You Can Tell the First Trimester Fatigue is Waning When I Get All Feisty Again

I usually stay away from these celebrity controversies on here because I’ve just never been that concerned with Lindsay Lohan’s Grey Goose binges or the Jolie-Pitt baby’s hair texture–even if I do get a kick out of Tom Cruise’s nutbar antics and the Celebrity Baby Blog from time to time.

But the Madonna adoption to-do is pissing me off. You know why?

Because it’s awesome.

She wants to adopt. Hooray! She’s bringing worldwide media attention to adoption. Hooray! She’s adopting a child from a country where many children’s futures are bleak indeed. Hooray!

But because we all like to get down on the celebrities–even as we watch their movies and buy their perfumes and subscribe to the magazines that keep the stalkarazzi in business–suddenly everyone has a problem with her. Why adopt from Africa when there are children who need adopting here? Why adopt when you’re over 40? How can a woman with no time to keep up her roots POSSIBLY have time to take care of another child?

And then the one that really gets me: Wah wah, boohoo, she cut in line.

Here’s a secret for ya:

(Shhh, keep this one on the down low…)

Celebrities? Sometimes? They get special treatment.

They get better tables in the restaurants than the mere mortals. Even with no reservation. And then they get complimentary desserts sent over by the chef. They will even have the sommelier open an entire bottle of ’89 Barolo, that they may imbibe a single glass of it. (This I know because one fortuitous evening at Fiamma, we were offered the remaining wine from Madonna’s previous night’s oenephilic request and let me tell you, it was delicious.)

Celebrities get free clothes and free jewelry and free tickets to concerts. Front row tickets. You know, the ones that you can’t get. They can get your impossible-to-reach hair gay but fabulous hair guy to leave you sitting, wet and unfinished in his chair, while he runs to their homes to trim their bangs. They get hotter dates, bigger salaries, and better plastic surgeons. They get invited to cooler parties. And they don’t have to wait in line to get in.

They know where to find the good cheese. The unpasteurized cheese.

And sometimes, they pull strings that let them do something noble and wonderful like, say, adopt a child, before the rest of us.

I can’t imagine the painful frustration of waiting for adoption papers. I have a few friends going through it however and I sympathize, truly. But I don’t believe any one of them is blaming Madonna for the red tape.

As far as the Malawi laws and the recent development that the father didn’t understand the adoption process, well that’s another issue entirely. And if I see one more idiot commenting that “next time she should adopt one without living parents” — good lord. Do people really think that all children in orphanages have dead parents? Tsk tsk, Christian Right…your PR people are dropping the ball on this one.

Please. Lay off the do-gooding celebrities, folks. I’m sure if you can just hang in there a few moments longer, Tom Cruise will do something stupid for you to talk about instead.


54 thoughts on “You Can Tell the First Trimester Fatigue is Waning When I Get All Feisty Again”

  1. Glad you are feeling better! And yes, its a little absurd that people are getting so bent out of shape over the whole thing. I enjoy celebrity gossip from time to time, but I just can’t work up a lot of righteous indignation stuff like this. A kid without a home, now has one. How dare she.

  2. You know I love you, Liz, but I don’t agree with your take on this.We all know celebs get special treatment. It’s not “fair,” but life rarely is. Fine.Children are not a commodity. Infertiles face enough disappointment and challenges in family-building without having to watch someone rich and famous swoop in on a child (who probably shouldn’t have even been available for adoption in the first place), pack him up with her entourage like an accessory, promise to help the village he came from as long as they embrace her religious ideals, and return home being lauded as a do-gooder.It’s problematic for the adoption community as a whole because it casts a shadow on the entire process. And it’s a kick in the teeth for regular people who just want to be parents and are still waiting and wishing while the spotlight shines on everything that’s wrong with the system.I’m going to chalk this post up to pregnancy hormones, darlin’. Which, by the way? You’re very lucky to have.

  3. you know what i hate about celebrities? that they are all allowed to write children’s books…and get published…even though they aren’t doing a freakin’ thing except riding on their fame…Madonna, john lithgow, billy joel, jamie lee curtis, will smith, billy crystal…i’ve seen all their books pass through my office…and i want to kick someone square in the nuts when every time i see another one get published.

