Aspie with Attitude

Sure, I'm just another Southern Recovering Alcoholic NPR- and Sweet-Tea Addicted Comic Mom with Asperger's in the SFV, but I can tell you now that I don't necessarily fit the stereotype.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Et Tu, Maryellen Hooper?!?

I've probably mentioned this before, but a couple of months before Mr. Thinking Mama and I left Raleigh, I performed for a week at Charlie Goodnight's Comedy Club. Granted, having just started to do comedy, I was the lowest proverbial man on the totem pole, the opener, but the experience was fabulous and I remember it fondly. My mom, whom I had recently found, came to see one of my shows and the headliner was Maryellen Hooper. Maryellen seemed very nice, if not dismissive, in the way that all road comics probably are from time to time. For Maryellen, the winner of some Stand-Up Comic of the Year award or some such, I was a mere local comic in a club in a medium-sized city. Having now lived in Los Angeles and been in tune with the L.A. comedy scene for a while, I can sort of understand the attitude. Nonetheless, I introduced her to my mom and Maryellen was very pleasant, which I greatly appreciated. Trying to be nice, she asked my mom, "Has Tricia always been funny?" Wow, what a question for a mom who'd just been found and for the daughter who didn't grow up with her. The world of adoption reunion is a strange one indeed and my mom and I just sat there, neither knowing what to say. Fortunately, Maryellen made some joke, which my mom and I greatly appreciated, and the air was indeed much lighter.

Although I've yet to run into Maryellen since our move to L.A., which is not that unusual considering that you can hardly throw a rock in L.A. without hitting a comic, I've often wondered about her. And I was curious if she'd ever had a baby. I think she's a bit older than I am, although not too much, and I just assumed that she was happy with her career and not that interested in bearing a child. Turns out I was right about the second part. Actually, after finding out only today that Maryellen is an adopter, I don't know much about what she went through to make her decision to take some mother's child; perhaps, like Sarah Jessica or the countless other celebrities who use their money to take other people's children or pay a womb to gestate, she'd had many miscarriages and failed attempts. In no way do I mean to understate or fail to recognize any pain, physical and emotional, that she went through before she became desperate enough to take a mother's child and claim it as her own. It is indeed sad and heartbreaking when a woman wants to have a child and it doesn't work out. I sincerely hope that more people, especially the celebrity types, visit Brandon. Brandon, Wendy, Steve, et al. are the folks when it comes to helping people have their own children. Perhaps Maryellen could have benefited from a few visits with the folks at the Eastern Center for Complementary Medicine. These people help your body naturally to work the way it's supposed to and if you look at their testimonials, you'll see that they've helped more than one woman conceive her own child.

How extremely disappointed I was, however, to find out that Maryellen has adopted not one but two children. Indeed, she is so supposedly grateful for her good fortune in obtaining a child by any means that she wrote this review of an adoption book:

...Your book really touched me. Especially the opening statement about how he is my son whether I gave birth to him or not. His soul was meant to be my son. I have said that since he was born!

Maryellen Hooper - 1998's Best Female Stand-Up at the 12th Annual American Comedy Awards

Now, isn't that just the sweetest thing. According to the review, Maryellen must have scooped up this baby from his mother right after birth. These days, adopters tend to do that very thing, claiming that they, not the mother, can bond with the baby more quickly. The mother, with her leaking breasts and sore groin, is much more quickly disposed of. Peachy, isn't it? I especially enjoy the way that Maryellen so completely disposed of her adoptee's mom in her review, failing even to mention her.

And then, I googled around a bit more and found this lovely quote from Adoptress Hooper:

If you really want to see some angry moms, take your 6-week-old in a jogging stroller to the park wearing a size 6 miniskirt. I don't know why people give birth when you can adopt. I love them way more. I've seen the video. You have to be holding a grudge. . . . Giving birth in bed with no drugs? I don't even want to conceive like that.

Yep, that's what passes for adopter humor these days. Maryellen has the audacity to fault those of us who are fortunate enough to become real moms for our sagging, leaky breasts and the extra pounds that a new baby tends to leave, unless one has a personal trainer, of course. But the real jewel in the previous quote is that Maryellen claims to love her adoptees "way more" because she took them from their mother. So, I guess I don't really love my little guys that much, even though my breasts bled off and on for two weeks after my first son was born, until we finally got the whole latching on thing right. There's no love there. Nah, I really don't care for my guys nearly as much as I would somebody else's baby who doesn't look like Mr. Thinking Mama and me and doesn't have any comparable traits. Why, perhaps I should have given my own firstborn to Maryellen; after all, she could love him "way more" than his real father and I, right?!?

Look, I don't know why Maryellen didn't have her own child and I'm very sorry that she didn't. But she need not try to make it seem as though taking a baby from the very mother that God and nature gave said child and pretending that baby is your own is some kind of act of love. Far too many of us know that pretending to be a parent is often much more an act of insecurity and desperation than an act of love. The real act of love in this case, and in most adoptions, is supporting the mother and baby in staying together. I can't help but wonder why adopters fail to choose it.

