Tuesday 30 November 2010

Queuing for Starfish

Before you start: Read this background post first. And be aware that what I'm writing about here is the adoption of healthy infants. I don't know enough about other types of adoption to know whether much of this applies to them too. It may. It may not. But I know it's true here. Also, I'm assuming ethical adoptions; this post is long enough.

Oh, and just in case anybody thinks that I'm sitting up on my high horse to write this post, I want to remind you all that we adopted three month old healthy twins. Hear that? Three month old. Healthy. Twins. And one of the twins was a girl.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to a friend who we hadn't seen in a while. She's really nice, and she was telling us how lovely our babies are. I was lapping it up, of course. It was good. And then, she started talking about adoption in general. She said that one of her friends talks about adopting one day, she talks about adopting a baby girl from China. She wants to do this because she feels so sad about all those abandoned babies, all those children with no homes.

And I said 'well, if she wants to adopt from China it would be a very long wait'. And she asked why, and I said that there are fewer legally adoptable babies than parents waiting for them. And this is why there is such a long wait - essentially, there is a very long queue. And she asked me whether it was like that in Ethiopia too, and I said yes. The queue isn't nearly as long as China, but it's getting pretty long. There are a lot more waiting families than waiting babies. In fact, there aren't really adoptable babies anywhere in the world who are waiting for families. There is nowhere, at the moment, where there is a legal, accessible international adoption programme and a need for families. Nowhere.

Talking about this made me think about how I felt when we were waiting. I read blog after blog and saw little tickers marking out how long people had waited to be matched with their Ethiopian baby. Six months. Nine months. A year. More than a year. My heart clenched. I was not sure that I could bear that weight of waiting. I felt sad-sad-sad, but I also felt a teeny bit cranky. How could this be possible? Wasn't there a huge, gaping need? Weren't there millions of orphans? Why was mine taking so long to appear, if that was the case? Eventually, I came to face the fact that my imaginary orphan, the one who needed us, was a myth. He didn’t exist. Maybe he did, ten years ago, or maybe she still does, if she is thirteen years old and has severe health problems. But a healthy infant? There was no need there. These waiting times were getting longer because there was a queue- a huge queue - of people wanting to take one of these babies home. I realised what I said above - that none of the healthy infants available for adoption, anywhere on this planet, will grow up in an orphanage. I should have been happy about this. I should have been singing for joy. After all, who wants to see a baby grow up in an orphanage? I should have been happy, but I wasn't, not really. It turned out to be surprisingly hard to face the fact that there was no baby orphan waiting for us to rescue him. That was just a fantasy. There are children to adopt, but there was a queue in front of us and a queue behind. Joining that queue wasn’t a bad thing to do, but it wasn’t fulfilling James 1:27 either. I wanted a baby, but I also wanted to believe that I was doing something worthwhile. I wanted to know it was needed.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one. I think that most of us - the adoption community, society, the media - have a 'starfish' view of adoption. This view says that there is a huge need - a global orphan crisis - and adoption is a way of responding that need, one starfish at a time. We are always quick to say that adoption isn't the answer to the crisis. We can never throw all the starfish. And it would be better if there were far, far, fewer starfish on the beach in the first place. But there's an unspoken assumption that deciding to throw a starfish will definitely help a little bit. It's this view that inspires people to write a hundred variations on this sentence:

"Adoption is not for everyone, so here's how to help orphans if you can't adopt!"

Because obviously, adoption is what will help the most. Obviously. Right? But I've come to think that when the motivation is to help, to give back, to care about orphans, then applying to adopt a healthy infant is actually more like looking for lost money underneath the streetlight.

Here's what I mean by that.

There are children in horrible, unbearable need around the world. In Haiti, in Pakistan. In Somalia. We see them on our screens. We read about them. We are haunted by them. We want to know how to help. And this is absolutely the right response - how can we go on living, unchanged, knowing that there are children who don't have enough to eat, who don't have clean water, who don't even have parents? It's unimaginable, especially if we start to think of our own children in that situation.

And so I think the logic goes something like this. I know that there are newborn babies abandoned in, say, Haiti with nobody to take them in. I can't bear it. I really, really want to help one of those babies in Haiti. Maybe I should adopt a baby. There is such enormous need, and I have so much to give. No, it's too expensive. No, it will disrupt my life too much. No, everybody will think I'm crazy. But the idea doesn't go away, and I continue to be haunted by the faces of the children who have nobody. Who am I to say no? How can I be that selfish? How can I know about the beach full of starfish and not take even one to safety? Okay, that's it. I have to do this. I will do this! I'm going to adopt! I can't actually adopt from Haiti, but there are babies to adopt in Ethiopia - there are lots of orphans there too - alright, I've made up my mind. We are going to adopt an Ethiopian orphan. Baby, here we come!

