Tuesday, November 11, 2008


No, it's not what you think, a tribute to veterans, though they are all deserving of tribute today.

This song is a "tribute" to everyday heroes, by country/bluegrass/gospel group the Isaacs. Consider these lyrics:
They tried for many years to have a baby of their own
But God knew a little girl who didn't have a home
Someone else's burden was their blessing in disguise
And now she's got a Mom and Daddy there to hold her when she cries

He's a hero and she's a hero
It doesn't matter that nobody knows their name
They keep on giving to make life worth living
Might go unnoticed but they're heroes just the same

Every single parent who must carry twice the load
And those who sacrifice to raise a child that's not their own
They dedicate their time to make a difference in someone else's life

Arrghhhhh! I'm sure the songwriters thought they were including a sweet paean to adoption in their song about heroes, but what ignorance of adoption and what awful adoption language. "Baby of their own?" "Someone else's burden?!" "Sacrifice?!" "Raise a child not their own?" And the song came out in 2004, not decades ago as the language might suggest.

Even with well-intentioned people, we have a long way to go to educate the public about adoption, don't we?

UPDATE: If you want to hear the song performed, you can find it here at YouTube.


Lisa (yeah I changed it) said...

Three words to that "song" - OH MY GOD!!
Reminds me - we were at Petsmart Sunday (Max desperately needed trimming) and the whole "adopt a pet / adoption center" thing kind of irked me. I don't know what else to call it...it's just that adoption of a human (OK, mine) is so much more important in my own eyes. The animal activists would chastise me. But I wondered what Syd was thinking when she saw that. ?

Wendy said...

Geez...thanks for the heads up, we will make sure it is not something that hits the iPod. I swear, adoption education seems to be a one person at a time approach.

I agree Lisa, but the worst one for me is "adopt a highway"! Where will it end?!

SB said...

I have to admit that as an adoptive parent I'm okay with "adopt a pet", as we "adopted" a little dog from the SPCA when I was a child. That little dog was a part of our family and we "would never give him back ever!" (the SPCA is quite clear about this point - adoption is forever in their eyes too). I also "adopted" our cat that we currently have. Pets in our homes are real lives that need a forever family too. I am a big supporter of people that "truly adopt" pets into their homes and understand that "adoption" is giving your heart over unconditionally forever.

I do agree that the use of adopt for highways, schools, parks, etc. is streching it. Those are really "sponsorships", however if you check dictonaries "adopt" has more than one meaning. That makes it a little more difficult to just discount the use as "wrong".

As usual these are great opportunities to discuss with our children how they feel about the word "adoption" and the perceptions that surround it.

bukimom said...

This song is absolutely appalling. I'm glad I've never actually heard it. Recently I was doing an online survey and one of the questions asked if I was considering having a child of my own (not adopted) in the near future. I let the survey-makers know that this was unacceptable language as adoptive parents consider their adopted children to be their own. I also successfully led a crusade at my church to change the permission forms that we parents have to fill out for every activity. There was a line in it that read, "I am the natural parent or legal guardian of _______________." For years I crossed out the word "natural" and initialed above it that I was signing with noted exception. Finally about a year ago, they changed the form! Yes!

Elizabeth said...

I agree that the lyrics to the song are pretty bad. However, until I decided to start the adoption process it may not have been something I would have thought that much about--not because I agreed with it, but more that it wouldn't have been in the forefront of my mind. One thing I wonder is that if there ARE some adoptive parents out there who see themselves this way.
Because we are in the middle of our adoption process and we are doing a lot of fundraising things, we have been sharing our experience with many people. One thing we hear over and over is what "good people we are" and how lucky this child will be. Most of these comments come as a result of people hearing that we are seeking a boy with special needs. The truth is that we already have a boy that we enjoy so much we wanted another boy. And the fact of the matter is that most boys are on the special needs list--some with extremely minor and correctable needs. We know that this doesn't make us heroes--it almost makes us selfish for specifying and not just saying any child will do just fine! But I wonder if some people hear well-meaning strangers tell them this over and over and start to think of themselves as heroic. Just a thought.