Thea Jarvis: Mother to Many
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything; but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
-Edward Everet Hale
In her own words, Thea Jarvis is “a mother.” It is certainly an accurate description for a woman who has five biological children and has adopted 19. Two of her daughters have adopted ten more between the two of them. They have raised dozens of foster children and assisted hundreds of children in finding an adoptive home.
In the early 1990’s, Thea Jarvis and her family were struck with the overwhelming struggles their nation of South Africa faced with an HIV/AIDS epidemic and the hundreds of thousands of children who were abandoned and orphaned as a result of this crisis. Thea had volunteered in orphanages for several years and witnessed the suffering of all those babies and small children firsthand. In response to this difficult situation in her country, Thea founded The Love of Christ (TLC) Ministries.
Thea writes, “In a country where more than half the population lived in appalling conditions, with very little income, in families torn apart by urbanization [sic] and legal restrictions, [TLC] Ministries was established by the Jarvis family to rescue the tiniest victims of a society in turmoil.”
They began by adopting two abandoned infants, Joshua and Reuel, in 1993. They were shocked when instead of approval and support, many of their family members and friends were very critical of their new mission. South Africa was still under the grip of apartheid; people commonly told Thea it was politically incorrect to bring these black children into her home. They suggested some sort of shelter, separate from their home, where they could take care of the children.
As a mother, Thea knew that was unacceptable for her family’s mission. She strongly believes that, “all children need a home; and that a home is more than just food and shelter.” Their mission was to give these children a family, to bring order to these children’s lives and a chance to grow up to be responsible adults.
Next, the family adopted Tommy, rejected and abandoned because he was albino. He thrived with the family, but was diagnosed as HIV positive at two years of age. It was an indication of the type of bitter trials the family would endure as it sought to care for these children.
Within a short while, two more abandoned little boys were adopted by Thea and the family’s ministry really took off. More and more babies found their way to the Jarvis family home, and by 1998 they needed to find a larger space to accommodate the 5 Jarvis children plus the 12 other children who had been added to their family. With the help of a local Catholic organization, they moved onto a farm just outside of Johannesburg.
Through Thea’s experiences with orphanages, she knew that with quantity, the quality of care children receive is almost always diminished. So she decided to focus her attention on streamlining the adoption process, so each baby could have its very own, loving family. Over the years, they have placed more than 800 children with permanent adoptive families.
With the help of volunteers, the Jarvis family normally has room for at least 30 babies, who are cared for until an adoptive family can be found. Each of these babies arrives at TLC with a tragic story, but with the love and commitment of the Jarvis family and generous volunteers they find a safe place to thrive. Thea’s guiding principle is that the children should only leave if it will improve their situation, not diminish it.
On their website, Thea explains that, “Every baby at TLC is a part of our family, we hold each little one dear, we fight for the rights of every one, we seek the best for each individual, always.”
Instead of dwelling on the hardships and difficulties she and her family face each day, especially when it comes to the challenge of finding the finances to care for the material needs of all her children, Thea is full of hope. She refuses to be defeated by the obstacles in her path or give up because the need is so great. It might be understandable if Thea became overwhelmed with sorrow over the difficult circumstances she encounters day after day—often the children suffer from HIV/AIDS, or other illnesses—but she does not.
Each one of us can learn from the example of Thea Jarivs and her family. Every child is wanted by someone. It is disingenuous to claim that abortion is needed in cases where a baby is unwanted when there are people in the world who are willing to sacrifice their lives to care for these children. As pro-lifers, our challenge to ourselves needs to be, “What am I doing to support children who society deems unwanted—and how can I do more?”
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Reprinted with permission from Unmaskingchoice.ca
‘Little miracles’: Mom gives birth to naturally-conceived quintuplets after refusing ‘selective reduction’
AUSTRALIA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- A 26-year-old Australian mom has given birth to five healthy babies, all conceived naturally, after refusing the doctor’s advice that she must abort three of them in order to give the remaining two a better chance at life.
“After my initial ultrasound I was told I could consider the selection method to give 2 babies the best chance in life,” wrote mom Kim Tucci in a Facebook post last September.
“I watched a YouTube video on the procedure and I cried. I could never do that! Was I selfish for not giving two the chance of 100% survival? All I knew is that I already love them and that every heart beat I heard I connect with them more. For me life starts when a heart starts beating and all I know for sure is that I will do whatever it takes to bring them into this world healthy,” she wrote.
Last Thursday Kim and her husband Vaughn welcomed the five new members into their family — one boy and four girls —increasing the number of their children from 3 to 8. The babies were born at 30 weeks, 10 weeks early, due to insufficient space in Kim’s womb. They weighed on average about 2.5 pounds.
The quintuplets’ story began last March, after Kim and Vaughn had been trying for six months to conceive just one more child for their family. Due to health complications, Kim wondered if she would ever become a mother again.
After what she thought was an extra long cycle, she decided to take a pregnancy test.
“I was feeling tired and a little nauseated and thought I would take a pregnancy test just to get the ‘what if’ out of my head. To my shock and utter excitement it was positive,” she wrote on a Facebook post.
The parents got the shock of their lives when doctors confirmed in an ultrasound examination that there was not one baby, but five.
“After a long wait for the ultrasound we finally went in. The sonographer told me there were multiple gestational sacks, but she could only see a heart beat in two. I was so excited! Twins!”
“I was moved to another machine for a clearer view and had the head doctor come in and double check the findings. She started to count, one, two, three, four, five. Did i hear that correctly? Five? My legs start to shake uncontrollably and all i can do is laugh. The sonographer then told me the term for five is ‘quintuplets,’” Kim wrote.
Even though Kim began to feel stretched to the limit with all those human lives growing inside her, she chose to focus on her babies, and not herself, referring to them as “my five little miracles.”
