Author Archives: alanasveta

Father Mother Donor Child

A new documentary by the incredibly talented Maria Arlamovsky at Geyrhalter Films.

What causes misery?

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Here is some Hope.

“The only thing people want for itself is happiness. Alas, many have completely lost their way in how to find it! People have ended up chasing after things rather than ends – and like a drug addiction, the initial pleasurable sensation leads to obsession that becomes a nightmarish plunge into the abyss. They keep trying the things that got them there in the first place in a desperate attempt to get out of the abyss…and keep getting deeper. Physical addictions, if not checked, lead to early physical death. Spiritual addictions, if not checked, lead to despair, bitterness and a consuming malice that mutilates the heart and the soul. When lust replaces love, when greed replaces the work, when manipulation replaces ministry, darkness overwhelms. When the substitution of means for ends becomes culturally supreme, the world becomes a boneyard. No wonder there is such enthusiasm for zombie stories in modern life: our whole society has become filled with the walking – and mindlessly malicious – wounded. They lash out at the people who criticize their drug of choice: lust for power, money or casual sex – as if those people are the cause of their unrelenting misery. Just a few more shots of that drug will make everything okay, they think. So they attack the very people who are trying to rescue them from the misery they have created.

Happiness does not come from relentlessly indulging one’s appetites. In fact, that is a sure formula for misery and despair…

The good news is that people across the globe are reconsidering this brave new world. Millions, mostly laboring in quiet obscurity, are dedicating their lives to caring for their fellows. I know. These last few years I have spent a lot of time with them – and they never complain of microaggressions or how painful it is to have someone disagree with them. Millions more have checked their own spiritual addiction and begun to rediscover the happiness that comes from living the simple virtues – and denying their excessive appetites. I know. I have met many of them, too. Fr. Mitch Pacwa of EWTN reports that eight million Muslims converted to Christianity last year – and that for the first time in a long time, Africa has become a majority Christian continent.”

The Mission: Voting for The Right Person

 

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#election2016
Thirty years ago the film The Mission came out starring Robert De Niro (Rodrigo Mendoza) and Jeremy Irons (Father Gabriel). “Jeremy Irons plays a Spanish Jesuit who goes into the South American wilderness to build a mission in the hope of converting the Indians of the region. Robert DeNiro plays a slave hunter who is converted and joins Irons in his mission. When Spain sells the colony to Portugal, they are forced to defend all they have built against the Portuguese aggressors.”
 
It becomes clear that The Church is in no way willing to protect and defend the village and its people and so Father Gabriel and Rodrigo Mendoza become the sole European allies of the Indians. Mendoza is a competent and experienced mercenary. He tries to convince Father Gabriel to take up arms with him and defend the people. Father Gabriel refuses to kill others, even if it means the village will perish, himself included. Mendoza can’t understand his pacifism and uses his mercenary experience to go on the offensive. There is a moment when he kills the first of many Portuguese soldiers where we realize that all of the grace Mendoza received from his conversion and penance had slipped (he was a former slave trader and murdered his own brother after all). Two steps forward, one step back. 
In the end the Portuguese army is far more equipped to decimate the village than they could reasonably fight against. In the final scene Robert De Niro is killed (if I remember correctly, by his own booby trap) anyway and despite his efforts. Father Gabriel is killed as well—but he dies leading a holy eucharistic procession, alongside dozens of villagers of all ages, both male and female—singing hymnals and marching forward as the roof of their church burns in the background.

