Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A day in the life

In case you just stumbled across this blog and are somewhat confused, my personal journal has entries that focus more on my daily life. That's where you'll find information about my son, my husband, my worklife, my friends and what I do all day. This blog is more for introspective thoughts and analysis on things.

So far. :-)

Anyway, check it out at

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Saving the world, one political idea at a time

My beliefs are becoming more and more conservative as I get older. I am against pornography in all shapes sizes and forms for everyone always and I'm against abortion, not because I believe it should be illegal or that I'm not for a woman's right to choose, but just that all these pregnancies should be prevented in the first place, you know? I don't want it to be illegal, it just seems like there should be a better way.

I read an opinion piece called Two mommies can be better than one, which got me thinking about how so much more could get done if liberals and conservatives could just shut up and work together on some important stuff. One the one hand, we've got gay and lesbian couples who want children. We've also got "traditional" couples who want to adopt, either because they are infertile or because they think it's better to take in a baby who needs a home than to create one, or whatever. On the other hand, we've got like 97 trillion abortions per year. These women don't want their babies. Personally, I couldn't tell you why they choose abortion over adoption, in particular, other than the fact that I suspect they worry they'd want to keep the baby once they met him/her, and so they abort the pregnancy and try not to ever think of it as a baby at all.

One of the problems I see with the current adoption process is that it is very expensive to adopt a newborn baby. There are waiting lists and attorney fees and medical costs (the birthmother pays next to nothing for her pregnancy if she is giving up her baby for adoption) and a lot of people can't afford it. With the current process, we ensure only the very rich can adopt a baby if they choose to go that route. The middle class and the poor have to resort to having their own.

So why is it that insurance will pay for you to have your own baby, but won't pay for you to adopt one? I would like to see changes made that enable a woman who would like to adopt a child to place the birthmother's medical care under her own insurance, just as if she were the one who were pregnant. This will help more middle and working class people to afford adoption, and maybe if it were more commonplace, there would be less of a stigma about it. (You're ADOPTED?!?!?! WOW! I've never met anyone who was adopted before!) I believe that this is a factor in many adoption decisions. I've actually met people who are against adoption, and the only argument that holds any water with me is that it can be traumatic to a child to be so "different" and to believe they were unwanted. I guess it's true that if you are aborted, you don't have these emotional issues. But really, if you'd rather be dead than have issues, raise your hand.

Yeah, that's what I thought.

So, the key is to normalize adoption, (much like breast-feeding!) so that these teen/single/poor/drug addicted/immature/whatever else moms with no where to turn can be praised for doing the right thing for their babies. If adoption were less of a burden for the adoptive parents than it is now, perhaps more people would want to do it.

I'd much rather see a gay or lesbian couple adopt a baby from a mother who would have otherwise had an abortion than create one using expensive, invasive and risky medical procedures. It seems like it would be an issue too, as to which parent is the biologically related one. If the baby is adopted, the parents would be on equal ground. I agree with the article that a child would be better off with good gay parents than with bad hetero ones, or a single mom. I don't believe there's any harm to a child who is raised by two mommies or two daddies. But lay off with the IVF and sperm donation and such. There are enough unwanted kids in this world. You don't need to spend $100,000 to make one of your own, just so it has your genes. Adopt a baby and donate the rest of the money to an orphanage or create a college scholarship for underprivileged kids or something. Heck, save the money to send your own kid to college.

It just seems so simple to me. Miss Pregnant-at-15, meet Mr. and Mr. Want-a-baby. You have a baby coming and don't want it. They are looking for a baby of their own but can't have one. Figure it out!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Relay for my mama

I'm working on our special Relay for Life section that we put out every year. Apparently, our own relay began just one year after the first relay ever, which was in Tacoma. Each year, our relay makes more money per capital than any other city our size. My editor told me its about twice as much per capita. I guess that can be somewhat expected, because our cancer rates are also much higher than other counties in Washington.

Part of me feels like I should get more involved in things like this, like I owe it to G-d and to the world to give something back, since my own life turned out to be so blessed. I can close my eyes and see my mom and I walking arm in arm down the track for the survivors lap. People would cheer for her. I would too. She is so strong.

But whatever part of her it is that makes her strong, also makes her private. She doesn't like people to know she is a survivor. She doesn't participate in fundraisers or in any type of cancer-themed event. She won't go out of the house without her prosthesis on, even just to get the mail. She is very proud, and doesn't care for anyone to know where she is weak. So because of this desire for privacy, I do not participate in awareness-raising events. She would not like it if everyone in our county knew she'd had breast cancer. The most I do is save the little pink lids that come on the Yoplait containers. And even that I haven't done this year, since we've started feeding yogurt to Benjamin, we just get the Safeway brand in the giant tubs.

Sometimes I find myself forgetting the details of all that she went through, and how scared I was. My mom is my rock, and I don't know what I would ever do without her.

I'm supposed to be designing a photo page with last year's photos from the relay. Right now, I'm at the point where I'm opening each photo and editing the cutline to say "at last year's Relay for Life" instead of "Friday night at the Relay for Life." It also gives me a chance to take a mental overview of all the photos that are available and start designing the page in my mind. I have to select a little less than half of them to use on this page. The rest will be put elsewhere in the section. This would be going much better right now if i wasn't tearing up a little more with each and every photo I looked at. They are very well done. Candles, memorial walls, little kids having fun, speakers, 24-hour walkers (I couldn't believe how many people do this!) and of course, the survivors' lap.

My beautiful mother deserves a little applause. Maybe she'll never stand up at the stadium, but at least her story can be told.