Adoption Reunion and the Library

I read yesterday that libraries are doing well. I am pleased to hear it. The public library holds a special place in my heart because it was in a library that I saw my child for the very first time.

I, like so many other mothers, was not allowed to see or hold my child at birth. The first time I saw my child’s face was in a school year book in the public library. My child was beautiful and, to my surprise, looked liked me.

The article about libraries posted in Quill & Quire’s by Tabassum Siddiqui says in part

Despite the onslaught of entertainment options competing for our attention, apparently Canadians are still flocking to our public libraries, according to a feature in today’s Ottawa Citizen. The article suggests business is booming at Canada’s major public libraries due to factors ranging from the high price of buying books to the rise in Internet usage thanks to the popularity of social networking.

I stared at the picture in the yearbook for such a long time that the women sitting next to me at the big library table said “Are you alright?” I explained about my child, the adoption, etc. and that this was the first time I had seen my child’s face. She replied, “I think that’s wonderful. I’m an adoptee and I’m doing research here to try and find my family.” Both of us started crying and dissolved in to each others arms. And then I went and made a photocopy. That I have to this day.

According to the article:

Toronto boasts the busiest public library system per capita in the world, with 1.2 million cardholders and 28.9 million items in 40 languages circulating each year.

The bad news is that over 800 people are on a waiting list at one library to take out the movie Juno.

In the opinion of almost everyone who has been through the experience Juno is not an accurate portrayal of what it feels like to have and give up a child for adoption.

As the saying goes “Juno is to adoption as Pretty Woman is to prostitution.” It should come with a disclaimer.

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One Response to Adoption Reunion and the Library

  1. Carol says:

    “My child was beautiful and, to my surprise, looked liked me.”

    Your words triggered this thought for me. Much in the same way that physical mirroring is important to children and painful for our children who grow up without it, we moms miss something similar. I am not suggesting that this is as vital to a person as it is to our children when they lack this connection, but it did make me think about the 2-way communication of this mirroring, and how much we missed in learning to love ourselves, and how that love between mother and child feeds into the greater continuity of the family extending both back and forward generationally. I missed that with my son who is my only child and I feel a great disconnect – at many levels.

    I can’t imagine how you felt seeing your child for the first time in their yearbook photo. It is stunning that infant adoption continues when I see the devastation it creates.

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