Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Not Looking For Flies

There was recently an article posted by a popular adoptive parent blog about Hallmark's new adoption ornament. I'm not going to link her article because I don't want to give her any more page views, but I do want to break down some of the things that she's said and why they are wrong.

(I will post the name of the blog and such at the bottom since I'm quoting her. If you feel the need to give her page views, you can search it yourself.)

Here is the ornament - 

It says "Meant to Be" with the words "Forever Family" engraved underneath that. 

If you've read my blog before, you've probably read this post about why I hate the term "Meant to Be". 

In her blog post, the author states "Reactions (as always) were strong and mixed. Some people applauded Hallmark for creating a beautiful, quality ornament celebrating families-by-adoption, while others commented that it was sickening, perpetuating the "meant to be" idea (and undermining loss, grief, trauma, and the entire adoption triad). There's the spiritual undercurrent that can be problematic: what is meant to be, and whom does it benefit? Who decides what's "meant to be". 

 Let's break this down. With anything adoption, reactions are going to be strong and mixed. I would be interested in knowing WHO'S reactions were negative, and who's were positive. I've been doing this long enough to know that the majority of those who found it positive were adoptive parents. They seem to be the ones who really soak up the "meant to be" mentality, and harshly dismiss those who don't believe it. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again, when you tell me that adoption is "meant to be" you are telling me that I'm nothing more than an incubator. That I must have done some horrid thing in a past life to deserve to be a walking talking womb. I've shared my grief on here before, and any higher power that thought I deserved this life SUCKS. Honestly. What on earth could I have done to deserve this? 

What could my son have done to deserve this? What did he do to deserve being separated from his mother at birth, and having to deal with all of the complex emotions that come with being an adoptee? Adoption is traumatic, he wasn't just a blank slate. He knew the sound of my heartbeat, the sound of my voice. My scent was the only one he had ever known before being born and shortly after. I had been everything to him for 9 months and then I was just gone one day.  

"There are really enough complainers in the world, aren't there? Enough mud-slingers. Enough critics who are SO critical that they eat critical spaghetti for breaks, lunch, and dinner, and then vomit it up and leave in in piles all over for other people to step in. Enough people have a bunch of WHINE with their cheese. 

I really don't want to go through life using my time, talents, and energy on bashing. It's not only exhausting, but it's soul-sucking and toxic and completely mainstream (nowadays). YAWN. EYE ROLL. I cannot even deal..." 

Ok Rachel, let's get one thing straight. It's your adoptive parent privilege that lets you think this way. I would LOVE to live life not understanding why someone would be upset by the "meant to be" mentality. I would love to see terms like "Forever Family" and not want to puke and scream at the same time. First families are forever too. I will ALWAYS be my son's first mother, and no amount of cutesy sayings can change that. Just as your adopted children's first parents will always be their first parents. Always.

I take these words as personal attacks to the first parents and adoptees who have told you that this is unacceptable. You've taken the pure pain felt by others and thrown it in their faces. You've said "Well, I don't care. I think it's cute and you're just whining. Your trauma means nothing to me."  

"AT LEAST we, as an adoption community, are finally beginning to see our families represented." 
"Sugars, we finally have a seat at the table. We finally have options." 

No. The "adoption community" isn't seeing representation. Adoptive parents, as always, are seeing products mass produced for them. Culture has ALWAYS been about them. Every adoption story that I've seen become popular is about adoptive parents who finally get the child they've always dreamed of. Nothing about the pain and trauma that child just went through, or the woman who's dying inside because her child is gone. There are no cutesy ornaments to represent that because no one wants their rainbow bubble of adoption burst. No one wants to think about the other sides. 

"Just remember, you catch more flies with honey." 

What a condescending piece of bullshit. I don't want flies. If I have to hold my tongue and pretend that this is all okay and adoption is great to get people to listen to me, I'm not doing it. I'm not going to sugar coat my views in hopes that some adoptive parent may one day listen and stop hurting the people they claim to love. 

The blog I'm quoting is titled "Dear Sugar: Hallmark's New Adoption Ornament, and the Controversy Surrounding "Meant To Be" Posted on BrownSugarWhiteSugar Written by Rachel Garlinghouse