  4. Mir: respectful disagreement accepted. Still, I don’t feel comfortable questioning her motives or her affection for this child. My guess is she fell in love, the same as many adoptive parents do, and tried to make things happen the best she could. To call him a “commodity” in her eyes I believe is just projecting whatever issues we have with celebrities onto her and I don’t think it’s fair. My pregnancy hormones have offered to arm wrestle you on it, however, if you’re inclined. Ali: Aw, don’t go hatin’ on Jamie Lee! The 70s scream queen? C’mon!

  5. Unpasteurized cheese – one of those pregnancy no-nos it hurts to give up, isn’t it?

  6. hmmm. i don’t have extremely strong feelings about this one, and I would like to think you’re completely right on. I have to confess to feeling a bit more cynical about the whole thing–not because she “cut in line” or because she adopted from Africa. There’s something I just immediately distrust about it because it seems so gimmicky, so “not quite authentic.” So Angelina. And I do agree with Mir that there is a “commodification of brown babies” bent to all of this that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. You *can* cut in line with African babies, because, well, they are African. Cheaper.On the other hand I am quite willing to accept that this notion is spawned of an entire media-machine that surrounds Madonna and celebrities. That even though this machine exists, it does not reflect her true intentions. I am sure she loves her children as much as any of us do (even if she does outlaw television) and this can only bode well for any child who is brought into her home out of abject poverty. Maybe (just maybe) even though the system sucks, this does not negate the positives that emerge. I don’t know. I can’t quite get rid of the notion that there is a “trend” factor here.

  7. I’d by the ‘she fell in love’ excuse, really I would. But she chose David out of a lineup. First she ordered a boy. That was interesting. Then they lined up 10 boys and she picked the one she liked best. That struck me as pretty weird. Nobody else doing international adoptions gets to chose from a lineup. Or chose the gender. You get what you get, and you’re damn happy to get it.That was the sticking point for me. The rest of your argument, I have to agree. Celebs DO get special treatment. Calista Flockheart got a baby in a couple of weeks. Cool. Good for her. She’s doing great with Harrison, the lucky beyotch. But the WAY Madonna did this adoption is what bothered me, not that she got to be first in line or anything else. The lineup…just YUCK.

  8. Thank you. Thank you. Mom-101. I was thinking of doing a post on this myself. For God’s sake, let’s leave the woman alone when she wants to expand her family. Does anyone really think that baby David is getting a bad deal here? Two parents that want him and profess to love him. The money for whatever future he might want. What’s the problem?Sure it might be weird to be the child of a interacial adoption to celebrity parents. But come on, whose family isn’t weird in some way?And what on earth is wrong with Madonna serving two purposes at once? 1) Expanding her own family -(something she has talked publically about doing for years.) 2) Doing it in a way that helps a population in dire need. And what, we should leave David in an orphanage for another few months to make sure all the red tape has been properly cut?Maybe I’m sensitive because we have two adopted sons from our county foster system who are black. We didn’t set out to adopt black kids. We set out to expand our family and simultaneously help a population that was in need. Why does that upset people? I don’t get it. Aren’t there better things to be upset about.OK, whew. I’ll shut up now. I generally don’t even like Madonna, but this has got my knickers all in a bunch.

  9. Nah, I don’t wanna arm-wrestle your hormones. I’ve seen your boobs. I’d be a goner for sure. 😉And for the record (I swear, I’ll shut up after this) my “commodity” statement comes not from my view of celebs, but from the way this adoption took place. Most adoptive parents don’t get to “pick.” Does that make it “wrong,” then? I don’t know. I just take issue with what it does to people’s perception of adoption and the possible ramifications on a system already buckling under a host of problems. That’s all.Thank you for being so lovely and open to respectful disagreement, you sexy thang.

  10. Hey, I like you better when you get all feisty. Even the father’s sister questioned his ability to understand the adoption. He sounds very lucid to me. His wife died in childbirth + His last two children died from living in horrible circumstances + A wealthy American woman wants to adopt his child. He came to the realization that giving up his child was the best chance the boy had BEFORE she came on the scene. I know people who have adopted children from other countries, and it is very, very sad how long they had to wait while their baby lives overseas in filthy, dangerous orphanages while the paperwork was completed. I know that if other parents had the money and power to cut through the red tape (or donate thousands of dollars to the local community), they would in a second.

