The adoption connection
I read with interest Robin Huiras's touching story of her journey to motherhood via egg donation in October's Chicago Parent ("Having Diana"). I was troubled, however, by two statements made by the author, both regarding adoption.
She states that she and her husband "couldn't ethically bring an unrelated child into a family where there exists a chance that at too-early a date it would become a single parent household." She then goes on to say that "a biogenetic link ... was crucial to give us the assurance that no matter what the future held, the connection to our child would be unbreakable."
As an adoptive parent, I can assure you that the fact that our children are not biologically related to us would make no difference to the surviving spouse if one of us were to leave this earth prematurely.
I can also attest that no matter what the future holds, our connection to our two adopted sons is utterly unbreakable, and we have no biogenetic link to them. The relationship between adopted children and their parents is commonly misunderstood as being tenuous and inferior. If only society could see that, despite the fact that genetics have nothing to do with it, adoptive families are as bonded and devoted as those families that are formed through biology.
I read with interest the article entitled "Eliminate the Need for Diapers" written by Robyn Monaghan, August 2009. As much as I appreciate the parents' attempts to reduce landfill use, save money and other possible benefits, I was disconcerted by their indifference to their babies' elimination in a public setting.
Specifically, I was struck by the cavalier attitude of the quote by Arielle Bywater, "She's peed in the sinks of many of the finest restaurants in Chicago." Please thank her for making the cleaning staff duties more difficult and leaving them to wonder from where the urine smell is originating! I doubt if the next guests at these "finest restaurants" will appreciate the urine and possibly feces stuck in the drain. Basic knowledge of plumbing tells the average person that a flush is used in a toilet to flush away solids and smelly liquids while a sink is used to drain only liquids, not something as smelly as urine.
May I suggest she and her husband use cloth diapers while outside of their home and either hold their baby over the public toilet (a scary thought) or let the diaper perform its job. Cloth diapers emptied in the toilet and washed at home, briefly fluffed in the dryer and then hung out on the clothesline are very ecologically sound.
Please share my thoughts with Ms. Monaghan, Ms. Bywater, and others interviewed for this article. There is no perfect solution to most "human waste" issues but consideration for others while outside of your own home is only a common courtesy.
Minding your manners
In the Holiday 2009 issue of Going Places, there was a lovely article about where to take children for afternoon tea ("Tea time"). The child pictured was lovely, up to the point where she is about to lick her finger dipped into a creamy substance from her tea sandwich. Granted tea sandwiches are eaten with fingers but she could have been posed holding her cup of tea instead.
Patricia A. O'Brien
Don't be a statistic, breastfeed
I am an avid reader of Chicago Parent and find the magazine to be quite entertaining and very helpful to boot. In the October 2009 issue, there was an article called, "Don't be a statistic." I thought that it was great that your publication would print an article that matters so much to women.
However, as I was reading I was quite disappointed to see that the author left out a crucial addition to the In your 20s section. I think that it is very important to note the benefits of not only having a child in reducing the likelihood of breast cancer, but also the fact that breastfeeding that child can tremendously reduce the risk of breast cancer in women. According to the American Cancer Society, whom has quoted a study from the July 20 issue of The Lancet (Vol. 360: 187-195), in the most detailed study on the role of breastfeeding in breast cancer risk, the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer looked at 47 previous reports of studies conducted in 30 countries. These reports contained information looking at 50,000 women with breast cancer and almost 97,000 women who did not develop breast cancer. A direct quote from the study reads, "These relations are significant and are seen consistently for women from developed and developing countries, of different ages and ethnic origins, and with various childrearing patterns and other personal characteristics." said the authors. "The short duration of breastfeeding typical of women in developed countries makes a major contribution to the high incidence of breast cancer in these countries."
I believe that if publications such as Chicago Parent were more proactive in supporting breastfeeding it would help to shift the poor breastfeeding statistics we see in the U.S., being the country that has the lowest breastfeeding rate among any developed nation. Breastfeeding is a normal and natural physiological response of the mammalian body to pregnancy and birth. Human babies were meant to be nourished by their mother's milk. Humans would have ceased to exist thousands of years ago had women not breastfed. Please be a positive force in empowering women to know that they can breastfeed and it truly is the very best for their child and for their own health. Thank you for your time.
Spanking teaches nothing
I read the article "To spank or not to spank" (November 2009). I don't believe in spanking your child because that's a form of violence, you're not teaching your child.
As a single mom (my son is 16 years old now), I have never spanked my son. When he misbehaves, all I do is give him "the look" and he knows what's up.
I talk to him every day so we stay connected. I am behind him teaching, showing him right and wrong.
Too many parents think spanking the child solves everything but it's only the beginning. Kids join gangs as a result or worse, because the parent was "too busy" to talk to their own kids. The more you spank them, the farther they are from you. The child will one day turn on the parent and hurt them with all that anger coming out.