But adding your name to the Ethiopia queue doesn't actually do anything to help. There are children in the world who need families and can't get them, and that's awful. But those babies aren't in the Ethiopian adoption programme. There's a really good, transparent, seemingly ethical adoption system operating in Ethiopia that acts like a great big streetlight. This means that adoptable babies in Ethiopia are in no danger of languishing in an orphanage, waiting forever for a forever family. So going there in order to help by adopting an infant is like that man searching for his coin under a streetlight. Good idea, wrong place. Ultimately a bit pointless. All that is really achieved is that everybody behind you in the Ethiopia queue is going to wait a bit longer. Not the sentiment of which youtube adoption videos are made, perhaps. But true, I think.

I think that the problem comes in because we confuse a micro-need with a macro-need. (Look at me! I just made up some words!) On a micro level, at the level of each individual child, there is undeniably a need. A child without a family needs a family. But on a macro level, there is no need for families to come forward to adopt healthy infants because there are already so many waiting. And so coming forward as a way of helping seems - as I said - a little bit pointless.

Two statements I come across pretty frequently as reasons for adoption are "There are so many orphans and we want to give one a home" and "There is so much need, and we feel called (or some secular version of the same sentiment) to respond". But if those are your reasons for adopting an infant from Ethiopia, here's what I want to say to you: I get where you are coming from, and I honour your desire to help, but I would encourage you to reconsider your plans.

People often say - don't adopt, send money instead. And we respond by saying - you've missed the point, it's not about the money, what children need most of all is families. And this is true. But here's something - none these adoptable babies are going to miss out on families. Because of the queue. So if what you want to do is help, then it really would be more use to send the money. The money you send can help the other kids, the older kids, the kids who are about to become adults, the families, the mothers who have trouble affording food, the fathers who are out of work, the aunts and uncles who have taken in their sister's or brother's children. If you want to help, your money will do a lot more good than joining the queue.

Having just typed that, I'm a little shocked at myself. Am I really telling people not to adopt? Well, yes and no. I'm not saying don't do it, I'm just saying don't do it in order to help anybody.

I'm aware that this has different implications for those of us who are fertility challenged, and whose primary motivation is to have a family, rather than respond to an orphan crisis. It's only possible to do that ethically when there are children with individual needs for families, as I outlined earlier, but we shouldn't kid our selves that when we adopt babies we're doing anything grand, no matter what our fertility status is. I'm always a bit tempted to roll my eyes when people go out of their way to make sure others know that their adoption is not because of infertility - I sometimes suspect there is a bit of a subtext that says 'we don't need this baby, we could totally make our own. We are just seriously awesome people who love orphans'.

That makes me want to puke a bit*. But those of us starting families by adoption need to be careful too, about the way we think and talk about our children and what we're doing. If there is a saviour fantasy, a starfish fantasy, in adoption, the infertile are also pretty heavily invested in that. Sometimes I wonder if this fantasy is particularly appealing to the infertile because it seems so beautifully redemptive for us. I know that after months or years of having nothing, I wanted to believe that I was finally in a position to have something to offer. I was so needy for so long, I wanted to be rid of that role. If I can convince myself that there is a need, it takes me from supplicant to benefactor and of course that is appealing. We have been through so much before we get to this point - surely we are due something spectacular? Infertility is a deeply, deeply humiliating experience, and coming out the end of that ordeal as a humble supplicant – again - felt like more than I could bear. How much more attractive to see my situation transformed and redeemed – to see my pain eventually becoming the trigger for an action of pure good. And on a micro level, it is good. But that doesn't mean it's needed, in any kind of larger sense. I prefer the version of myself that is responding to a need rather than waiting in a queue. But I think the second is more accurate. By adopting, I get a family, but if I hadn't adopted, my children wouldn't have missed out. The worst thing that would have happened to them is that they might have ended up in Belgium. My self-concept doesn't like that fact, but I know it's true.