  11. I’m with Mir and Joy with being a touch cynical about this – acquiring brown babies does seem to have evolved into the equivalent of shopping at Petit Tresor – but I’m with you on calling out the absurdity of criticizing Madge for ‘cutting in line.’ What-effing-ever.End of the day, there are far more troubling (and interesting) celeb-related issues to get het up about: Ali’s concern (shared so poetically by Dutch) about the celeb children’s book writing trend. The future Mrs. Tom Cruise following Posh Spice around like a starving cat. The very existence of Lindsay Lohan.Shitting on celebs for doing something that is, end of the day, a GOOD THING, no matter how you slice (sure, commodified brown baby, but commodified brown baby whose live has probably been saved) is kinda silly, is all. Let’s critique the system, the culture, whatever, but if Madonna wants to save underprivileged children, let’s let her.

  12. As a parent struggling with the bureaucratic red tape of adoption, it never crossed my mind to feel bad about Madge’s adoption.I feel bad for little David, who is becoming an internation tug toy for the world to pull on.Whether it’s unfair of celebs to be able to jump the line, or pick their future child is unimportant to me.As long as they are trying to help a child who is in need of a home, I’m okay with it.Because that is what I’m trying to do, without the millions and the African village.

  13. I’m sure this mess is not what madonna bargained for. I don’t doubt her love as a mother – however –The problem is that with madonna, it’s easy to assume that she is treating the adoption of a child like just another road to achieving spiritual clarity. what happens when she realizes that she can’t just drop the kid like a bad kabbalah habit if a better PR trend comes along?Sincerity has never really been a hallmark of the madonna brand, but I actually think it’s just as gross when a celeb mom like gwen stefani tells ryan seacrest that she is relieved that she can finally do something cool with her 5-month old’s hair.

  14. There have been some quieter (can’t imagine why) news reports that Madonna had been working on this adoption for months. That a significant amount of paperwork had been in place and much of it via the correct channels. Of course this doesn’t support the public’s need to vilify a celebrity. The juicy stuff sells more tabloids. Were we all there to witness her picking this baby out of a line-up? No.Kabballah, what little I know of it, seems to be predicated on some not-too-terrible ideals. And if it is the root of her motiviation to aid a community in dire need, then I say Teach Away! Spread the Word! And if she can help a child, why the hell not? I seriously doubt that anybody desperate to expland their family wouldn’t choose a bureaucratic leg up if it were offered.

  15. I love your post, Mom-101. This topic has raised so much turmoil and that bothers me.As an adoptive mother, I hope that Madonna is adopting a child for the “right” reasons –because she wants to add to her family. I know some believe she’s doing it just for publicity, but that seems pretty cynical to me.

  16. I always hesitate to get involved in an adoption discussion because my sister was adopted and it was a very, very messy process. Back in the 70s when things were done with a nod and a handshake. I’ve heard stories from my mother about the adoption process that makes me seriously question everything.Now it’s all so complicated. Everything is. And we’re all so cynical that we doubt whether someone loves another person or a child. I’m guilty of it myself. I can’t say that I’ve been all that encouraged by all the press that this issue has gotten. But I have to agree with Mom 101 on most of her points. Sure, the attention and the process may leave a bad taste in our mouths, but doesn’t everything?

  17. Liz, you are always a bastion of common sense, wit, wisdom, and heart. I love it when celebrities use their fame for good. If you have the means and all…which is why I get pissed when I hear about really self-indulgent celebrities (who needs a personal zeppelin? a ticket to outer space?) I guess the same could be said about my feelings for anyone with fantastic wealth and a tendency towards self-indulgence.Ah, but maybe that’s just the socialist in me.

