June 24th, 2008
05:38 PM ET

Erica’s News Note: Tuesday’s tidbits

Erica Hill
AC360° Correspondent

Families in Indonesia are giving their children away to orphanages because they can’t afford to take care of them anymore. More than 80 percent of the kids in these orphanages and other child care intuitions have both parents. I cannot imagine the heartache, the fear and the sorrow.

From heartache… to a story that will simply make you smile. It took 34 years, but a man has finally made good on his promise to repay the kindness he was shown decades ago. I don’t want to give away the entire story, so I’ll let you read the rest.

I couldn’t resist clicking on the headline for this next story. I love porches. When we first moved to Atlanta, we rented a house with a screened-in porch. In the year and a half that we lived there, I think we spent more time on the porch than we did inside. There’s nothing like being outside on a beautiful morning with that first cup of joe, or a refreshing summer cocktail on a warm night… especially when you can keep the bugs out!

My first real porch was a tiny affair, and we shared it with the neighbors. Unlike most college porches, it didn’t have a hand-me-down couch – there would never have been enough room – but plenty of my friends did use their parents’ leftovers to furnish their outside spaces. I admit, while they were comfy, rarely did the over-stuffed couches and recliners look very good. Still, I never thought I’d see them banned. For one Pennsylvania town, the days of porch-based couches could be numbered.

Filed under: Erica Hill
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Lorie Ann, Buellton, California

    Hi Erica,
    Good Tuesday evening to you. In a world of constant bad news, it's always a pleasure to read your little rays of sunshine that you add to your posts. In my opinion, we should all have a porch. Some may look better than others, but they all serve the same purpose. It's a time to relax, talk, and turn back the clock to a simple time, when a blackberry, was a pie...

    Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.

    June 24, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  2. Heidi

    There is nothing as siting on front porch , listening to my husband playing music out of horror movies,,,,,,,lol + my neighborhood is the best during 4. July , I can't wait ,,,,,,,

    June 24, 2008 at 9:35 pm |
  3. Cheryl Rhode Island

    It must take such a tremendous amount of strength to give your child to an ophange. I'm sure these parents are trying to do the best by their child. How tough it must be. As far as a 'quota' on the births..well, I'm not so sure about that. Look what happened in China. So many parents lost the only child they ever had. As a Mom, I pray I never know the above heartbreaks.

    June 24, 2008 at 9:33 pm |
  4. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hey Erica~
    The porch sitting society (there are a number of them) I mentioned is the National Association of Porch Sitting. The Rev. Kyle Childress who writes as you open this website is actually the minister who visited me! It is also known as NAP! Pretty nifty huh?

    P.S. I'll see you on 360 if not on the front porch first!
    Welcome back! You were missed! 🙂

    June 24, 2008 at 8:43 pm |
  5. renee

    As a little girl my grandmother had a porch we would sit out on .talk about things listen to grasshoppers birds etc... I love it however indoor furniture should not be used on porches tacky tacky tacky

    June 24, 2008 at 8:40 pm |
  6. Ratna, New York, NY

    Hi Erica,

    India has a strict norm to reduce family planning to two children per nuclear family. They should start applying that in Indonesia as well if there is funding for it ofcourse.

    I do agree that porch couches should be banned, they are indeed a threat to safety and health, but on the on the other hand, I think that people should be given the oppertunity to recycle these couches by doing new upholstry and trade them in for patio furniture or the law makers should provide a service of free garbage pick-up. A community effort in calling!

    June 24, 2008 at 8:11 pm |
  7. Annie Kate

    Hi Erica!

    Glad you are back!

    My grandmother's both had house length porches on their houses when I was growing up. Each had a porch swing and rocking chairs out on their porch and it was wonderful to sit out there at night while my grandmother would tell me about the families past and listen to the frogs and the crickets and the other night noise. I've loved big porches and porch swings ever since. Unfortunately I've never had one – they just don't build porches like they used to at least not on the houses I've lived in. Its a wonderful memory though. See you tonight!

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    June 24, 2008 at 8:05 pm |
  8. Melissa

    I understand the rationale of giving up a child for a better life but I also wonder how will this affect the child in the end. These kids are too old to be adopted out so will he grow up with slightly more education but no family? How very sad.

    I'm glad the man kept his word albeit 34 years later. Nice to read people fulfill promises they make.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:57 pm |
  9. Megan Dresslar

    Hello Erica,
    Welcome Back!!!!! missed you, Tom Foreman and Randi Kaye were doing great subbing for you.
    That is so heartbreaking for Families in Indonesia , who put away orphanages, they aren't taking care their orphanages, or can't afford money.
    Yes, I do love front porch outside of my old home. it is very cool I sit on the step...... It was so awesome outside and beautiful sunny!
    I will see you soon tonight on AC360 program and live blog!
    See you soon!
    Megan D.
    Shoreline, Wa

    June 24, 2008 at 7:36 pm |
  10. Betty Ann, Nacogdoches,TX

    Hey Girlfriend!
    I know what you mean about porches. I moved into my southern "porch" style house 7 years ago. Everything I learn is on the front porch. We have solved many problems on the porch.
    Everyone wants to sit out there. It may be hot, but the celing fans are on! Come on down and sip a margarita or ice tea with mint! We love, love, love the front porch EVERYDAY!
    Erica~Did you know there is actually a front porch society? A minister who came over to visit me is a card carrying member. He showed it to me! What a hoot!
    Thanks and cheers!

