SEE TROY DUNN'S RESPONSE in next day's (May 25, 2009) post
The other night I watched several episodes of The Locator, the show that does as it sounds--finds people for people searching for them. Troy Dunn, whom we've written about before is "the locator," along with his mother and a staff.
One episode that made me crazy reunited a platonic Friend of a woman who had died of AIDS and the woman's daughter, who was three when her first mother died. First Mother had arranged for an open adoption--she had met the parents while she was in the hospital--and had Friend promise that he would stay in touch with her daughter and watch over her. While it is true that the mother had been a drug addict and a prostitute when she contacted AIDS, she completely turned her life around by the time her daughter was born, and, in fact, became an AIDS counselor. First mother was gorgeous in her photographs.
Friend, now a successful entrepreneur, had stayed in touch for a year or so, but then the family moved and left no contact information. Friend knew none of their family or friends, he was a young man, and admittedly did not make any effort to track down the adoptive parents. Now, two decades later, he wanted to keep his promise to his dying friend.
Troy Dunn found the young women still living with her adoptive mother. The adoptive mother said that it had always been hard for the young women to let people be close to her, and yeah, maybe meeting someone who knew her first mother might be helpful. Understand, this woman did know that well before the young woman's mother died, she was off drugs, and as Friend said, her first mother was a beautiful person who helped others dealing with AIDS.
The adopted woman was now introduced; she was morbidly obese. She had no memory of her first mother; she said she only knew that her first mother had been a prostitute and a drug addict, because that is what her adoptive mother told her.
The meeting of Friend and the young woman was staged in a library where Friend was reading to kids...as he met the girl's mother in a library. Not on a street corner where she was injecting herself.
I'm sitting there thinking that if this women had heard that her mother was more than a drug addict and a prostitute, she might not weigh 300 pounds today. (I've seen enough of The Biggest Loser to estimate her weight; she was 300 plus.) Troy Dunn, my brain is screaming, ask the adoptive mother why she didn't tell her that by the time she was adopted, her mother was clean, and had been for quite a while, and was actually working in a drug/AIDS program to help others? Friend made it clear that adoptive mom knew this. You think knowing this information--that her mother was clean and a good person--might have made a difference in the girl's life?
Troy Dunn, ask the adoptive mother why--since it was supposed to be an open adoption with Friend having continued contact--why this was ignored? Ask why she reneged on her promise to the first mother? Can't you at least clear your throat, raise your eyebrows, look away--do something--to indicate that her behavior is shoddy?
Troy Dunn, ask the adoptive mother if maybe the incomplete information she gave her adopted daughter might have been--uh, downright harmful?
No, instead of any of that, the woman was treated with kid gloves. Asked if it would be all right if her daughter met Friend. I wanted to scream at his asking for permission of the adoptive mother, when the young woman was in her twenties. Why did the young women need anyone's permission? Because we have to be watchful of the feelings of the adoptive parents, that's why.
Troy Dunn, why are you so solicitous of the adoptive mother's feelings when she clearly withheld information from her daughter, when she had ignored the promise to her first mother to let Friend stay involved?
"Your mother loved your very much," Friend told the young woman. "Your mother was a wonderful person who made some unfortunate choices for a while, but she turned her life around." He was able to show the young women both pictures of her beautiful mother (and she was beautiful) with clear eyes and no sign of a drug problem, as well as photographs of herself at her birthday party, and with her mother. In the pictures she is a happy, smiling healthy child of normal weight,
I know adoptive parents are by and large good people, that many of them take on problem children and turn their lives around, but I'd like to see the awful ones featured once in a while, and not just the ones who murder or beat or starve their adopted children, but the ones who inflict emotional damage as this adoptive mother so clearly had. I'd like to see some adoptive parents called on the carpet for less than stellar behavior on prime-time television.
We first/birth mothers take our lumps, all right; how about some equal-opportunity here when adoptive parents do bad things?--lorraine
Troy Dunn commented on our post and comments on the post, and I thought I would post it as blog rather than leave it as a comment.