"It's completely alone," I said. That baby, that poor baby. What had it done? "Nobody is coming for it."A meditation on adoption, heartbreak, and healing, by Sarah Church Baldwin for The Rumpus: Build-A-Bear.
Softly she asked, "Would it be OK if we called it 'her'?"
It was then as though my therapist's finger grew very long. It arced through the air, crossing the space between us, and touched my chest, the tip of it pressing into my heart, and my body collapsed around it, folded in on itself from pain, the worst pain I had ever felt because it had no source. I was the pain. I saw that baby on her back, alone, and I understood that she was me. In that moment I was flooded—intellectually, emotionally, physically—by the very knowledge I had so long barricaded myself against: that someone had given birth to me. And worse: that I had not been fit to keep.
Friends often try to assure me that people mean well, urging me to go easy on them, to be gracious, to give people the benefit of the doubt. "People don't mean to be offensive," they tell me. "They just don't know how to say it without coming across that way."Nishta Mehra writes about her family's experience with learning how to navigate the landscape of interracial adoption in a "post-racial" America: Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair.
What these friends don't understand is that when the act of defining your family structure becomes an expected part of every day of your entire life, you grow tired of being gracious. It's exhausting to have strangers view your life as an up-for-grabs educational experience. For my kid, it's to constantly hear the underlying message: "Your life, your family, doesn't make sense to me. Someone needs to explain it to me. You owe me an explanation."
It's the people who live comfortably inside majorities who tend to discount any sort of commentary from minorities as being "overly sensitive." And I imagine that it's hard to step back and grasp the fact that when the world you occupy is built to accommodate you, you fit inside the boxes. You make sense. You are expected.
"Farmer's Dilemma" is a short, sad and beautiful comic about family and acceptance. From Sam Alden's art blog, GINGERLAND.
Given or Taken – an ABC television documentary by the usually excellent 4 Corners looks at a period in the nation’s history when unwed mothers were forced, coerced or tricked into giving up their babies- often without holding or even seeing their newborn. Writer Kim Berry describes a little of what it was like to be relinquished by her teen mum.
'These children don’t recognize the flags of their home countries, but they can all sing "Jesus Loves Me."'
Generations of Hope is a non-profit set up to bring kids out of foster care and into extended families with grandparents. The community of Hope Meadows was repurposed from housing on a closed Air Force base in Illinois. (The NYT article erroneously refers to the community by the non-profit's name. No matter. The story is still inspirational.) [more inside]
Ohio Senator: Bar adoptions by the GOP ---In response to Ohio Senator Hood's bill to bar adoption by gays and lesbians, one Senator uses humor to counter hate: ...To further lampoon Hood's bill, Hagan wrote in his mock proposal that ``credible research' shows that adopted children raised in Republican households are more at risk for developing ``emotional problems, social stigmas, inflated egos, and alarming lack of tolerance for others they deem different than themselves and an air of overconfidence to mask their insecurities.' However, Hagan admitted that he has no scientific evidence to support the above claims. Just as ``Hood had no scientific evidence' to back his assertion that having gay parents was detrimental to children, Hagan said. ...
Have you considered adopting? There are thousands of American children in the foster care system who are without permanent families. The White House has decided to do something about it, including releasing a public service announcement (requires RealPlayer) starring Bruce Willis to help promote a new website, AdoptUSKids.org, which allows prospective parents to browse through detailed profiles of available foster children. Hopefully these measures will increase public awareness about the facts regarding adoption and help more children find good homes.
Let him stay. Spend just one hour with the Loftons to understand why Florida's ban on gay adoption is wrong. This couple has taken in several HIV positive kids, but now that 14-year-old Bert, whom they have raised since infancy, tests HIV negative, the state of Florida considers him "adoptable" and is trying to find him a "suitable" (read heterosexual) adoptive family. Interested parties can send a letter to Florida officials in protest.