Saving Our Kids
As I wrote in my last blog, the tough feelings I felt during Mother’s Day while knowing our adoption is on hold eventually led to some creative thinking. When we treat ourselves with heartfelt compassion, our low moments become springboards to hope.
If you have dreamed of international adoption or are worried that any kind of adoption may be unavailable for some time, I want to inspire you to push your local leaders to think of better, less problematic solutions to this pandemic. This is the necessary first step, and I believe it can lead to the reopening of adoption.
As I mentioned last time, I already wrote my governor. I do not know who read that email, but I do believe that when a single person reads an email, that one person will talk to another who then talks to another. Even if the governor never hears my ideas, which is likely, I might have influenced three people, and that’s a start. I hope some of you will do the same.
This morning, I was further inspired. I wrote the Seattle Times. I urged their reporters to encourage our leaders to work on new solutions. It was a brief comment, and it inspired me more. I designed the following letter that I plan to send to the Seattle mayor, my representative and my senator. I am sharing it below. You may or may not agree with my ideas, but what I really hope is that you too will feel inspired to contact people who can create change.
Mayor Jenny Durkan,
I feel that our city, so tech savvy, so full of intellectual talent, could be finding alternative solutions to social distancing. If Microsoft, Amazon and other companies were donating teams as think tanks to find alternatives, I think they would be found.
Cures that destroy morale and cause more suffering than the initial disease, as the overuse of chemotherapy used to do, are not worth it. Social distancing and mask-wearing for a prolonged period will have long-term traumatic effects on young children, teens and young adults. And of course, we must get the economy back on track.
Now that the initial shock has passed, it’s time to get creative, not to sit around and wait for the numbers to change. We need new ideas for dealing with contagious disease that do not cause people to live without hugs and in-person contact with friends of their same age. I believe Seattle, in particular, has the talent to find alternative solutions. Do you?
Here are three ideas that I have, as a layperson. If I can think of these ideas in twenty minutes, isn’t it clear that teams of people who know how to keep their companies competitive would find answers for the flight industry, the hospitality industry, and the retail sector?
1. The negative psychological effects of social distancing can be counter-balanced by social clustering. People can be encouraged to find groups of about 10 people or 3 families and to socialize with them normally and regularly with the promise that if any member feels ill, that person will inform the others. This social clustering could be used to get people back to work in offices and in school settings. It would also teach children that the answer is never to stay away from all other people, but just to take precautions during periods of contagious disease.
2. With the help of technology social clustering could be mapped online. Each group of ten people could show their links to any other group of ten or their links to work, home, and school. Ultimately, people could view anyone’s report of illness and see whether or not the connection is close or distant and what is the percentage of risk.
3. Grocery stores and pharmacies could use separate facilities to warehouse goods for people who are high risk. They could also pay a higher salary to delivery people who are willing to take extra precautions at work and in their personal lifestyle. People who feel they are high-risk or frequently in contact with high-risk people could check boxes online to indicate this.
Isn’t it true that when we choose creativity and innovation, there are actually many possible answers to any problem? Let’s create that list of solutions we could be utilizing, and from it, we’ll choose the smartest, most effective, and least detrimental practices.
Actually, I know there are creative and innovative thinkers everywhere, but it never hurts to tap into a politician’s hometown pride :)
I do hope these ideas inspire you. Write someone today! Or, if you do not enjoy writing, but you agree with these ideas, please share this post. Our leaders need to know that we do not believe in unsolvable problems.
And for anyone struggling with their feelings—it’s so natural, since adoption is an emotional process during normal times--maybe this article on my own experience will help.
Erica Rosi Tham