So if all of that is true... what then? Well, for a start, I don't think that we should be colluding with the starfish narrative, at least not when it comes to infant adoptions. We should probably get more comfortable with saying 'no, there wasn't a need. Actually, there was a really long queue. But we waited in that queue, because we really wanted a baby'. Because that's what's true, surely? And if that isn't true... well, why did you adopt?
*{edited to add: Just to be clear, because I probably wasn't clear enough above - I don't have any problem, at all, with fertile people who adopt! Frankly, your fertility is none of my business. My only puking issues are with people who NEED everyone to KNOW that they are fertile, and can't bear the thought that anyone might think they are adopting due to fertility issues and so make a big deal of it - there's a great big huge giant difference. Fertility issues are nothing to be ashamed of, and this attitude implies that they are, which really annoys me. This doesn't apply to ANY of my regular readers / commenters. Not even one of you.
Oh, and one gentle reminder to those who have adopted before ever trying for a baby - and this sort of includes me, since we came to adoption because of genetic stuff rather than textbook infertility - I'm sure you think you're fertile, and statistically you probably are, but you don't actually KNOW that you are. A lot of people who adopt due to INfertility thought they were fertile too, until they tried. But you knew that already, right? :) }

Monday 29 November 2010

A Link, Two Stories And A Question

My sister used to be a moderator on a parenting forum. While she was doing this, she told me that she had learned the First Rule of the Internet: the longer you mull over something, the longer you spend writing a post, the more it matters to you: the less anybody else is going to care. Her rule makes me think of this xkcd cartoon (hat tip to Dawn):

Right. So, I know all of that, and yet I've been thinking far too much about National Adoption Month and other things of that ilk. I have had a post half-written on this topic forever - I keep deleting bits and then writing more, THIS TIME IN ALL CAPS, BECAUSE THAT WAY PEOPLE WILL KNOW THAT I'M RIGHT. I'm tired of it, I'm tired of how upset it makes me, and I'm tired of the shrill version of myself that I see there.

If I post my hugely important, life-changing, world-shaking, how-did-anybody-live-without-reading-this thoughts, I realise that most of you are probably going to say 'duh! We already knew that!', some will totally disagree, and the rest will just think it was a lot more fun when I mostly posted pictures of my cat. And yet, I think I'm probably going to post it anyway, because I still think it's important stuff and I want it out of my system. But not today, obviously, because it's still only half-written. And not enough of it is yet in bold, the most persuasive font modification of them all. Ha ha.

Okay. I feel like there is far too much to say. In fact, I think the whole thing would be a bit easier if I split it in two, so that's what I'm doing. I'm going to just start off with some background, without any commentary. If I have to tape my typing hands to the wall, I promise I will not provide any commentary. So here you are: just background. A link, two stories, and a question.


I have no idea who Six Seeds are, and I certainly have no idea how they got my email address. I guess I probably gave it to them willingly, but I have no recollection of it. Whoever they are, they've taken to sending me emails. Here's a link they sent me this morning:

Is Adoption the Only Way To Help?

The strapline they used to entice me to click on the link was: What's the best way to help orphans without adding diapers to my grocery list?


The Starfish Thrower

As the old man walked along the beach at dawn, he noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them back into the sea. Finally catching up to the youth, he asked why he was doing this. The answer was that the starfish would die if left until the morning sun. “But the beach goes on for miles and miles and there are millions of starfish,” said the old man.”How can your effort make any difference?” The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and threw it safely into the waves. “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.

—-Loren Eisely
adapted from ‘The Starfish Thrower’ in the book ‘The Unexpected Universe’


A policeman is walking along the street at night. As he gets to the corner of two blocks, he sees a man looking for some lost money under the street light . He offers to help him look. After a few moments the policeman asked the man, "Exactly where did you lose the money?" The man replied, "Oh I lost it half way down the block." The policeman said, "Then why are you searching here?" The man said, "Because the light is so much better!"


Why does it take so long to adopt a healthy infant from Ethiopia?


Okay. There's the background. More tomorrow. Or, knowing me, maybe the next day.

Thursday 25 November 2010

Not Everything Is About Adoption

(Just a miniature post today. I've used up all my computer time sorting through photos).

Yesterday was J's first day off work to do Daddy Duty. After the babies' nap, he walked into town to get his phone unlocked. He wheeled the babies to one of those kiosks that unlock phones and sell watches of dubious origin. The guy running the stall, a South Asian man, agreed to unlock his phone and got working. After a few minutes, he gestured at the babies. He said:

"Their mother? She.....?" J had learned from my mistakes and said:
"No, she's white too." The man looked confused.
"We adopted them." The man continued to look confused.
"They are from Ethiopia." Still confused. After a pause, he finished unlocking the phone, J paid and then went on his way. He hadn't got far before he realised what the man had really been asking about the babies' mother - not where is she from, but where is she now. And he should just have said:

"At work. Their mother is at work".