When I first saw the movie I was shocked by the ending. The good guys are supposed to win in American blockbusters. But here, they didn’t.
But then I realized the lesson in it. It is wrong to do evil so that good may come of it. 
Father Gabriel was killed just as Mendoza was, but it was Father Gabriel who died with a clean conscience.
That is how I feel about this election. I have been under significant enough pressure by people I care a lot about to vote for both Trump and Hillary (but mostly for Trump). The argument for Trump is that he is our only hope of getting a pro life Supreme Court justice. He is an “uncertain ally” but nevertheless our best shot.
To me it is as clear as day that Trump is not sincerely pro life but rather saying what he needs to say to win the election, much like Obama said he supported traditional marriage in 2008 to win the election but then reneged quickly thereafter. Trump wants to be President. He’ll do whatever. It is illogical for anyone to be simultaneously pro-life and display the kind of sexual recklessness he does.
Hillary of course did not legitimately win the Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders did. The people wanted Bernie Sanders and I liked him too (although I vehemently disagreed with him on abortion and other significant policy issues). Hillary succeeded in ballot fraud and it is clear that she is demonstrably more powerful than those of us who appreciate and play by the rules. Like the Portuguese military in The Mission I believe there is no stopping her.
Therefore on #electionday2016 I will not be using my vote as a weapon against Hillary like many Trump supporters are suggesting. I will support the third party candidate Evan McMullin who believes in protecting life at conception, but also sexual restraint and strong marriage and families. I will also be voting for Evan McMullin because of his policies concerning police brutality and the unjust mass incarceration of black men and immigrants seems to me to be humane, reasonable and respectful of the facts of the circumstances. There is deep racial tension in this country and some healing is more than due. Evan understands the connection between fatherlessness and crime and appears to prescribe policy changes that work to rebuild and rehabilitate minority communities. We can’t put people’s parents in jail for life and expect the next generation to be okay.
Those of us who vote for Evan may be “throwing away” our vote and securing a pro abortion supreme court justice. I’m not sure who is more dangerous, Hillary or Donald, but I am certain that I do not have the power to fight them. So I will go to mass the morning of the election, take in the eucharist, go to the voting booth, and do what my conscience dictates which is vote for the man whose policies and character I truly prefer.
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Buy my new book!

The second volume of Anonymous Us is finally available! It’s over 100 stories from the front lines of third party reproduction—a satisfying due diligence for anyone considering using a sperm or egg donor or surrogate. It’s also a great introduction to assisted reproduction for anyone who wants to know more about the subject.

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Mother Teresa on Abortion

I agree with her conclusion.screen-shot-2016-09-07-at-3-29-05-pm

“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men. It has sown violence and discord at the heart of the most intimate human relationships. It has aggravated the derogation of the father’s role in an increasingly fatherless society. It has portrayed the greatest of gifts—a child—as a competitor, an intrusion, and an inconvenience. It has nominally accorded mothers unfettered domination over the independent lives of their physically dependent sons and daughters. And, in granting this unconscionable power, it has exposed many women to unjust and selfish demands from their husbands or other sexual partners.”

Keep reading at Public Discourse.

Birthday Reflections

Today I am 30 years old.

I married a good man. We have three kids, the youngest of which arrived two weeks ago. In this rare moment where I have time to myself to write, I’m wondering what to say. The first and most important task of any great mother is to select a great father. With three children in four years, that has been my most successful play by far. All my weaknesses and arrogances have surfaced and been exposed. I am physically and intellectually much more average than I allowed myself to believe before. He makes up for all that. I am vain and petty. I spend far too much time thinking about attaining comfort items and material goods than I do thinking about other people and what I can be doing for them.

But still the great majority of my time every day is spent serving these four people God has placed in my life, especially the little three.

My mom came to visit immediately following my daughter’s birth. I am lucky to have her. She entertained and watched the kids, held the baby so I could do other things—or anything else at all rather. She did laundry, deep cleaned dark corners of our apartment, endured being six people in a two bedroom apartment. She took my oldest to the movies and to get a haircut. And much much more.

Good moms save the world. For all her sacrifices in raising me and the continued efforts she’s made in sustaining a relationship amid turmoil and disagreements I feel the need to thank her. I understand now its not easy raising kids. In fact I think it takes supernatural assistance to do the right thing all the time.

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International Women’s Day

In honor of International Women’s Day, I would like to document and share just a few recent media stories and pieces that I find relevant, illuminating, or beautiful.

1. Georgi Boorman’s “Surrogacy Means Uteruses For Rent and Babies For Sale”

Cook [a surrogate hired to deliver babies for a deaf, gay, single postal worker in Georgia living with his elderly parents] is now fighting for California’s surrogacy law to be ruled unconstitutional because, according to her lawyer, “it reduces a surrogate to a ‘breeding animal or incubator.’

2. Marie Smith’s “Girls Just Want To Be Born”

The scheme was successful. Today, millions of women in Asia are “missing”—never to dream, play, work, or become mothers. The long-term impact of the millions of “missing girls” includes increased violence against women and girls with increases in sex trafficking, forced prostitution, and the kidnapping and selling of women and girls as brides.

