Forbidden Fruit

The front page of our local paper has a headline that reads “Local Church Will Celebrate Adoption”.

I am trying to get over the feeling of dread every time the word adoption is brought up. I mean I have come to a place where I can appreciate that often enough adoption IS a gift to many children who otherwise would not have a home to call their own. It can also offer a loving oasis to children in really BAD situations. But, BUT….knowing what I do of the business of adoption I think there is an equal (if not significantly higher) number of unnecessary adoptions taking place under terribly coercive tactics. Not to mention (regarding adoption in general) society has a terribly misinformed mentality. So my intuition when it comes to the A word is constantly set to code red.

Because of the usual content of this particular paper which is always chalk full of agency adds I sort of suck my breath in a little. Much like one would stare at an accident as they pass a myriad of flashing lights warning them to look away I begin to read the article, ignoring my screaming intuitive voice telling me not to.

The premise of the event is celebrating everyone in the community that has been….and here’s a common saying that always makes me laugh…..TOUCHED by adoption. Touch to me indicates a gentleness that I just cannot connect with being adopted. Those of you who know my story know that I was fairly lucky not to have been brought up by my natural mother. Yet taking this into consideration I can still say with ALL certainty I was NOT “touched” by adoption. I was smacked upside my head with it. Touched? No way.

“There will be a candlelight ceremony and a balloon release in which all those affected (better) will be asked to participate.”

I’m thinking: There will be balloons! I may just have to consider going to this shindig.

OK so far so good. Nothing I find horribly offensive although I think balloon releasing comes dangerously close to holding a pony raffle.

Here’s where the whole thing goes south for me: The theme for the celebration is “Completed Hearts”. Now I could have totally bought the idea that this theme was dreamed up by a well meaning group of adoptive parents. However, the article states that it was the creation of a 10 year old girl adopted from China after commenting that “the heart of both the adopted child and the adopting parent is completed by an adoption.” In the article another adoptee from China states “You adopted me and I adopted you, and now our hearts are completed”. This sentiment would be entirely touching if it were true. But it’s not. It’s just not true. It is another clear cut example of adopted children living in a society where they are eternally expected to feel grateful and special and chosen and worst of all………complete. COMPLETE!

Think about that for a moment. Society is expecting a 10 year old girl who has been removed from her country of origin AND her natural family to feel complete. Listen, I don’t care if she was left on the steps of an orphanage naked in a snowstorm a LOSS occurred for that little girl. It doesn’t matter if her situation is ten thousand times better here, nothing and I mean NOTHING erases the simple fact that she experienced loss.

Simple math: If you have a whole apple and you remove a piece it is no longer a complete apple. You can’t replace the missing piece with an orange slice and expect the apple to feel complete. The apple may eventually be deliriously happy even without it’s missing piece but one thing it will never be again is complete. That’s scientific fact honey.

Can an adopted child heal from loss? Can they incorporate that loss into their consciousness and become a healthy and happy human being? Of COURSE they can. But how in the hell are they supposed to do that if nobody allows them to ever acknowledge a loss took place? How are we adoptees supposed to heal the “hole” if we are expected to go around celebrating the “whole”?

The event coordinator states “We believe that just in the last 10 years there has been a lot more acceptance of the whole idea of adoption” “You can see that in just the national statistics of the number of families in America who have adopted children.”

Well adoption may be a more accepted route toward fulfilling a family unit but that doesn’t mean we have come very far in accepting what adoption is and what it is not. We haven’t even come close to the whole. The whole; wherein adoption exists for the sole purpose of providing homes for children in need. Now I don’t mind that adoption fills the need of a potential parent but THAT should be a BI-PRODUCT!!! Actually I would be concerned if someone was NOT called to parent and was attempting to adopt. But that damn sure isn’t the REASON adoption should exist which it clearly is as indicated by society’s need to have our adopted children feign completeness. As far as I’m concerned we have a long way to go before adoption truly becomes the socially/globally healthy choice it is painted to be.

Lastly the article conveys that testimonials by the touched (that’s me ;o) in our community are encouraged.

Oh man…. taking a bite out of THAT apple is terribly tempting to me.



Filed under Truthful Musings

6 responses to “Forbidden Fruit

  1. suz

    Ugh. I could not help but flip the headline around a bit.

    “Local Church Celebrates All Children Who have Lost Their Familes, Names, Heritage and Medical History”

    Yippee. Lets have a party!

    I have the same reaction to these types of things of course.

  2. Heh. You should totally go. Give your testimony. Shake things up a little. And release a balloon. heh

  3. Wow. Typical stuff though. *sigh*

  4. Take a bite! Take a HUGE bite!!

    As Suz suggested… how the f*ck does losing my family, my name, my heritage, and my medical history translate to being “complete” and a reason to… celebrate?????

    It would be more realistic to have an event calling for these children of loss to meet at their local Wailing Wall for mutual support.

  5. “You adopted me and I adopted you, and now our hearts are completed.”
    You’re right — it isn’t true. I’m suspicious of any sentiments (I’m talking to you, Tom Cruise) of one person completing another (I rather like the Missing Piece meets the Big O kind of thing) it’s especially false when a person has not consented to such “completion” — my daughter did not adopt me.
    This relates, too, to the issue I’m struggling with right now — the normalization of families like mine which I believe to be good and important vs the denial of loss and the promotion of unnecessary relinquishment. I’m wondering and worrying over how we can have the first but not the second.

  6. mia

    Thats funny Abebech I actually wrote a line about Cruise “you complete me” and then erased it. LOL

    The Missing Piece is a profound book isn’t it? Sheldon was a trip. The Giving Tree makes me cry every time I read it.

    You pose a good question. How do we reach normalization (because every kid deserves some measure of normalcy) while still keeping it real and allowing adoptees true feelings to emerge? Hmmm…….

    I would be curious to hear what the women who commented here had to say about it. I am going to give it serious thought.

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