Saturday, November 10, 2007

Adoption, Adoption....Everywhere

It's beginning to happen so often, my husband joked today that I am an "adoption magnet."

No kidding.

We were in a local store and the owner was telling me about her grandson when her tale took an unexpected turn. Suddenly, she was talking about her daughter's infertility and miscarriage and how her daughter just happened to meet a distraught pregnant woman who'd just been dumped by prospective adoptive parents. So it was like this adoption was "meant to be," etc., etc.

And then, I was at a business dinner and sat down next to a man who told me he and his wife had privately adopted an in-family baby from another country. He and his wife were toying with the idea of NOT telling the child she was adopted. It was clear this man had never read one single book about adoption. Of course, I politely explained why that wouldn't be such a good idea and how it could backfire.

At a friend's party, I sat next to elderly couple. Guess what they wanted to talk about? Their adopted grandson, now a teenager.

In each case, the happiness and merits of the parents were touted...and so were the awful circumstances or unworthiness of the first mothers....and the fact that it was meant to be...and what a win-win it was...and what a good job the parents had done because the children were so wonderful...and so lucky.

And whew. Those conversations wipe me out. And make me sad.

I understand that the above mentioned bio mothers did not want their children or at least act like they wanted them. I'm glad the parents are happy. They are thrilled to be raising these children. On the flip side, I know the inner turmoil these kids will experience. Love is NOT enough to spare them the pain of being given away by one's own mother.

The teenager is hurting and trying to express it. But he's constantly reminded by his well meaning grandparents how lucky he is, because his mom was a loser and an addict. The grandparents were sweet. Really. It just never dawned on them that telling the kid to be happy and grateful was like throwing gas on flames. They seemed to get it after I set them straight, nicely. They seemed quite astonished that there was another POV on this.

At least they listened.

My husband wondered if there's something about me that causes people to tell me intimate stuff. I think there's something to that. (I could talk to a rock and it would probably complain about the dirt it's sitting on.) But then we wondered if it's because there's so many kids being adopted these days and it's way more common than we think. That, too. Definitely.

What's funny about these stories is the absolute belief that these adoptions were meant to be, destined. I know this is just a random sampling. But it doesn't make adoption easier. For the adoptee. Just for other people who can experience it, from the outside.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Judy said...

Aye, the "please tell me your life story, especially the parts I really DO NOT want to hear" face? I think I must have that kind of face. Maybe I'll make up some t-shirts saying "Please DON'T tell me your life story" for us -- could make a lot of money for those of us with friendly faces but "don't tell me" personalities behind the friendly faces.

yikes.

Glad you could talk to the grandparents and give them some good advice, but honestly, I can imagine how exhausting it must be for you. Sheesh!

I mean, after all, mental health professionals DO get pretty good rates and most of them have the "50-minute hour," some of them even the "45-minute hour." After you talk to them, just present them with a bill.

Heh.

8:09 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Judy,

You crack me up!!! I guess I am soooo used to having people tell me stuff so I can reassure them...beginning w/my a-dad...that I hadn't thought of it like THAT. Which is funny. So you get it, too. It's both a gift and an affliction. At least, we'll never be lonely or isolated, but our ears may be worn out.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous kimkim said...

I think that's how the law of attraction works, what you focus on comes your way. That and what Judy wrote.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Hi KimKim...You mean mental focus...or some sort of energy? Because in each case I didn't raise the issue. Adoption isn't something I discuss w/strangers. Although these talks have gone pretty well, so I might!

10:38 AM  
Anonymous kimkim said...

Yes, mental, thought, that's what I mean.

Google law of attraction and see what comes up, google it on youtube too.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...

Yes, Nina, alas I do too. Sometimes it isn't too bad. I actually did tell one guy that I thought he needed to talk to a mental health professional -- this was a "repeater" at my job and he clearly didn't understand boundaries and had serious Issues. Ee-yikes!

Then there was the time at JC Penney's when I really just wanted to get my stuff and get out and I got this whole story about the cashier's prescription antiperspirant that she forgot to put on the night before and she went on and on and that really wasn't one that I was eager to talk about. HAHAHAHA!!!

Oh my.

I think Kim is right, though, with what you focus and what you attract. I need to look that stuff up.

8:39 PM  
Blogger Nina said...

Thanks, KimKim...

Yeah, Judy...I hate to think you were sending out an antiperspirant vibe!!!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Eve said...

About the adoption magnet thing, there's a statistic somewhere that shows that nearly half (maybe more) of all American families have some connection to adoption. So it's more common than we think.

For me, it's because my adoption connection is not common to *me.*

10:38 AM  
Anonymous Judy said...

Nina, HAHAHA!

Hey, I got my adoption connection TODAY when I had a patron come to ask for help with research on open adoption records, of all things, just after the open adoption records report from the Donaldson Adoption Institute. I practically fell all over her with news about the report (she hadn't heard about it) and everything else that we have at our library. Turns out she's a 41-year-old adoptee who believes records should be open, she doesn't have hers, she doesn't know her natural parents, etc. etc. It was really fascinating.

I had JUST been blogging about that stuff too!

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