Not a Post About Crochet (Only)

The past few days I have been working on something special.

I was going to log on and write a post about it the other day, but what I ended up with was The Other Things I Am. Needless to say I was exasperated that day… motherhood is really trying sometimes.

One of the things I had meant to say with that post was that, in addition to writing and a bunch of other things, I crochet as well. Like writing, I haven’t crocheted in about a decade, until recently. Working with yarn has a tendency to reduce stress, so I took up knitting and restarted my crochet habit around February time.

I first made one of these special things I mentioned a couple of months back, using a free pattern from one of my favourite magazines. I altered the pattern slightly and used different yarn and a differently sized hook. What it made was a larger, monotone version of the stuffed toy, for which I designed some clothes. Namely, a ballerina costume and little ballet slippers. A picture of it even made its way into my favourite magazine and won me a ball of yarn. Woo!

While I made the toy, I had a friend in mind.

This friend of mine has been trying for four years to adopt. She doesn’t even want to adopt a baby, which are a more popular choice for hopeful parents, but a girl who is older and has been orphaned for some time, of which there are plenty. For a while she was trying to adopt from Russia because, at the time, it was her most promising option. Then her country legalized same-sex marriage. And that was it; all her money wasted (because adoption is not cheap), emotional rollercoaster ride back to square one. (Russia says “NYET” to any country which allows same-sex marriage, regardless of the sexuality of the hopeful parents.) She was devastated.

Now she is trying from another country, as there are no matches for her in her own country, and so far that’s looking promising. I have the highest hopes for her that she will finally have the joy of being a mother (even though it is such a challenge sometimes) and while she was visiting most recently, I gave her the toy I had made.

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The bear has now gone overseas to go live with my friend, and hopefully soon, her new daughter.

Another friend of mine saw the bear before it was given away. The other day she called me and asked if I’d make one for a local charity event whereby the bear will be in a big jar and donations will be raised as people guess the name of the bear to try to win it. Saves counting jelly beans! So I got right on it, and have finally finished the last little ballet slipper today.

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As I was making it, I thought of the first friend again. As I’m sure most of you have heard, the US recently legalised same-sex marriages. While I am pleased for the people who have been waiting a long time for this, and would like to join completely in their joy, I can’t help but think about how many parents-in-waiting are out there, and how many Russian orphans are out there, who have not been able to be matched because of Russia’s rules on adopting to places where same-sex marriage is simply legal.

I should clarify, the ban for adoption to US parents came into effect late 2014, not the other day. I am not sure of the exact reasons for the ban, maybe just a bit of animosity between the two countries who aren’t exactly friends, but as several states had already legalised these types of marriages, it would not be far-fetched to say that Russia didn’t want its children around same-sex marriages. This feels wrong.

It would be easy to say “Well that’s Russia’s problem,” and not be entirely wrong to say that. But there are children not at fault for simply being Russian, and parents meeting every other criteria for adopting from Russia who are not at fault for simply being from a country which has legalised same-sex marriage. The US is a leader in most political trends, and I would bet many countries will now follow in its steps.

I wonder what Russia’s problem is with this subject. But Russia and the adoption fiasco are just one example of divided opinions about who should be allowed to marry. One doesn’t even need to leave the house to see how divided people are about this. And maybe you think I’m going to give a strong opinion one way or the other…

But I don’t know what the correct answer is on this subject. I can see where people are coming from when they say it’s destroying the family unit, not that I agree with their opinion. And I can see where people are coming from who say “love is love,” not that I agree that same-sex marriages should be legalised. I see how people say that heterosexual marriages are not so great themselves, how divorce should not be legal, and I see there are plenty of same-sex couples who have been together longer than hetero couples.

I’m not a psychologist and I don’t know what exactly children need and how different genders of parents affect their development from a factual scientific perspective. I do know that growing up without a dad sucked. My mom wasn’t gay, but I can’t say whether another woman around would have been harmful, in fact it would probably have been beneficial. I know a lot of gay guys who are excellent around kids. I know a lot of terrible heterosexual males who have failed miserably at the “dad thing.” I know both gay and straight moms who have failed and succeeded in raising good kids. I have had quite a few homosexual friends throughout the years who have been excellent friends, many times even better than the heterosexual ones.

I am also well-versed in the Bible but will probably never attend church again. I still haven’t covered my thoughts on religion and won’t get too far into that today, but I will say this:

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

There are a lot of innocent people who are adversely affected by the legalisation of something which makes so many others so happy, and what I’ve learned throughout my life is not to get caught up in any sensationalism about anything political. Politicians can be tricky, clever bastards.

I do not wish for my homosexual friends to be denied the right to marry. But I feel that marriage these days has too many legal implications to be just about the marital union of a couple. There are other things to consider: Who gets to be the recipient of the life insurance pay-out once one of them has passed? Without the legal recognition of the relationship, insurance companies can keep all those thousands they’ve collected in life insurance premiums. That seems unfair. There are exponentially more roots to this tree that many people, including myself, do not see.

What I do think is that for people preaching religious principles, I sure hope they’re respectful with their words at the very least. I think the best way to put people off the message you are trying to convey is to be rude about it. For people who are jumping for joy, I sure hope this is as good as you think it is. And just like all the people who have commented on my posts wherever they’ve been seen, saying that I “just need God,” not knowing one way or another what my relationship with a deity has been throughout my life, I hope people know that being gay is not something church can cure, just like depression and anxiety and PTSD are not cured by a preacher.

How ironic is it that one of the biggest reasons I have PTSD and that a lot of undesirable things have happened in my life is because of a preacher in a church who was married and had a heterosexual family?

