A Valued GroupOurs is a white family that adopted...


September 02, 1994

A Valued Group

Ours is a white family that adopted transracially in 1984. In fact, there are many white families with adopted minority children in Harford county. We are personally acquainted with at least a dozen similar families.

Your Aug. 21 article, "The Wrong Idea for Black Kids?", outlining Sen. Howard Metzenbaum's bill prohibiting race in adoption, gave a distorted picture about the process of uniting adoptive parents with minority children. I find the whole article erroneous because of your use of the words "minority" and "race."

My concern is based on the fact that there are three races in the world and not just two as one would think based on this article. The Sun consistently fails to acknowledge that Asians represent a forgotten minority in our community. This minority suffers double racism because both blacks and whites discriminate against it.

It is time that the news media, schools, service agencies and public agencies take a positive step toward all races. You should be reminded that Asians represent half the world's population even if they are but a minority of minorities in Maryland.

They have contributed much to the world and are a valued group in our community.

K. Gary Ambridge

Bel Air

Escalator Help

I am writing to you regarding the Camden Yard escalator accident. I was the "unidentified sobbing woman" pictured in the paper June 19.

In all articles printed about the accident, nothing was mentioned of the exceptional assistance provided by police, emergency personnel, concessionaires and other people at the scene of the escalator accident.

There were nine members of my family at the game, and six of us were on the escalator when it collapsed.

Five children accompanied four adults, and those not on the escalator were witnesses to their siblings' and parents' medical needs being attended to by various personnel.

The police officers were extremely helpful, watching my son and nephew while my husband and his sister attended to family requiring assistance.

We were taken to two different hospitals, and the medical personnel, emergency medical technicians and police were again very helpful and supportive in communicating where members of our family were taken.

The escalator experience was one I hope never to encounter again, but the people who helped during this fiasco should be commended for their actions. They made a bad experience a bit better by their assistance.

Fern Aefsky

Wurtsboro, N.Y.

Iron Hazards

Colleen Pierre's Aug. 23 column focused on maintaining an adequate dietary supply of iron in children and adults. She did not mention the danger for some people of excessive dietary iron.

Hemochromatosis is the most common recessive inherited condition in the U.S., although many physicians are not familiar with it. In this condition, people absorb excessive amounts of iron from a regular diet and it gets deposited in their internal organs.

In Maryland, there are thought to be more than 20,000 affected persons, with a much larger number of gene carriers. Most affected persons do not develop any symptoms until well into adulthood.

Problems from excessive iron can include congestive heart failure, impotence, premature menopause, diabetes, bronze skin and arthritis.

If the correct diagnosis is made, patients can benefit from regular blood-drawing to lower their iron level. Once diagnosed, these people should avoid the high-iron foods and Vitamin C described in Ms. Pierre's column.

Chris Friedrich, M.D.


For Art's Sake

The Sun deserves to be congratulated for giving so much space to Alice Steinbach's Aug. 21 article, "The making of an art collection."

The article, describing the Vogels and their love of art, was tender, poignant and quite moving.

The Vogels are a counterpoint to the crass materialism resulting from our unbridled capitalistic system. They did not seek to profit from their astute art purchases; they were not looking for a write-off on their taxes; they did not buy for investment to become richer.

Nor are they self-serving, as many donors are.

Although they could have made a huge fortune by selling their art, they chose not to do so. They bought because they loved art and wanted to encourage unknown artists.

Even their choice of the National Art Gallery -- where there is no admission charge -- to receive their collection reveals an extraordinary concern and consideration for those who may not have the extra funds for a museum visit.

Theirs has been a simple charitable act with no strings attached, nor any manipulative gain involved. Their lifestyle is simple and they plan to keep it that way.

When asked about their art, their answers were without affectation or arrogance.

They bought what they liked and even now they plan to go on living the same way: simply and continuing to collect art.

Their modesty is as wonderful as their munificence.

A. Mednick


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