A Voice of Reason: Sane Views for a Crazy World

April 18, 2009

Self Actualization and Adoptive Parenting

Filed under: Adoption,children,Culture,Family,History,Multiculturalism,Religion — avoiceofreason @ 6:07 pm

As some of the loyal readers of this humble blog know I am always interested in research proposals of varying degree.  Recently I have begun a cursory review of the literature regarding formation of self concept in children.  This became a very broad topic, and so I limited my research to formation of academic self concept and adopted children.   Some of the initial reading has been interesting and illuminating.  It also lead me to a conversation with an expert in adoptee issues – who is always more than willing to sledgehammer any ideas I may have about the topic.  Actually, their input is usually very helpful.

Trying to get a broad view on the topic, I was just perusing through news articles one day and just hit adoption as a key word.  Of course the topic of Madonna and her attempts to adopt a child from Africa came up.  As I read I reflected, more on formation of self-concept issues.  This lead me to have rather strong opinions forming, which is often the driving force behind some research.  The researcher then has to do a lot of work with colleagues on the audit trail (if ethnographic approaches are used or on content validity if a survey device is used) to make sure that bias hasn’t crept in.

However, my reflections were what were the basis of Madonna’s wish to adopt a child from a third world nation and the potential outcomes.  Her motivation she claims is altruistic and are in the interests of the child.  Whenever I hear a person citing purely altruistic motivations, and my cynicism may be ramped up proportionally by the wealth or influence of the alleged altruist, my BS radar is actively pinging.  I honestly don’t really believe that the actions of most people are done from altruistic motives but are done to promote self-actualization.  There are so many benefits to this woman or any other person who ventures upon a course of adoption and many have formed guises to rationalize this understandable emotional benefit derived on the one who chooses to adopt. 

Some of these fallacious altruisms may be:

1) God told us to adopt this child.  While I am second to none in the role that faith may play in a person’s life, I am skeptical about this in many cases.  Recently I came across a study that cited that nearly 40% of all adopted children are turned back in to the adoption agency.  It is mathematically impossible that none of this children weren’t initially adopted at the behest of the Almighty.  Either God was changing his mind in these instances or the person was acting in their own self interests – which may have some positive outcome for other mind you, and things didn’t quite work out.  You will not believe how many people “knew” that God had drawn them to their spouse only to end up in divorce proceedings.  Nations do this also.  Whenever God speaks and tells someone to do some certain minute detail of their life, I am convinced that 90% of the time it is really a quite human rationalization to justify or lend credence to an action they would like to do without the involvement of God.  While some may strongly believe this to be true, I am unaware that Madonna in particular has claimed to have a “Burning bush” experience.

2) Adoption is done in the interest of the child.  This one may be more nefarious than citing the blessings of a deity because it shows an underlying arrogance on the part of the one who is adopting.  Most people adopt out of a need they have more so than the need of the child.  If this were truth there are some discrepancies that must be addressed.  Why are the overwhelming number of children adopted under the age of four?  Statistics show that as the child’s age increases their chance at being adopted decreases in geometric proportion to their age.  These children have great need, yet the Almighty and the interests of these children are not being considered by a vast portion of people who are eligible for adopting.  Another discrepancy is the large number of guarantees that many adoption agencies put forward in their promotion of adopting children.  Guarantees of the health of the child, that the child is not offspring of someone who was drug addicted among others can be secured with a price.  These are contractual issues which if violated would constitute breach and make the agency liable to damages or to provide a more suitable child.  Much of this talk seems to be reminiscent of contracts entered into when purchasing a dog for show or for breeding, which may be a more accurate analogy to the practices of many who adopt a child. 

In this particular instance a child from an economically disadvantaged nation may be adopted by a person of incredible wealth.  There will doubtlessly be some economic advantage afforded this child that they would not be given access to should they remain in their current condition.  However, there is a large amount of arrogance in the presupposition that adoption is in the interest of the child.  What this child – and many who are adopted from developing nations – loses in regard to their culture, their language, their inherent religion,  and in total their sense of identity within that culture, may outweigh what they gain by access to wealth.  Statistically, this cultural arrogance is strengthened by the tendency of developed nations seeking out these children from undeveloped nations at a rate that is growing astronomically. 