Friday 19 November 2010

Last Day

Here are some reasons that it's nice to live in England:

Reason 1: It's very close to Europe, so we can go on holiday to Barcelona with only a two hour plane flight. Well, theoretically. We have only done it once, and J's work was paying (conference = holiday, right?) We had hoped to do it again two weeks ago, but a Spanish visa for an Ethiopian bebe turned out to be harder to procure than we had hoped. Boo. So instead (and here's reason 2) we just went for a two hour drive and got to go on holiday here instead:

Okay, not this actual place (this is Leeds Castle, which is nowhere near Leeds, for reasons that I would probably understand much better if I had bothered to read the guide book) but close enough to spend the day visiting. It was nice. There is nowhere like that in Australia.

Reason 3: Having returned from a holiday that was, as I said, less than two hours drive away, people asked - with totally straight faces- what the weather had been like there. I've been here nearly ten years, but continue to enjoy this part of British culture - weather is taken very seriously. It can be dissected and predicted for hours at a time. I once shared a house with a girl who liked having the smaller bedroom in that house because the window faced onto a busy street. Reason? It let her see what weight of clothing people were wearing that day in response to the weather outside, and helped her to make a more informed decision about what level of waterproofing she was going to require. I'm not making that up. If you value your life, here, you do NOT talk during the weather forecast. I like that.

Reason 4: We get royal weddings! Hard-bitten cynic I may be, but there is enough of the five year old girl left inside to squee just a teensy bit about this. She's going to be a REAL LIVE PRINCESS! Come on. That's fabulous. (And speaking of five year old girls... you've all seen Lori's latest post, haven't you? If not, go! )

Reason 5: Employers are legally required to provide 12 months of maternity / adoption leave. Really - 12 whole months. I know. And because mine couldn't actually start until the babies were in the UK, I've actually had 15 months. Fifteen months. Fifteen whole months off work. I know how lucky I am.

Really, I do.

But it turns out that even 15 months off work isn't actually infinity. I thought it was, but it's not. And mine is over. I know that if I complain (fifteen months!) you are all going to throw things at me (well, at your screen) so I'm not complaining. But I'm going to be honest and say that I feel sad, so sad about going back to work. And here's where you might want to throw things even more - I'm only going back two days a week, and J is going to be looking after the babies on those days. So my sadness has nothing to do with them. They will be fine, and more than fine. They like me, but they totally adore their father. Two days a week of Daddy's house of fun is going to be the best thing that ever happened to them. But dangit, I don't want to go!

Often, before I had children, people would say things like 'oh, motherhood is the hardest job in the world' and I would say 'uh huh!' and smile brightly, but I was always thinking 'you know what else is hard work, lady? WORK! Work is hard work!' and I still think that is true. I don't want to get into the whole "better than / more rewarding than/ less boring than / more fulfilling than / less likely to result in therapy than" discussion, because I think it's pretty fruitless. Paid work and full-time motherhood both have advantages, but choosing either means choosing a certain set of losses, too. I know that if I could pick, I would rather stay home, at least for another few years. But if I don't take my job back now, when they are legally obliged to give it to me, I'd never get another part-time job in my sector. Ever. And J wants to be with the babies, too. I don't own them. He has a long commute, which means when he's working full time he gets home from his job after they are in bed each night. This new arrangement is going to be so much better for the three of them. My head knows that.

And have I mentioned that on the days I'm working, they're going to be with their father? So really, there is no reason at all for me to be concerned about them. At all. And in a way, that kind of stinks because frankly, I want to be able to project my fears and anxiety onto something. I want to convince myself that all my heartache and paranoia is about them, rather than the prosaic truth which is that it is all about me. It's about me. It's just about me. I don't want to leave them. (Well, I do, but only to go and see a movie, or try on shoes. Not to work). I don't want to say goodbye in the mornings. And then when I get to work, I'm worried that I will have forgotten how to be a grownup. I'm worried that I will belch in the middle of a silence, forgetting that isn't appropriate office behaviour and nobody is going to giggle. I'm worried that I won't be able to solve any of my daily problems by singing or dancing. I'm worried that I'll be stupid and slow. I'm worried that I will have forgotten how to concentrate for more than ten minutes at a time. I'm worried that one day someone will ask me to produce some income / expenditure ratios and I'll say "No! And do you know why? Because I don't care".

