For Love of Family

opb As a child who was adopted, I so despise the phrase, “Blood is thicker than water.”  So is mud, and they’re both practically impossible to get out of  clothing (seriously, ask your dry cleaner). So I figured I would just run down a list of things maybe you shouldn’t say when someone is considering adoption.

I WANT ONE OF MY OWN. Hmmmm…let’s see. You gotta feed the kid, provide an education, give the child a name.  Hell, you even get a tax write off.  Your own? Go away selfish person. As an infant I became part of a family who already had five kids (that is crazy, huh?).  I became one of their own.  

WELL, YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’LL GET. Bet you didn’t know you’d get VD from your college boyfriend either did you? C’mon. It’s not like that carnie-type game at the grocery store and Chuck E Cheese.  You know the one with the mechanical arm that either grabs an ipod or the troll doll.  Let me make it simple-you’ll get a child! My parents didn’t care what they got.  But I can assure you that I got a lot….love, tons of friends, a family of brothers that still look out for me (one even said they’d do damage to my husband if he hurt me). Ha…take that you blood-is-thicker-than- water believers!  

BUT IT MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING WRONG WITH IT? It? What the hell is it? Perhaps you mean the child may have something medical concerns. So your logic is that because you are aware of some of your family’s medical crap that if someone adopts a child there will automatically be some horrible the sky is falling type of issue?  Look at your family tree.  Anyone have heart disease? How about cancer? Or mental illness, hypertension, or diabetes?  Kinda blows that whole “biological is better theory” to smithereens, huh?  Okay, so do I have something wrong with me? Yeah.  I have to wear glasses, might have arthritis, and I had ear infections in elementary school.  Yes, hard to handle, right?  All that without knowing my DNA.

BUT THEY WONT LOOK LIKE THE REST OF THE FAMILY. Umm…have you looked at YOUR family?  They’re average at best.  If you adopt a child they may actually make the family look better.  Just sayin’.  True-I don’t look like the rest of my family.  They’re white guys with receding hairlines. I can’t compete.

ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE SPECIAL. No we are not. Biggest lie. Plus that would make non-adopted kids non-special and that could start an East Coast/West Coast rapper kinda sparring. I know that type of  thinking is supposed to be a compliment to make adopted kids feel better about the whole being “given up” thing.  First of all, don’t assume that adopted kids are walking around pouty-faced and feeling bad.  Secondly, all babies come from the same place.  A woman’s body!!!  Special would be the stork delivery.  That would be very special.  However, I do kinda  feel special, but that’s because I had such a wonderful circle of love. 

WHAT DO WE TELL OTHER PEOPLE ABOUT THE CHILD? I dunno.  Maybe the same lookwahtmykidcandoohmygoshtheyaresoamazing junk other people talk about.  If you don’t go around saying stuff like, “That’s my trampy one” or “She’s my kid who’s headed for juvi”, then you sure as heck better not say, “That’s our adopted child.”  And what have people said about me being adopted? Hear crickets chirping?  Okay, moment of truth.  My family is white.  I am not (can we get a collective gasp here?). (First person to say “Hey, just like that show, Different Strokes gets verbally assaulted.) So, I kinda figured it out early on what was going on and so have most people.  I like to joke that, “Papa was a rollin’ stone.”  Okay, maybe not everyone thinks that one is funny.  But no one has lost a job over it or become ill upon hearing it.  Nothing to see here folks…keep it moving.

BUT WON’T AN ADOPTED CHILD BE CURIOUS ABOUT WHO THEIR BIOLOGICAL PARENTS ARE? Yes but I’m also curious about sex (well I used to be), and what makes snow, and why the word colonel is pronounced like there is an “r” in it.  Yes, children who are adopted are curious, but we make shit up if we have to.  I decided that Diane Carroll gave me up because her acting career wouldn’t allow her to give fully to me. But mainly, I’m thankful.  Thankful for the family I do have.  I know that I am loved.  

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