Another litmus test of this alleged altruism being in reality cultural arrogance can be illustrated in this scenario.  Picture children in desparate need of basic necessities such as food, medical care, clean sanitary housing and education.  These children exist in many places in the United States.  Many of these children are also White – as in Appalachia and other areas of the nation.  A large number of these children are adopted by parents who are of Islamic or say Hindu background.  They are wealthy and could meet the physical needs of these children far better than their indigenous parents or perhaps than the social agencies in their region.  The prospective adopted parents – who have dark skin, speak a different language and worship in a different fashion state that God told them they should adopt this poor suffering American child.  The child will be forced to learn the language of the parents, will be raised in the religion of these parents and it is understood they will be asked to take on the world view of the predominant culture of these parents.  This is in the interest of the child.  One must wonder if this would be the view of any in the Industrialized West if this were a common practice.  

Adoption like most human activities is done out motives of self actualization.  If Madonna or any prospective adoptive parent wanted to act in a more altruistic fashion they would make a private donation to a bona fide relief organization for that or any other child which would raise the standards of living for those children.  Lord knows they need that.  What has happened in current practices and policies of parents from Industrialized nations adopting children from undeveloped nations is in many ways more akin to the stripping of natural resources – in forms of humanity – that happened during times of European Imperial aspirations from the 15th through the 20th centuries – moreso than acting in altruistic methods for the interests of children.  An interesting study might be to compare the emotional factors that prospective adoptive parents face and find out the degree that they are causative towards the action of adopting a child.  This would be particularly interesting is analyzed by comparing the adoptee’s emotional factors and see how they were causative in forming self concepts in the adoptee.

3) Adoption is a win-win –Due to the length of this post comments will be brief.  Adoption at its base is formed by loss and usually accompanied by some type of pain.  It is not a win win.  Don’t get me wrong.  Adoption can be of benefit to all parties, but my feeling is that looking honestly into the mirror of self would be an important factor in this occurring.  However, in most situations may be making the best of a situation – and the policy practices currently in place by developing nations desperate for influx of currency from Industrialized nations – and the need of those who are comparatively wealthy to have a child by nearly any means necessary – create conditions which are from from the “win-win” picture painted or at all “best” policies.   The current painting being framed by society is one of impoverished and helpless (nations and children) being removed from indigenous lands by the powerful and wealthy (mostly those from the Industrialized West) for ostensibly altruistic motivations.  

Hardly the stuff of headline news.  Even when Madonna is on the front page; it is merely history repeating itself.

November 6, 2008

Reg Day is November 8

Filed under: Adoption,blogging,Culture,General,Politics — avoiceofreason @ 7:22 pm

Remember that Reg Day is November 8.

Reg Day is sponsored by volunteers who work to help people (mostly adopted) gather information about their birth origin. I am not an adoptee, nor have I adopted, but I am married to an adoptee. Imagine my surprise when I have found out about the difficulty she has in obtaining “her” birth certificate and other vital information which directly impact upon her ability to learn about her health background, apply for Social Security benefits, obtain a passport, and in some states obtain a legal driver’s license.

Shouldn’t a person have the right to know and have access to the information regarding “their own birth”?

Consider that court cases have granted Dog Owners the right to the records concerning the birth details of a canine to people, but states routinely deny human beings access to knowledge about their own birth details.

My wife will be sponsoring a Reg Day site, which I am “not” including to protect her blogging anonymity (she has a major league blog and doesn’t wish for these blogs to be entwined). However, if you are a person who is interested in participating or supporting in Reg Day please go to this link, http://www.isrr.net for more information.

And remember, people should have access to their birth information if a dog has that right.
What a country.

May 28, 2007

Skeleton in the Closet

Filed under: Adoption,blogging,children,Culture,Family — avoiceofreason @ 6:36 am

I’ve been away from blogging for a bit.  There are a few reasons for this.  I tend to run in streaks and I think that the reality of bloggins is coming to me.

