Condom Cricket & Adoption
So The Big Match is around the corner. Last weekend, in the run up to the Big Match, the Thomians and Royalists of the batch of ‘94 came together for the Cricket Sixes, but with a twist. The twist was that this year’s six-a-side cricket tournament was played as a six-a-side CONDOM cricket tournament.
Earlier that week at school, I was invited to a do over the same weekend. I’d declined saying I was going to be busy, making and then selling (the most divine, even if I dosay so myself) carrot with orange cream cheese cupcakes at the Royal-Thomian Condom Cricket matches that Sunday.
No one was overly impressed that I was going to be baking almost a hundred cupcakes. They were, however, rather grossed out that I – I actually don’t know what grossed them out. That I said the word condom, or that the match on Sunday was called Condom Cricket. Or because when I said the word ‘condom’ they all immediately had visions of big giant penises donning condoms, in which case I think I’d allow it. Penises aren’t the most attractive appendages to look at, less so when they’re blown up to giant sizes.
Surprisingly, no one wanted to ask what Condom Cricket was. Wouldn’t you ask? If someone said, “I’m busy this weekend because I’m going to watch the Baby’s Bottoms Basketball match,” wouldn’t you ask what the fuck Baby’s Bottoms Basketball was??
I guess baby’s bottoms trump condoms.
I shouldn’t have been surprised by the response. All the recently-turned-mothers in my staffroom are convinced that I’m going to have no choice but to ‘get in their boat’ soon because I will get pregnant at some point! When I said it was impossible because Hans and I always used condoms I was immediately shushed and faces were made and eyes were rolled. “Really G, that was quite unnecessary.’
Why? YOU talk all the time about the colour and consistency of your baby’s poo while we’re eating lunch, you discuss breast feeding and the baby chomping on your nipples and you discuss MY ‘making a baby’ a. k. a. ‘fucking’ but somehow it still offends everyone’s sensibilities when I bring up contraception!
Maybe they’re just being good Catholics. After all, the Pope has already denounced condoms; they’re only okay if you’re a sex worker, in which case you’re going to hell anyway, so why not go ahead and use ‘Satan’s purse’.
Interesting chap, Ratzinger, Jr. He joined Hitler Youth only in 1941 – when it became compulsory, you see. It was the same year Hans Scholl was reading a copy of a sermon by an outspoken critic of the Nazi regime decrying Nazi euthanasia policies. He would go on to be one of the founding members of the White Rose – a German Resistance group, made up of students from the University of Munich. The six most recognized members of the group, including Hans Scholl and his sister Sophie, were arrested by the Gestapo and beheaded in 1943. These young people were from Munich. Ratzinger was in Marktl am Inn, not too far away.
Well, now that we’ve established that I think the Pope is a liar (I’ve worded it very carefully – this is my opinion; you are, of course, welcome to yours) and a Nazi (again, I think), I must admit, I find myself pleasantly surprised by his latest statement on procreation
He says the funniest things. In this instance he’s said that artificial methods of getting pregnant were simply ‘arrogance’ and that ‘couples they should refrain from trying to conceive through any method other than conjugal relations’ because otherwise they would be committing the most grievous sin – ‘the arrogance of taking the place of the Creator’.
No fucking arrogance in making such a statement though.
Having said that, arrogance aside, I believe his statement is more positive than not. And here’s why:
According to latest estimates there are over 132 million orphans in the world. UNICEF and global partners define an “orphan” as a child who has lost one or both parents. Therefore, of the 132 million children they classify as orphans, only 13 million have lost both parents. The majority of orphans are living with a surviving parent, grandparent, or other family member. That’s not too bad is it? Only 13 million. This is an official number. We all know how accurate those ones are, no?
Unfortunately, it is also a reality that those who have lost a mother, the majority of the time the father does not care for them, so the fact that they still have a living parent does not impact them all that much. Grandparents very often cannot care for the children due to age or more likely financial issues.
Now, I’m not advocating a one-child policy like the one they introduced in 1979 in China. Again, I believe it is a good idea, but only in theory. In reality, sadly, the need for a male child has twisted this policy which was meant to alleviate China’s economic, environmental and social problems, beyond recognition – into one that has managed to denigrate women to a status lower than ever before.
What I am advocating, however, is adoption. When I told Hans I thought this statement from the Pope was great because at least this way some people might be nudged into adoption, he said it wasn’t enough. That I should write about all the reasons why one should adopt. He asked me ‘sell’ adoption.
I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. And I’ve decided, I don’t know how to ‘sell’ it. It seems pretty obvious really. One should adopt, because one wants a child. You could go back and forth forever on the adoption versus biological parenting debate. There are enough and more studies conducted by all kinds of organisations and institutions that support both arguments. None of the arguments, however, changes the reality that there are 13 million orphans in the world. 13 million children without a mother or a father. 13 million children that need a mother and a father. What is there to sell?
One of the arguments that is thrown at me when I say I don’t want to have kids is that I’m selfish. Of course no one thinks to ask why. I simply don’t know what I’m saying or I don’t mean it or I’ll change my mind or accidents happen anyway – and if I add that I’d rather adopt than have my own, then they’re convinced I really can’t be serious.
Why is there this assumption that if someone says they don’t want to have children – not they don’t want children, just that they don’t want to have them; there is a difference – they must necessarily not want to adopt. Who the fuck would think of adopting over having their own kids! So now I’m going to throw this back at them: I think you’re selfish. You want children. You can afford children. And yet you won’t take home one of the 13 million. Why? Just because he or she won’t look like you or share your blood. You’re not just selfish, you’re also pretty arrogant.
Sure there are scams. Yes, there is trafficking. So do some research. You sure as hell take the trouble to read up and go for check ups when you’re pregnant and expecting. So why not make the same level of effort when you’re adopting and expecting?
I say this although I have never given birth. Women always say they forget all the pain once their baby is finally, really in their arms. I think it is the same with adoption. There is pain. But there is also that same joy when that child enters your life. And fear too. Just like when you give birth. Who has ever given birth feeling confident of their brilliant parenting skills. There is always fear. And it is a good thing. It means you want really badly to do well.
And if you want that much to do well, it won’t matter whether the child carries your genetic code or not. Or it shouldn’t anyway. If you believe you can love your child unconditionally, then how can your love be conditional on your child carrying your DNA? Really, how does one sell adoption?
You should, because you can and because you want to. And really, you should want to.
So as arrogant as the Pope’s statement may be, I don’t think it is all that bad the impact this will have on his believers. First of all, if any one bothers to take Ratzinger, Jr. seriously and actually decides NOT to get IVF and literally keep trying for a miracle, then the lack of good sense must automatically disqualify them from becoming a parent. Thank God (literally). Second of all, those who also take Ratzinger, Jr. seriously, but less so than the previous group, will move towards adoption. At least some of the 13 million might find a home.