Archive for January, 2009

Miracles and milestones

Posted in Mumblings on January 28, 2009 by Brad

I have not yet gotten around to addressing the many thoughtful comments on my previous post, nor have I managed to continue on my original thought train. These past few days have hosted a series of momentous events in my life, the least of which is I am celebrating two years sobriety. I will address the adoption chasm post in the near future. Promise.

Blame, entitlement and the adoption chasm

Posted in Mumblings on January 16, 2009 by Brad

I am inspired by Dawn – or at least the commentary on this post of hers. I am not sure I can cover everything that is in my head in one sitting. I may never make it. But bear with me.

In particular, the comment from akeeyu grabbed my attention.

You know, not all infertile couples adopt, so railing against infertile women is kind of…eh.

Also, isn’t anybody else’s head tilting like the RCA dog’s? All this talk of infertile women feeling entitled to everybody’s babies, and so little talk about infertile men, or infertile couples. Just women.

Men are so rarely included in well… anything baby related. Admittedly, we do not get pregnant. But neither do adoptive moms, so what is with this whole mystic mother thing?

Our judgemental, misogynistic, misandrist society is to blame, that is what.  Because a womanly woman is expected to want to be a mother. And a manly man is expected not to give a crap about the progeny, just about the act of creating the progeny, and all the practice involved. For a man to be the driving force behind having kids is practically unheard of. Modern men may stand stoically by in the delivery room instead of smoking in the cafeteria while we wait for a nurse to bring us the news that we have a son/daughter, but in most other respects we are still cave men when it comes to babies.

And yet the irony of it all is – the presence of a man (or lack thereof) is often the driving force behind voluntary adoption.

The chasm between men and women is just as important as the chasm between adoptive and birth parents, and in both cases it is the child who falls into the chasm while we yell over their head.

And now for something completely different – blame.

Here is a little anecdote. Several years ago I was involved in an automobile wreck. I was not the driver, and the driver of the vehicle I was passenger in was not at fault either. Some tiny old lady in an enormous SUV decided to pull out right in front of us, and my left leg was smashed to pieces in the impact. I went through months of painful surgery and rehab because of the stupid bitch, and you bet I was bitter, because I had NO control over the situation and it was clearly not my fault. I would have felt better if she would at least have said sorry, but legal liability and all – I understand why she never did.

Some months before that, a friend of mine was involved in a similar wreck – except in this case, she was the one who pulled out in front of someone. Because she was my friend, my initial reaction was to ensure that she was OK, reassure her that she was not a terrible person for causing an accident, and console her over the loss of her car. I gave not the slightest thought to the poor sap who smashed into the side of her and for all I know could have died.

Now that I have been the poor sap (or at least in the poor sap’s car) I often wonder what happened to that person. Being put in that position flicked a light on.

So, trying to place myself in the shoes of an infertile couple…

In most cases, infertility just happens. It is not because of anything you did. You are just a passenger on this ride. I can see how you would be bitter. And then to be demonized for wanting a child by those who can have children but voluntarily gave them up and are now whining about it? Well sheesh, I can see how you would not have a whole lot of sympathy.  When you place a baby for adoption, you are ostensibly in control of your vehicle. You may be hampered by a back seat driver (family member/priest/social worker etc) telling you what you should do, and in the heat of the moment you may take that advice, but bottom line it was your choice. Even before that, getting in the car was your choice (you had sex). So yeah, I actually can see where the entitlement comes from.

And on that bombshell, I am going to get coffee. May finish this later.