But mostly, I'm worried that they wont' be all mine anymore. They will do things, and I won't be there. They are both right on the cusp of walking, the cusp of talking. I just assumed I would be the one who saw those firsts. And even when it's my husband who will get to see them instead, I still wish it was me.

It hasn't been an easy year, especially the last few months - September, October and November kicked my butt pretty comprehensively. But it was my year, and I'm going to miss it. And so today was the last day that they were all mine. And it reminds me that one day they are going to leave home, and get married and stuff. I know I should be philosophical about this, but I'm not. I just want to squinch them tight forever and keep them safe. I want them always to greet me in the morning by whistling. I want to always be able to tuck them in. I want them to stay snuggly and tiny and they won't. And I know that's okay. But today, it makes me feel sad.

Wednesday 10 November 2010

It's Been A Year

Our adoption was finalised on October 27, 2009. That was the day we went to court, got some stuff stamped and signed, then went out for lunch, then went to the children's home one final time, took our babies back to the hotel in a taxi and became parents. Yikes.

We have video of all of us in the taxi on the way home. We seem calm-ish, but if you know us well there's an unmistakeable hint of hysteria in our voices. Rather than two well-prepared, rational adults, we seem a bit more like a couple who met in Vegas, had a few too many shots and are now walking out of the Chapel of Love wearing matching sweatshirts saying Mr & Mrs. Our voices are saying "we're so happy!" but our eyes are asking "what have we done?"

And we were happy, of course. But it was the strangest feeling to suddenly become parents. We had met the babies and spent time with them. We already loved them, but we knew that until the court made the ruling, they weren't our kids. Now, suddenly, they were. You know that feeling when you have eaten way too much and your tummy cries out "stop! No more, no more!" That's how my heart felt that day. It felt crammed full, too full of feelings. It was like being forcefed on emotions by a very insistent host. "Here! Have some happiness! It's excellent! Try the relief! Here, have more! How about the guilt? You like guilt? Ah, take a double helping! You have room for some gratitude? And please, you must take a little confusion. I see some more room on your plate! I'll put a bit of fear of the future on there! How about some generalised, non-specific anxiety? It's extra good with my specialty: feelings of inadequacy. Hey, look! All your happiness is gone! Okay, you must have some more! No, I insist!" You get the picture.

So, hearts full to the point of nausea, we took the babies back to the hotel and unwrapped them. I don't want to get all symbolic on you and start talking about chrysalises and butterflies, because if I do that you will all need to run off and find a container to barf into. But unwrapping them felt incredibly important to us - it was our first act of parenthood. They had been so tightly and thickly swaddled while in the children's home that they were always bathed in sweat. This is pretty dangerous for babies (duh!), and seeing it had always terrifed me. Every time we visited them, they were damp, and limp and underneath all the layers it turned out they had no muscle tone at all. But now we could let them move. We didn't change their clothes, because we wanted them to have familiar smells, but we massaged their little arms and legs and watched their huge eyes widen as they learned that their bodies could s-t-r-e-t-c-h. We held them and fed them and looked and looked and looked and drank in the fact that we were all together in the same room, a family at last.

Well, that's how it felt to J and I, anyway. We knew that this wasn't 'at last' for them - adoption issues aside, they were three months old and three month old babies don't really have a concept of time.

Eventually, everybody over two feet tall got hungry. Mum and J decided to go and get pizza from the shop at the end of our road, and I stayed behind to keep up the flow of milk. They left, and suddenly I was on my own with these two tiny humans. It was amazing. I remember putting baby I down on my lap to feed him. I pulled my knees up nearly to my chin and we stared and stared at each other. He blniked at me quietly and drank and drank while L slept. M and J can't have been gone for very long, but it felt like hours. Things would get really, really hard in about six hours time, and stay that way for weeks, but that first time on my own with my children (my children!) felt magical.

We'd been advised by the paediatrician to just let them drink as much as they wanted, and so that's what we did. That afternoon I think he drank pretty much his whole bodyweight in milk. Three month old babies don't know very much, but it turns out they aren't stupid. They had been, frankly, neglected. I am not drinking adoption Kool-Aid when I say that they obviously preferred the care of two imperfect, utterly overwhelmed parents to the life they had immediately before adoption. On that first day they learned that they could have all the milk they wanted, whenever they wanted it and they adapted to life on the milky train pretty quickly. I don't mean that they loved us, but they were perfectly happy to have us around. This was actually a bit of a surprise. I had prepared myself for some kind of writhing yellfest, but it really didn't happen. I know that all kids are different, and I know that babies process loss in ways that aren't always obvious. I'm not saying they were wearing badges with 'I love my new forever family!' written on them, but I never had a moment's doubt that they were better off (yes! I said it! Better off!) with us than they were in the orphanage.

