My side bar keeps growing and growing in length. It is now longer than the posts. I find that very amusing. I think it was adding so many write-ups to Operation Heads Up (by the way, if you have any topics to add to Operation Heads Up, let me know. I would love to have a bunch of international adoption ones geared towards specific countries since the process varies from place to place--anyone want to jump in and start one?).
I also added a new poll, but it's so far down the side bar that I'm not sure how many people have seen it.
Lastly, I added a link under the big book icon for the Barren Bitches Book Tour--essentially a book club that you can do from the comfort of your own living room in the hour you choose. Go to the post to read more and send me an email or leave a comment if you want to participate. The more the merrier.
And now, the blogs...
Serenity had a great post this week about conversations at parties. Obviously, if you're doing treatments or in the middle of the adoption process, it's on your mind. Yet no one talks about it. You see people at parties and they ask how you're doing and what do you say? You feel like you're lying if you don't mention that last IVF attempt. But you also know that most people don't want to see pictures of your embryos while they're drinking that appletini at the company Christmas party. Serenity says it much better that I do, so head over and read the whole post...
Teamwinks at Are We There Yet asked an interesting question on Wednesday: why does foster-to-adopt lag behind domestic and international adoptions in terms of popularity? She has already posted a list of books about foster parenting. But it is a good question--why does it not only lag behind as "third choice" in the adoption world statistically, but it also lags behind in terms of printed material and web sites? Why isn't there more information out there to be gathered by prospective foster parents?
I know I posted about this earlier in the week, but it's such a good idea that it's worth repeating. Bea at Infertile Fantasies has started an idea called 50 Good Deeds. Every week, she posts a report card chronicling the things she's doing to give back to the world. Rather than repeat the same crappy year, she's decided to take control of her life by giving to others. And this idea rocks. It rocks for everyone she helps along the way, it rocks for Bea who is turning around her life, and it rocks for every person who is motivated by her great idea to go out and get involved.
Vee at The Sweet Life has been having a hard week--she went to her friend's mother's funeral this week and her own mother is ill. She also had a very moving comment in the center of one of her posts this week. She writes about holding a friend's new baby: "Everyone was oohing and aahhing and they kept throwing in the 'oh he looks exactly like his father.' Which he did but one thing I have learnt was never say who the baby looks like because you just never know. I know for a fact that they didn't use a donor it was an accident, yeah one of those. But I know if I can avoid any pain that any future donor mum or dad have to go through then I will. Even if it is as simple as not mentioning who the baby looks like, not unless the mother or father mention it anyway." I've been thinking about this for a while and the whole biology game and the importance people seem to put on a child looking like their parents. I know I'm guilty of doing this too and it's something I've tried to be conscious about not doing once I realized how those comments would sting if we go ahead with adoption (see, even stirrup queens need to be taught). When I first met my husband's grandfather, I commented that they both had the same hands. And when my son was born, the tradition continued. He was named after Josh's grandfather and he has the hands of his father and great-grandfather. It's something I think about a lot now as we look at adoption. And weighing whether seeing those hands again matters (as if it's entirely up to me!). Or why we can't celebrate and comment on the beauty of having everyone biologically unique. Again, what is the purpose of the biology game except that it makes us feel connected to someone who has passed away. But what about the emotional pain it causes the living parents when people comment about how their child doesn't look like them? Do the drawbacks outweigh the benefits of the game, especially once you consider that this is the reality of the donor and adoption world. And, like Vee points out, the simple way to remedy this situation is to not try to look for these similarities and point them out to the parents.
Baby Blues has fantastic advice--comparing parasailing to infertility--and how the same techniques that can get you though your fear of heights can also be used to navigate the non-infertile world as a stirrup queen (or sperm palace jester--boys sometimes need advice too). You need to go to her blog and read the whole thing--especially before you have to go to all of those holiday parties that Serenity mentioned in her post.