What I’m trying to say is, there is no black and white answer to this, or to many other things. But there are innocent children affected by adults everywhere because of their opinions and actions. And I am almost positive that having two parents, or even one parent, regardless of whether they’re heterosexual or not, is better than being stuck in an orphanage somewhere.

This adorable, innocent bear, reminds me of all the kids waiting to have parents. And it reminds me of all the people repeating opinions, regardless of whether they are the genuine beliefs of that person or concocted by the media and politicians, fighting against one another over this. What I see is people fighting one another, innocent children denied parents, and amazing potential mothers and fathers of all sexualities desperate for a chance to show children a loving family experience, denied this opportunity.

I’m really not sure which is worse, or what the solution may be, but just like I hope my friend gets to be a mother soon, I hope everything works out for all the right people and for all the right reasons.

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18 thoughts on “Not a Post About Crochet (Only)

  1. In my country we have a saying that when directly translated, reads “if/when two bulls fight, the gravestone is pressured.” It’s an old saying based on the times before modernisation when they used to have farms in the city. Two bulls when enraged usually took it to fields or any large open space to go head-to-head and establish dominance. Unfortunately the graveyard usually endured this ordeal. When they fought they would knock over, break and chip headstones. This was not a time of free speech. Particularly against kings, advisors, nobles and other influential people. The meaning it was used for was that when two people of influence fought, the ones who suffered the brunt of it were the disciples, children or any other person below them in terms of power.
    It’s really sad that people do not give place for deep thought in politics. I really believe that the world could be a better place if people chose awareness and intelligence over going with the mainstream flow. The saddest part is they are not the ones to suffer the largest consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. About Russia: It’s political, cultural and personal. Its relationship to the West (EU & US) is terrible now, and as for banning adoption for countries that allow same-sex marriage, Russian society has always been very homophobic, even amongst ‘liberal’ people, until recently, it was rarely discussed or eveb acknowledged, their most famous composer Tchaikovsky was gay and that rarely gets mentioned even in Russia. In fact, the vast majority of the world except US (parts of it) and the Western Europe and the UK are very homophobic, so that shouldn’t be too surprising. Secondly, and I know this peripherally, the children that come out of Russian orphanages are so damaged that most parents do not know how to parent them, only experts can deal with them and Russian social workers and orphanages often do not disclose these problems (or maybe they do not know how to detect these problems) but have no problem taking large sums of adoption fees from would-be parents. The ban on adoptions to US was precipitated when a US adoptive mother sent her adopted son on a one way ticket back to Russia for his appalling behavioral issues of which she claims it was not disclosed to her (she has another biological child and this kid tried to start a fire in her home). This woman was a nurse so she has some exposure to services to help her adopted son but she deemed him beyond her help and so she sent him back on a plane by himself. It was a huge sensation in the US and Russia. Lastly, there are no good solutions to the world’s orphan problem. It’s been about 2 generations since orphans from a different country was adopted en mass by US parents (Orphans of the Korean War) and the ‘results’ of these adoptions are mixed at best. Many resent being ripped away from their country of origin of which they’ve no connection to now but yet do not feel totally included in American (white) society, many are happy with how their adoptive situation turned out, but most say that they feel this loss, this emptiness or hole in their heart from being taken from their home country and not having any roots or connections to anyone in Korea. So, it’s complicated. Many experts are inclined to agree now that perhaps its best to build homes in the countries of origin for the orphans and let them grow up (with or without adoptive or foster parents) in their country of origin and provide for their education and living expenses rather than taking them away to another continent. Also, the idea of ‘adoption’ is a Western one as well, most countries/societies due to their traditional beliefs do not have the practice of adopting the children of other people unless it’s a relative (like a nephew or cousin or something) – this is true of most Asians (Chinese, Korean, Japanese etc) – I am part Chinese so I am aware of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your comment, very interesting points.
      Oh yes I remember about the woman sending the boy back on the plane. There was a lot of media attention. I hope they reported it truthfully.
      The woman I mentioned is adopting from a country not mentioned, the girl was abandoned in a public place with no explanation, and has chosen my friend as “mom.” She is very keen to be adopted to somewhere outside her country, as are most of the girls in her orphanage.
      I’m not sure how prevalent psychologically damaged children from orphanages in Russia truly is, but perhaps they treat the children in them as poorly as they appear to treat homosexuals.
      Regardless of whether they’re troubled or not, they’re kids and again it’s the opinions and actions of adults affecting them and their well-being. I don’t know if there are more countries with these same rules, but nevertheless I hope all these things happening in the name of progress are truly going to benefit the right people for the right reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

      • WIth your friend, I hope it works out for her, those are the best kind of adoptions, ones that happen organically and naturally, it would be a shame if her adoption application was denied. For Russia, it’s lack of funding, resources (capital and human) to care for the orphans, many of whom are not really ‘orphaned’ but abandoned by their mothers and most already know who their mothers were when they were abandoned and so it creates a whole new layer of psychological issues. I feel so badly for them (the children) and there are no easy solutions, it’s not like you can ‘replace’ a mother for the one that abandoned them, it doesn’t work that way. Humans have a longing for their roots and biological family no matter how messed up they are. As for the kid that got sent back, the adoptive mother in this case was pretty honest to the point of her own detriment, and basically said the boy she adopted was not-paretable (not a real word) and that she tried everything and she made the choice to send him back because that’s the safest for everyone.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. First Of all, I just wanna say that I really enjoy the way you write. Secondly, that bear is freaking ADORABLE. There truly are a bunch of different factors that go into the sanctity of marriage. As a gay male in my mid 20s, I absolutely appreciate these words. I feel like this is what I have been trying to say! Brava!

    Liked by 1 person

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