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
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
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
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
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
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