  18. I couldn’t agree more. And, at the same time, as a former PR person, I can’t help but to be incredibly cynical about all of it. And (quite unlike a lot of PR people), I actually don’t agree that all publicity is good publicity. And yes, children are not commodities. And there shouldn’t be a competition for them. No matter where you are in line. No matter where you jump up in line. Etc. It’s not a competition. And, all that said and on the other hand, I do actually believe that all good deeds (no matter the motivation or lack thereof) are good.So, in the end, I think that’s all of our hope for all of it. There’s potential here. Potential for good for the child. Potential for good for awareness of other children’s needs. Potential for always increasing adoption mindspace and motivation. And so no matter the motivation or the method in all of this, let’s hope the act and the publicity (motivating it and/or inevitably following it), leads to more good (and more good homes) for children.Whew. Who knew I could have so much opinion about the Esther formerly known as Madge.

  19. The greatest thing about this whole discussion is that a child will have a home and people are talking about the plight of Africa. Madonna has done it again. She rocks and so do you Mom 101.

  20. Soldiers are dying. Let’s focus our attention on THAT instead of beating up Madonna who just wants to adopt a kid.

  21. Thank you for giving another voice to this, there are far more important things to be worrying about!Carrie

  22. Glad to read your energy is returning. I know it is so nice for it to come back!I figure the kid would probably have it made…so I have not really got excited about it!

  23. Yup, yup and yup, I completly agree. In fact I posted about the same thing last week. People need to leave the woman alone. And yes, celebs do get special treatment a lot of the time. They also get stalked by idiots. Their photos taken at all times of the day. They can’t wear a push-up bra without someone saying they had a boob job on national television. They can’t go to dinner with a friend of the oppisit sex, without their spouse without the world thinking they are cheating. Every pimple or grey hair and bad descision is scruitnized. They can’t buy tampons at the grocery store without having to pose and smile for a camera. And if they don’w smile, they are complete bitches. And the worst one is that we judge their kids. We snap pictures of them and stalk them and make fun of their names and clothes. They can’t go to the park or the mall or hell, even kindergarten without someone following them to take a picture. And it’s all to do with who they happened to be born too.Me, I’ll keep my 54 row seat concert tickets, thank you very much.

  24. Well Liz… You know I’ve always loved the Material Girl, but I’ve got to disagree with you on this one. The commenter who I agree with the most is Margalit. The way Madonna did this was not good. You are forgetting that despite the poverty and misery in many countries in Africa the people in those countries still have a say (or should have a say) over what happens to the people of that country, even the orphans. Celebrity doesn’t trump poverty and shouldn’t be able to trump the legal system when we are dealing with questions like this. Malawi had laws in place stating that people need to be resident in Malawi for 18 months before they can adopt. This isn’t just a trival request. It is not unreasonable to require adoptive parents to be familiar with the culture of the child they are adopting. (BTW, Tanzania has the same law on the books.) It really is up to the people of Malawi to change that law – rather than pressure from a celebrity on an easy to corrupt government. Despite the fact that celebrities get ahead in all sorts of ways, it doesn’t make it right. And it makes it more disturbing when we are talking about a child, rather than a bottle of fine wine.(And I’m not even going to dive into the inappropriateness of making the kids in the orphanage she is supporting learn from a Kabbalah based curriculum.)I don’t begrudge Madonna’s desire to adopt, or to adopt an African baby. She could have done so from Ethiopia or South Africa and taken home the baby the next day. The laws of those countries allow for it – even though normal humans wait for up to one year for those adoptions to take place.But all of these important questions aside, the thing I find most disturbing and interesting is that Madonna has clearly lost her edge. All these years she has been the queen of PR, working it when she wanted it, creating controversy when it fit her agenda, and becoming a mommy figure when that would help her meet her goals. She clearly miscalculated this one. Poor Madonna. Will she ever be the same again.

  25. I really can’t work up too much emotion on this one. I don’t really get all bothered by the notion that fame brings with it special treatment. Of course it does. It also brings with it tremendous scrutiny.We have such a desire to know and judge. I guess I see it this way, if the neighbor did it would I be all up in arms? Probably not. I’d probably send a gift.

