Friday, January 29, 2010

Haitian Babies

I aspire to stay ahead of the fashion trends, but as a parent, when I’m not dressed for work, I’m usually in sweats, a musty t-shirt and beat up sneakers. My husband gets Men’s Health and I get Lucky Magazine and they sit on our bedside tables with pretty pictures of pretty people wearing pretty clothes that we have neither the time nor disposable income (private piano lessons for two add up!) to invest in. But a friend of mine gave me the heads up on a new trend sweeping L.A. - Adopted Haitian babies as fashion statements!

OKAY, BIG PREFACE HERE – this post is so NOT to make fun of and diminish the real pain and suffering that is going on in Haiti, but rather, this is to make fun of and diminish the mothers at the fancy private school my friend's offspring attend who give as little thought to adopting a baby as they do to buying the season’s hottest new purse. And, if you are one of those rabidly politically correct folks and don’t have a sense of humor…stop reading now, come back later…

So, not a day after the shaking had stopped and Anderson Cooper held up an orphaned 5year old who smiled at the camera despite all the misery around him, these moms were on the cell to their husband's business managers demanding that they make arrangements to get them one of those orphans. Oooooh, I want one, too. I have the feeling this is going to be big and I have to be in on it.

I want to tote around an exotic little import, maybe one with a slight injury that is still visible but healing nicely, enough to show how wonderful I was to adopt the little rug rat from the debris of his/her own country, (oh and ripping him/her away from their culture and language.) I want to carry my Haitian baby to lunch at Ivy where I'll meet my other girlfriends after manis and pedis for cocktails and noshing, admire them toting their Haitian babies and then hand him/her off to my waiting nanny in the Range Rover before the first course is set on the table. I'll dress my Haitian baby in Hanna Anderson and Boden, colors and outfits matching mine, of course, a happy compromise which feels both politically correct and fiscally understated in these economic times and given the hardships my little adoptee has been through.

Speaking of nannies, the Hispanic one will have to go, replaced by some sort of Afro-Caribbean nanny I (again) order my husband's business manager to hire from somewhere south of Olympic near Fairfax in Little Ethiopia (that's not too far from Haiti, right?) It would seem the better choice to have a black nanny to raise my new black baby, since clearly, I won't be doing it.

And what about the hair??? I'll have to buy some Afro Sheen to comb through the ‘fro - and taking my new Haitian baby to Supercuts will only lead to confusion as they've ponder over how to cut a fad. But the best thing about having an adopted Haitian baby to tote around on my hip a la Angie J. (oh, I forgot, I'll need to get Botox injections in my lips) will be the ability to go to cocktail parties and fundraisers with a compassionate but smug look on my face when others wax poetic about the tragedy in Haiti. I'll be able to say that I've done my part and flash them digital pictures of my Haitian baby on my iPhone.

Seriously, I know the U.S. is streamlining the adoption process to get babies out of Haiti and move quickly to get them into the arms of parents who were previously in adoption process prior to this. Note - previously!!!! There are folks (incredibly committed, loving, caring people willing to open up their hearts and homes) who have been trying to adopt out of Haiti for years that have been caught up in government red tape. I hope they get their kids sooner now, but my head will explode if as a result of the quick adoption process, a bunch of dilettante adoptive parents crop up. When I was a kid, it was Asian babies. Every well-to-do mama seemed to have one, be getting one, or was desperately trying to convince their spouse that it was the right thing to do (but for all the wrong reasons).

Kids are not fashion statements. Adopting a baby for the sake of doing what’s current doesn’t show how compassionate you just shows you’ll do anything to be part of a trend. If you want to do something for Haitian babies, send money.


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