“It's getting harder as each day passes to push through the pain, every part of my body aches and sleeping is becoming very painful. No amount of pillows are helping support my back and belly. Sometimes I get so upset that I just want to throw my hands up and give in.”
“Sometimes my pelvis becomes so stiff I can barely walk and my hips feel like they are grinding away constantly. I'm finding it hard to eat as I basically have no room left in my stomach, and the way it is positioned it's pushed all the way back with the babies leaning against it.”
“My skin on my belly is so stretched its painful and hot to touch. It literally feels like I have hives! No amount of cream helps relieve the discomfort. I have a lot of stretch marks now. Dealing with such a huge change in my body is hard.”
“Is it all worth it? Yes!!!! I will keep pushing through,” she wrote in one Facebook post days before the babies were born.
The newborns' names are Keith, Ali, Penelope, Tiffany, and Beatrix. They were born at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Subiaco, Western Australia. Mother and babies are reported to be doing well.
UN rights chief tells Catholic countries to legalize abortion over Zika virus: bishops and cardinal react
GENEVA, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) -- The United Nations, following the lead of international abortion activists, is now urging Latin American countries hit by the mosquito-borne Zika virus to lift restrictions on abortion for pregnant women who have contacted the virus and whose pre-born children may be at risk for birth defects, including having smaller than normal heads.
The UN human rights office said today that it is not enough for South American countries to urge women to postpone pregnancy without also offering them abortion as a final solution.
“How can they ask these women not to become pregnant, but not offer… the possibility to stop their pregnancies?” UN spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly told reporters.
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said that governments should make available contraception and abortion services.
“Laws and policies that restrict (women’s) access to these services must be urgently reviewed in line with human rights obligations in order to ensure the right to health for all in practice,” he said.
But Brazil’s bishops strongly asserted yesterday that efforts should be made to eradicate the virus, not the people who may be infected by it.
The disease is “no justification whatsoever to promote abortion,” they said in a statement, adding that it is not morally acceptable to promote abortion “in the cases of microcephaly, as, unfortunately, some groups are proposing to the Supreme Federal Court, in a total lack of respect for the gift of life.”
Honduras Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga has also come out strongly against the notion of “therapeutic abortions” as a response to the problem. Unlike Brazil where abortion is legal in the case of rape or health of the mother, abortion remains entirely illegal in Honduras.
“We should never talk about ‘therapeutic’ abortion,” the cardinal said in a homily at a February 3 Mass in Suyap. “Therapeutic abortion doesn’t exist. Therapeutic means curing, and abortion cures nothing. It takes innocent lives,” he said.
While the World Health Organization (WHO) declared an international public health emergency February 1 on account of concerns over the virus, critics have pointed out, however, that not one death as resulted from the virus. Even on WHO’s own website the virus is described in mild terms.
“It causes mild fever and rash. Other symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, headache, pain behind the eyes and conjunctivitis. Zika virus disease is usually mild, with symptoms lasting only a few days,” the website states. “To date, there have been no reported deaths associated with Zika virus,” it added.
Critics suspect that the crisis is being manipulated to advance an anti-human agenda on the pre-born.
“Is Zika, actually, a hideous virus that threatens to spread uncontrollably across the world creating an army of disabled children with tiny heads and low IQ’s? Or might this be a willful misinterpretation of the scarce data to manipulate public opinion and legislatures?” wrote pro-life critic Mei-Li Garcia earlier this week.
“It becomes very clear that the publicity surrounding this story has a very little to do with medicine and a lot to do with a convenient crisis that is being used by those pushing for the legalization of abortion around the world,” she wrote.
Hillary’s litmus test for Supreme Court picks: They must ‘preserve Roe v. Wade’
DERRY, NH, February 5, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) - Hillary Clinton has a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees - several, in fact. At a Democratic event on Wednesday, Clinton unveiled her criteria in selecting a judge for the nation's highest court.
“I do have a litmus test, I have a bunch of litmus tests," she said.
"We’ve got to make sure to preserve Roe v. Wade, not let it be nibbled away or repealed,” she said.
That echoes her recent call to arms speech before Planned Parenthood last month, when she stated that taxpayers must fund abortion-on-demand in order to uphold the "right" of choice.
“We have to preserve marriage equality,” Clinton said, referring to last summer's Obergefell v. Hodges case, a 5-4 ruling that redefined marriage nationwide. “We have to go further to end discrimination against the LGBT community."
Her views differentiate her from the Republican front runners. Ted Cruz has called the court's marriage ruling "fundamentally illegitimate," and Donald Trump told Fox News Sunday this week that he would "be very strong on putting certain judges on the bench that I think maybe could change things." Marco Rubio has said he won't "concede" the issue to the one-vote majority.
All Republican presidential hopefuls say they are pro-life and will defund Planned Parenthood.
Her husband, Bill Clinton, raised the makeup of the Supreme Court early last month in New Hampshire, saying it receives "almost no attention" as a campaign issue.
On Wednesday, Hillary said "the next president could get as many as three appointments. It’s one of the many reasons why we can’t turn the White House over to the Republicans again.”
Clinton said her judicial appointees must also reverse the Citizens United ruling on campaign finance and oppose a recent decision striking down a portion of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. In 2013's Shelby County v. Holder, justices struck down Section 4(b) of the act, which said that certain states and jurisdictions had to obtain permission from the federal government before changing their voting laws.
At one time, most politicians frowned upon any "litmus test" for judicial nominees, emphasizing the independence of the third branch of government. "I don't believe in litmus tests," Jeb Bush told Chuck Todd last November.
But with the rise of an activist judiciary in the middle of the 20th century, constitutionalists have sought to rein in the power of the bench.