Monday, September 10, 2007

Why it was positively Dickensian!

I don't normally quote what I've read on boards, partially because it seems like bad etiquette if I'm not even going to ask the writer for clarification or to rethink what she's written (why then do I quote strangers on a train at will? Hmmmmm ) and partially because it creates this intense circularity, boards complaining about other boards and blogs and I find it really damaging and unproductive. . .

But I must purge this:
"My child has an almost storybook reason for being placed for adoption . . ."
(Did she mean textbook? or did she truly mean "storybook?")

My agency did not give me an angel. My agency gave me the responsibility for caring for a flesh and blood child who will grow to human adulthood outside of the context of a fairy tale. Instead of a storybook, she's going to want her own story. I'll bet her angel will want his too, here on earth, and not in the hereafter.

If I've gotten your meaning wrong, I apologize.
If not, here's a storybook for likeminded people:

Once upon a time, there was a little child -- I mean abstraction -- who lived to be filled with everyone else's expectations and to fulfill their every dreams. And she never wondered where she came from -- abstractions never do -- and they all lived happily thereafter. Until she realized she was an abstraction.


Heather.PNR said...

You just know someone is going to read this post and say, "But I LOVE Dickens! What could possibly be wrong with Charles Dickens?"

In adoptions that involve voluntary relinquishments, I sometimes hear adoptive parents distill their kid's story down to "Your birthmother loved you so much that she gave you to us," without any mention of the context that led her to consider placement in the first place. Because they feel any mention of those things is too dark for a child, and they want their child to "feel good" about their adoption. There is no space granted for sadness, anger or ambivalence. And I often wonder what their child must think when the adoptive parents then express how much they love him/her.

Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

Ha I know that feeling, you read something on a forum and you're just like, "oh no they didn't, they didn't, please tell me they didn't write that"

But they did. A storybook reason, huh? What, was the mom put under an enchanted sleep behind a rose bush or something?

abebech said...

T, I tried very hard to come up with such a scenario! Apart from the fact that my daughter (2.5) tells people that I'm her "stepmother like Cinderella's stepmother" because she understands that I am not her first mother, nothing storybook or fairytale here!

D said...

I rolled my eyes when I read it too.

She did say storybook, not fairy tale. Maybe she was referring to a Stephen King story. ;)

D said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
abebech said...

Sorry D -- the comment was only deleted because I accidentally allowed a duplicate, not because there was anything wrong with it!!

Third Mom said...

*sigh* This is why I don't go to the forums much, either. I either want to smack someone with a plank or they make me cry. Either way, I feel defeated when I leave, and that's no good.

Whether storybook or textbook, there's no pat reason for a child to be placed in adoption. When I'm in a bad mood, comments like that really set me off. But when I'm feeling more generous, I realize that way back when we first adopted, I remember telling myself that adopting was the very best thing for my children and their mothers. I truly believed what I had been told - that adoption was the very best thing that could happen for Korean children born to single mothers, given Korean cultural attitudes. I truly believed those attitudes would never change.

Adoption is not an abstract concept, and our children are not abstract concepts. Thanks for pointing this out so eloquently!

abebech said...

Thank YOU for reminding me to *try* to be generous -- you always do so fabulously.