Posts Tagged adoption

7 things that are not like the others

I got memed. Just before the new year. That tattle tell known as Google alerted me that someone had been talking about @MsHerr. I employed my keen detective skills to discover that Dani Cutler had tagged me in one of the two circulating memes. I love memes. Isn’t meme just web jargon for chain letter? And I love chain letters. Especially the completely irrational, yet annoyingly persistent, feeling I have of letting down friend/family/acquaintance/imposter while I blatantly ignore the letter.

But I’ve been known to look on the bright side of things. I thought it could be a good way to kick off ‘09. So I started writing…

one: I want to adopt at least one child.

I think that there are people who have an obligation to love each of us, and the first among these are the two people whose actions conceived us: our birth mothers and fathers. Yet real life rarely follows the shoulds. Families form through blood and change through choice.

My birth father was absentee before, during, and after the short nine months he and my mother were married. When I was four, another man came into our lives. When I was seven, this man became my mother’s husband. In sixth grade, I was given three choices: keep my birth name, change my last name, be adopted. I chose adoption. But he became my dad long before that, and I have been blessed to receive a father’s love from a man who had no obligation to show such concern.

Consider that there are many children in this world who, for whatever reason, have birth parents but no mom and no dad. I want to share the blessing that I still enjoy. I want to love and care for, to adopt, a child who is in need of a mom.

two: I used to be a puppeteer.

Growing up in Gallup, the church I went to had a couple of youth groups. One was a puppeteering group for 6th through 12th graders. We’d learn skits that we’d then perform during services or various public events throughout the community. Some were funny. Some were dramatic. Not all were religiously-themed. But all had a lesson of some sort. We had a large collection of high quality puppets and props, a stage large enough for up to seven puppeteers, and a sound system. Not exactly small-time for a church youth group.

Besides being moderately interesting, I share this because, believe it or not, there is some serious technique to operating a puppet. Rather than explain it, check out this video from Puppets and Stuff and Expert Village.

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Then verbosity became my downfall. I had set out to briefly capture the story behind each of these seven things, but the lack of a consistent theme has plagued me. My attempts to be consistent in voice, inspiration, and length have been thwarted. Each time I put finger to keyboard, I’ve spun time’s wheels. So here I take a page from Jeremy Tanner’s book, err… blog. Keep it simple. Keep it brief. Stick to the headlines.

three: Kid-in-a-candy-store is my favorite flavor of happy.

four: Braiding my hair is my one pre-race ritual.

five: I enjoy traveling alone.

six: Of all the virtues, patience is the one I dislike the most.

seven: I’d love to work for Harley-Davidson. Corporate. *

There. It’s done. It’s no longer the start of new year. That shiny newness has worn off. The novelty is gone. That unalterable pattern of 24/7 has reasserted itself. It’s only the start of the remaining 96.9% of ‘09, a rather arbitrary statistic.

And so I close with an offer… Should you find any of the above headlines so intriguing that you want a story, holla at me. I will gladly oblige.

And a promise… I shall not meme anyone unless you, again, holla at me.

* Don’t worry Phoenix, I’m not leaving you yet. There is too much great stuff going on here, now, that I want to be a part of. But someday, perhaps two or three or seven years from now…

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population control = birth control = sustainability ?

272 quotations on sustainable development, climate change, and sustainability in general on www.oursouthwest.com.  (There were 267 on the 26th.)

Of these 272, 31 pertain directly to population growth. But the thing about this 11.4% that made them stick out so dramatically was the call by the Optimum Population Trust for each man, woman, or couple to have fewer children as a way to curb the toll we are exacting on our Earth’s natural resources.

Everything we manage to achieve for the natural environment is being wiped out by the nearly 80 million extra people each year who need to use up space and resources.

The most effective personal climate change strategy is limiting the number of children one has. The most effective national and global climate change strategy is limiting the size of the population. Population limitation should therefore be seen as the most cost-effective carbon offsetting strategy available to individuals and nations– Population-Based Climate Strategy, Optimum Population Trust, May 2007

Ahhh yes, population control, but with an interesting spin.

To rip the phrasing of Jonathon Porritt, the essence of OPT’s campaign: Do your bit for addressing climate change by having fewer children – or even no children.

Let me be clear that Mr. Porritt expressed a “love” for the OPT campaign. I am making no assumptions as to the thoughts, world views, or underlying meanings that motivate his affinity. But consider that same campaign from a young couple’s perspective. Or as I am not married, from that of a young woman who hopes to one day marry and have her own family.

Is it humane to ask me to not have any children at all? Is it humane to ask me to have only one child? Forget about fairness, I’m talking about humanity. And what are the arguments you would use to convince me of such?  The ones that have already been made?

Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps we should control the population to ensure the survival of our environment.  Sir David Attenborough

It is environmental illiteracy and a complete lack of forward thinking to ignore the need to halt and then reverse population growth in the context of climate change, congestion, unaffordable housing, and resource depletion. – unattributable (2007)

…we owe it to the rest of the planet to stabilise our own population. Producing lots of extra Brits…is a selfish strategy both economically and environmentally. Not only will it increase overcrowding and congestion [it will] put huge extra strain on resources and…intensify our impact on the Earth’s ecosystems. – David Nicholson-Lord, research associate, Optimum Population Trust (2006)

Living in an orgy of unrestrained consumption and economic growth accompanied by population expansion that ignores the carrying capacity of local environments will lead to disaster. – unattributable

Each of these is limited to the impact on environmental resources, but does nothing to address my desire, what may even be my human need, for companionship, family, and love. What happens to me if I put these aside and “take one for the team”.

I don’t doubt that our Earth’s resources are rapidly deteriorating, but what’s the timeline? Will it cease to support my children during their lifetime? During their children’s lifetimes? And if I am passionately concerned about sustainability, could I not pass those values on to my children such that they continue the cause?

I ask all these questions, but what I really want to know is why those who speak about population control via birth rate control don’t couple their arguments with a pro-adoption campaign. Don’t tell me not to have children, but rather, tell me that we already have more children in this world than we care for. Share the story of those who need a home. And help me connect with a child who, just like me, needs family, companionship, and love.

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