Oh, media. The lover of extremes and drama. Each story that you present to us needs a hero who saves the day and the villain who can do nothing right. And then there is the person in the middle of a conflict who is in need of rescue. It’s no different when stories are shared about adoption, there is always a hero and always a villain. And there is a child in the middle who needs rescued from their situation. We read either the stories of heroic families who adopted children from terrible circumstances, celebrities that give children their “rags to riches” stories or horrible abusive situations in adoptive families that just astound us. And of course, there are the cartoons where orphans are casually thrown in a entertainment and emotional value. My life doesn’t exist on any of those paradigms so it’s hard to relate when the media presents their adoption stories.
I have always viewed adoption as something that happens once. After that it’s called parenting (shocking, right?). It’s true, that my children have grief to process and I don’t pretend to understand the grief that exists with their first families. I do acknowledge it, but none of us are villains or heroes in these situations. One of our international adoptions is open, one is closed (not by choice, by circumstances) and we are ALL for the good of our children. I am a mom in the trenches, involved in the daily care and my biggest concern is just how these tiny humans are developing into decent adults. No interest in patting myself on the back or to somehow demean a woman across the ocean to make myself feel better. And I don’t own a cape…so let’s move on from the superhero stuff.
If I could ask one thing of the media, it would be to STOP making adoption a re-occurring theme in kids movies especially. It makes adoption somehow story worthy and there is always a bad guy. Real life adoption rarely has a villain, instead, we will find circumstances that could have happened to any one of us. Digging deeper in any adoption story, we find humans on a life journey that has tough circumstances and deep sorrow. And to me, that is not something we just casually drop into a cartoon for special effects.
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