June 19, 2002


What is the world coming to when you can't even threaten transsexuals with a bat anymore?? Just kidding. I really could discuss this article on a variety of levels of inanity. I could wonder why people are so homophobic that someone who does something that only affects them (like dressing up as a member of the opposite sex) has to fear for their life. Or I could wonder why (if these people were going to do it anyway) they would think that doing it while they're on the job was a great idea. Albeit Toys R' Us isn't exactly Wall Street but some level of professionalism is expected from employees I assume. Or I could wonder if the employees were just joking around and the transsexuals were being super-sensitive due to excess estrogen injections. Or I could wonder what society has come to, that people can ask for and likely receive $100,000 for three minutes of fear or embarrassment. Don't get me wrong, I don't blame the people suing. They're just taking advantage of a great financial prospect. It's the judiciary system I have issues with.

This story about that couple that kidnapped a baby and raised it as their own has had me riveted since it first came out last year. Essentially, this couple (the Smileys) adopted a baby through its mother and raised it for the first 15 months of its life. But then the biological parents decided they wanted to raise the child and through a legal loophole concerning the father's consent, got custody of their baby back. So the Smileys were ordered to return Matthew and instead they chose to take him and run. The whole story defines "the grey area" because everyone involved except the adopted kid has done something wrong. The Smileys shouldn't have "kidnapped" him but who can blame them... I assume after raising him for a year and a half they considered him their own. And the biological parents shouldn't have waited with a year and a half to decide they wanted their baby back, but they have that biological connection which gives them that right to get back their child if it's legally possible. The justice system will always lean in favor of biology which is how it's always been, because you need to start somewhere. Anyway the Smileys got a fraction of the jail time they could have gotten which displeased the biological father, who "wanted them to pay."

I know this is easier said than done but being that his biological son is standing firmly behind his adopted parents, the father might have considered being lenient now that he's found his son. I read this book once about a guy who had been taken from birth by a woman who was unable to bear children. She raised him as her own and when he was an adult he found out the truth about his birth. When he met his biological mother for the first time, he introduced her to his adopted mother, the woman he calls "Mom." When the two women were left alone, the adopted mother told the real mother "You must hate me...and yet you're being very civil. Why?" The biological mother replied, "I want to build a relationship with my son and I can't do that if there is animosity between us. So I'll forgive you your actions and treat you like a member of the family... but I will never, ever forget what you did." That always stuck in my head because the real mother was undertaking such a difficult task, embracing her enemy, but it was the smartest thing she could have done to further her goal of building a relationship with her son. Most people forgo logic in favor of emotion and come away holding nothing.

"After these messages, we'll be right back!!"

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