-month-old son, he paused ever so briefly and said ok and we continued talking. In his head and heart though he already knew I was “the one” because I had told him I was Catholic. He had been waiting for years to find a Catholic girl!

What a wonderful ‘date’ that was! When it was time to say good-bye, I put out my hand to shake hands and he opened his arms for a hug. WOW! Then he asked if he could see me again! After I said yes (as calmly as I could), I drove home as a very happy gal and then burst into the house shouting out for all to hear, “He asked me out! He asked me out! The nice guy in the camera store asked me out!”

We did go out and we talked most every night on the phone. After 2 months I asked Brian what he would like for Danny to call him. Brian’s exact words were, “Have him call me ‘Daddy’!”

Those were the sweetest most endearing words I could ever hope to hear, except maybe, “Would you marry me?” and I did hear that less than a year later when Brian proposed to me on my sister’s first wedding anniversary.

So the girl who thought no one could ever love her because she had a baby, got married and lived happily ever after.  We celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary this year with all of our 8 children.

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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