Tuesday, January 08, 2002

adopt, abort, keep. pick one.

I got Geoff a cake on the way home, and some Pizzeria Uno pizzas from the super market. I stopped at a salvage store called Building 19 and picked him up some books. I was looking for some sporting apparel. He's into football now, and likes hockey a little, so I wanted a jersey or something.

All they had in the sporting goods area was XFL merchandise. The Memphis Maniax and all those other ill fated teams. I would have gotten myself a "He Hate Me" (for those of you who paid an ounce of attention to XFL, you know who that is) shirt, but they didn't have one. The XFL was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen in my life. I can't believe anyone pissed their money into that pot of crud.

But I digress.

I did end up getting him a pair of boxer shorts. He loves boxer shorts and wears them as shorts over his underpants (we allow that in the house. Not outside, just inside. These were JC Penney "Harry Potter" Quidditch team Gryffindor (is that how you spell it?) shorts, and I knew he'd love them.

He was thrilled, and Matt and Megan came over to join us for cake and to sing to him.

So all in all, it was a nice evening.

Next is Doug's birthday. We shall see what events transpire.

I was saddened to learn today the Wendy's founder Dave Thomas passed away today at 69.

The Boston Globe referred to him as "the portly pitchman whose homespun ads built Wendy's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers into one of the world's most successful fast-food enterprises," and made at least three other references to him being fat in the article. Uh, jeeesh. How about he founded the third most popular fast food burger joint on earth. Wanna mention that first? To be honest, I've seen fat people. Dave Thomas wasn't THAT fat. Fer Chrissake. I suppose they think Jennifer Anniston could shed a few pounds too. I thought that was kind of mean.

Overall the obit was kind, especially drawing attention to the fact that he started this huge foundation for adoption. I've contributed to it in the past, especially because I have close friends who adopted a little girl four years ago from Korea. He once testified before a Congressional committee about the importance of creating incentives for adoption. "I know firsthand how important it is for every child to have a home and loving family," he testified. "Without a family, I would not be where I am today."

I've seen bumperstickers and advertisements that say "Adoption - A Beautiful Choice," and they choke me up. I think that it truly is.

My friend's daughter was born to a college girl who'd gotten pregnant by her college boyfriend in Seoul, and the boyfriend refused to marry her because it would ruin his career plans to marry so young. Her parents were angry with her for the same reason -- it would ruin her life to have a baby so young. So her options were to abort the baby, or have her and just give her up. Either option was a painful and overwhelming choice, and so many women have had to make that choice over history.

I wonder if she, the young mother, was trying to GET him to marry her. Trap him in a relationship. I wonder how she felt when those plans went awry. Or perhaps they were just foolish and made that all too often made mistake, and found themselves in a situation they couldn't handle. He turned his back on her (cowardly asshole) and she's left there, holding her future in her belly.

She had the baby, and gave her up. Three months later the baby was escorted to Logan Airport in Boston, where she was met by two parents of one child who found themselves unable to have any more of their own kids due to sterilization from chemotherapy on the part of the dad.

Adoption ... that's a beautiful choice.

Worked for Dave Thomas.

Works for this girl. Loving, happy and healthy, she's a feisty little sister to her big brother, and a blessing to all who know her with her infectious laugh and big smile.

I wonder where that girl is today. Did she finish college? What does she do for a living? Did the boyfriend forgive her and come back? Is she well? Is she happy? I'm always stirred by these stories when people are reunited after 30 years and the poor woman cries and cries when she sees her adult child.

It's a weighty sacrifice. One I'm so relieved I have never had to make. It's a choice I've luckily never had to face... keep, give or abort. I'd always said that I would never have an abortion if faced with the choice... I'd hope that if too young that my family would understand and help me make right decisions, such as adoption or keeping. One of the most amazing journal entries I've EVER read was from Scott Anderson when he about his recollections on the day he and his wife decided to keep the baby they'd discovered she was pregnant with. Scott had spent the better part of a few years of journaling "eschewing fecundity" and insisting over and over again they would NEVER have a baby... and here he finds himself facing the biggest decision of his (and his daughter's) life. He states that he will make sure she knows that day... and I bet she'll celebrate it like a birthday.

Of course he is now a doting father with a precocious and gorgeous little girl. But reading someone's writing on this topic while they're making this kind of a decision is heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking.

When I lost the baby between Geoff and Jess (December 1993), I had to have a D & E to remove him because he simply wouldn't come out.

I saidmy whole life I'd never have an abortion. For me, I had a "you play, you pay" kind of mentality. Should I find myself pregnant, it's happening.

My doctor pretty much told me that I had to have the procedure. I'd be there all day and the next no matter what, and nothing would progress, so she recommended they "get it over and one with."

It's something I'll never forget.

And trust me -- it's a sound I never want to hear again. I cried and cried and cried on the table, and the anesthesiologist knelt beside me, stroked my hair, wiped my tears and held my hand. He was so unbelievably wonderful to me. My doctor finished, took her gloves off, left. I overheard her mention to someone in the hall that this had made her late for a dinner party because I wouldn't go through the procedure an hour earlier.... It was after all December 23rd. She didn't even say "Merry Fucking Christmas to me."

The anesthesiologist took care of me, and brought me through the recovery process for the epidural. When they came to transport me to a recovery room, they told him they were taking me to the labor and delivery recovery area.

I got a bill from my insurance company for $2500 about 2 months after the procedure. They told me they wouldn't pay for the hospital stay, the doctor bill or the procedure because it was "elective surgery in the form of an abortion." As if! I wanted that baby. I wanted him so much at that time in my life. Fuck their bureaucratic asses! I called them SCREAMING at them... how dare they! They said they checked with the doctor's office and the doctor had put down that it was a voluntary D&E, that I'd made a choice to have the foetus removed.


So I'm on the phone to the doctor, cursing up a blue streak and ripping her new bodily orifices, threatening lawsuits, using the terms "attorney" and "malpractice," and she kind of shrugs it off. I demanded a letter be sent to the insurance agency, or SHE was going to pay out of pocket not only for the procedure but for the absolutely shitty way she'd treated me that day. Fuck her!

So four months later, I get another bill from my insurance company threatening me with a collections agency.

Hello? Lawyer? Uh, yeah, you got a minute. What the hell is up with that. I'm STILL pissed about it. How the hell did this pop into my head and I start typing about it. Jesus. How morose! Okay enough!

I gotta head home, and this hasn't been the funnest or cheeriest of my (a)musings, but hell. It is what it is.

Here are my final thoughts on the subject:

  • If you've had an abortion, don't think I hate you our judge you or am angry, or that I think I'm better than you. I am rather sympathetic. I think it's such a hard decision, and the decision you made is what it is. You've hopefully grown from it, learned, and are a better person deep within the recesses of your being. So don't think I'm some sort of high and mighty bitch or something. I don't envy the decision you made. It is probably THE hardest thing you have ever gone through, or perhaps the easiest "no questions asked" decision. I do NOT demand that other people live their in any way other than the way they choose.
  • If you've had dozens of abortions, you need to examine your methods of birth control, honey.
  • If you've adopted, you're lucky.
  • If you are adopted, you're lucky, too.
  • If you've ever given a baby up, well... Dave Thomas would thank you and be proud of you. And so does the child.

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