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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 18, 2009 / 1 Teves 5770

Giving Thanks for Life

By Mona Charen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Mia's story is good holiday fare. That must have been what the Washington Post editors were thinking when they put her smiling face on the front page. Whether they considered the deeper implications is not so clear, as we shall see.


Mia Fleming is a 20-year-old college student who was adopted as an infant. This year, she set out to find not her birthparents, but the two teenagers who found her on a Fairfax, Va., townhouse's front steps.


Emily Yanich and Chris Astle were both 15 in 1989. They acknowledge that on the afternoon in question, they "may" have walked to the 7-Eleven to buy cigarettes. When they returned to their neighborhood, they heard a baby crying. "I looked around and noticed that there weren't any moms out there pushing their kids around in a stroller," Astle recalled. The two teens followed the cries and found a bundle on the landing of a townhouse "where it didn't seem anyone was at home." They found the dark-eyed baby girl wrapped in orange towels, her umbilical cord still attached.


After frantically knocking on the townhouse door without result, Astle and Yanich, holding the crying infant, tried to decide on the best course. The Post recounted their thinking: "Had someone forgotten the baby? Was she hungry? Should they go back to the 7-Eleven and get some food? Should they take her? Would they get in trouble?"


Shocked and uncertain, they took the baby to Yanich's stepfather, who called the police. In short order the emergency vehicles arrived and the baby (who was estimated to be 12 hours old) was whisked off to the hospital. Later that day, a nurse called to tell them that the child was healthy and was going to be just fine.


And she was. A couple who already had one adopted child eagerly embraced the opportunity to adopt her. This month, 20 years later, Mia Fleming managed to contact her two guardian angels through Facebook. Her message was tentative: "Hi. I'm sorry to bother you, but if you are the Chris Astle I was looking for then I just want to thank you. You and Ms. Yanich found me on someone's doorstep when I was an infant. I don't really know what else to say, but thank you."

Letter from JWR publisher


Fleming speaks for millions of adopted children. It's pretty basic. Everyone (excepting only the pathological) is grateful to have been given a chance at life. Fleming's simple gratitude contrasts with the fatuous nonsense often peddled in the media that adoption is always traumatic. It isn't. Yet even if it were, isn't it better to be alive? Yes, some adoptees struggle with questions of identity, but life is full of challenges. In other ways, adoptees are actually better off than the average American child. A Search Institute study found that 55 percent of adopted teenagers reported high self-esteem compared with 45 percent of others. This may be because adoptive families have lower-than-average rates of divorce, and/or because adopting couples want children very badly.


Fleming's birthmother abandoned her in a relatively safe place. The same could not be said of many infants found in public restrooms, train stations, and even dumpsters around the time she was born. In response, all 50 states (but not the District of Columbia) have now adopted safe haven or "Baby Moses" laws permitting women to relinquish newborns "no questions asked" within a few days of birth — a sad necessity.


Baby Moses has inspired one more entrant into the compassionate network of organizations hoping to help women with crisis pregnancies. In the past 35 years, thousands of such groups have sprouted around the country like wildflowers. But until now, none was specifically focused on Jewish women. The Bible (Exodus: Chapter I, verse 15) relates the story of Shifra and Puah, the midwives who refused Pharaoh's order to kill the male children of the Israelites. "But the midwives feared G-d, and did not as the King of Egypt commanded them." December marked the debut of "In Shifra's Arms" (Inshifrasarms.org), the first Jewish crisis pregnancy group (in whose founding I played a small role). Here, Jewish women struggling with life-and-death decisions will find support, information, and resources on alternatives to abortion.


Mia's story is heartwarming. But one cannot read it without thinking of something else — the millions who cannot give thanks. Each year, 1.2 million children in America are aborted. If they were placed for adoption, they'd presumably want to thank someone as well. The goal of In Shifra's Arms, like its sister organizations, is to ensure that more Mias get the chance to be grateful.

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Comment on JWR contributor Mona Charen's column by clicking here.

Mona Charen Archives

© 2006, Creators Syndicate

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