Having read so many postings about how adoptees confront community responses such as, "your adoptive parents gave you everything, why do you feel so sad? Why do you want to know your b-family?" I somehow ended up reflecting on our societal myths. And I thought of the Cinderella story. Somehow her marrying a rich, handsome prince erases all her feelings of grief and loss over the domestic abuse she suffered, the loss of her mother who'd died, etc;
And I think that somehow this very popular, powerful story contributes to the overall view that one can erase their sense of loss, whether it be adoption-related or otherwise, through finding rich and loving people. While that may be the case for some, I keep hearing of adoptees who, despite having loving families who provided them with 'everything', still feel a sense of loss.
Contrast the Cinderella story with the film, "Live and Become", whereby it portrays a transcultural/international adoptee and his Jewish family. "Live and Become" shows how it is possible for a deep, loving relationship can exist between an adopted child and his adoptive parents yet the adoptee may still long for his birth mother.
I wish that our society had more stories that depict the possibility for love and loss to co-exist. If we did, then perhaps we as adoptees wouldn't have to bear silly remarks such as, "your a-parents gave you everything so why are you searching/why do you feel so sad on your birthday/etc;"
Just sharing more of my musings here. Thanks for listening.:popcorn:
If we did, then perhaps we as adoptees wouldn't have to bear silly remarks such as, "your a-parents gave you everything so why are you searching/why do you feel so sad on your birthday/etc;"
I wish that as a society there were more opportunities to learn about adoption and what it really is, because I think that the bulk of the aforementioned remarks come from people who simply do not know about adoption because society doesn't really provide the learning opportunity!
All high school psych and sociology classes [college too] should provide information about adoption, the different types, how it affects the members of the triad, etc. Why not? Thinking about topics that may be taboo and I think about how I had lectures on gay marriage, for example, when I was in college, and lectures on divorce - these are subjects that not everyone understands and that, as a society, we seem to be a bit uncomfortable talking about. Information would lead to a decrease in the silly questions people ask adopted people, don't you think?
I don't necessarily believe that more movies, TV shows, etc. would eliminate the questions to adoptees about why they're searching/grieving/etc. I don't think that people who do not have an emotional or personal interest in adoption-themed movies/TV shows/books/documentaries/news stories will bother to pay attention. Sadly, in today's society, it's very much "Me, Me, Me," and if people don't have a vested interest in the topic - they'll just fail to learn about it [politics is a good example of this - like, lots of people don't bother to vote because the big issues may not affect them personally].
What I hope is that people IN the triad continue to talk about adoption, and share their stories and struggles, so that adoption becomes something that everyone knows about - then the questions will be phrased differently, maybe like "So you're searching for biological relatives - that's got to be difficult. What kinds of hurdles are you facing?" instead of "Why would you even bother to search? That seems like a slap in the face of your adoptive family," and so on. Know what I mean?
In addition to the larger fairy tales - many childhood nursey ryhmes (spelling does not look right...) are actually horror stories that legend says were created to help children look at it with a different view point. Still mulling on whether that is a good thing or bad thing - just cannot wrap my mind around it but think it comes to the same point you make in Cinderella. But think about the ryhmes - Ring around a rosy - pocket full of posy - ashes - ashes - we all fall down...talking about the plague, signs of the disease, what was thought to ward it off - how they dealt with the bodies - how many died. Or Pied Piper is thought to be the story of a disease that struck children...and they made nursey ryhmes...
Watched an episode of the US TV show In Plain Sight last night (witness protection is the shows concept). The witness last night had one wish before he entered the program which was for them to track down his mother (prior to that in telling them his background he had noted he never felt he fit into his family and had left at 15 before they knew he was adopted). They did a good job on on what an adoptee goes through to find there family/roadblocks was fairly true to life - the mother used an alias, of course he was too late to meet her, she and his father (who he met) were childhood sweethearts whose family forced them to give up their son - they broke up because of it - got back together in later years...The discussions between the agents/lawyer etc at different points in the story were very well done, even to the point of talking about the primal wound theory, the naysayer about you won't like what you find / why open a can of worms per se / he has the right to know where he came from - well done for the amount of time they had...I gave them kudo's for it.
Kind regards,
I agree with you, Nicole! And Dickons, I didn't know the background to those nursery rhymes was about the plague etc; Very intriguing! Apparently fairy tales, mythology, popular stories are said to provide a way for our society to try to cope and hope.
I also think that one of the next areas for adoption-related advocacy is for us to get adoption-related issues built into the school and university curriculum. I'd be interested to hear from gay rights lobbyists, people affected by divorce and counsellors how they managed to get these new issues built in. At least the US Census has begun to track how many people are adopted - that way policy makers and those who advise them can have an idea of just how widespread the adoption-related community is. Until we stand up and be counted, I'm sure we'll just be seen as a niche issue and therefore remain marginalized.
I do recall when I'd glanced at a teacher education textbook, that there were chapters on how growing up in divorced families sometimes affects children's learning abilities - eg. the kids are struggling with grief and loss issues which can decrease their ability to focus on their studies. But no mention about some of the learning issues such as those that Evan B Donaldson Adoption Institute found in their article, "Adoption in the Schools: A Lot to Learn" [URL=""]Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute[/URL]
I too was thrilled to see adoption in the census because that is what the government uses to allocate services and types to specific locales...I could not for the life of me understand the uproar it caused...
I do think there should be education in the schools about it be also there is a fine line as well. I don't think they should take out for instance the creation of family trees etc but perhaps have some options for recognising all families are not two parents living together....personally if I had been given a family tree to do in school it would have been filled out using the family I lived with and would not have given it a second thought. But with divorce, open adoptions, same sex parents (can't think of the term) there needs to be a more flowing set of requirements to a family tree...perhaps that has been done but I am not sure it would be universal.
As to understanding the underlying differences with adoptees there is so much to be done - each sub-type of adoptees have different challenges etc. I was just thinking about how much John Q Public needs to understand about adoption (see my vent thread)...
Great topic...