Saturday, October 17, 2009

Help Wanted: Egg Donor with Nonprofit Resume?

"You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant" -- Arlo Guthrie, 1967
Make that Seattle Craig's List, circa 2009. Yup, right there in the Jobs section under the category for non-profit openings someone posted an ad for an egg donor this week. 
Not just your run-of-the-mill egg donor: a college-educated woman in her 20s with brown wavy hair, Scandinavian/English/Portugese descent -- and nonprofit job experience:
 "Hopeful egg recipient has a life-long love of helping others through her career in non-profit work and is hoping to find an egg donor with a similar background," the ad said, offering $5,000 plus medical expenses.
I have plenty of empathy for couples struggling with infertility. I know how devastating it can be. Suddenly everywhere you go you see pregnant bellies. Every month turns into a roller coaster. It's enough to rip your heart out.
But since when did a bent for a non-profit career reside in one's genes along with hair color? Seems to me nurture plays a bigger role than nature in the choice of a non-profit career. What we value as parents rubs off on our kids.
"We hope you can understand our desire to give birth to a child with some of the basic physical characteristics or talents that I might possibly have passed on to a child," the prospective mom wrote.
I understand that to a point. But isn't it a bit presumptuous to assume that if the egg donor is a social worker, Johnny will want to be too? 
What does it say about modern life that we want to order up children who not only look like us but choose the same careers?
One of the challenges of parenting is letting go of who you thought your son or daughter would be and seeing them as they are. 
One of a kind.
(Photo: by fdecomite/Flickr)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Long Goodbye

 The seasons are shifting once more. Darkness falls earlier. The air has a bite and leaves turn crispy orange, maroon and lemon.
Spring had just begun when I walked out of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer for the last time. Like so many of my colleagues, I was saying goodbye not just to my newspaper but to the career I had lived and breathed for two decades. The career that often demanded too much and paid too little but always stirred my passions.
So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that almost three seasons later I still feel the ache of that loss. It grips me at odd times, sneaking up when I least expect it. I'll be zoning out on the bus on my way to my communications job downtown when I look up and there it is: the big, blue P-I globe still turning. I duck my head as tears fill my eyes.
Or I meet someone new and she asks, "What do you do?" And I hesitate -- not because my current job isn't challenging but because it feels like a new pair of shoes that I haven't broken in.
Or my investigative instincts kick in when someone tells me about something that's just plain wrong. And I try to explain why the chance of finding a reporter who can look into it is about as likely as a return of hot type.
It is time to move on. But we must also live with what we've lost.
(Photo: by geishaboy500/Flickr)