At the end of last year, the Facebook page of an Italian pro-life counseling center, the Mangiagalli Center for Supporting Life in Milan, posted a great story. It brings a message of hope at the beginning of a new year. It’s a story that rejects the culture of death and overturns what at the beginning seemed to be depressing certainties.
Many voices in society say that it’s a bad idea to have a child in your early twenties: it cuts short your college studies, keeps you from getting your degree, and preemptively aborts your professional career. The ending seems obvious, and the inevitable decision to “interrupt” the pregnancy, taken. But life, even at the last thousandth of a second, can turn towards other paths, can say “yes” after a thousand “no’s,” can say “I believe” instead of “it’s not possible.”
Pregnant at 23
Giulia, faced with a positive pregnancy test, must have shouted, “It’s not possible!” many times—to herself, and to her boyfriend Alberto, 27 years old, a college graduate with a temporary job. For her, 23, a university student who dreamed of becoming an architect, the news of a baby on the way seemed to be the end of her hopes. That’s what her mother said to her furiously over and over when Giulia told her that she was pregnant. She didn’t want her daughter to keep the baby, because it would ruin her life. For Giulia, doubts and fears multiplied, and certainly guilt feelings too. She told the Mangiagalli Center:
My mom has invested so many expectations in me—those that she was unable to obtain for herself. We continue to argue; she insists that I will not have a future and that my boyfriend will not take care of me and our baby. The truth is, she’s never liked Alberto.
Her boyfriend encourages her to keep the baby
On the contrary, Alberto was happy to become a father, even if it wasn’t planned: he was there for her, and he told Giulia how he felt to reassure and encourage her. Truly, this is a love that can only grow.
But she was in a crisis. Her mother’s opinion is important to her, even fundamental, since she was left fatherless when she was still a child. So, unfortunately, she decided to do the paperwork for an abortion, even though, as the Mangiagalli Center’s post recounts, “she started to feel something inside her. She felt a particular emotion she had never felt before. She wondered what was happening to her.”
The meeting with the volunteers of the Mangiagalli Center
Driven by these new and extraordinary feelings, she went with Alberto (without telling her mother) to the Mangiagalli Center for Supporting Life in Milan. She wanted someone she could talk to objectively, where she would be heard calmly, without being judged or pushed.
It often happens that, at crucial moments of life, those who are closest and dearest to us talk a lot without really listening. They do so in good faith with the intention of helping, and always with the best of intentions. However, their concern and apprehension for their own family member robs them of the space for deep listening. Yet, this is the only thing that is really needed, leaving the person free to make his or her own choice.
Lorenzo was born on December 12
Time passed, seasons changed, and then a message reached the Center’s volunteers, a real Christmas gift. They wrote on Facebook: “On December 12, Lorenzo was born. This Christmas we could not receive a more beautiful gift.”
Giulia contacted the Mangiagalli Center on the phone, and her words spilled out like an overflowing river:
I chose to keep the baby thinking about my future, about our future. I’m sure I’ll be able to graduate and find a job, now that I’m even more motivated! Alberto is very happy and I almost forgot … In the company where he was working, when they found out that he was going to become a father, they transformed his contract into a permanent one.
The pain of her mother who had an abortion when she was very young
Giulia’s heart is full of gratitude and hope for the future! She has no hard feelings towards her mom who, upon the birth of her grandchild, has finally started to visit them again. For the first time, she has told her daughter about a deep pain that she carries in her heart: when she was very young, at the insistence of her family, she had an abortion.
Some unresolved sufferings are chasms that can suck in the whole of our existence. But life, even in tears and pain, is ready to awaken us with the wailing of a newborn baby.