Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Room Smells Like Bananas

My youngest son has been agonizing over spending the holidays with members of his father's family. He is very NOT religious while certain members of the paternal clan are, shall we say, fundamentally and terminally dogmatic? One person, in particular, could try the patience of Buddha.

My maternal grandmother was a great believer in the value of tact. Though a strict Southern Baptist and a active, life-long Democrat, she did abide by a rock-hard rule. When in a social situation or enjoying time with family and friends, one should according to Grandma, never discuss politics and religion. I know that is a good idea, in theory, but there are times when the harder one tries to avoid the sticky subjects the more aware everyone is of those issues. Sometimes, that 800-pound gorilla in the room just won't stay invisible.

There has been so much that I have learned to avoid in discourse with my reunited children. Unfortunately, I still make my opinions known here on my blog and curiosity prevailed and all the avoidance did no good. I tried to make it clear to my two adult, reunited children, where I stood on the subjects of adoption, adopTING and adopTERS. It seems though,  that once that gorilla is ignored enough, erroneous assumptions are made about who sees what, how and why.

I don't hate adopters. I know many that are good people. I also know many who have lied, given conditional love and have a very self-entitled attitude or have done even worse things. The hard truth is that I know more of the latter than the former. The problem is not the people who adopt, but the fact that they DO adopt. Those who adopt infants, especially, help feed the greed of a going industry that is reaching out into the world to obtain product to meet the demand. If there were no demand for adoptable infants and toddlers that would effectively break the back of that big industry. I will always maintain that adopters fuel the industry and no one can ever really debate me to the point of changing my mind on that. I am just as persuaded in my mind that a better system of kinship and legal guardianships would be preferable to adoption of older children. I can't help it...adoption is a legalized lie and I can't see it any other way.

I have been in situations where there were adopters present. I bit my tongue. I have heard my own child tell me that it was "meant to be" for me to lose her to adoption and to her particular adopters. I tried to express my disagreement, but gently. And I bit my tongue. My tongue is sore from biting and I wonder if it would be reasonable to ask that these pro-adoption stories not be told around me? Could my viewpoint be respected? It seems that it is either agree to disagree or just let the lies sit there like a big, hulking brute taking all the air out of the room.

That is my son's problem. He is an atheist. That is his choice and I respect it. But certain other family members feel it is their place to correct his (as they see it) erroneous thinking. So I ask, if he isn't preaching his ideology to you, why should you feel you have the right to preach yours to him? Segue into the topic of adoption, and if I am not trying to force you to look askance at adopters, why should you expect me to listen to you extol them?

In a way, I am glad things came to a head on that subject. It was often frustrating and hurtful to talk to my own child and hear things I knew were not true. I spoke the truth about MY experience on MY blog and was raked over the coals for it. I take that from no one. It's healthier to know where everyone stands and then try to build from there. If we don't stay honest with each other, then all we are doing is trying to ignore the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

Even if we don't look at him, we know he's there because the whole room smells like bananas.


Mei Ling said...

You know something equally frustrating?

When you try to talk to an adoptive parent about how you don't believe adoption isn't "meant-to-be" because that means the loss of the original family and the severing trauma/tragedy is ALSO "meant-to-be" (Adoptive parents wouldn't have their child *without* this "meant-to-be" tragedy), and you get this response:

"If it wasn't meant to happen, it wouldn't have."

Funny thing is, EVERY OTHER TRAGEDY out there is considered an accident, an incident, a tragedy, a trauma.

... but not adoption. :\

It doesn't matter how bad the adoption was, or what led up to it. It was "meant-to-be" because, well, if it wasn't meant-to-be, it would have been prevented.

Like, seriously

Kathy said...

My adoptors said that it was all part of God's plan and I told them that if they believed in God's plan then they had to believe that I was part of His plan also. That did not sit well at all! God's plan did not include the birthmother! I agree with you that adoption is not a good thing but an industry driven by demand and should be stopped. I have only been in reunion for 2 and one-half years, but I do not think that my daughter would agree with my opinions. She is still too "loyal" to her adoptors(and scared). And this loyalty is obvious even though her adoptors have disowned her 3 times for knowing me. But that being said, their behavior has really helped our relationship and her ties to me. I think she suspects where I stand on adoption as I have told her that adoption is a tragedy for all concerned. She is just not yet able to let go of how everything was great and happy and how her parents were "saints" although that is fading with their behavior.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I feel like I'm down the rabbit hole with any "meant to be" nonsense. Who knows what's meant to be?

I know my preferences. People can learn to shut up with their pro adoption stories when asked. Anyone that can't shut up can talk to my behind.

Oohh, but fundies for Xmas? I don't know... You've got to have a great sense of humor sometimes.

-Janet M.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you and I stand in the same place, I will not as you say "worship at the alter of the adopters." My son and daughter and I are not in contact any longer because of my refusal to go along with the "as if born too", "gift from God", "meant to be", BS!

I miss them every day, but do I have to give up myself to be loved by them? I can not.

Von said...

I'm too long in the tooth to put up with the constant smell of bananas.Once the banana detector has done it's work I'm out of there.Don't care who they are, we all need out views equally respected and heard.Being an atheist and spending time with the other side is asking for big trouble!

Carlynne said...

My 2 topics are religion and adoption. Coming from a very religious family I pretty much just keep my mouth shut. I have to bite my tongue sometimes about adoption when I'm dealing with paying customers at work. That's tough. The situation I'm dreading is spending time with family that I'm close to who are in the process of adopting their second baby. They live across the country so I haven't seen them since they got the first one. I just don't know how I'm going to handle that one.

Robin said...

That's a toughie, Carlynne. I think I would rather deal with the religion issue. Having loved ones adopt is thorny and painful.