One of my biggest pet peeves is when the media makes gratuitous mention of the adopted status of a celebrity’s child. “So and so was photographed at the soccer game with her adopted son.” Nothing sends me into “letter to the editor mode” faster than statements like this. So you can imagine my reaction when one of our Creating a Family listeners emailed me to say that Good Housekeeping magazine referred to Sheryl Crow’s son as “her adopted son”. Good Housekeeping? No, not Good Housekeeping! I love Good Housekeeping—their room makeovers are practical and the research geek in me lusts after their product reviews. Besides, they are one of the few magazines I can read at my hair salon without blushing. (I know I’m dating myself, but when did Redbook become “R” rated? I’m not necessarily against the “R” rated material, I just prefer to read about how to perform better in bed when I’m not squeezed in between the middle school principal and my son’s Sunday School teacher while getting highlights.) So of course, after reading her email, I was propelled onto my soapbox faster than you can say hissy fit.
Archive for July, 2009
Last week’s Creating a Family radio show (July 15, 2009) was about how infertility can affect parenting. We received a number of questions from adoptive parents that still dream of having a child by birth. The conversation continued on my Facebook wall (dawn.davenport1) and became quite heated. Some adopted parents were horrified that others could still be trying or wanting to conceive, while others felt better knowing they weren’t the only one with these feelings.
I read the discussion on my Facebook wall with great interest. I think it is entirely possible to be totally satisfied with parenting by adoption and still miss pregnancy or breastfeeding. I can also understand missing seeing your features or personality in your child, although most adoptive parents do see some of their mannerisms and personality in their children. But I become a little uncomfortable when the yearning seems extreme. How much is too much before you hurt the precious child that is yours?
It was one of those perfect summer days–on a boat, at a lake, with my family. The sway of the boat, the smell of sunscreen, and the taste of watermelon and fried chicken is a particularly intoxicating mix. The gallons of iced tea we downed required frequent swim breaks. With my kids, no opportunity is lost to get away with potty humor, so the swim breaks quickly were dubbed pee breaks. Son # 1 was in the water when I jumped in, followed quickly by daughter # 2.
Son # 1 (17): Oh gross, you just jumped into Mom’s pee.
Daughter # 2 (11): Yeah, well at least I didn’t have to swim in her pee for 9 months like you did.
Son # 1(swimming up behind me): Too bad for you; back then I loved her pee ’cause it was the best pee around. (With a flair, he ducked under me.)
Everyone laughed, but I held my breath. Where would the conversation go? It went nowhere, which is to say, it went back to the toilet– kidding Son # 2 that he was swimming in his sister’s pee and a discussion of whose pee would be grossest to swim in.
One of the most popular episodes of National Public Radio’s “This American Life” is titled “Switched at Birth”. Make sure to check out the comments to this blog to hear from one of the main players in this story.
At the Beginning
This true story started in the early 1950’s when two girls were born at the same hospital in a Wisconsin town. As soon as Mrs. Miller brought her daughter home, she suspected she had been given the wrong baby. For various bizarre reasons the Millers, primarily at the insistence of Mr. / Reverend Miller, did not act on their suspicion. DNA testing wasn’t yet available, and there were other complicating factors that the show does a good job of explaining. The other mother, Mrs. McDonald, did not suspect anything. The Millers raised Marti and the McDonalds raised Sue. Mrs. Miller told several people her suspicion, ostensibly to have them keep an eye out for Sue’s welfare, but I imagine this secret was just too big to keep to herself, and she needed the support.
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