Sunday, October 29, 2006

This is what media is supposed to do.

I keep up with a blog by Julie in New York (I think). Julie writes about infertility and related issues, and is currently deciding if she will continue with in vitro fertilization to have a second child, or pursue other options. I became interested in her blog last summer, and now, even though I'm at the end of a completely uneventful pregnancy (thank God), I'm still hooked.

Earlier in the week, Julie made a grid weighing the pros and cons of her options for having a second child. Here's what stood out to me - she has a moral issue with adoption. If I understood her correctly (and Julie, if you read this, please forgive and correct me if I am wrong), she isn't completely comfortable with benefitting from another woman's loss. In other words, behind every sweet healthy adopted baby is a woman, who, for whatever reason, will never see her baby again. This caught my attention because it never occurred to me. When I think about adoption, I think about how a child benefits from having a family, versus being raised in a system. I see her point, I think, it's just the first time that I've heard it. I'm glad for blogs that bring up something I've never thought about before.

Also, All Things Considered on NPR had a commentary this week by Lennard Davis talking about disabilities in the media. Click here to read an excerpt (which, unfortunately, does not include the portion that caught my attention, so I'm relying entirely on my hormone-addled brain to get the details straight). The commentary talked about Michael J. Fox and Rush Limbaugh and working so hard to appear "normal" in front of the camera, when "normal" for Fox would include his symptoms of Parkinson's disease, rather than hiding them to make the general public feel more comfortable. When I was working in early intervention, we used to talk about how children with disabilities' lives, though different from ours, become normal to them all the same. I've always had a healthy body, so I just assume that everyone who doesn't have one wants one. Is that naivete? Maybe. Or has our society moved so far away from absolutes that even healthy and unhealthy aren't clearly defined? I don't know. But I was glad for something new to think about. I live in a small city and it's election season and there's been nothing new to think about for months here, when, yay!, there were two new thoughts in one week.

Speaking of interesting weeks - one more thing:

Luke has a blog, and though Luke and I don't know one another, we've had mutual friends for years, so occasionally I read his blog. He made this statement in his most recent entry: "but each day when i'm leaning out of the drive-thru window handing some overpaid yuppie or plastic housewife or some snobby private school trust fun kid their drink, i want to puke or cry." Believe me, Luke, having worked at everybody's favorite coffee shop for ten months now (about eight months longer than I ever thought I would), I can relate. Even so, I take exception to this statement. First of all, the cliche about biting the hand that feeds you comes to mind. Second, were I not serving their coffee, I'd be behind them in line. It's my favorite American excess, and whatever that says about me is okay with me. So I have to defend the plastic housewives and trustfund kids, because if I could, I would join them, and then you'd have to find a witty cut-down for me, and then I would be offended. But I get your point, I really do, and every morning about 6:15 I think to myself, What am I DOING here?

Thanks guys. This is what media is supposed to do for us. It should present a different opinion, give us something new to think about. Thank you, Julie and Lennard and Luke. You all made my week more interesting.


buf said...

sure, but what about the babies who are taken from dangerous mothers who want heroin more than motherhood...or babies whose parents are dead and will never know anything but the walls of an orphanage and would give anything to be part of a FAMILY...I don't see it as benefiting from another's loss, I see it as saving a baby from a life without home or family. - janet

buf said...

STEPH!! I used to read that blog all the time (the little bit pregnant thing). WEIRD!


Heather said...

Oh Steph. I love you. As for adoption, I understand what she is saying, if the woman is having that baby taken from her against her will, but... well... if we all quit adopting babies to save the mother's feelings, we willr elaly just end up with more orphans than we know what to do with. Wouldn't really help the mothers OR the babies, the way our society is right now. Now, in an ideal world... well, that would be a whole different ballgame.