Saturday, October 11, 2008

Zoe didn't get the memo . . .

Apparently, she thinks adoption is about rescue, after all! She made a Halloween card for me today:
Dear Mama,

Happy Halloween! I was so scared, afraid and sad when we both met but I'm happy I do all this fun stuff now!!! Thank you for adopting me or I wouldn't have all this fun. I would probably be bored somewhere else. So again thank you!!


Zoe Elisabeth YiLing

LOL! It seems I "saved" her from boredom!


Anonymous said...

My knee-jerk response was to say: do you really think that adoption is on the basis of "saving" children?

Then I read your other entry, the one where you felt guilty about being able to raise Zoe when her other mother couldn't.

Sigh. Now I don't know what to say. I thought you were making light of the "rescue" impression in adoption, but judging by your previous entry, it makes you come across as being more human and really, honestly feeling (or at least trying to feel) what Zoe's other mother went through.

I often find that lots of adoptive parent blogs say "I can't BELIEVE this girl's birthmom in China had to relinquish her! I could never do that!"

And I often want to say "Well... obviously she had to, otherwise you wouldn't have adopted that little girl. I mean sure, you have her now and you get to raise her. But how would you mean if her other mother could take her back? Would you be able to do that?"

And the adoptive parent will be likely to say something along the lines of "How dare you guilt-trip me like this! She's MY little, MY child." etc, etc.

I find that I've wanted to present this argument to more and more adoptive parents lately, but when I see entries like the one you had about feeling guilty, I feel very conflicted. On one hand, shouldn't adoptive parents always be somewhat aware that they are, in fact, raising someone else's child?

But on the other hand... aren't the adoptive parents that child's parents as well, and so should not have to feel guilty because they did not cause the child's circumstances?

Anyway I know this comment isn't really productive nor does it reflect what my thoughts actually are, but just wanted you to know that even though I'm an adoptee, I also struggle with the conflict of "guilty or not" because of the whole "two sets of parents" issue that so frequently comes up.

Perhaps my Taiwanese parents fought for me, I don't know. Perhaps they did cry at night after I was on my way to Canada, I don't know about that either. But on the other hand, I don't want to "burden" my Canadian parents with this.

It isn't productive to linger on stuff like that, but it's also the only way to be honest and feel "free" as an adult. And by acknowledging that the original parents did exist and that they should have had the RIGHT to raise Zoe does not make you a bad parent or selfish. Quite the contrary: it shows that you are willing to understand and emphasize that your gain was based on her loss.

Sorry about the novel-length comment.

Anonymous said...

*But how would you FEEL if her other mother could take her back

Yay for typos.

malinda said...

Thanks for posting, MeiLing.

NO I don't think adoption should be about "saving" children -- in this post I was actually making fun of myself because I SO DO NOT believe it is about rescue, but apparently Zoe does. (I know, she's only 7, so she really doesn't know what she believes, but it struck me as funny that she wrote a belief so completely contrary to my own!).

I guess my humor wasn't as clear as I thought it would be -- I was assuming that people had figured that out about me before from stuff on the blog. I guess I'm wrong about that!