3. Lissie’s “Daughters”

 

4. Pilobus Symbiosis—a dance from a 2005 Ted Talk which I think beautifully illustrates the miracle that is men and women cooperating together to make the world a more harmonious place.

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Writing to write

This post is for me not for you. I’m writing to write. I’m writing to unwind and unload.

Recently:

  1. My mom found my biological father (probably). I convinced one of his 3 children to take a DNA test, but directions were apparently not followed and now she needs to take it again but I’m struggling to get a response from her. My (likely) father apparently thinks I’m trying to scam the family, that I want money, that I’m fake. He has not entirely confessed that he was a donor. He was married at the time. He’s also a Hilary Clinton fan.
  2. My sister is getting married. For this I am pleased. They have 2 young children together and have been living together for nearly 4 years now. Statistically they’ve had a weak foundation to build on, the “sliding vs. deciding” problem. But he seems to be a good and stable guy. And I have faith the marriage will work. I’ll support it in every way I can at least. The greatest defense against evil is a married man and woman, a nuclear family. Or as Ryan Gosling said it “Put a man, woman and child together in a scene and you don’t have to say a word; there’s just a natural harmony and peace.”
  3. My husband won his age category in the Louisiana marathon. He worked incredibly hard for it, running 20 miles here, 18 miles there, 5 days a week for months. He ate right and switched to the elliptical after an injury, got massage work for a bad tendon. I’m proud of him. But I’m not proud of how strategized for the marathon. I didn’t try to understand the map. I didn’t bring warm enough clothes for the kids, we didn’t pay the money for our own hotel room and instead split it with another couple and didn’t get good sleep for the kids. I let the stress of single motherhood build and build and build and never once just got a babysitter or went to get my own massage to deal with the added load. Come race day I flipped out, lost my cool, and failed to celebrate the real achievement of my hard-working husband. I ruined the joy. And I’m very sorry about that. I think he is right, one day when our son is older, he will be very proud of the fact that his dad was able to run a marathon in under 3 hours.

Lastly, I’ve been researching and digging into homeschooling as an education solution for our kids. I’m disillusioned with public school. I hated my public school experience and now especially have some major reservations about putting them in a Common Core system that seems to have ridiculous data mining measures—even going so far as hooking children up to body monitors during testing to document their stress levels. Also—the elimination of cursive and the new math procedures (if it ain’t broke, why fix it??) all seems to work to alienate children from their parents, their ancestors and their history. If a child doesn’t know cursive how are they supposed to read The Constitution? Or their great-grandparents letters?? Or even birth and baptismal certificates when researching their genealogy?

I am scared to venture into home-schooling, but what is my alternative? Let them be consumed by predatory capitalists disguised as state educators? Or have their desire to learn hijacked by shallow bullies that distract their focus onto things like brand name clothing and trendy personal grooming standards?

I’m part way into a book called home school your child for free. But I don’t like it. I wrote a bad amazon review for it. And I’ve been familiarizing myself with the uber Catholic Seton homeschool curriculum. A lot of people make up their own curriculums, borrowing from many places. I think the first year I’m gonna go easy on myself and use Seton + abcmouse.com. My eldest seems to have a propensity for music and art and language. She’s very uninterested in sports and athletics and frankly not very graceful. So I’ll be pursuing the Suzuki method of violin starting this summer. In the spring time we’ll plant a garden. In the fall we’ll harvest. In the winter we’ll really focus on academics and reading and creating indoor projects like drawing and sewing. My son clearly has an interest in being outside and playing with balls so we’ll most certainly pursue some community sports programs.

I think those pursuits plus church activities and they’ll somehow get raised. Most importantly I want them to be dynamic human beings, rather than task cogs and blind consumers.

end of update.

Court rules nurses MUST assist in abortions to keep their jobs. Grimmark fined $150k

“As a midwife, I want to exercise a profession which defends life and saves lives at all cost. Are healthcare practitioners in Sweden to be forced to take part in procedures that extinguish life, at its beginning or final stages? Somebody has to take the little children’s side, somebody has to fight for their right to life. A midwife described to me how she had held an aborted baby in her arms, still alive, and cried desperately for an hour while the baby struggled to breathe. These children do not even have a right to pain relief. I cannot take part in this.”

http://www.lifenews.com/2015/11/12/court-rules-nurse-fired-for-refusing-to-assist-abortions-must-do-abortions-to-keep-her-job/