Choosing to write an article for either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day was a difficult decision. Brian Olszewski, the editor of the Catholic Herald, came up with a solution — combine the two and write a parents’ day article. (For those who need another reason to celebrate parenthood, there actually is a designated Parents’ Day — by virtue of a resolution passed by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1994. It is commemorated on the fourth Sunday of July).
Within the last week, I’ve had an opportunity to see first-hand how a couple becomes parents. One of my daughters gave birth to a beautiful girl — three weeks earlier than her due date. I specifically told my daughter not to go into labor last week because I was going to be out of town helping my siblings with a family project.
Either she wasn’t listening or the child she was carrying wasn’t listening, because on my second day out of town, as I was winding down after a tiring day, I received a call from my daughter saying her water had broken.
Two-and-a-half hours later, about 11:30 p.m., I pulled into my driveway. I called her to let her know I was home, and she said they were on their way to the hospital and could I meet them there. I said a quick “Hi” to my husband and got back into the car to go to the hospital and be with my daughter.
I walked into the room and her husband thanked me for being there with them. He was at her side constantly for more than four hours while she was in labor, encouraging her and assisting her in any way he could. When Amelia was born – five hours later – the love in their eyes for the life they had created was clearly evident. What a miraculous gift from God! They are now proud parents and the day Amelia was born was their first official parents’ day!
That experience differs only slightly from another birth in our family 10 years ago. My oldest daughter gave birth to a baby boy and his proud parents were present in the delivery room when he was born. They were his adoptive parents.
Ten years ago, my oldest daughter was raped, which resulted in a pregnancy. She was single and knew that the child she was carrying deserved parents – a mom and a dad. It was a difficult decision for her, but she knew this wasn’t about her; it was about her child and wanting the best for him.
The love my daughter has for the son she bore was in the strength demonstrated by giving him to a faith-filled couple that strongly desired to be parents. That day was their first official parents’ day. The look of love in their tear-filled eyes was the same as the look in the eyes of my daughter and her husband last week following the birth of their daughter.
Being parents can be difficult, which is obvious to all who have been blessed to be called parents. What isn’t always obvious, especially when parents are in the throes of the challenges that come at each stage of their children’s lives, is that God can guide us through those challenging times.
When we ask God for guidance, he gives us the faith, patience, strength, joy and love to raise our children to the best of our ability. We have the special days – Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and even Parents’ Day – to celebrate our vocation as parents, But each day, be sure to thank God for choosing you to raise his children.
Lieberg is the director for the Diocese of Superior’s Respect Life office. She may be reached at