Wednesday, November 21, 2012

FTT Off-Topic: The Great and Awful PSA

So the other day when I was doing the day job, I saw a PSA for, of all things, an adoption Web site. Seeing how November is National Adoption Month, and PSAs exist... and, well, I was curious. Here's what you get from your click.

The ability to, well, shop for a kid. Pick the age, race, state and here come your option, photos and paragraphs that are just truck stops of brave journeys through pathos. Don't have enough kids from first search? Adjust the sliders and broaden your horizons -- maybe a little older than you were originally thinking, or open up beyond your demographic -- and hey presto, more possibilities. Any number of them, really.

Like, well, puppies at the pound, but infinitely worse.

I pretty much couldn't stop looking, stop thinking, or get the idea of it out of my mind for a good couple of hours. And it's still in the back, rattling around, which is why it's here.

And the more you think about it, the better it seems, really. People have put their futures, in the form of online dating, into sites like this for decades, and while you may or may not have a good feeling about that business (I've never availed, because I've been married for longer than those sites have existed, but I know about dozens of them from the Day Job), you can't deny that millions and millions of people have gotten married from that spark, and we're never going back to a world where that does not exist. And if you compare it to the idea of meeting people in bars, it's probably better, in that your date is a heck of a lot less likely to have an alcohol problem.

Pets, of course, are the same way, and no one looks askance at the idea of taking in a rescue animal. I've added great new regulars and friends to my home poker game through sites like MeetUp. But the idea of taking permanent responsibility for a person...

Maybe it's just because that, no matter what intentions or experience you bring to it, there's just no shaking the fact that every child here is having to overcome something earth-shattering, something that, well, might never be overcome.

And it makes you, of course, think about it. I've got a room that isn't used too often. My daughters could share a room and create more space. It would be interesting to raise a son, having had nothing but daughters for twelve years. We're not terribly well-off, and like nearly everyone else in this country, I'm one very bad month or wildly unfortunate incident away from severe problems... but that isn't very likely to happen, I don't live my life in fear, and way too many parents do more with less every day. This house could be absolute salvation for a soul that we don't already know.

Then you start doing the math for what college costs, and consider the impossible logistics, and how behind you would be on providing for them, or your own retirement, and just how huge a time and money and energy commitment all of that would be, not just for this generation but future... or the unfathomable risk and courage it would take. On some level, even more than biological.

And you look back at the site, the seed of an idea planted, all from a technology and method that didn't exist, not so very long ago.

The problem is with me, not the site.

Which you can irritate you own brain with by clicking here...

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