An enlightened observation
written by an objective party in response to a recent nationally syndicated advice column:
I don’t know why, but it is a hot-button
issue for me (married man, no desire for children) when I see people equating giving birth with being a parent. I’m
guessing the reference to the 42-year-old [struggling with infertility] was about realizing she wouldn’t conceive, but
that in no way means she will never be a mom.
Dear married man, no desire for children:
Thank you. Bravo. Bless you. Well, I do know why it’s
a hot button issue for you, at least in part. You are particularly decent and insightful. Beyond that, there is a reason that
you will recognize some day — maybe in five years, or 20 or 10.
My friends, Karin and Bob, had adopted two children from Korea back in the early
1990s. Beautiful family in every way.
At that time, I had no desire for children.
I walked into a small local newsstand in Boca Raton, looking for a magazine
I wanted to learn more about and possibly write for. I heard the guy behind the counter on the phone, talking about international
adoption. It seemed to me based on his end of the conversation that he and his wife were dug deep in the trenches in the war
I didn’t know
why, but something compelled me forward, questioning the whole time, why. Why was this suddenly a hot button issue for me?
Went to our apartment. Spoke to Bob. Got the name
of their agency. Drove back to the store. Handed the guy, who was by now off the phone, a piece of paper.
“I hope I’m not being too presumptuous,” I said, feeling like
I probably was but also believing that somehow there was a reason that someday might make sense.
“I couldn’t help but overhear you on the phone earlier. My friends
adopted two children from Korea using this agency. Just thought I’d pass it along. Good luck!”
He thanked me, looking a little surprised, a little touched and a lot hopeful.
Seven years later, it was my turn. I chose China. The
following year, I had my girl. My Suzanna to Karin and Bob’s Susannah.
Only then did my actions that day seem to fall into place. I had paid it forward — in advance.
And really, isn’t that what mothers do all the time?