This Catholic Mom is Sharing Lenten Recipes – And Helping Save Babies in the Process

Every now and then a feel-good story comes along and you think it just can’t get better than that. But then it does! Today you’re in luck, because this is definitely one of those stories.

The great news is you’ll not only get warm fuzzies from it, but you’ll also get some tasty Lenten recipes and a chance to help mothers facing a crisis pregnancy. See, it’s a story that just gets better and better.

A Very Pricey Problem

Here’s where it starts. Emily Stimpson Chapman, a Catholic writer and mother, was facing a problem. She and her husband had just returned home from a long stay in Texas where they adopted their second son, Becket. Becket was born premature so they spent about a month in the NICU with him.

That wasn’t the problem. They had been longing to adopt another child after they adopted their son Toby 2.5 years ago. They were thrilled to be home as a family of four.

That week they got a phone call saying their oldest son’s biological parents were expecting again. For a lot of reasons his biological parents are not able to parent, so they saw their options as having an abortion or giving the baby to Emily and her husband, Chris.

That wasn’t the problem either. Emily and Chris gave an enthusiastic yes and saw the opportunity to adopt Toby’s biological sibling as a huge blessing.

The problem was how they were going to pay for their third adoption in three years. Emily was recently a guest on Trending with Timmerie and explained, “Adoption is incredibly expensive. The average domestic infant adoption they say is $30,000 – 40,000. But having gone through this three times now and seeing lots of potential cases, most cases range between $40,000 – 50,000. Which is an exorbitant amount of money.”

Emily noted that her husband is a Catholic high school teacher and she’s a Catholic writer, so they don’t have exorbitant amounts of money lying around. To help fund their adoptions they took out a home-equity loan and sold their second car, but they still needed to fundraise to cover the costs of the adoptions.

She explained, “When we got around to adopting Becket last year I wrote a cookbook filled with recipes designed for hospitality and essays on hospitality. I made it available to anyone who donated to our adoption fund. That did tremendously well and allowed us to adopt Becket last year.”

“Then when we were getting ready for this next hopeful adoption I was thinking, ‘What do I do? I already wrote a cookbook!'” she said.

Emily decided that to finish funding their third adoption she would post Lenten Friday meal suggestions – 3 recipes per week – on her blog, The Catholic Table. She invited her Instagram followers who found value in her recipes to donate to their adoption fundraiser.

An Abundance of Blessings

“We actually beat the goal before I could start doing the blog,” she told Timmerie. “So now I’m just blogging for the Sisters for Life.”

That’s right, not only was her third adoption funded, but she decided to use the funds she was going to put toward a maternity leave to support the Sisters of Life.

The Sisters of Life are a religious order that works with mothers in crisis pregnancies over the long-term. They give not only financial support but also emotional support, helping the mothers and their children feel loved and supported.

Explaining why she made the choice to forego a maternity leave and fundraise for the Sisters of Life instead Emily said, “For me what’s hardest is that I can go on social media, I can talk to people and have the help given to us that we need. But there are women out there who are facing a crisis pregnancy and they don’t have the help, or they don’t know where to find that help. So they feel like they have no choice but to have an abortion or to place their baby for adoption. No woman should ever feel that way.”

So let’s recap. An adoption fully funded, more money going to help mothers in crisis pregnancies, and you can get free Lenten recipes on top of that? Talk about a happy ending to this story.

You can find Emily’s Lenten recipes on her blog The Catholic Table each week during Lent, and learn more about how she is raising funds for the Sisters of Life by following her on Instagram. Listen to Timmerie’s full conversation with Emily Stimpson Chapman below:

Trending with Timmerie airs weekdays at 6:00 p.m. Central on Relevant Radio and the Relevant Radio App.

Stephanie Foley serves as a Digital Media Producer at Relevant Radio®. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, where she studied journalism, and she has worked in Catholic radio for 12 years. Stephanie is a wife, a mother of three boys, and in her free time she enjoys reading, running, and really good coffee. You can find more of Stephanie’s writing at and on the free Relevant Radio mobile app.