I’m not likely going to change and frame public opinion out there.  All I can probably hope to do is to figure things out for myself and maybe open up a debate about issues.  Lately, I’ve not been in the mood for a debate.  I’ve been a bit preoccupied with my own sort of vision quest.

As regular readers of this blog know, my wife is an adoptee.  I understand a bit of her pain, but will never fully get it as I am a “normal kid” and she’s one of the others.  However, her quest for finding her family has lead me to also shake around in the hidden and closed closets of my own life.  There were a few alleged skeltons lurking around in my own family background, and  I guess I ventured into that world.

The past week or so I’ve been living in the past, my families past.  I wanted to find out about my families’ past and managed to do just that, finding out a good deal more than I probably thought I’d know.  I also rattled the skeltons, and probably have upset a few lives. I don’t know if that was good, but I had to do something, and I’m going to blame my wife on this one, even though what I did ends up hurting her a bit.

Okay, time to open up the closet and let you all know my families’ dirty little secret.  Secrets suck, and we usually put them in closets because we don’t like looking at them everyday.  We just figure that they’ll die and go away.  Here’s my family’s dirty little secret; my father never really knew his father.

The story that he was told by his mother and her family was that his father was a dirty rotten so and so that upped and left one day leaving him and my grandmother high and dry.  The reality is that one day my grandmother – and I still love her – but I will confess this makes it a bit hard – took my dad for a walk from their home in one part of Queens to her mother’s house in another part of Queens.  So what you may think, a walk in the spring.  Hardly.  She never went back to the other part of Queens and wouldn’t allow my grandfather to see his son again.  That’s when the lies came in to hide the dirty little secret.  In the end it hurt everyone involved, but mostly my dad, and I am sure my grandfather.

My dad was wounded by this.  I can’t even begin to think what he went through, but the concept must have been, “What’s wrong with me that you would leave me and not come back”.  Funny how we let lies made by others to rule our lives.  He also had to deal with the anger of being abandoned, not once, but then later on when my grandmother remarried, my dad was packed up again, back to his grandmother’s house where he spent the rest of his youth while my grandmother and her new husband lived together, soon joined by their own child.  Like I said, Grandma, I love you, but that was pretty F’d up x 2.

However, I found my father’s family.  My grandfather died in 1992 at the age of 82.  All of his brothers died, and all of their wives.  But I’ve found my father’s generation.

Many emotions.  I’ve opened up a closet, and it had skeletons in it.  This won’t be over, but it’s 2:30 AM, so I have to get some sleep.  We have a family reunion, and while my digging has opened up skeletons, it’s also opened up wounds.

May 6, 2007

In the Course of a Lifetime, A Family Does Matter

Filed under: Adoption,blogging,children,Culture,Family,General,Inspirational — avoiceofreason @ 7:43 pm

As you know my wife was adopted, and I have posted about the trials and trevails that this has brought to her and at times to myself as she has dealt with the confusing, but oh so real emotions that an adopted child has about their place in the world any everything.

My wife knew nothing about her biological family and had been searching for information off and on for the past 25 years.  In some ways, in a very minimal way, I hope she has felt that although she is alone in this, that she has felt some support.

Recently, the drive and need to know had been growing within her.  For the past few years I’d been telling her to hire a detective agency and see if that would yield any information.  She would resist, citing money problems, which are often real, but really I believe showing a fear that maybe they wouldn’t be found, or what to do if they were found.  Last week, I guess she had reached a point and told me she had been saving money for this end.  I told her the hell with saving money, just do it, hire the agency.  She balked at the cost, and I asked her, in the course of a lifetime what does the money mean as compared to knowing.  She contacted an agency, and within 48 hours, she had a family, a name, a past, a mother – who does not yet know she is found, a sister and brother, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

The next step is establishing contact.  This is not as easy as it sounds, and this is nerve wracking for her – as there is always a very real possibility of rejection.  There is also a flurry of information that she has – a past – complete with the knowledge of the job that her biological great grandmother did – she worked  in a poultry store, the county in Ireland where her great grandfather emigrated from in 1914.  She has even found on the internet photos of her family.

