Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hawaii March for Life 2014 - Local Family's Testimony

Happy young mom, newly born daughter and proud parents

One of the highlights of watching the Annual March for Life is listening to the personal stories.  They are always moving.  We also get to hear some pretty moving testimonies at the annual  Hawaii Rally and March for Life. A wonderful local Catholic family, who many of us know,  recently welcomed an unexpected blessing into their lives.  The mother and young teenage daughter of this family shared their story at the recent March for Life.   The following are their own words.

The first one is from mom Cami and the second one is from their youngest daughter.

Cami's Story:

Thank you Shanita and Deacon Kin for inviting us to share our story of Klare Frances.
Hi, my name is Cami.  My husband Kirk and I and our children have been attending the March for Life Rallies for a number of years now.  As devout Catholics, we join in solidarity with you to do our part to help stop the killing of our youngest and most defenseless brothers and sisters -- 56 million babies have been murdered since the Supreme Court ruled in 1973 in favor of the right to kill your child in the womb.
This year marks a very special Rally, wherein our family, has been chosen, to be in the forefront of this epic battle, to help save babies and strengthen families.  I say, chosen, because we never foresaw being blessed to be parents of a teenage mother.  But God’s plans are always better than our own and He called us to help Him in this intense spiritual battle for souls.  He gave us a powerful beacon of light in the form of a baby, Klare Frances Aulani Kwai Lan A..

Kirk and I have been asked many of times, “How do you folks do it?  How did you get all four of your children into Iolani and how did you afford it?  How does Kirk manage to continue to coach soccer 5 to 6 times a week for 20 plus years?  How do we find time to attend church and serve in our various ministries.  How do you do it all when you both work full-time and spend hours commuting?

The answer is simple . . . with God’s grace.  Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam.  All we do is offered for the greater glory of God.  We try very hard to live by faith and not by sight.  We are often exhausted most of the time but we continue to remind each other that we will rest in heaven.  We’ve come to learn to “Let go and let God”, trusting him completely to take us where He wants us to go.

God allows things to happen for a reason . . . 

Upon receiving our Christmas card and the news that Kari was with child, Shanita invited Kari to speak at this Rally.  Later, Deacon Kin invited me to speak as well, and then I shared that my son’s girlfriend Briana, at the age of 15, also chose life for her beautiful daughter Genesis.
At first I hesitated, for I was comfortable supporting the pro-life movement with prayers and efforts in the background.  But as I prayed the Rosary at our weekly Eucharistic Adoration hour at Our Lady of Good Counsel and meditated upon the Second Joyful Mystery wherein St. Elizabeth announced to the Blessed Mother, “Who am I that the Mother of our Lord should come to me?”, tears fell from my eyes because I understood, that the Blessed Mother has come to me with Jesus, to our family, to help her, save her babies, their parents, the family.  At that point, all my doubts and trepidation disappeared and a new found courage was planted within me.

I stand here, before you, to announce that the Blessed Mother comes to all of us, bringing her son Jesus, to show us, the Way, the Truth and the Life.  She needs your help to spread the Gospel – the Good News that Jesus delivered -- that God loves you very much - that He is always near.  In all circumstances and trials we are dealt with or illness that befalls upon ourselves and our family, God is with us.  All we need to do is ask, and to have faith the size of a mustard seed, and He will take care of the rest.

Everything happens for a reason.  He will never give us anything we cannot handle and will give us the grace to endure it.  He asks us to pray unceasingly and to deny ourselves, carry our cross and follow Him in TOTAL TRUST.  Totus tuus.

Kari is our youngest of 4 children.  She found herself pregnant at the age of 15,  while playing soccer till her 7th month.  She was at the peak of her soccer accolades.  Most of the world would have expected her to abort her baby so she could continue to achieve worldly success. 

Following God’s will for her provided Kari with an achievement that is reserved for saints only.  Kari freely chose to give Klare life.  Thanks be to God she had a safe delivery and Klare Frances was born healthy at 8 lbs and 11.2 ounces.  She is just 12 days ago today.  Kari is a sophomore at Iolani School and a gifted athlete in soccer.  We are so grateful that Iolani fully supports Kari’s motherhood and continues to assist her on her challenging journey to graduate in 2016.

We cannot be more proud of Kari who chose to give Klare Frances life.  During her labor, she even chose not to receive any pain medication.  She is a wonderful mother who chooses to breastfeed to give her baby the best nourishment.  That in itself, is a sacrifice of love.
Sure we were very disappointed of her unwise choice but we understand that God allowed it to be, so we continue to love Kari to eternity and are so thankful for Klare Frances who reminds us what the true meaning of life is all about – LOVE, GOD’S LOVE. 

