Just a short note this a.m to tell you that in the Adoption News Service today came a story from Vancouver, B.C., that referred repeatedly to "real mother." I cheered--at least not every writer and editor has gotten the memo that "birth mother" is an absolute PC must.
And the acquittal of a father who left his adopted Russian son in the back of a hot sports utility vehicle has the international adoption world buzzing....will the Russians tighten up on letting their kids go to Americans? Oh my...Now where do we get kids?
Another story about a Korean adoptee raised in Germany has this to say in the OhMy News (you gotta love the name of the publication):
"Miriam Yung Min Stein is not only harsh on her 'home country,' but also rants and raves about the institutionalized altruism that brought her to Germany, highlighting the dark sides of feel-good charity.
"I am not ungrateful, but international help makes me puke. People like Angelina Jolie or Bono make me puke."
While she knows that her German parents meant well and gave her more than she can ever return, it is also clear that the act of adoption affected her life in incalculable ways."
And ours too.
Which is why I hated hated the movie Juno so much. It made the whole situation--pregnancy, finding cool adoptive parents, flirting with the dad-to-be, etc.--such a nightmare for us. Because yes that kind of crap does inform public opinion about what it is like to give up a child. Cry once at the hospital and then..hooray, life goes on. The vapid BF stays.
And then we end up dealing with folks like my "friend," Aston. Got an invitation from a mom of a Chinese girl for a Christmas Eve party tonight in an email. She noted, incidentally, that Aston and his wife would be out of the country for the holidays and so we could come without hesitation...so the news of our frisson has indeed spread. Ah...life in the adoption lane....
Dear Significant Other Tony doesn't even want to know the reaction of another friend, also mom of a girl from China, because she's a bit more (actually a whole lot more) morally absolute about her take on life and is super sensitive about being an adoptive mother. She twice felt it necessary to correct me when I referred to Jane's "adoptive parents." As in: They are her parents. Said with stern face daring me to counter. I did not. But !@!%ing hell, I wish I had. For the sake of our conversation, she couldn't hold her tongue? Ah...off to brunch today and I am sure that the adoptive mother who had to correct Tony when he referred to my daughter as daughter, no modifiers, and say: "birth daughter" will be there. This is just after we got back from the funeral. I will do my best to avoid her. I'd have to have a lot of punch to ask her outright about her "adopted daughter."
Look, the two Chinese girls mentioned above are great friends and they do seem to be thriving, so though I have reservations about adoption in general, the likelihood that these two girls would have languished in a Chinese orphanage does not make me think that's where they should be. They have good parents and good homes. One of the girls was, in my opinion, traumatized by being in an institution for a year, and she has, with much patience and love, come a long way to being a normal teenager.
We are visiting my husband's family (a passel of niece and nephews and their kids) on The Eve, and then onto Pennsylvania to see my step-son and his wife and nine-year-old son on The Day.
The picture above? The photo on the Christmas card of photographer friend Ken Robbins.