My role in this is minimal.   I occassionally post about adoptees, and it is because of my own thin connection with my own wife that I  am made more aware of how it touches my own family’s life.  However, this is not about me, nor my family, nor is it wholly about my wife.  Though I am happy for her, I know there are many who are in the same shoes she was in out there, and maybe some few happen across my blog when I post.  All I can share is that, I am happy for her, and I hope that you are successful if you are an adopted child, or a mother who surrendered a child, and now yearns for contact.  While it may take great effort, and it may even cost three to four thousand dollars, ask yourself what I asked my wife, “In the course of a lifetime, what does it matter”.

In the course of a lifetime there are probably few things that matter.  I think finding out that you have a famliy is one of them.

If you have exhausted all means, please leave a comment and my wife or I would be able to give you a list of resources to use in finding your birth family.

May 3, 2007

Where You Stand Politically

So, you want to  know where you stand and how you can get that cool little icon like I have on my blog?

Well, just go to this site and take the quiz.  I would put no opinion if you are not sure about something.

Please post your results, and you get BIG TIME BONUS POINTS for reasonableness if you score Moderate, Conservative or Liberal!  I “hope” I have constructed a place where divergent views are allowed and where we gain from seeing each other’s perspective.  I also hope that sometimes someone will say, I see your point, or something like that.

So often politics are too personal, so maybe this would at least bring back agreeable discussion and dissent to the forefront.

I’m posting this on all topics to hopefully get maximum participation.

IF you wish to take the quiz it is here.

Thanks!

May 1, 2007

Contracts and Finding Out Who you are

Filed under: Adoption,children,Culture,Family — avoiceofreason @ 1:15 am

As you, my loyal readers know, my wife is an adoptee, and this causes her no small amount of angst, although sometimes I forget about this.  However, lately she’s been pretty good of making me remember.

In any case, for years she’s been trying to go through the hoops of the “system”, and quite a system it is, to find out the “non-identifying” information about her birth mother.   I’m sure that the information such as her mother’s country of origin, overall helath, date at the time of my wife’s birth and other non-identifying information is important, and I feel she has the right to know about this taken for granted information without going through the hoops and shelling out some righteous bucks, all for nothing mind you.   However, all of this is just smoke and mirrors for what she really wants.  She wants a name, and she wants to make contact.

I can understand her need to know.  She already has the name of a reportedly superior investigation service, that has a success only payment option.  They are also rather successful, and while I adopt my most innocent look as I type, one must wonder how they can be successful where others fail.  Perhaps the fees that are paid, well, go to “expenses”.  Regardless, I’ve told my lovely bride for years she should see if Rockford or Magnum P.I. are available for some small time contract work, but she’s always resisted, and tonight I found out why.

She has hemmed and hawed about the price, and it’s not cheap, but I’ve always had a utilitarian view about money.  She’s mentioned this as long as we’ve been together, and from the start I’ve said she should do it, and not worry about the money.  My feeling is, “in the course of a lifetime what does the XXXX really matter?  Would you pay $10 a day for the ten years since you let me in on your need for this; she would, so she needs to do this.  Again, I can understand her need to do this.

I have a large family and love/loathe the family gatherings.  I loathe the idea of them before I go, but usually am very glad that I’ve done so.  My wife has always been a bit reticent about these gatherings, and stupid me, I buy her line when she says she is shy, which is part of the story.  However, there’s another hidden story that is out there, and I was just too dense to see it.  I guess that’s easy to do when you forget that everyone has their own agenda, and that’s not inherently a bad thing.  I kind of woke up to the idea that these meetings where I am surrounded by my family are painful to the contrast that she has that while she has a family from those whom she was enjoined too, there is a whole other world of people who share her makeup and a biological history, which she has a strong need to feel connected with.  It’s only taken about ten years, but I think I get it.