  26. I haven’t followed too much of this story, just had heard that A) Madonna had adopted a child and then, B) the country had changed its mind about the adoption (I realize this is now incorrect but that was how I originally heard it). The whole story just strikes me as incredibly sad. Sad to know that a child was surrendered by a father who doesn’t really want him to disappear forever. Sad to know that he is THIS close to being adopted into a world where money will never be a problem. Sad that so many children still sit in orphanages, dreaming of the day their “angel” will swoop down and change their lives forever. Was I wrong but did the country require that Madonna needed to live in the country for xxx number of months before she could leave with a child? How realistic is that for most people?

  27. Hally: You always have such an informed perspective writing from “the inside” that I appreciate your opinion here!I agree that circumventing Malawi laws wasn’t the best course of action, but if that was the reason most people were up in arms, I wouldn’t have written about it at all. Honestly, I see more complaints about her past (ie she can’t possibly be a good mother–why, she was PROMISCUOUS!) or her “motives” which is what gets my goat good. People adopt for all sorts of reasons, same as they have babies for all sorts of reasons – spiritual enlightenment, attempt to save a marriage, proving something to their own parents, trying to become an adult…I’m uncomfortable with judging anyone’s motives for doing what, in the end, I still think is a very good thing. But I totally hear you on all counts.

  28. I’m sick of people passing judgement on Madonna and making assumptions about why she wanted to adopt (Publicity? Seriously? Is this a woman in need of publicity?) I guess I’m just naive, but I heard about it and thought, “Great, she wants to make an orphan a part of her family and give him a loving home,” not “Oh boy, there goes Madonna, the media whore, doing the “trendy” thing by adopting a child from Africa.”

  29. I agree with you. I think it is quite pathetic that people are trying to find fault in what is basically a pretty selfless act. Madonna does not need that much publicity. When she needs publicity, she can go naked on the stage, or stick herself on a cross, or preach qabalah to the world. That’s publicity. This, on the other hand, is a life long commitment. A commitment to make a child’s life better. Does it matter where the child is from? Does it matter how old Madonna is? Can anyone honestly argue that the kid would be better off in the orphanage? And as for cutting in line… The waiting line has nothing to do with shortage of kids (there are millions that go unadopted)… It’s plain and simple bureaucracy where just because somebody managed to get a bit ahead, doesn’t mean anything else to others. Please people, be at least somewhat happy for the kids that make it out.

  30. I’m not too feisty about this and know very little about. That said, I stand with the more cynical readers. But certainly taking advantage of your celebrity status requires some arrogance. And I wouldn’t equate a sought-after table at a restaurant and a bottle of expensive Italian wine with a young child.

  31. Jennifer: Nor would I. My point is simply that that sommeliers, maitre d’s, orphanage directors and government officials alike are not immune to the celebrity bug, and are willing to go out of their way for people in the limelight. If you look at how relatively quickly Angelina Jolie was able to adopt versus regular folks right here, I guarantee she averted the regular channels as well.

  32. She forked over millions of dollars to support orphanages which also probably bumped her to the top of the list. And yes, that’s not fair but I think it’s great for Malawi orphans and ultimately that’s what matters most, IMO.If people want celebs to stop getting special treatment, they should stop watching E! and The Insider and devouring US and People magazines etc. They are only treated the way they are because our society chooses to elevate them to such an absurd level.

  33. It’s not just celebrity status but money that makes the rules bend so easily. While some might consider money the root of all evil, it can be put to good use.Whew, Tom’s wedding is on the horizon.

  34. Not that I really know anything about Madonna’s experience, but I would seriously doubt she cut through the process… Countries like China and Korea have very clear cut regulations while others, like the Ukraine and Khazastan (sp) are a bit more organic and can change right in the middle of the process.Perhaps the Malawi international adoption laws aren’t too concrete… you certainly don’t read about the thousands of Western families worldwide who are adopting from Malawi… I have read that the child is her legal ward for 18 months at which time she must meet with the courts for final evaluation and adoption…Since we don’t know how long this process was in the works before Madonna actually travelled and brought her son home, it is reasonable to assume she went through the proper channels.International adoption has but one goal: to find homes for the thousands of children they cannot care for and I would hate for it to get a poor reputation because people feel (without knowing facts) that there is preferential treatment given.

  35. Amen. Amen. Amen. You took everything I’ve been thinking (and talking about with my best friend) and put it into a great post.

