All Dads Moms
I'd prefer some nice couple
from Iowa 44% 41% 45%
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett
Smith 25 26 24
Ellen DeGeneres and Portia
de Rossi 7 2 11
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie 6 6 5
This was an informal poll in the January issue of Vanity Fair. I sure as hell wouldn't choose "some nice couple from Iowa. I'm just thankful I never have to worry about answering that question ever again.” Why wouldn’t I want some nice couple from Iowa? Really, what’s wrong with celebrity parents other than their kids are often raised by nannies? Willow and Jaden Smith seem like great kids. I don’t know much about Suri Cruise except that her wardrobe costs a lot more than mine.
I’ve often wondered if open adoption was an option when I relinquished nearly 35 years ago, would I have chosen my daughter’s parents to raise her as their own? Truth be told, I probably would have. After our reunion, I learned her mother had long brown hair like mine. She was an educator. They had the perfect rambling Victorian farmhouse complete with a garret bedroom for my daughter, a library, and the house is surrounded by an apple orchard that’s still producing fruit today—I pass by the house regularly on my drives in the nearby affluent horse country. What was there not to like? That was precisely the idyllic childhood I wanted but couldn’t give my daughter because I was a 19-year-old college student with no money and no means of supporting myself, let alone a baby. And unless you’re Bristol Palin, I think most young, single mothers today still have a hard time in a culture that prizes Mom, Dad, the two kids, the Golden Retriever, and the mini van as the ideal family. As I type this, I STILL believe that life would have been very difficult for the two of us; I certainly wouldn’t have met my husband because I would have been home raising a child, not out dancing the night away. Even though I’ve carved out a comfortable, relatively successful life for myself, I can’t shake the feeling that I would have been less than had I struggled to raise my daughter myself. But the world will never know…
I’ve said it often in here on Firstmother Forum, I simply wish that any woman who had the financial/emotional means and support to raise a child could do so, and that in our supposedly enlightened 21st century, contraception and sex education would be made available to every woman—whether married or single, adolescent or working woman, high school dropout or college graduate—to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. But we don’t live in an ideal world.
My heart ached when I read the story posted last month about a woman who relinquished in 1980, and the difficulties she’s having with her reunited son, now 30. I had the same struggles until my daughter cut me out of her life over five years ago. And I commented in that post how I ran into her at a family wedding, and she wouldn’t look at me, let alone acknowledge my presence, yet she’s enjoying a very close relationship with my younger sister, who I haven’t been close to since. Most of the time this chapter of my life is behind me, but I’ve been reading The Twisted Sisterhood: The Dark Legacy of Female Friendships, and it all came back to me. I didn’t reach for the Ben & Jerry’s, nor did I fall into a funk. It just is. Everyone has something, being a member of the birth mother sisterhood is mine. Adoptive/birth family relationships require all the diplomacy of Mideast Peace talks; sadly, there are no easy answers. All we can do is wait, acquire patience, and have faith.