I recently ran across an article that caught my attention. I follow the writer on some of my social media sites and I usually agree with a lot of what he says. I immediately shared the link with a friend of mine who also tends to share a lot of my viewpoints and she agreed 100% with the writer. You can read the article here. First off, I want to say that I really like the writer’s “tell it as it is/no nonsense” approach. The basic assertion of the article is that women need to stop being loyal while they’re in the beginning stages of a relationship in order to “prove” that they have the capability to be monogamous in a relationship. These days there are so many additional nuances to the dating process. It used to be a lot simpler. You were either with someone or you weren’t. Now we have the “talking stage” which is a sort of a dating purgatory or holding period without anything really being defined. This isn’t to be confused with the “friends with benefits” stage where it can get messy if/when emotions get involved and there isn’t always a clear definition of what exactly it means. The writer of the article specifically addresses women who immediately cut off all other options because they’re currently in the talking stage with someone. I know some women who date online and hide their online profile when they start talking to someone so that they don’t have to deal with other interested guys. It’s a nice thought but in the world we live in today, that’s too much of a gamble in my opinion. You can’t afford to put all your eggs in one basket when you initially start talking to someone. If a guy wants to commit he will. Jumping through hoops and forsaking all others too early in the game is one of the quickest ways to get burnt. You get too emotionally invested too soon without being able to tell if the feeling is actually mutual. It’s a recipe for failure. Don’t paint yourself into a corner. You always want to have options until you don’t need them anymore.
A few days ago I took some time to watch the movie Losing Isaiah. There was a certain sense of urgency as Netflix was about to take it off in order to make room for more movies. I first saw the movie at my grandparents house in Michigan. I remember renting it with my very own library card when I was 9 or 10 and watching it in the living room sprawled out on the very comfortable carpet. I remember being happy in the end that the baby was returned to his biological mother. However, this time I watched the movie with a different perspective. One that’s been informed by several years of being a social worker and working with families and kids. The movie brings up some interesting questions that are still relevant today. A mother abandons her baby in a trash can. The baby is born addicted to drugs because she used substance while pregnant. A kind social worker at the hospital he is transported to adopts him. She and her family raise him as her own. Meanwhile, the baby’s mother gets her life together after finally becoming sober and decides that she wants him back because he’s her child and she never received notice that her parental rights were being terminated. So there’s a lengthy court battle where bio-mother’s lawyer insists that black babies need to be with their black mothers. However, there is a marked difference between the income of biological mother versus that of the family that has adopted the child. The life that he lives with his adopted family is vastly different than the one that his bio-mother can finance. The movie ends with full custody being given to the bio-mother who soon realizes that she needs additional support so she reaches a hesitant agreement with her son’s adoptive mother. There are certain situations where I don’t think people should be allowed to have a do over. I don’t think that any child should be denied access to their family of origin but primary custody should have remained with the adoptive parents until the child was old enough to make a decision. I’ve met a good amount of parents who have adopted kids and then decided that they were too hard as a result decided to relinquish custody back to the state. I’ve worked with parents who have voluntarily given up custody of their children because they felt powerless and felt that their lives or the lives of the other children in the home were at risk. It’s a hard decision to make. My whole point is that kids shouldn’t be taken out of a loving, stable, and safe environment because their bio-parent decides that it’s for the best. There were other options that would have allowed Isaiah to stay where he was happy. Yes, children can be resilient and they can recover but there’s no need to inflict that trauma on a child and mess up his primary attachment so that he can be with a black parent. No reason. It’s cruel and unnecessary.