Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Commentary slights
overseas adoptions
It is completely understandable that Ralph Savarese (“Rewriting the script for adoption,” May 23) was annoyed by questions about his and his wife’s decision to adopt an autistic child. He and his wife, an autism specialist, simply came to love the child and sought to make him part of their family. Comments implying that this choice was a “last resort” for them as well as misplaced sentiments about their saintliness were equally unwelcome to the couple. They adopted their son because of who they were and what they felt. In other words, it was a personal thing.
Given this, it is baffling that, in the same breath, Mr. Savarese sneers at Americans who “spend gobs of money … (to) travel overseas to find their perfect little bundles.” Mr. Savarese of all people should understand that anyone who adopts a child brings to that process his or her own particular set of experiences, qualifications and feelings. The choice, for anyone, is deeply personal. Furthermore, becoming a parent, by birth or adoption, is a leap of faith with no guarantees ó and none sought ó of perfection. (At least in China, adoptive parents do not “find” a child. She is assigned randomly by a Chinese government agency.) His sneering comment unfortunately unravels the entire point of his otherwise well-written essay and, sadly, suggests the question: Is a child, even a perfectly healthy one, living in a foreign orphanage, less deserving of loving parents than an autistic child in the United States?
ó Mandy Monath
Salisbury
An absurd comparison
On the morning after Memorial Day, the YMCA locker room television was broadcasting President Bush, speaking about assistance to Darfur, when an older friend of mine said, sympathetically: “Ol’ Bush really has it hard these days.” Then another fellow, seemingly misunderstanding the older gentleman’s comment, said: “Yeah, he’s another Hitler!” To this, I said: “No. Not even close.” And my older friend echoed: “No. Not even close.” Then, the other fellow said: “He’ll go to war against anybody.”
This statement was met with silence because we had already responded to absurdity once and once was enough.
It’s a shame that many younger Americans have such a poor understanding of history. I don’t recall reading about Hitler rescuing the defenseless before allowing them to vote in democratic elections. Who does the world ask to defend them against genocide (a crime for which Saddam Hussein was executed by fellow Iraqis) or famine or disease or the burden of third world debt? President Bush is not perfect, but he is no Hitler. Not even close. And the men and women who serve in our nation’s Armed Forces deserve our respect and support. I pray that we will not forget the sacrifices made on our behalf.
ó Michael Hollingsworth
Salisbury

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