To Learn Grace..

..is a hard thing.  Some folks will never get the hang of it.

To me grace is something like respect, but in a personal condition,it has to come from not just action, but approach.  It has to come from the way that you think about things, and see the world.  

To learn grace you must realize in all but the most intimate places, you are a guest.  It’s not about deferring to your host, but being just as you are while still respecting that others may not share your outlook.

To learn grace you must never taunt.  Taunting is always clumsy, always disjointed, always a demonstration of gracelessness.  One cannot display grace by pointing out a perceived lack of grace.

To learn grace you must educate yourself.  If you don’t know who or what you are addressing, you are sure to trip.  You must not think that you can lead what you don’t understand.

To learn grace you must know not to be high handed.  The graceful do not see themselves as above others.  Offers of guidance are made from wanting to help, not wanting to dominate.  

To learn grace you must not assume.  Accept that the rather course explanation of the word assume that you were undoubtedly subjected to at some point in your life does have wisdom.  To assume is to make an ass out of you and me.

And finally to learn grace, you must listen.  You must listen to both your supporters and detractors.  When you cut through the praise and censure, there will be something that you can take away.

I don’t claim grace.  But I know it when I see it.

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Earth Day And Adoption

Since today is Earth Day I thought it would be a good time to look at the environmental impact of adoption.

As we all know the birth of any child, anywhere, has an environmental consequence, but how does adoption effect that?

Let’s start with the first thing we always hear about when adoption is considered, paperwork.  To hear potential adopters talk there must be at least a ton of it.  That’s a whole lot of trees gone, pollution from paper mills, and all the accompanying mess.  Even if all this was done on 100% recycled paper the impact from all the energy from producing it would still make Al Gore wince.

But adoptive parents will raise their children in a more environmentally responsible way, you say.  I’m not so sure.

The standard image of the birth parent driving an older less economical, carbon belching car while throwing Cheetos wrappers and 7-11 burrito leavings out of the window while speeding to a crack house isn’t quite accurate.  Not is the image of the adoptive parent driving a vegetable oil burning hybrid compact SUV, pausing to pick up Cheetos wrappers for recycling, while driving sensibly to pick up the kids from the French Space Creative Writing Enrichment Camp.  

In fact some of the reasons frequently cited for adoption amount to environmental nightmares.  The first being that they can “give the child so much more”.  While I don’t doubt that they indeed can give them more, I’m not convinced it’s a great idea.  Have they checked where all those boring play to learn toys are made?   Lead free doesn’t necessarily mean responsibly manufactured.  Would a few less toys from Walmart really make a lot of difference?  Exactly how many chemicals are being poured into that pool?  Wouldn’t going to a public pool make more sense from an environmental point of view, even with the Cheetos wrappers abandoned along the route?  

What about the impact of the child themselves?  All those diaries filled with adoption angst don’t come cheap for mother Earth.  Not to even mention the power it takes to produce the bandwidth for the social media pages filled with really bad teenage adoption poetry that is sure to follow.  And while we are on the subject of bad poetry, any poem written by potential and/or current adoptive parents should just be banned, not just for the good of the Earth, but for the good of mankind in general.  Trust me, plenty of bandwidth get wasted with comments about the ridiculousness of these efforts.  

What all the original birth certificates that are sitting around in file cabinets all over the county.  They are taking up valuable space and consuming energy to conceal.  What about the rest of the records that seem destined to never see the light of day?  Wouldn’t it make more sense to entrust them into the responsibility of the adoptee?  To switch the carbon footprint of these papers to the one who they truly belong?  Do they not trust us adoptees to be environmentally responsible with the care of our own records?  Have the enviromentally irresponsible actions of others again stood in our way?

Are our original birth certificates even on acid free paper?  Could this be the reason we aren’t allowed to see them?  

I could go on.  There are surely countless more reasons that adoption is not environmentally responsible.  And I just might.  I am an adoptee.  I have bandwidth to waste.

Funny What You Find

I have too much time on my hands.  I actually check my blog stats.  They are disheartening.  Not because I don’t have enough readers, I have those, but who is reading me.  

Over the last few months the posts that get the most hits are those about my Holt Adoption Camp experience.  This tells me more folks are googling Holt International, Adoption Camp, or “how do I get me one of those neato orphans?” in disturbing numbers.  

That ain’t good.

You know what else isn’t good?  If you check Holt International on Twitter, they are following this guy….

http://www.amazon.com/Snowball-Factor-Create-Avalanche-Profit/dp/1432728717/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239586759&sr=1-1

 

That’s right, “How To Create An Avalanche Of Profit”.  

*sigh*

It figures.

He also offers this little gem…

http://www.90secondwebsitebuilder.com/

“My nine-year-old just built my website for me”

Great.  

One wonders where exactly he got this 9 year-old.

Loss Of Control

Have you ever been in a car accident?

There’s a moment when you know that no matter what you do, that car is not going to come under your control.  All the steering into the skid isn’t going to do a bit of good.  You know that you are resigned to your fate, and all you can do is hope you don’t hit it too hard.  

This happens within a few seconds, but there is a moment you know it’s not in your hands anymore.  You have lost control.  This is a very clear moment.

I’m not sure that everybody recognizes this moment.  They may think there is still some hope, that a miracle will happen and they will escape impact with that other car, that tree, that ditch, that whatever, that is going to push all that momentum you’ve built up right back at you.

 In the case of a car accident, this might be a good thing.  All that hope might displace some of the absolute terror of knowing a very bad thing is coming very quickly.  

In the case of legislation it is folly.  

Things in California are spinning put of control on the adoptee rights front.  There aren’t enough crumple zones in the world to save AB372.  I’m not sure if some folks see that or not, but it is abundantly clear to rest of us.

Some days…..

..I don’t feel adopted at all.

I do have a life.  All of my days aren’t spent in front of the computer fulfilling the role of adoptee angst referee.  For instance, right now I have over 300 heirloom tomato seedlings on my sunporch just waiting for the soil to warm enough to be planted.  Mortgage Lifter, Pantano Romanesco, Pineapple, Principe Borghese, Cour Di Bue, etc.

I haven’t figured out what I’m going to do with 300 tomato plants.  I have enough room in my garden for maybe 100 of them.  I may have to set up with a sign at my town’s only stop light and sell them.  Let’s see, if I can get a dollar a piece for them that makes how many Bloody Marys?  I’ve always figured my garage sale profits in Margaritas, so I’m using Bloody Marys in this situation.

Oh course my gardening may not be as enjoyable as I had anticipated, my neighbor has obtained a pack of foxhouds.  Baying, cat chasing, foxhounds.  My neighbor seems to as unaware of leash laws as his dogs are the subtle differences between a cat and a fox.  The scene in my yard over the last week has consisted of hearing a disturbance, seeing the cat run by, followed by the pack of fox hounds, followed by every other stray dog in the county. This display followed by my husband, whatever he may be up to,  doing a fairly good impression of The Old Man in A Christmas Story.  “Damn Bumpes’ dogs!”  It begs a yakkity sax soundtrack.

Efforts to contain the dogs are underway.  In an ideal scenario they would decide it would be much more fun to chase my neat freak neighbor around (you know the one who powerwashes his roof and vacuums his yard) but I’m doubting this pack of hounds is trainable.  Pity.

And then there’s the whole pepper situation…..but that’s another post.