Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2014 Badge


Cast your vote for the Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2014 Badge!
Buttons will be given to all GIAW attendees and supporters.

Polls will be open January 1st in the far upper left corner of SavingSons.org

Learn more about GIAW at GenitalIntegrityAwarenessWeek.org 


Poll Results:



Pick up your GIAW 2014 button and more goodies when you sponsor this year's event!

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21st Annual Genital Integrity Awareness Week 2014




Make plans now to attend the 21st Annual Genital Integrity Awareness Week in Washington D.C.!

March 24 - March 30, 2014

All day, each day, on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol

GIAW 2014 Sponsors

GIAW 2014 Events:

Facebook Event Page:

Virtual Event Page (for those who cannot be in DC):
https://www.facebook.com/events/1406494439595459/

Monday - Sunday
Demonstrating West Lawn U.S. Capitol
9:00am - 5:30pm
(with the exception of Saturday for the 4:00pm march)

Monday, March 24 
7:30pm Dinner at Tortilla Coast
400 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
202.546.6768

(see more on restaurants and dining itinerary options here)

Tuesday, March 25
7:30pm Dinner at Talay Thai
406 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
202.546.5100

Wednesday, March 26
7:30pm Dinner at Bullfeathers Bar & Grill
410 First Street SE
Washington, DC 2003
202.484.0228

Thursday, March 27
7:30pm Dinner at Talay Thai
406 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
202.546.5100

Friday, March 28
Intact Advocates Open Discussion
4:30-6:00pm
West Lawn of U.S. Capitol
Open discussion forum for all genital autonomy advocates.
We will be covering topics currently relevant to the movement and invite all to lend a voice with your thoughts and experiences to make this a unique time of collaboration and learning from one another.
[Children are welcome to play nearby on the lawn during this discussion time.]

Friday, March 28
7:30pm Dinner at Tortilla Coast
400 First Street SE
Washington, DC 20003
202.546.6768
Note: Due to large numbers at GIAW on Friday night and current lack of funding for catering a large dinner on this evening, we will be dining together in smaller groups. Grab a friend and follow us downtown! There will be a 'foreskin friendly bar hop' taking place after dinner on Friday night for those who wish to join.

Saturday, March 29
GIAW 2014 Group Photo
3:45pm Before March Begins
West Lawn of U.S. Capitol 

** March from U.S. Capitol to The White House ** 
Saturday, March 29, 2014
4:00pm 
West Lawn of U.S. Capitol
GIAW leaders will remain at the Capitol demonstrating until dark.
There are restaurants nearby (in both directions, approximately 3 blocks away) for those with children
or individuals who do not have food on hand. It is a good idea to bring water and snacks along on the march.
We welcome you to march back to the Capitol Hill area with us after dark,
or return any borrowed signs to the wagon and take Metro Central to your destination.
[Additional March Details to Follow]

Sunday, March 30 - Tuesday, April 1
White House Sidewalk
Permits have been obtained to demonstrate in front of the White House between the hours of 8:00am to 11:00pm on each of these days (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday). If you will be extending your time in D.C., you are welcome to join us here. Please see David Wilson for details.

Metro Information

Parking Information

Email:
GenitalIntegrityAwarenessWeek@gmail.com


Funding is primarily used to purchase professionally made banners and signs, the graphics work that goes into them, and thousands of items (bracelets, buttons, informational cards, postcards, flyers, brochures, samples of products) that are handed out over the course of the GIAW week to parents, tourists, news crews, professionals in health and medicine, and politicians. It is essential to have enough engaging items on hand for large groups that are quality made so these individuals want to take items (and keep and share). Seed planting only goes so far if the message does not cultivate into action back home. Please help us make GIAW 2014 a future baby-saving success!

Thank you!

If there is a sign or banner you would like to see in D.C., please write to SavingSons@gmail.com and we will ensure our graphics team creates something that matches your request. You are welcome to browse previous signs and banners at: http://www.savingsons.org/2007/01/signs-and-banners.html


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'Tis the Season to Save a Baby...


☃ In years past we have loved hearing from families across the globe who have found Saving Our Sons and had their lives positively impacted in one fashion or another. It has been a blessing to correspond with many of you, work in unison together with others around the globe in an genital autonomy effort, and we always look forward to hearing from you at this time of the year.

 If you would like to write this season, we would love to 'meet' your family and hear of the ways in which SOS has intersected with your life. ❤

We invite you to write to:

Saving Our Sons
P.O. Box 1302
VA Beach, VA 23451 

❄ Have a blessed holiday season. ❄

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Dear Sweet Boy, Please Forgive Me

By Jessica Grindstaff © 2013



Dear Sweet Boy,

I had you inside my belly for 37 weeks and 5 days. I loved you since the moment I found out about you. I may have been young, but since the beginning, I've always wanted you, and you have been my everything. I tried to eat healthy. I felt your kicks and your turns. You sometimes refused to let me sleep. I talked to you daily and let you know how much I loved you. I even read to you while you were inside. I made sure to gather everything you needed. I kept up with your development through online resources to see what was happening with you every single week.