I don’t know what will happen.  This investigation is a risky venture.  There is that possibility that the birth mother will be dead, and there will be no next of kin.  There is a possibility that the same is true, and the next of kin is disinterested, after all, it’s not as if they “knew” about her, and this could be viewed as an intrusion.  There is also a possibility, and this is the one that holds her back, that her birth mother is out there, and isn’t interested.  That’s about a 5% chance she tells me, which seems like pretty good odds, but the potential pain that could be caused by this rejection are a very real fear for her.

I pray, and not for my sake, but for this beautiful, kind, and wounded woman’s sake, that she is successful, and welcomed.  I hope you all will wish the same and offer kind thoughts and prayers towards that end.

April 26, 2007

What is a Liberal; What is a Conservative.

This brilliant post came as a result of a discussion on Woman Honor Thyself about gay rights. I love discussions which make me think, and something that had been ticking away just came out. It was one of my replies to many of the comments of “the left says this”.

There are so many mentions of the “left” and the “right” on blogs. Since I think many would consider this a “Conservative” blog, though I’m sure many “Conservatives” would call this place a den of Marxism or radical leftism, I asked think, What exactly is the Right would be a most approproriate question.

Are you of the “right” if you are a traditional conservative in the mold of Barry Goldwater that wanted small government, few intrusions by the Federal into the state and high amounts of libertarianism thrown in?

or
Are you of the right when you want BIG government with HUGE intrusions of the Federal into daily life with low regard for libertarianism thrown in as shown by NCLB, The Patriot Act and “The War on Drugs”.

or
Are you of the left when you support such “big government” positions as shown by the three I mentioned and add The New Deal and some of The Great Society programs thrown in.

or

Are you of the right when you side with those who would say yes to expressions of religion in the public domain such as The Ten Commandments being on public displays, religious markers – including Wiccan due to a recent court ruling – being allowed to be put in government owned cemeteries for veterans at tax payer expenses (38 religions – now 39 are officially allowed)
or

Are you of the left when you feel that Wicca markers should be paid for by your tax dollars.
Are you of the Left or the Right when you contemplate the full circle that “Conservativism” has undergone when you look at the start of the GOP as a “more conservative” political organization dedicated to stopping the expansion of slavery, but shifted pretty radically left when Emancipation – was imposed on rebellious states, and then the Radical COngress of the 1860’s and 70’s were they left or right?

The terms themself are hard to monitor as being of the left/liberal or being of the right/conservative has little meaning anymore.

When I define myself as a Conservative by saying I like BIG Government with regard to The Patriot Act, NCLB, The “War on Drugs” and even other “liberal??” aspects of it such as The New Deal, Social Security, and The Great Society, I also realize that I am in favor of unions and worry about the ecology of the planet, and kind of like that the Feds stepped in and mandated civil rights in 1964 as well as intergration of public schools in 1952. Time to stop kidding myself, I don’t dislike “Big Government” so maybe I’m a lefty after all.

Maybe, what makes me self defined as a Conservative, is that I’m as HAWKISH as they come, well, except for the loonies who are to the right of me!

Such labels are impossible to uphold anymore in today’s hegemony of political stances. The question is which party puts up with diverging views better. And also, which one lines up with who you are at your core.

From Russia With Love? Not Anymore

From NPR.org

I urge you to click on the link and listen to the audio.

Heard this report on Morning Drive. Yes, I listen to NPR. I think I’d rather listen to newstalk, but NPR will do. They cover a wide variety of stories, and this one about Russian adoption policy shifts was worthwhile. You can hear the audio from the link.

Russian authorities have suspended the work of foreign adoption agencies. That has put into limbo the plans of many Americans waiting to adopt Russian children, even as human rights groups say a growing number of institutionalized children in Russia are living — and dying — in wretched conditions.

Most of the nearly 800,000 children called orphans in Russia still have living parents.

The article goes on to describe the children who have left their parents due to the horrific treatment they received from them. These children are lucky, in the sense that they are in an orphanage that is well run, has a good school, and these children are well treated. This is by no means the norm in Russia’s orphanages.