Mother Teresa taught us, “This is the meaning of true LOVE, to give until it hurts.”  Just like Jesus.

“LOVE is willing the good of the other”, St. Thomas Aquinas.

LOVE is the answer to everything!  We all make mistakes.  It is how we forgive and chose to LOVE like Jesus is what matters. 

As our family’s spiritual father and director, Fr. Vince Inghilterra often reminds us, we must love not just for this world but WE MUST LOVE EACH OTHER TO ETERNITY.

Every life is a gift from God.  Every baby is a prayer answered.  A gift of LOVE, a miracle.
We are here today as a family to bear witness that Love sustains and conquers all!  God is love and as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

Our older three children, Kirtus, Kody & Kirsty and our sons’ future spouses Briana and Katherine are committed to help raise Klare Frances.  And thanks be to God, Aunty Kirsty is ready to take Klare Frances, when she is toilet-trained, to her job at the St. Francis Intergenerational Center in Ewa.  Kirsty apologizes for not being here today for she is coaching her team of 8 year old girls at this moment.

God is sooooo good all the time.  He knows what we need before we ask.  It is so easy to see His hand in all of this.  Kari has been given the most precious gift of conversion, to return to God’s path. 

Many athletes are too focused on worldly goals and temporary glory but
The glory of God is a human being fully alive; and to be alive consists in beholding God.” --
Saint Irenaeus

Kari and Klare Frances most definitely behold God’s glory.

We all make foolish choices that is contrary to God’s will.  But God always brings about His greater good when sin abounds.  Klare Frances’ life and Kari’s conversion are the greater good!
Jesus is the foundation of our family -- our source of strength and stability.  He keeps us in perfect faith, hope, love, peace and joy.  We pray that you and your family strive to place Jesus in the center of your lives too.

The Lord graced us to be present at the canonization of Saint Damien in 2009 and Marianne Cope in 2012.  During those pilgrimages, we visited the Basilicas of St. Frances and St. Clare of Assisi in Italy.  We often pondered why the Lord gave us such a grace.  Now that Klare Frances is here, we can see it was all in His perfect plan.

Like her namesake, Saint Francis of Assisi, God calls each of us to rebuild His church and to pray unceasingly like Saint Clare and her sisters did, while Saint Francis and his friars shared the Gospel to the ends of the earth.

As St. Catherine of Siena taught us, "If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world on fire."

I guess our Lord had us share our family’s journey to ignite, pass on the fire, the torch onto other families, to help inspire and encourage families to choose to LOVE and support the special gift of a baby in the womb – a gift of LOVE – an answered prayer. 

I would like to end with this prayer of St. Francis. We pray you make it your own:
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.
Thank you for attending this March for Life Rally.  The truth will set you free.  By praying unceasingly and working together, we can reverse the Roe v. Wade decision and validate the truth that life begins at conception and ends in natural death.

As Fr. Sebastian often reminds us at our Holy Family Church, the family that prays together, stays together.  A truth made famous by Fr. Patrick Peyton. 

May the Holy Family guide and bless you always!  Please pray for us as we do for all of you. 

Mahalo and peace, and remember, love one another, not just in this world, but for eternity. 

Now I would like to introduce to you our beautiful daughter Kari Adams and her beautiful daughter Klare Frances who is 12 days old today.

Kari's Story:

People ask me why I chose to keep her, why ruin my future, what about all my plans, what about soccer? I chose life because every baby deserves a chance to live. I'm not ruining my future I'm just taking a different path with her, plans will always change, because God is the real decision maker at the end. He put me through this for a reason.

I believe that reason is to be an example for all teen pregnancies to see that choosing life is the best decision, and there are always going to be people that are willing to help and support you.

When I found out I was pregnant there was no thought in my mind of getting an abortion due to my religion as a Catholic, but even if I were to have an option on keeping her or not I would choose life because it's not just an egg growing in me but a new life that I was blessed to have.

My first reaction to my pregnancy was shocking knowing I would have to put my soccer career on the side, I would have to tell my coaches especially my dad, my family, my school, my friends, and my teams. The only thing I could think of is what do I do now? What's going to happen? But with the support of my friends, soccer sisters, and especially my family they made this experience a true blessing.

The day Klare was born was a life changing experience for me. When she was placed on me with her head on my heart, I realized that God has blessed me with a little angel that I can call mine. Choosing life was the best decision I had ever made now she's my everything, my world, and my heart. I would like to thank my family for helping me through this experience the most, and I can honestly say that I couldn't have done this without you guys. Now I still have the same goals for my future and I will strive my best to pursue them with my baby by my side. Yes I made a mistake but do I regret my decision on keeping her? I never did, and I never will.