But there is one thing I failed to do... and that is to research something that would forever change your life and mine. I will never be done telling you how sorry I am. I want you to know that it was the worst mistake of my life.

You see, I was 18 years old, and your dad was 19. He was circumcised as a baby, and at the time, I thought it was a normal thing to do and I didn't question it. I just thought it was normal...

I was wrong.

I was in labor for 17 hours and pushed for two and a half. I ended up having a c-section. I fell asleep from exhaustion and I completely missed your birth. I met you about 30 minutes later. You were the most gorgeous baby. I loved you so much. I nursed you - I had been looking forward to this my whole pregnancy. I was so excited to be able to give my child what was best for him. I was able to breastfeed you about three times before the doctor asked if we wanted them to circumcise you. I immediately said yes. I'm so ashamed of how quick I was to say yes and not ask any questions. Young and dumb, I was. The doctor told us that it was a "fast, easy procedure" - that we had nothing to worry about. And I believed him.

We asked if your daddy could be in the room with you. And so he was there and he watched the entire circumcision surgery while I was sitting in my hospital room. I was thinking about you the whole time...

And then I heard your loud wailing from down the hall.

It hurt my heart that you were in so much pain. And yet, I still thought it was necessary at the time. The doctor didn't tell me that it wasn't.

What had I done? I hurt my baby...

When they brought you back to me you looked so sad. It just didn't click in my mind exactly what had happened. You were different, but they told me you "did great." It was the line that they give to the masses of ignorant parents who will believe everything a doctor tells them. That used to be me. Never again. I was told you only cried because you were unwrapped. That was a big fat lie. When I saw your penis while changing your diaper - (wow) - I cringed. It made me feel so bad. It hurt me to see you in so much pain. It was bloody. It looked so unnatural. Because it truly was unnatural.

I tried to care for this wound, and it still adhered. We took you to the doctor and he forcibly pulled it so far back... yet again you wailed in pain and I just sat there and let him do it. I wanted to break down and cry. Since then, your skin has torn on its own when I have tried to change you. The look in your eyes when that happened - there are no words for it. The pain I felt inside my own heart was unbearable. I tried not to cry every single time. I started noticing how I was not okay with all of this. I've hated diaper changes because I have to see with my own eyes what I did to you each time. I struggle with myself every day. I hate myself for this decision. I remember every time I change your diaper, when I give you a bath, and when you run around naked. I try to ignore the thoughts, but I still remember. And I will never forget the way you cried that first day from down the hall...

Son, I'm extremely sorry. There are not enough 'sorrys' in the world. All I am hoping is that you do not grow up to hate me... but, honestly, I would understand if you do. Months after, I became friends with someone on Facebook named Amy. She always shared links and pictures of circumcision. I thought it was kind of silly and dumb at first, but I saw her posts every single time. And then, one day, she posted a picture of an infant crying. I don't quite remember what it said, but it got to me. And I cried. That was the moment when I reflected nonstop on what had happened to you. I cried harder and harder and held you close. I felt betrayed. I thought doctors always told patients the truth - the whole truth. I was so angry that no one told me the many reasons not to circumcise - and the many reasons to keep you intact.

Only one person suggested not circumcising before you were born - and I never bring this up because it makes me feel guilty that I ignored the suggestion. It was your grandma who told me not to do it. I told her it was 'normal' here to circumcise. And that should have tipped me off right from the beginning - only in the United States do people routinely circumcise newborn baby boys. Why didn't I listen to her?

After you were circumcised, you never nursed again.

I was only able to breastfeed you those three times in the first hours of your life. Over 75% of newborn babies don't readily nurse after circumcision surgery. Many will once again breastfeed as they heal and recover from this trauma. But you were one of the 75%, and you would never again go back to breastfeeding. It hurt, so bad. It still does. I see a breastfeeding mom and think about what it would have been like... How jealous I am. All because I made you go through a painful, unnecessary surgery unwillingly. And son, I deeply regret it.

I love you with all my heart, and what you have lived through will not be in vain. I now fight for other little boys and their genital autonomy. I have saved a handful from having the same done to them. I will never stop fighting for babies who do not have a choice of their own. And Amy? She will forever be a part of my life. I will always love her for what she has done for us. To me, she is a hero. She is my hero.

I'm telling you this so you will know what happened to you. I love you, I've loved you, and I will always love you. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me one day for something I did, of which I had no knowledge on... because I cannot forgive myself.

Love,
Mom ❤


Hear from additional parents with circumcision regret and those who are keeping future sons intact:
I Circumcised My Son: Healing From Regret


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