“Why don’t you just adopt?” is the wrong question to ask infertile couples. Here’s why.

Besides making people feel defensive for experiencing the fundamentally human urge to conceive and bear a child (a defensiveness that makes helpful conversation difficult), the question “Why don’t you just adopt?” glosses over some important truths about adoption. [Read more...]

Natural Family Planning Isn’t the Only Ethical Option for Christians: Why I Chose an IUD

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As I cradled my third newborn in his first hours of life, I was seized by a single, overwhelming thought: Never again. I could not possibly have another baby. My “never again” was more than a wearily satisfied observation that our family now felt complete. My “never again” was a desperate plea, tinged with panic, [Read More...]

The Perfect Pair of Boots and the Essential Work of Parenting

I wonder if, as our children grow and their increasingly complicated needs outgrow our capacities to easily meet them, the physical care we offer actually becomes more important, not less. We love people by engaging in basic acts of care for them. That is the essential, sometimes undervalued, foundation of parental love. It’s also the essential foundation of Christian love. [Read more...]

How Much is Too Much for Holiday Giving to Kids?

Three perspectives on why holiday gifts and giving traditions need to be thoughtful, meaningful, and tweaked in a way that makes sense for the particular blend of personalities and histories that make up our unique families. [Read more...]

On Three-Parent IVF and the Act of Begetting

Every few months, a story pops up about a new frontier in reproductive medical technologies: so-called “three-parent IVF.” NPR recently reported on efforts in Britain to allow embryos created via this technique to be transferred into women’s uteruses, while a New York Times Magazine cover article last summer focused on whether the Federal  Drug Administration would approve human clinical [Read More...]

Bittersweet Bedtime Stories

My two younger kids were feeling nostalgic the other night. While they have long been in the habit of reading on their own at bedtime, last night they pulled a few favorite picture books off the shelf (The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton, Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel, and a falling-apart-and-taped-and-retaped copy of Richard Scarry’s Busy Busy World that was [Read More...]

Kids, Kidneys and Other Distractions

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It’s normal for me to be less productive in the final weeks of August, as we try to squeeze all the stuff we planned to do over the summer into the final few days. But I was more sidetracked than usual this August. Besides a calendar dominated by school supply shopping, orthodontist and haircut appointments, and [Read More...]

Abiding with the Living and the Dying: Thoughts on “Holding Silvan”

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This assumption—that a life marked by suffering is not worth living—leads us to believe that bodies subject to pain and limitation ought to either be heroically rescued or hastened to death, rather than embraced and abided as they are, in their living and their dying. [Read more...]


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