However, even these children are subjected to horrors that thankfully, most people only read about.

“Children are traumatized even in the best orphanages because they have no time to themselves,” Menshov says. “Even this school is too crowded. It needs to be bulldozed. Children shouldn’t live in such places.”

The government has only recently started to encourage Russians to adopt. But very few Russian families want to adopt orphans because they’re often seen as sick or somehow damaged. Half of the 15,000 children adopted in Russia each year are taken in by foreigners.

However, this is about to change.

Americans adopt more children from Russia than from any other country except China and Guatemala. But now the government has suspended the work of all foreign adoption agencies. Officials say it’s a temporary measure, part of the new registration requirements for all non-governmental organizations.

Still, Education Ministry official Sergei Vitelis says Russian children should stay in Russia.

Adoption by foreigners probably isn’t entirely right,” Vitelis says. “Any normal state should create conditions for children to grow up in their own country. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

In principal, I’d have to say that I agree with Mr. Vitelis, but sadly, very few of Russia’s children are adopted by anyone, Russian or American. Overcrowding and neglect are the order of the day for Russia’s orphanages. This is shown by Russia’s own internal reports.

A baby lies crying in a decrepit, wooden maternity hospital in Russia’s poverty-stricken Far North. Many child advocates say places like these are where the problems start. Hospital staff often try to persuade parents of babies with disabilities to give them over to state care. Poverty and alcoholism also drive parents to abandon their children.

Sergei Koloskov, head of the Down Syndrome Society, says that contrary to government figures, the number of orphans in Russia is growing — and overloading the state’s orphanage system.

Healthy babies are lying in hospital beds all day as if they were sick, sometimes for months or longer,” Koloskov says. “They’re completely ignored. No one plays with them or provides any kind of stimulation. That happens because orphanages where they’re supposed to go after birth are full.”

A book that I made myself read to educate myself, and to help in my understanding of my wife’s emotional concerns, as well as those children with whom my job in public education puts me into contact with everyday, The Primal Wound, talks about the gap that is caused by the abandoning of a child’s birth mother. Some mystic and primal force is obviously at work in the bonding process which occurs, and it is clear that more research is warranted into this phenomena. However, an area which has been thoroughly researched is the importance of stimulation and interaction of an infant in the first formative months, where these young human beings come into contact with the world around them. Russian children who are adopted by Americans typically demonstrate severe social disorders, which are caused by the notorious and well documented lack of intimacy and basic interaction between these babies and other humans, and the problem, in Russia is getting much worse as a system which is overstrained is resorting to methods which border on barbarism due to the severe overpopulation of abandoned infant children.

Consider these reports:

“I was stunned,” she says. “They were completely alone. They were fed several times a day and that was it. After a while, they just stop crying.”

Last winter, another patient in a central Russian hospital noticed a room of abandoned babies with their mouths taped shut to stop them from crying. Her cell phone video shocked the country when it was played on national television. Reports of babies tied down in their cots are common. Many believe that’s because hospital staff are seriously overworked.

Boris Altshuler of the Child’s Right group says it’s often immediately clear to visitors that abandoned babies are left to “rot alive.”

“First of all [there’s] the smell — [the] smell of unchanged linens or even children lying on just plastic. And [a] terrible smell because nobody changes, nobody cares,” Altshuler says.

These are in the “good institutions”, and a developing trend is for many children, many of whom have no real illness but may show some anti-social behaviors – wonder why – or due to overcrowding are sent to “special institutions”.

Children considered mentally or physically disabled are sent to special institutions, which Altshuler calls “terrible places.”

A Human Rights Watch report says that children in such institutions may be up to twice as likely to die than those in regular orphanages. Evaluations deciding orphans’ fates are often cursory. Misdiagnosis is common, and sometimes even doled out as punishment for misbehavior.

