Saturday, November 6, 2010

Using Classism as an Affirmation of Adoption


There were so many other bloggers covering Grayson's case that I didn't make mention of it on my blog yet; I read what they wrote and didn't have much to add.  But some things I have read and heard, such as in news articles, words spoken by anchors themselves, in the comments sections of news articles, topped with recently reading one adoptee blogger's summation of Grayson's case have left me wanting to make a brief posting of my own.

What bothers me is the devaluing of a father's constitutional right to nurture a child that he fathered because he has less of what society values---money.

It makes me sad to hear some adoptees chiming in that they are so glad their original family didn't raise them and then apply it to another adoptee's story.  As if Grayson's father cannot love him or care for him as much as an Adoptive Family could because when adoption is involved, the taboo is always directed at the original family and everything we can find wrong with them.  This isn't the first time I have noticed adoptees speaking poorly in wide generalizations of original families.

Things I think about when I hear certain statements.....

"I am so glad I wasn't raised by her.  My birth mother is a mess...."
Have you ever considered the impact surrendering you might have had on her?  How might her life had been different if support systems were in place?

"I don't like my birth family's values....."
Have you ever considered that you have the values that you do because you were nurtured by a family with those values....but you might have different values, completely unfazed about it, if raised by another family, simply because you wouldn't know anything different?

"I am lucky because my first family is poor...."
Have you considered you would love any family that nurtured you because you were loved and cared for, regardless of their income?  Do you only love your adoptive family because they aren't poor?

Talking about destiny reminds me of this commercial.....



The only difference between this young ballet dancer being the dancing and the one auditioning, the one serving food in a fancy restaurant and the one hobnobbing with important people at the fancy restaurant, and the one performing in the ballet and the one watching the ballet.....was how long it took for her cell phone to load before she set out on her journey that day, the few seconds the phone was delayed not allowing her to be in just the right place at the right time to meet the gentleman that connected her to her dreams.

Of course, it is only a cell phone commercial.  But it does make me think, how is any one ever to say that if "this had happened but not that, life would have been this way, not that way."  It's OK for someone to like their life how it is.  But our reasons for loving our adoptive family far surpass consumerism and wealth.  We do not need to use classism to say why we were glad we were raised by whomever raised us.  Coming to terms with adoption is an important task---but we should be kind and thoughtful in how we verbalize this.

"Obvious enough that generalities work to protect the mind from the great outdoors; is it possible that this was in fact their first purpose?"  --Howard Nemerov

 This post is part of my series for November's National Adoption Awareness Month--promoting the truth about adoption.

Photo credit: jscreationzs

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I believe one of the reasons my son and I have had a "rocky reunion" is he was "adopted down." I've never seen anything written about that. I was appalled at the "values" he learned in his adoptive family...the lack of education...the lack of opportunity. My three raised kids had so much more than he did. It makes me sad that he did not have "the better life" I was promised he'd have.

*Peach* said...

I think that is the reason so many adoptees never allow themselves to open up emotionally to the pain of grief...it is such a rollercoaster of confusion, thoughts, and emotions that have to be navigated...the "what if's" are unending. But it is so necessary to walk through in order to find some healing....

Lori said...

Thank you. What if is huge in adoptoland...so huge that it consumes both adoptee and parent. It makes us second guess, creates rifts when we don't find what we expected, lies to us....

So, what if I had raised my daughter? No abuse for sure, more education and education orientation, more support for her talents and gifts...why? well, because that is the way I am. My values, beliefs and way of life.

Yes, it is all perspective.....

Thank you for realizing and saying what I have wanted to say for sooo long....I would die if I heard that my daughter really thought that...at least emotionally...being raised by me would have been horrible. If she does, I have not actually heard it.

Linda said...

"adopted down". Yup. That would be me, lol.

Gaye Tannenbaum said...

The corollary to "sooo glad it worked out the way it did" is "it was meant to be", "it is G-d's will" etc. etc.

Things worked out the way they did because of a million and one decisions mixed with random events. Follow a different path, end up in a different place - and probably you'd be "sooo glad" that you ended up there, "it was meant to be", it's G-d's will"...

ms. marginalia said...

My amom was visiting me this past week, and we had a couple of conversations about my nmom (who has been truly vile to me). We were wondering about the old chicken and the egg: was she emotionally bankrupt *before* she placed me, or did placing me mess her up? From recent information I've gathered from another nfamily member not raised by my nmom, it sounds like her vileness extends quite liberally to most people. That makes me feel a bit better; it's difficult not to personalize her venomous reactions.

I would say that there's another possibility to what you've mentioned above: I don't necessarily think that I would have been better off raised by her, given her self-proclaimed inability to love, but I am not happy about that. I wish that she could have been warm and loving, and could have kept me.

In the real world, I got great aparents and wonderful opportunities, but also a lot of anguish and depression. I wouldn't trade my aparents for the world, but I wouldn't trade my nfamily. I do wish, however, that my nmom didn't suffer so much that her relationships with others are affected for the worse.