“My Sister’s Keeper” is a well-written Jodi Picoult movie directed by Nick Cassavetes and starring Cameron Diaz. This film depicts two parents desperate to save their daughter’s life from the overcast shadow of leukemia. The only solution they come up with is having a donor in the form of a second child, specifically for harvesting organs.
While most people are apalled by the very thought of this act, there are those who have been doing it for years, in reverse, without giving it a second thought. This concept may be mesmerizing because something such as this could not possibly take place without human beings realizing it. And still, some may argue it’s absurdity.
“We’re trying for a boy!” parents proclaim, “But if it’s a girl, we’ll try again.” What is truly being said is the same thing; if a boy had been born, the girl would not. The argument may be that the first-born unwanted children are not surgically dedicating their very body parts to the later-born siblings, they’re donating their parents love, support and spiritual existence. Being hospitalized for a few weeks to donate an organ would be more pronounced, but losing attention and acknowledgement for years upon years would be slow, drawn out, but just as devastating.
A woman marries a man with two daughters and he wants a son. Part of the reason for his divorce is that his first wife didn’t want any more children and he had not received his prodigal son. So, he marries a young, fertile woman, determined to get a male offspring for the purpose of carrying on his name.
Seven months after their wedding their first child is born–it’s a girl. She is raised knowing she “should have been a boy” and does everything in her power to become one; she asks to work on cars, mow the lawn, and does anything considered “masculine” to appease her father so she will not be considered “a mistake.” What she doesn’t realize is that no matter what she does, it will not be enough to carry on the family name in a respectable way.
Two more females are born before the son finally makes it into the world. The family is financially destitute, receiving welfare, and sleeping three to a room. The son gets his own room and is doted upon until, by accident, another son is born. While some may think, “Oh, they’re blessed twice by receiving two sons,” they are wrong in that assumption. The first was the only one planned for and all of the other children are insignificant.
When a movie comes out depicting heartache through a horrific experience with one family, remember that just because a light is shown in that corner of the cupboard revealing mold, that’s probably not the only place it exists. What’s important is allowing these “Castoffs” to know that despite the lack of support from their parents, they are dedicating just as much to society as any other person. For having to create their own support, they will overcome failures and celebrate successes, because of having earned them rather than having success handed them on silver platters.
Soon-to-be-parents, if you are unhappy with the sex of your child find someone who doesn’t care what gender the baby is, that just wants a baby! Don’t “donate” the wind in their sails to another child leaving her or him to entertain and thrive alone.
While “Savior Siblings” are given life to sustain a previously born and existing child with organs, “Castoffs” are born first, suspending hopes and dreams of their parents for a more deserving child. The good news is that Castoffs can be saved when they learn to be proactive individuals and understand there’s more to life than pleasing their parents.
NOTE: There is a whole lot more to being a parent than donating food and shelter–after all, Adolf Hitler provided these sustaining elements as he tortured his prisoners.