The Toughest Job You'll Ever Love
The National Foster Parent Association is the only national organization for foster parents in the United States. This year marks their 35th Annual National Education Conference, and is a chance for foster parents, social workers, and others to gather to share information and network. Conference topics cover the spectrum of challenges faced by foster parents, from advocating for their foster children to navigating the legal system to the more personal and emotional issues particular to these families. If you have ever thought of being a foster parent, the conference has special sessions to learn more about fostering before you accept the challenge.

When: May 9-14, 2005
Where: Hyatt Regency Orange County, Garden Grove, California
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Don't Call The Doctor
Okay, so I admit I'm a bit of a hippie. When the time comes, I want to give birth at home with incense burning, folk music playing, and a Rubenesque midwife there to help me through the process. Granted, I have never had a child, nor have I ever been a witness to the miracle of birth, so I cannot speak of any firsthand knowledge. On the other hand, women have been having children at home since the home was a cave, so I tend to think doctors try and scare the hippie out of women with talk of "complications" and "epidurals" when advising strongly for hospital births. As for me, give me a midwife (but keep an ambulance outside).

What: Midwifery Today Conference
When: March 17-23, 2005
Where: Eugene, Oregon
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Universal Mother
To paraphrase Oprah, a woman living in America is the luckiest woman alive. It is not an overstatement to say that women and children in the U.S. have access to the best medical care in the world, not to mention the multitude of necessities of life like potable water and indoor plumbing that millions of people throughout the world live without. The World Health Organization announced that the theme for 2005's World Health Day will be healthy mothers and children. Their slogan, "Make every mother and child count" is a call to action for the world's governments to make the health of women and children a priority in every part of the world. (That includes you too, GW. It's good here but it could be a whole lot better.)

April 7, 2005
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Friends Don't Let Friends Kill
Since its inception 25 years ago in the aftermath of one daughter's death and another's paralysis, Mothers Against Drunk Driving has not mellowed with age. Did you know that the organization was originally called Mothers Against Drunk Drivers? The name showed the organizer's sheer disgust at the criminals mowing down 28,100 people a year in 1980 (that number included founder Cari Lightner's 13-year-old daughter). By 1999, traffic fatalities due to drunk driving had dropped to 15,794. That is still too much avoidable death on the roads and MADD has not slowed their efforts to toughen legislation, spread awareness and assist victims and victim's families. Get involved by participating in your local fundraising MADD run/walk event. And of course, don't drink and drive.

When: Year round
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-Alisa Welch

Mothers Issue Features:

{ She's Having a Baby: The Lesbian Gayby Boom }
{ Universal Mother: An Interview With Writer Ariel Gore }
{ All About My Mother: The Greatest Movie Moms }
{ Somebody's Mother: A Photo Essay }
{ Losing the Almighty Mother }
{ A Grandmother's Lament }
{ Are You Going to Eat That? Mother's Cooking }

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