Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Advice from a very elite "Been There, Done That" Crowd **updated with photos of cute kids!
I have been fascinated with multiple births since the Kienast Quints were born during my childhood. I lovingly scrap-booked articles from newspapers and Good Housekeeping magazine about this remarkable family. And I cried my eyes out, when my new puppy tore that scrapbook to shreds, when I left it out where she could get to it.
Later, as I learned about the Dionne Quints, I was even more fascinated, as these quints were identical, adorable little girls!! Why hadn't I heard of them before? So many delightful photographs to pore over. I didn't have even one sister and these girls had 4 identical sissies to share secrets and fun (plus their other siblings). I was hooked.
Imagine my adult sorrow to learn later of the exploitation of the Dionne Quints by their parents, their family physician and the Canadian government. The personal hardship suffered by the Kienast families was also heartbreaking. Perhaps, all those adorable pictures, the photo opps. were not the whole story?
Of course, now we know better.
We do know better.
Apparently, not all families know better. ::ahem::
Here is a self-described "open letter", written by 3 of the surviving Dionne sisters to the parents of the McCaughey septuplets (I am so proud of this Iowa family). Really, the Dionne's admonitions speak for themselves, in light of the current Gosselin situation.
My fondest desire is that TLC would pull the plug on the Gosselin's show, thus becoming a much-needed hero for the Gosselin children (and, for that matter, their parents' marriage).
I say this, because I honestly do not think that Kate is at all likely to do this. In Jon's defense, it does appear he has tried to pull his family from out of the front of the camera.
There is more than enough shame and blame to go around, including those of us who cannot, no, WILL NOT stop watching this family self-destruct.
Shortly after the McCaughey septuplets were born in 1997, the three surviving Dionne Quintuplets wrote a letter to Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey, cautioning them that "multiple births should not be confused with entertainment, nor should they be an opportunity to sell products".
Although it's probably too little, too late, it would be nice if Jon and Kate Gosselin would take their words to heart:
Open Letter from the Dionne Quintuplets
Dear Bobbi and Kenny,
If we emerge momentarily from the privacy we have sought all our adult lives, it is only to send a message to the McCaughey family. We three would like you to know we feel a natural affinity and tenderness for your children. We hope your children receive more respect than we did. Their fate should be no different from that of other children. Multiple births should not be confused with entertainment, nor should they be an opportunity to sell products.
Our lives have been ruined by the exploitation we suffered at the hands of the government of Ontario, our place of birth. We were displayed as a curiosity three times a day for millions of tourists (viewers?). To this day we receive letters from all over the world. To all those who have expressed their support in light of the abuse we have endured, we say thank you. And to those who would seek to exploit the growing fame of these children, we say beware.
We sincerely hope a lesson will be learned from examining how our lives were forever altered by our childhood experience. If this letter changes the course of events for these newborns, then perhaps our lives will have served a higher purpose.
Annette, Cecile and Yvonne Dionne
(borrowed from the blog (Gosselins Without Pity)