These institutions seem little better than places where children are sent to die. Set behind high walls, often in remote areas of the country, or outside the main part of cities, little attention is drawn to these places. Their remoteness combined with a cultural acceptance of never questioning the actions of the state, combine to make these little slices of hell on earth a growing reality in Russia.

While there is likely some truth in Russians desiring to have these children raised by Russians, there is also a world that deals with a political reality. In a recent newscast, commentator Charles Krauetenheimer referred to the disturbing trend of Russia’s retreat from democratic principals. His analysis, which is mirrored by many other watch groups, is that Russia has retreated back into a police state, where the KGB no longer reports to the Politburo, but to President Putin. The reality is that modern day Russia may have exchanged Communism for a form of Capitalism, but has gone back to the form that it has held historically since the time of the Tsars, as a people who are more than comfortable with a repressive state’s boot-heel firmly planted on their neck. This, and a growing rift between Russia and the United States in policy goals and as rivals for control of the balance of power in dealings with the EU have put a frosty edge to US and Russian foreign policy, and make no mistake that this shift in adoption policy is part of the fallout of this developing rift. While Russia and the United States are no longer in an adverserial stance, they are certainly in a relationship that would best be described as a rivalry.

These children are now left in limbo, pawns of Putin’s political chess game.

April 22, 2007

Alec Baldwin – The Funny and the Not So Funny

Filed under: Adoption,children,Culture,Family,Humor,mainstream media,media,MSM,Philosophy,Politics — avoiceofreason @ 5:40 pm

Hat tip to Little Miss Chatterbox

Okay, Alec Baldwin has a wee problem with anger management. Here is one solution offered by Jerry Seinfeld to George Constanza when talking about his issue with rage.

“You know you really need some help. A regular psychiatrist couldn’t even help you. You need to go to like Vienna or something. You know what I mean? You need to get involved at the University level. Like where Freud studied and have all those people looking at you and checking up on you. That’s the kind of help you need. Not the once a week for eighty bucks. No. You need a team. A team of psychiatrists working round the clock thinking about you, having conferences, observing you, like the way they did with the Elephant Man. That’s what I’m talking about because that’s the only way you’re going to get better.”

Not a bad idea. However, while Baldwin’s tirade was wrong, so are social policies that use a divide the spoils mentality when awarding custodial rights to one parent and often exclude the other.

I know I have “thought” similar things when my children wouldn’t “visit” me but sure didn’t mind asking for a present or a check for a trip.

Too bad Alec couldn’t be like the father he portrayed on Outside Providence. I kind of liked that crusty Blue Collar Dad.

Maybe a better solution, to go with all my tongue in cheek posts about adoption and ebay is to combine the ideas. Put the kids of bad divorces up for bid on E-Bay. This will not only make everyone, particularly the child ungrateful, but will cut out the middle man in the adoption for profit/human trafficking corporation. See, a market based answer for a social problem! Just make sure ALL those that bid have a pool and a pony and get the book The Adopted Family written in 1965.

Playing at God at the Risk of Pissing the Real One Off

My wife and I had a conversation on the way to an Easter Sunday family gathering. I had hinted at it, and I out and out said it. What do you think about adopting a child.

The reaction was stone cold silence. We had discussed children in the past, it had met the same reaction. I accept this, and I think that a part of it is a reaction to hitting middle age. My children are 23, 21, 18,17 and 16. I don’t feel that I am wanting a child because I recognize I am on the back nine of life. There are other reasons for desiring the experience of a child with my wife, and us raising that child together. I guess I’ll have to hint that grandkids would be a nice idea, once my children find potential spouses to satisfy this yearning. By the way an hour or so of holding one of my many grand nieces/nephews took the edge off, and hearing them cry really helped.

My wife is an adoptee, and I by proxy have become interested and hopefully empathetic to her issues concerning not knowing her birth mother, and the mounds of red tape that she goes through trying to even get her non-identifying information. However, in truth, I’ll never know how she feels, and candidly I am thankful that I won’t.