It's really disappointing to read about celebrity adopters. But it's extremely disappointing to find that a celebrity you've worked with has taken it on herself to take someone else's child. I'm really sorry that someone who seems as nice as Maryellen Hooper has gotten involved in the $1.6 billion U.S. adoption industry, contributing to its profits. How very sad indeed.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Another Adoption Propaganda Piece

I'm sad but not surprised to report that the News and Disturber has posted another adoption propaganda piece, this time about the joys of open adoption. Did you realize that you could be a mother and not a parent? Gosh, I love how mainstream media are redefining family. And how the general public is buying it. Oh, isn't it so very good when an adoptee knows her incubator?!? And when those who, sadly, cannot have their own children can pretend they are parents? Isn't this a joyous Mother's Day story? About a mother who's extremely happy to lose her precious daughter and about a couple who was more than happy not to support the mother in raising her child, but to take said child away? Oh, Joy!

And, of course the adopters are singing the praises of adoption in the comments section of the article. Personally, I found it worth it to register and leave a comment.

Of course, Amy, the natural mother, is demeaned to a mere breeder and the message is clear: Adoption is a fabulous and gorgeous option to abortion; in fact, it's really the only option to abortion worth considering: Don't ever, ever consider keeping, breastfeeding, and raising your own baby. Oh, and lest we forget: A college degree earned on time with a scholarship is definitely worth giving away your firstborn. With such wonderful publicity, I'm sure that all beautiful little girls reading this article will one day want to give away a baby to a couple who can't have their own. Don't dare say anything about any pain that real mother Amy feels: she's certainly in the land of denial, smiling, as if giving your baby to someone else is the most wonderful thing in the world.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Look Who's Renting A Womb

Wow, it's been about three weeks since I wrote in this blog; I must have been busy!

Nonetheless, I was sad to hear, via reader Jade, that one of my favorite celebrities, Sarah Jessica Parker, is renting a womb. Look, I've followed her ever since Square Pegs and even before, in Annie. What a life, I thought to myself, as she danced with Steve Martin in L.A. Story and dated the now-deceased John Kennedy. I read about how her mother sacrificed so that she could act and take all those artsy classes that I always wanted to take. Her artistic and creative life seemed so very wonderful, especially in comparison to my own, in which I, after many years of wanting to be an artistic soul as a child, finally, after the beginning of my first marriage, summoned the courage, money, and support to follow my dream of taking a writing class and an acting class. Ah, but it is indeed dangerous to compare and I'll take my own mommy life any day over Sarah Jessica Parker's; living with three boys each day sans a nanny or any of the crap that celebrities must do to continue to be celebrities is indeed worth it when I think of how much I like being there, every day, for my babies.

My admiration and respect for Sarah Jessica, however, continued, even through her being named as one of the "unsexiest" people and through Sex and the City, in which she played a writer. Wow, an actress playing a writer--what a dream role. A couple of years after my first son was born, and around the time that I became pregnant with my second, Sarah Jessica had her own son, James Wilkie, whose father was none other than Matthew Broderick. For those who spent way too much time watching television and dreaming of moving to Los Angeles and being on the tube, such as myself, you may remember the show Family, with the totally hot and butch Kristy McNichol as "Buddy." I watched this show, set in Pasadena, every week. How I yearned to have parents like Buddy's, with Broderick's real life father, James, playing the role of Buddy's dad on the show.

I must admit, however, that Sex and the City really began to get to me when Charlotte, who had gone to great lengths to conceive her own child, failed to do so and went looking for a little China girl to buy. I remember turning off the last episode about midway through and I have no interest in seeing the movie.

Now, however, real life has somewhat mimicked the show with Sarah Jessica Parker's hiring of a twenty-something female to have a couple of babies for her and Matthew. In googling this mess, I found some interesting articles, one of which rumored a Sarah Jessica Parker pregnancy around September 2006, shortly after my own first miscarriage. Evidently, she and Matthew had been trying hard to have another child, for quite a while. I can understand her desire to have another child. Whether you have one or twenty children, if you want one more and cannot do so, it is not an easy scene. I've also had a few people suggest that I adopt from China so that I will be assured of getting a girl. But it won't by my girl and I decided long ago that I would do no such thing.

Nor would I ever hire someone else's womb.

In my googling, I also found rumors that she and Matthew have had problems and that a few short months ago, their marriage was in trouble. Rumors had it that he was seeing a twenty-something himself. These things, however, are merely rumors and one never knows to what lengths Sarah Jessica Parker went to in order to give James Wilkie, whom she very openly breastfed, a little brother or sister.

What is even more disappointing than Sarah Jessica's hiring of a womb is her and the media's treatment of the whole thing; meanwhile, the surrogate is looked upon as a thing, a disposable womb that will be paid and tossed aside. Pregnancy, however, is an extremely important part of a child's life and having someone else do the work, regardless of the reason, seems wrong to me. Just plain wrong. This article states that Sarah Jessica is even acting pregnant, drinking water instead of liquor or wine. But isn't all that a little weird? After all, she hired someone to be pregnant for her. Why is she pretending to be pregnant herself?

The whole thing is extremely strange and illustrates the sad fact that celebrities often have more money than sense. I had really admired Sarah Jessica's breastfeeding of her first child and she might even try to breastfeed these babies after they come out of the rent-a-womb. However, the whole thing seems sad and wrong to me. I'm really, really sorry that Matthew and Sarah Jessica, for whatever reason, have not had a second child. However, I've lost a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for her after she jumped, however reluctantly, on the surrogacy/adoption bandwagon.