I’m back again with my weekly roundup of the best of the net on infertility and adoption. At times I think I live on the internet. While that’s a stretch, I do read a LOT of adoption and infertility related blogs and stories. Here is what stands out for me this week.
- Letting Go of Our Babymakin’ Fantasies by Keiko over at Hannah Wept/Sarah Laughed. As you guys know, I’m a big fan of Keiko and her blog, and this spot on blog is a good example of why. She writes how resolution can be elusive, and how just when you think you’ve come to terms with your infertility, you get knocked down again. I loved when she wrote about her fantasies of how she would tell her parents and in-laws about her pregnancy. It made me tear up for her pain.
- The Cruel Lesson of Penn State– Although this isn’t specifically about infertility or adoption, it is such a powerful piece that I simply had to include it. Written by an adult who was abused as a child and remained silent until this article, he poignantly shares the reality of abuse.
[A]s the story has remained in the headlines and the uncomfortable conversations have continued, I haven’t been able to shake an overwhelming feeling that I failed Sandusky’s victims and, by extension, far too many other boys. Abuse thrives on silence. In some cases, as the Penn State situation makes clear, the silence of third parties gives perpetrators license. But victims’ silence also plays a huge role. This is true in the immediate aftermath of the abuse, where victims’ inability to speak out puts them (and others) at further risk. It’s also true much more generally. Several of my friends, for example, were shocked when Rick Reilly reported that, according to a 1998 study on child sexual abuse by Boston University Medical School, one in six boys in America will be abused by age 16. For girls, it’s one in four by the age of 14. They were shocked, no doubt, because concrete examples of abuse are not as available to them as the statistics suggest. Most people don’t think they know any abuse victims. But they do know victims. They just don’t realize it, because so many of us have been unable to reveal ourselves. This breeds a false sense of security, with too many adults believing abuse is someone else’s problem. …
I am also moved to say this publicly to counter two aspects of the public reaction to the Penn State situation, both of which reflect our collective attempt to distance ourselves from the reality of abuse. First, it is a mistake to characterize Jerry Sandusky as some kind of subhuman monster. The inclination to do so is entirely understandable, for his behavior was unequivocally monstrous. But to describe him as a monster shields us from the reality that human beings have the capacity for tremendous evil. This recognition is critically important. Predators do not look like monsters; they look like your neighborhood basketball coach or the guy running a children’s charity. They look like people you know, because they are. This is so important for parents to realize: If you allow yourself to think of these predators as “monsters,” you will convince yourself that they are rare, and you will not be as vigilant as you need to be. This recognition is also important for your kids, because if you teach them that they should be on the lookout for monsters, they will be confused by the inappropriate behavior of adults who don’t fit that profile.
- I love the title of this blog-the Perfectly Cursed Life, and I like Kim’s voice. Although this blog was written shortly after she got the results back from a failed IVF attempt, this blog isn’t a downer, in fact, it’s strangely uplifting. This woman will not be defeated by infertility.
When it seemed to take longer than usual for the nurses to call me back with my results yesterday, I knew I was doomed. The good news seemed to be taken care of before lunch. The bad news was left for after lunch. Around noon, I gave up almost all hope. When she called around 1 pm, I knew without her having to say anything.
“Unfortunately, you’re not pregnant. I’m really sorry.”…
The future plans are a bit uncharted…yet again. I was really hoping that I could close 2011 out on a positive note. Maybe that was too much to ask. I don’t know. What I do know is that I’m not giving up. Not now. Maybe in the end I’ll end up as childless as I am today, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to just give up right now because of that possibility. I’m going to get a second opinion. And maybe even a third. And I’m going to move forward, dammit, come hell or high water. I don’t quit easily.
- Declining Rates of International Adoption This blogger writes eloquently on a topic I care deeply about—what should be the role of international adoption in caring for poor and orphaned kids. Everyday I am thankful for my children. Watching the declining numbers of international adoption evokes very complicated feelings in me. I applaud countries for stepping in and addressing the terrible abuses in international adoption. I am strongly in favor of countries developing the systems to care for, and protect, children born into difficult circumstances. Domestic adoption and remaining within their culture are ideal for children and families. My concern is that “reality” has not caught up with the “ideal.” While many countries have been working diligently to change the culture and promote domestic adoption, the reality is that the numbers of children in need have outpaced the social reform.
- Unintended Consequences of International Adoption If you want a different and not nearly so rosy podcast on international adoption, check out this one by Amy Costello.
- I had hoped we were further along in our awareness campaign about fertility preservation. Alas, according to this blog on Point of View we have a ways to go.
A recent study conducted by a biopharmaceutical firm and the National Infertility Association showed women are uneducated on their own fertility. The study participants were asked 10 questions about fertility. Half of the time, they could not answer at least seven of the questions correctly. The participants over estimated how fertile a woman is; most thought it was easy to get pregnant, even after age 40. Doctors and representatives from the association blame the results on advanced medical treatments and celebrities having children at increasingly older ages. This gives women an unrealistic view of how easy it is to get pregnant.
According to NBC, “The trouble is, such thinking can cheat a woman out of her options. … It’s one thing to postpone children in order to pursue education or a career, fully knowing it might be more difficult to get pregnant later. It’s another thing to be surprised by infertility.”
- How much did YOUR kid cost? I love this post by an dad through adoption on all the things you shouldn’t say to an adoptive family. My thanks to Adoptions from the Heart Twitter post for bringing it to my attention.
Image credit: Randy Robertson