    June 24, 2008 at 7:27 pm |
  11. JC- Los Angeles

    Heartbraking tale involving the Indonesian children. I'm hopeful that such extreme measures don't become the norm here at home. We are a gluttonous consumption, instant gratification, consumer driven society with no focus on saving for a rainy day. When Alan Greenspan erroneously lowered interest rates time after time after time, stunningly, he failed to grasp that people would gorge themselves on cheap money. People bought houses they really couldn't afford; then put in new kitchens, baths and dual vanity sinks; then leased cars they shouldn't have been driving; then bought pets; then, many started families to fill their new homes. Here in California, the land of $5 gas, people are walking from their homes in massive numbers and dropping off their pets at rescue centers. I can only hope that they don't go one step further and mirror our Indonesian brothers.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:15 pm |
  12. Michele, Douglaston NY

    Oh, how I love the porch. Years ago when I was in college, my friends and I were make- believe relaxing at the porch. Actually, my friends used to hang out at top of their building facing the Capitol Hill at Washington DC. We used to bring beach chairs and chat everything from A to Z. We had a fond memories there.

    Welcome Back Erica.

    June 24, 2008 at 7:03 pm |
  13. Sam

    Out in California, 5 gallons of gas is worth quite a bit these days, I'd rather have the cash though!! Glad to see there are some honest people still out there.

    June 24, 2008 at 6:42 pm |
  14. Sabrina in Los Angeles

    I ran into financial issues after bankruptcy and sent my daughter to live in Las Vegas with her father for about 1 year....that was very hard and sad.

    I couldn't imagine sending a child to someone who wasn't their parent, such because they were unable to raise that child. Something has to be done to lift up those at the bottom in need. Money shouldn't be a reason people can't obtain a proper life for themselves or their children.

    On the porches and couches....I don't like the whole tacky furniture thing...it looks low class. Best to leave the faded furniture inside if you have to keep it or buy a cover for it. Indoor furniture doesn't belong on the porch or patio, it is such a faux pas. Reminds me of tenement housing. Best for the trailer park.

    June 24, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  15. Genevieve M, TX

    Welcome Back Erica! We missed you!

    I agree with the guy that upholstered furniture has no business being outside- looks both tacky and gross! I have front and back porches outside my house, but I would never furnish either with cloth covered furniture. It would never stay nice with sun beating down it nor clean with all the dust that blows around.

    June 24, 2008 at 6:30 pm |
  16. Lilibeth

    Welcome back, Erica! We missed you.

    It’s really sad when you hear that families can’t afford to take care of their kids anymore. It’s not like they can give them away to relatives, because they’re probably just as poor. If these orphanages fill up, what happens then? Do they turn the kids away? What if things get that bad? What will become of them?

    That’s a nice story about the man who returned the gas. It’s good to help people out and I usually wouldn’t ask for anything in return, but 5 gallons of gas is worth quite a bit these days.

    Again, glad to have you back. See you tonight

    Edmonds, Washington

    June 24, 2008 at 6:27 pm |
  17. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Hello Erica, glad your back*, I can't really speak on this because I have no children, I hear mothers feel such joy & stuff.. but we do need to stop to this OVER population( no food, water, shelter, & No Oil).. it's sad to see so many children with no nothing.. & we women are the only one's who can stop this.. we know men aren't!
    Back in the day's when we had a porch it was not that cool to hang out on the porch.. drive~bye's. see u.

    June 24, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  18. Hannah Storm

    Hey Erica welcome back

    There is nothing like sitting on a porch during a rain storm......just breathing in the air, it is just something I love to do

    June 24, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  19. Christina, Windber, PA

    Hey Erica,

    I'm with you as far as porches go. My house is 97 years old and has a ncie sized front porch. We used to sit out there all the time, until the weather turned wonky and it's too hot and humid most of the summer. That porch has seen a lot of fun, kids blowing bubbles – no matter the temperature! Did you know bubbles last longer in the cold air? Toddlers love it. With a gate they can roam back and forth to their heart's desire.

    We never did have a sofa on it though. I don't think anyone has the right to tell you what to put on your own porch. Anyway, thanks for blogging. I enjoy your posts. Now if we could just get Anderson to blog oftener! Impossible dreams! I admit, I'm a sucker for them.

    Have a great evening.

    June 24, 2008 at 6:00 pm |