I never watch adult TV during the day anymore. Two small kids home for the summer, it’s been mostly Phineas and Ferb. Today, I had to be up and out early to do a workshop for a culture camp nearby. The parents get together the day before pick up and they get people like to come in and get them thinking and talking about race, identity, adoption, family, etc. I was pleased to be there, but sad to realize that once again, preaching to the converted.
This morning, I got to see five minutes of Good Morning America and about three minutes of the Today Show. Both shows had something about adoption at the exact point I tuned in. What’s the likeliood of that ever happening? First story, the now infamous “Hot Sauce Mom” – Alaskan mother using hot sauce and cold showers to discipline her child adopted from Russia. http://abcnews.go.com/US/hot-sauce-mom-jessica-beagley-charged-child-abuse/story?id=12796871. The second story, a birthfather fighting for custody of his child who was allegedly relinquished by his girlfriend to a family in Utah http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/26184891/vp/44201943#44201943.
I admit it, the sound of adoption gets my juices going. I can’t help it, occupational hazard. I HAVE to watch. I know, that these are the few and in-between cases., but these stories burned me up and the emails went flying to my “List” buddies. First thought, of course it has to be a negative adoptiopn story. No one ever hears about all the good things that happen in an adoptive family, how adoption is a wonderful thing. Wait, yes we do! And I admit, those stories get me all riled up too. So, what’s my problem? Why am I ready to rain on someone’s parade the minute another happy parent adopts a child? Why do I question the legitimacy of it and whether it was handled ethically? Why do I get so angry to hear yet another child hurt by the adoption process and look for someone to blame? Why does it matter so much that the media get the terminology right, that they portray it “fairly” and accurately? Why do I question the “experts” that get on the shows to make commentary? Who the hell am I?
I don’t know the answer exactly, but I know I am not the only one. I take it heart when a child gets hurt, used, abused, exploited, idiolized. Perhaps the reality that to adopt is so purposeful I am repeatedly heartbroken when it goes all wrong or portrayed inaccurately. At the most crucial points in a child’s life, he/she depended on an adult to make the right decision, the best decision, and to know that person failed brings out the very worst in me.
So why am I posting these stories? Cautionary tales? Food for thought? Call for change? All of the above.