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A personal thanks for the gift of life and the gift of family

As you read this, I will have just celebrated my 45th birthday. As a youngster, birthdays were about gatherings with friends and family with the usual gifts and cake. As I’ve grown into adulthood, my sense of the anniversary of my birth has grown to include a unique mix of both joy and thankfulness. Each year, as my birth date passes I am aware that but for the loving actions of a few, I literally might not be alive to enjoy the gift of a new year.

At some point, a young woman decided to become a social worker. Eventually, she went to work for Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County as an adoption coordinator. In a manner which I will likely never completely understand, she crossed paths with a young woman who found herself with an unplanned pregnancy. That young woman, my biological mother, somehow found her way to Catholic Social Services. Perhaps her parents encouraged her to go there upon discovering their daughter’s pregnancy. It is equally likely that a friend or even a complete stranger encouraged her to offer her child for adoption. In the end, it doesn’t really matter to me precisely how the various connections were made. That a number of someones took the time and expended the effort to help that young woman find a life-saving alternative through Catholic Social Services is what matters a great deal to me. Of course, what matters most to me is that a young couple by the names of Jan and Gene Ezop were working with Catholic Social Services in order to adopt their first child.

The fact that I can rejoice and be thankful for 45 years of life is no small testament to the kind of work that happens in our Catholic Social Services agencies across the diocese. On the pages ahead, you will read about some of the many ways that Catholic Social Services offers a variety of outreach programs that are rooted in the very best of our Catholic tradition. Adoption and fostering services, alcohol and substance abuse counseling, outreach programs that assist the elderly, as well as counseling programs for individuals, couples and families are but some of the many ways that the good people of Catholic Social Services work tirelessly on behalf of all the people of our diocese to heal, strengthen, and bring life to the Body of Christ.

And so, with my personal thanks to God and so many others for another year of life and growth, our journey in FAITH continues.