Let me tell you something about that orphanage: it was awful. You know how some people get to say "oh the care our baby got was wonderful"? We did not get to say that. I've heard that things are better there now, and I'm really glad about that. And I know that, as institutions go, it was a pretty good institution. So relatively speaking, it was fine. But as a place to leave your child, it was not a good place. The guilt I feel (and believe me, I feel plenty of guilt) has nothing to do with taking the babies away from there. In fact -if you will bear with a digression - I think the main reason why so many conversations about ethics get derailed with the old saw about families being better than orphanages is because adoptive parents see, first hand, how visibly children tend to thrive when they leave an orphanage for parental care. It makes us think about butterflies, and I'm not the kind of person who often thinks about butterflies. I compare my children's life in the afternoon of that day with how it was in the morning and I know it was better. That makes me feel, viscerally, that our adoption must have been a Good Thing. But when I'm thinking clearly, I don't really think that the 'orphanage or family' question has very much to do with the heart of international adoption ethics. The real questions must be about this: why was that baby in the orphanage in the first place? Because if you stole my children from me right now, or paid me to relinquish them, or coerced me into it, and then put them in an orphanage, anybody who adopted them in six months time would have the same post-adoption experience that I did. Life with their new family would be infinitely better than it was in that orphanage, but if the children shouldn't have been there in the first place that isn't really the point, is it? But that's a whole different post. Okay, digression over.

And so now it's been a year. I'm so thankful. But there's a part of me that feels like we don't have the right to celebrate it. Like all I should ever say as an adoptive parent is I'm sorry, I'm a bad person. I didn't post about it at the time because I felt kind of weird publicly celebrating something that was making me feel so conflicted. I feel like there's a lot of anti-adoptive-parent sentiment out there, and sometimes I find myself buying into that out of guilt. And how can I write about something when I don't even know what to call it? This post is a great explanation of why I'm not fond of the term 'gotcha day'. I would lean towards family day, but there are times when I feel like even this is more than we should claim. I'm so aware that these are our first children, but we are not their first parents. They were born into a family before they were adopted into one.

And so, 2010. My mother was here with us again, and my father too, this time - so we swapped stories about our memories of the day, and kissed the babies a lot, and thanked God for all his mercies to us. We ate pizza and milk that day a year ago, and so this year we marked it by doing the same thing - milk for the babies and pizza for the adults. Next year I'm hoping the babies will actually eat some pizza too and not just fling it on the floor. So maybe we should just call it pizza day. And maybe we will. If we were being scrupulously honest about 2009, we would call it "pizza and milk, most of which got vomited up later" day, but that's not really something we're hoping will become an annual event.

But the more I think about it, the more happy I am to confidently claim Family Day too. Not just as a technicality, but as a celebration. Forming our family was difficult, ethically complicated and the result of tragedy. There's no disputing that my babies have four real parents. But J and I are definitely two of them. We are definitely a family. Our babies have to face some very sad anniversaries in the years to come, but October 27 is not one of them. So Happy Belated Family Day, babies. We're so glad we're yours.

Thursday 4 November 2010

I'm On Holiday

...and it's taken me until today to switch on the laptop, so ten points to me, yes?

Since I'm not posting anything while I'm away (because clearly this post is an optical illusion) I wanted to take this opportunity to point you all to my absolute favourite place on the web for intelligent, thoughtful discussions about race. It's a blog called Irene's Daughters and if you even slightly interested in having a transracial family and you aren't reading it yet, you are absolutely missing out. It's got thoughtful writing, it's got four women from four different ethnic backgrounds (including a transracially adopted adult) doing the aforementioned thoughtful writing, it's got a great comments section, it's got a particularly wonderful series on 'derailment', and my favourite thing of all is that it is always constructive and never mean. If you're white, it will really help you to think about being white, but it will not make you hate yourself for being white. Big difference. I was prompted to finally post a link when I read this very thought-provoking post earlier today. Don't forget to read the comments.

So go! Read! Enjoy. You can thank me later.

Right, now I'm going to get back to my holiday...