"If other people have failed him... I will not be the one to fail him."
August 31, 2009 8:39 PM   Subscribe

The child you saved by adopting him might just save you in return. A quiet first-person story of how a married guy became a single dad to an adopted son - the wife moved on, but the boy remained. (SLYahooV)
posted by micketymoc (5 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Kind of a sweet story. It would have been interestnig to hear from the child, too, to get a better sense of his personality directly. As it was, having the Dad only speak about him, while showing selected photos and film footage of him, seemed a little artificial. Also, there is still obvious bitterness towards his ex-wife, that might be offputting to some viewers. Generally, if you're not going to afford the other party in a broken relationship the opportunity to speak, it's better not to mention them at all.
posted by paulsc at 11:17 PM on August 31, 2009

Perhaps they offered her such an opportunity, and it was declined. Or perhaps they left her out for the same reason they left out comment from the child or any of Mercado's friends - they wanted him to tell his story. In either case, it's not like you can leave out the divorce or mention of the ex - it's the turning point of the tale. Sounds like he had the rug yanked out from under him pretty hard - perhaps his bitterness is justified.

Interesting tale. Can't decide if it was more sweet or more sad. Probably could have trimmed five minutes or so from the piece and still had a compelling bit of footage.

It's a strange situation and I admire Gabe for stepping up for this boy time and again. Best of luck to this father & son.
posted by EatTheWeak at 12:27 AM on September 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks, I really enjoyed this. SO and I are hoping to adopt someday (not because we can't have bio. children but because, in many ways, we just Think It's Right), so I find it really encouraging when I hear the story of great adoptive families like these.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:01 AM on September 1, 2009

I'm kind of torn about this, if only for the father's surreal admission that he would have become a mass murderer were it not for his son. Did anyone else find that at least a little bit disturbing?

Also, he was peppering his English with Tagalog words and phrases, right?

Overall, I guess I'm happy about this... he is very focused on his son, but is still maintaining a seemingly healthy level of adult relationships and reasonable work schedule. I wouldn't want him living entirely for the kid (beyond the "normal" parenting duties, etc.) at the expense of his own individuality.

PhoB, I'd be happy to share my (and my family's) experience as an adoptive dad with you any time. Ping me via my profile if you like...
posted by yiftach at 9:52 AM on September 1, 2009

There is something very, very troublesome about placing adoption against a narrative of "saving" a child. It sets up an ugly dynamic of gratitude that is not healthy or normal in a family and it contributes to the fairytale of adoption that is not generally representative of reality.

Certainly there are cases where it is accurate but unless I missed something on my two goes through this video, nothing in this story that substantiates this use.

There is huge debate around language in the adoption community but I'd like to think no legitimate, man-stream voices would support this kind of language in relation to an adopted child.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:02 AM on September 1, 2009

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