adopTion, reunion, reform, reality
I think when adoptive parents say things like this, the gossamer curtain of civility floats away and the real view of their role in adoption and of the mothers who gave birth to their children is revealed.
What am I talking about? I am talking about: Who sat up with you when you were sick? Who fed you and put a roof over your head? Who helped you with your homework? Who paid your college tuition? Who took you on trips? Paid for your braces?
The message to an adoptee is.
1. Who really loves you baby? It’s us. And;
2. You owe us because Who sat up with you when you were sick? Who fed you and put a roof over your head? Etc., etc. And,
3. It was a burden for us to do all those things for you. We deserve a big pat on the back for doing them. And,
4. Your being given up for adoption was not an act done out of love by your mother. It was simply avoiding responsibility by the girl/woman who bore you. She took the easy way out and just handed you over to us to do all the work. And,
5. Your mother does not regret that she was unable to do those things for you. She was lucky. She had you and then just got on with her life.
When an adoptive parent or anyone else says those things to an adoptee they are proving that one of the big myths of adoption is exactly that, a myth.
The myth being that the adoptive parents will appreciate the sacrifice that was made: How the child’s mother took on pain and heartache in exchange for losing all those things because she believed or had been convinced that was what was best for her child. They are disrespecting their child’s mother.
When an adoptive parent says those things they are laughing at the pain mothers felt because they knew they were not going to get to do those things. Their child’s head would not rest on their shoulder. They would not feel their child’s tiny hand around their finger. They would not get to help their child through disappointments and exams, or their first broken heart. When a child gets older and searches for their parents it may be because they feel the loss of those things too. To pull out this old chestnut disrespects their feelings as well.
Anyone who sees losing these gestures of love not as a loss but as benefit doesn’t understand much about how adoption works for mothers or adoptees.
Does someone need to tell the story of King Solomon again?
An adoptee has two sets of parents. Each has contributed to who they are in a different way. Losing all the opportunities to perform all these acts of love is a loss. Adoptive parents need to understand that.
T is for Things Adoptive Parents Say