Another issue she has, and I have learned many other adoptee children have is what I call the I’m mad at you, my birth mom and everyone syndrome. Even though her adoptive parents did their best and loved her, and she had the “pool and the pony” so typical of adopted children’s experiences, she was deemed ungrateful; some times I think – in moments of non empathy, she’s earned it. Many people simply will never understand, and I think I have begun to do so, that sense of the missing piece that leads to so many adopted children growing up, and being “ungrateful”. Trust me, there are times when she gets on that roll, and when it happens, she’s no fun to live with.

However, there are a group of children, many now who are growing up, who have an even more viable reason to be “ungrateful”, and I refer to the generation growing among us, the test tube generation. Think about what these kids go through. Am I person or am I a human/dell project put together from only the best parts that a catalogue of prospective mothers and fathers could buy. I mean, I think EVERY child wants to believe that they were conceived from some concept of love ( I know some aren’t).

However, I can’t imagine the mixed emotions that these sci-fi children must feel. Even a social faux pas in the back of a Chevy on a hot July night, has to be BLISS considering the research and marketing that goes into these type of “parental” choices. So, adopted kids, move over on the ungrateful bandwagon, cause, there’s a new bunch of kids in town, and these kids aren’t in the same ballpark, they’re not in the same f***ing sport, to quote Pulp Fiction.

They have issues that Freud in his wildest dreams couldn’t have fathomed. Q: Tell me about your mother. A. She was picked from a catalogue for her GPA, skin tone and facial structure and also was D&D free (not dungeons and dragons for any geeks who may be stopping by). Freud is rolling over in his grave, and cursing himself that he didn’t think and have some part of him saved, so he could be cloned, because these kids, well, let’s just say that why do I overeat and seem to be stuck in the oral phase, just got bumped by a whole other bunch of issues.

Consider your average John and Jane Q “Can’t Have a Kid”. I know many don’t fit the profile, but a hell of a lot do. They marry, say in their 20’s or lately early 30’s. They both have a career, and they really want to keep that career and have a kid when they have it all. So, the biological clock starts to tick away and if they are lucky they have a child. Of course the “fact” that children born by mothers after a certain year have a much higher chance of developing issues, including miscarriage, and also learning disabilities, down’s syndrome and other minor inconveniences, won’t stand in the way of too close to middle age to have a kid from “having it all”. Then you have the others that waited a bit too long. Or they find out that John’s sperm count is lower than President Bush’s approval ratings, or that Jane’s womb has become as welcoming as the Serengetti Plains during drought season. Now, rational people suck it up and move on, and consider other options, like adoption.

But no, not John and Jane, they MUST have their biology pass on, and the hell with the fact they didn’t wait. So, they try, and maybe they succeed. Or, maybe they don’t, but they want to have a “wee wittle baby of their dreams”, so they don’t adopt a child, and honestly the miles of red tape and the Tony Soprano mentality of some “adoption agencies”, and I trust these groups about as much as I would Bill Clinton at a sorority dance, make them decide to purchase a child piece by piece, just like a Dell it is custom made. They rent a woman’s uterus, purchase her egg and a man’s sperm, and instant family!

This leads them to find Mr. Perfect Sperm and Ms. Wonderful Egg, kinda of a scary hi tech Barbie and Ken search, I mean Who wants an ugly-stupid kid?

Certainly, not Jennalee Ryan, and yes she’s a real person, so maybe she’s out there reading;  she runs a Dell/baby company, and justifies it, and yes, that above link are her words. Jane, “people” like you, make me in favor of retroactive abortion rights – well after the third trimester. You remind me of… Josef, not MARY and Joseph you sci-fi facist, Josef Mengele.

Gandhi once said, “Science without Humanity” is a social sin.

If this offends you, remember that all people deserve to at least believe they were welcomed, and wanted, but putting together a “human being” from a list of vendors was warned to mankind as early as Mary Shelly in Frankenstein. Life is the life of life, wrote Pascal. I think that means you take what life gives you with grace, and don’t play God. If you try to, you’re likely to piss the real one off.

If you are concerned about this issue of mass marketing human beings, please consider this site.

Because Children have Rights. We all do.

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