Well, things are really heating up in Nebraska, where the dump-your-kid law has led to all kinds of abandonments of children under eighteen. The last one is a doozy, and what we who do not believe in adoption as a fairy tale feared: that parents would get rid of children they had adopted. While The Daily Bastardette has been telling the tales of the kids dumped regularly, the one today caught my eye because, yep, the child was 13, and adopted. Of the 17 children abandoned since the "safe haven" law took effect in July, only four are younger than ten.
Which brings me to a story from my life, which seems to abut adoption at every opportunity. After I divorced my first husband--who came into my life shortly after I gave up my daughter, and you know how that goes, let's get married quick! I need to think of myself as other than a slut--I spent an evening with an old BF from college back in my home state of Michigan. My ex- BF was now also divorced. Nobody back in Michigan, where I'm from and went to school, knew that I had a daughter, and had given her up for adoption, so the ex has no knowledge of this.
I didn't expect bells to ring because the ex-BF and I had never been..."in love," or at least, I hadn't and I'm pretty sure he had never been either. But we were having a pleasant enough evening, sparring as we had done during our senior year as we worked on the campus daily newspaper.
His story turned out to have an adoption twist, not surprisingly. He and his wife had adopted a boy who had been three or four at the time. Oh, I say, betraying nothing, but now listening on all burners...then the wife got pregnant and they had their "own son," as he put it. People cavil about this language--his son, but I'm just telling the story here and you get the drift, right? Okay, I think, your own son, go on....When they split a few years later, he said, the wife announced: I’ll take our son, but the adopted one, one, he’s yours, I don’t want him, too much trouble.
And then? Then what happened? Are you fathering the boy? Sure you are, say yes, I'm thinking. ...but the boy was too much to handle, he said, me a single guy, I couldn't hack it, and so I went back to court and undid the adoption.
Oh, It was hard, he said.
Yes, I said, I imagine it was, thinking, can you take me home now so I can throw up?
Today, all they would have had to do was drive from Michigan to Nebraska. Which the couple who dropped off their 13-year-old son did.