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.


  1. You have 70 followers for a reason. Even if we all "know" everything you write down, I can promise you that you will have articulated it in a way that the rest of us haven't found the way to. And for that, we are thankful and can then send links to your blog (or a particular post) to our friends/family and say to them, "What that lady said." Your voice is an important one in this community. Truly. Use bold.

  2. I want to hear what you think! Really. I think one of the main reasons for reading blogs is to clarify your OWN thoughts. Come to think of it, that's also one of the main reasons for writing a blog as well.

    So write away! Even in BOLD ALL CAPS! ;-)

  3. Maybe it is inappropriate, but I had to giggle. I have 2 incomplete, extremely lengthy, blog posts of my own for November, Adoption Month. I vaguely decided that I would go against the grain and publish in December, thereby virtuously extending awareness of adoption beyond the assigned month .... blah blah blah.
    My posts are so long even my mother would not read them. But okay, I am going to take another go at them.
    You should definitely put yours up. I love to read your thoughts because you go into such detail and make an effort to consider all the angles, not just the ones that work for you.

  4. Well, if you posted those links/questions/stories to pique our interest and get us to come back for the REAL POST - mission accomplished!

    Can't wait...

  5. I just love the cartoon and have spent too many hours reading hundreds of comments to find the people who do not agree with my point of view!!!

    But your sister is right - oh, and how!

    I love the way you set things up and of course, the starfish story is one of my absolute favourites because when I feel like NOTHING I do matters, I'll get a lonely little comment from one of my newsletter subscribers and all will be well with the world - I am SO easy to please :)

    How are the munchkins?

  6. I agree with every other comment - write away sister! I love reading your blog posts.

  7. I'm super intrigued and can't wait to read the next posts...

  8. 1. Remember my monkey costume post? oh so important to me. apparently either totally obvious to others OR completely unimportant to others. Fascinating how that works.
    2. Clicked on the link. Turns out I know Steve Haas quite well. Have worked with him a lot. Funny these things.
    3. Really really interested to hear your thoughts....

  9. It is National Adoption Month, as a TYPICAL American I assumed the nation in National was the good ole' USA - so should you even be reading those posts? Do you have a right to question them? As for me, I have also read way too many posts during National Adoption Month that have made me want to write in all caps, with no periods, just lots of misplaced commas. Can I send them to you and you will reply? Please?

  10. I just have to say that is one of my all time super favourite cartoons! J showed it to me shortly after I disentangled myself from the aforementioned forum and I laughed for about a week!


Over to you!