  36. I didn’t know an oenophile is a lover of wine. I must use that word in a future blog post so I can sound as smart as Mom-101.Although it sounds like a National Enquirer headline: “Just revealed: Madonna an oenophile!”

  37. You are absolutely right, Mom 101. The reality is that she may have gotten bumped up to the top of the list, but that happens, and she is doing a good thing. I’m sure its hard to leave behind a child you’ve already let into your heart. What bugs me is the folks that say she’s just jumping on the Jolie bandwagon. Maybe yes, maybe no, but does it matter if they are both improving the lives of children?

  38. I admit to feeling pretty cynical about the whole thing, but you’ve brought up some good points. I’m going to hold off judgement until I watch her interview with Oprah, who herself has contributed millions towards educating and establishing schools for young girls in Africa.Okay, how pathetic is that – I’m going to base my opinion of a celebrity on what another celebrity thinks of her. I think I’m ready for a job at E!

  39. First I thought–yeah, absolutely. THen I read Mir’s comments and thought–wow, how condescending, to attribute someone’s disagreeig with you to hormones, rather than intellect. Then I read on, and obviously she didn’t mean it that way.People are obsessed with famous people. Whatever they do will be picked apart for weeks. We’re like vultures over the carcass of a well-beaten dead horse.(Except me of course. I would never do that.)🙂

  40. This is so interesting — reading everyone’s comments. To be honest, I hadn’t thought much about Madonna and whatever everyone is saying about her. But today on Talk of the Nation on NPR they did a panel and raised some interesting points. And then I came here and read more opinions, and, by golly, I think I’ve learned something.

  41. I have to admit that I haven’t read up on this – only read a few blog posts about it, but my gut instinct so far is that I agree with you. Coincidentally, I got into an argument with my husband about it this evening. He said she should be adopting a baby from this country and I said, Why? What business is it of ours WHERE she adopts the baby? She’s adopting one and that’s great. And I also prefer not to be cynical and assume she’s doing this for publicity. That seems a bit of a stretch for me.

  42. You have such a wonderful way of allowing everyone their own opinion. Thank you for creating a safe place to agree or disagree.

  43. Oh yeah, and I wanted to tell you how much I have LEARNED from reading this blog. No really. jane Fonda was on “the view” on Weds and talking about her new radio station for women, but I was already in the know from reading about it here. And boy howdy, do i ever LOVE to be in the know! 🙂

  44. <>18 month residency requirement?<> What real person has time for that in their lives? That sounds like a law designed specifically to discourage international adoption. Having bumped up against a few of those in Russia, I just find them sad.I have no problem with Madonna looking at Angelina and thinking “that looks like a good idea.” I can’t tell you how many couples with bio kids look at my children and say “oh, I’d like to do that someday.” few of them ever do, whether from lack of time, resources, or courage. I’m not faulting them, but Madonna did actually follow through.Madonna and Angelina have advantages that many of us international families would love to have – the resources to return to the native countries of their children whenever they choose, and to contribute in a meaningful way to improving the lives of the children we couldn’t take home.

  45. YES! I have commented on several blogs that have written about this… all of them complaining about it. And I just think… well??? Who knows what REALLY transpired? And not to mention, lucky lucky lucky boy! I say good for Madonna, in spite of what I think of her Kaballah and refusal to let her kids watch tv and eat ice cream silliness…

  46. You wrote: They get hotter dates, bigger salaries, and better plastic surgeons. They get invited to cooler parties. And they don’t have to wait in line to get in.Dang. I wanna be a celebrity! 🙂Karen

  47. Oh, tough one…I’ve been working with a Bosnian-American couple (in Bosnia), who are slogging through the adoption process. I’d love it to be easier, for me as well as for them, but…I understand the hiccups. I’ll throw down a bet or two that Malawi, like Bosnia, is just coming to grips with procedures for international adoptions. I want to think that most people are adopting for reasons of love and selflessness. However. There are those nasty child traffickers who are just waiting to get their foot inside the door. And, I’m not talking about Madonna here, but if the process is made so easy for her, who else is going to be able to grease the wheels? On the other hand (I wish I had more hands), there are so many unwanted children languishing away in poor conditions, it just breaks your heart. Sigh.

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