Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's day and "interesting" books/movies

I didn't do a mushy-gushy Mother's Day post yesterday. I guess I wasn't really in the mood, for one thing--my kids were SO frustrating in church yesterday morning that my day really didn't kick off to the best "I'm-so-in-love-with-motherhood" start. Think whining, eating crumbs off the ground up at the front of the church during communion, and falling off a chair. Yeah. (On the positive side, Kevin was so great, brought me flowers and Butterfinger candy bars, took care of all the meals yesterday, and got us Chinese food for dinner.)

What's REALLY on my mind is some other mom stuff I've been thinking about. I just started reading a book, which shall remain anonymous to protect the author, that I have found to be pretty awful. And yes, it's a pro-adoption book. In fact, the whole thing is about adoption. But I just so disagree with this author's philosophies in regards to a child's birth country and past that I had to post. Why is the author so insecure about the fact that his children spent part of their lives without him? I don't feel threatened by having my kids eat Ethiopian food or learn Ethiopian songs. (?????) I hope as they grow to adulthood that they DON'T "hate" the food from their country of origin. As is evidenced by the fact that we kept their names, I DON'T want to erase their Ethiopian identities. (I'm not saying everyone who renames a child is doing this, but in the author's case, it was this huge deal.)

We also just watched a documentary that was, in my opinion, a pretty insensitive treatment of adoption. Granted the parents in the documentary were just being themselves, but really, they were an interesting cross-section and NOT representative of pretty much all the adoptive parents I am blessed to know. Then the person hosting the documentary seemed really hung up on the fact that the children didn't look like the THE KIDS ARE ADOPTED! As in, they were born to someone else. And when the families travelled to meet the foster moms who'd cared for the babies, to say goodbye and thank you, one adoptive mom left the child at the hotel with her husband and went alone. The foster mom was devastated, as all the other foster moms around her were able to say their goodbyes. I mean, the lady was weeping. The adoptive mother seemed unapologetic and flippantly said she wished she could do something to comfort the foster which the foster mother replied, "Had you brought the child, I would have been comforted." (I think I may have applauded at that point.) I just got the vibe that some of these adoptive parents were so caught up in a "give me my baby" entitlement mentality that they ceased to consider the child's perspective. As in, how to explain to your child that the one time you met their foster mother, you made her cry because you purposely wouldn't let her say goodbye...because you were so insecure about being the child's mom that you wanted to make a statement? Yikes!

Adoption is such a sensitive issue, especially when it comes to international adoption, and I think people need to tread lightly. Lightly as in, don't discount where your child came from and try to pretend they're not adopted or that they were born in America in order to overcompensate. Lightly as in, when you're hosting a documentary that includes adoptive families, don't giddily say that it was so fun seeing the babies find families that now you "want one." Or continually comment about how the babies "don't even" look like the parents...or that the babies look "more like" you.

It's been good food for thought, for sure. Even if the documentary did have me cringing, and the book had me grumbling out loud! (Does anyone else ever read/watch things that make them think and get them a little fired up? And if so, what?)


The Fearnsides said...

Things that definitely get me fired up are books and articles written clearly from ignorance, misunderstanding, or total lack of knowledge.

It's sad when those things surround adoption. I wonder how old the book and documentary are? Attitudes about adoption have changed pretty dramatically over time. I could see an '80's or early '90's video displaying some sad attitudes.

Hope you find something happier. Whenever I get all riled up from a book or article, it usually takes me awhile to simmer down.

Brianna Heldt said...

heehee monica, the book was actually written recently and i don't think the documentary is TOO old...i read some reviews of the doc and a lot of people LIKED it. to each his own, and i realize there are different mentalities when it comes to these things, but i was annoyed. :) now watching the celebrity apprentice last night, THAT made me happy! :)

mayhem said...

Hee, hee! When my kids have those days I just want to cover my eyes and have my husband to tell me when it's over!

Lately I've been annoyed by some adoptive parents who have wacky ideas of what "God's will" is as it relates to adoption. Or who pat themselves on the back for adopting an orphan and figure they've accompished their Christian duty to care for the orphans and widows and now they're done.

I know that a lot has changed in attitudes about adoption, but sometimes it feels like we adoptive parents have not learned anything...

Now that I've whined about that, I feel a little better.

I've been listening to Greg Boyd's sermon series about the life of the imagination. That gets me fired up, too, but in a hopeful, encouraged way!

Anonymous said...

The whole "I saved a child and now the child should be eternally grateful" attitude drives me CRAZY! If you want to do something unselfish, save the children with Sally Struthers. Adoption was the best option for my kids because their other options had run out. I am the lucky one, but my luck comes from their loss.


Mama Mote said...

I wish my parents would have shared my heritage with me. I was brought to the States and never went back (till I went on a Compassion trip to Guatemala - I was crying when I saw the lights of Guatemala City, my birthplace), was not told a lot about my background, and it left me with lots of questions, which may never get answered since my adoptive parents are both gone and anyone else who knew anything are probably gone, too. I hate when people say there are unwanted children - you all are showing how much these orphans are wanted and loved.

darci said...

oh yeah, I've read many more 'bad' adoption books than good in my last couple years of devouring them. :) It's actually very refreshing to hear your 'reviews'..I was wondering about myself..if I just wasn't getting it, but I really agree with what you have said. My kids-to-come birth parents and family are in my heart and mind ALWAYS. have a great day.

curlyjo said...

So my lil' bit was born on Mother's Day 2 years ago. She's mine now...legally and forever, but Mother's Day was weird for me.

I celebrated. I got hugs and kisses. And my baby's birthmom got a whole lotta nuthin'. True: she made dumb choices. True: she could NOT parent. But still, how is it that I get all the joy and she get's all the heartbreak?

I love adoption. I love my girly. But I get annoyed at the "she's so lucky...she looks just like you...I can't image anyone not wanting their child...what a good thing you've done" talk. It's simplistic, uninformed, and demeaning.

Brianna Heldt said...

I have so loved reading all your thoughts. Robin I always love your insights; they're really valuable to me. And Katie the Sally Struthers reference had me laughing out loud!

Adoption is an interesting road. Maybe mostly because of "interesting" people. :)

Rylan said...

Thanks for the suggestion!! Recently, I read a adoption book... It was very interesting!!


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