Maya went to Chick-fil-a with a ballet friend after their class yesterday, and then Zoe and I went there after Zoe's class ended. Maya became jealous that Zoe played with HER friend, and wouldn't play with Maya. As we were driving home, Maya said she wished she were in a different family -- her preschool friend, G's family.
Zoe tried to talk her out of the wish --
--that other mom might not buy her nice things. Maya says, "I don't care."
--that other mom might have different rules. Maya says, "I don't care."
--that other family might not have as nice a Mimi and Grandpa. Maya says, "I don't care."
--that other family will have other cousins, and they may play XBox all the time and not let the girls play it like cousin Patrick does. Maya says, "I don't care. And cousin William doesn't let us play XBox when he's playing."
So Zoe changed tactics, and said, "Well, that's not how adoption works. Mama promised to love you and take care of you forever. Adoption is PERMANENT, so you can't be in another family."
Maya says, "I don't care."
With increasing frustration that her persuasive powers weren't making a dent, Zoe declares plaintively, "But, Maya, we were MEANT to be together!"
Now, I've never used the "meant to be together" theme with my kids. I don't like it because it suggests that their abandonment was inevitable, ordained, predestined; that the pain and loss of their birth families was part of a karmic plan to make me a mother; that being institutionalized with the inevitable poor care that that brings was a necessary step in God's ultimate plan for them. I don't want my girls to think that their grief and loss matter not, because we were, after all, "meant to be together," and that seems to be the subtext to that theme. So I was surprised to hear Zoe make that argument to her sister.
I asked Zoe, "Why do you think we were meant to be together?" Zoe's very pragmatic answer, "Because we're smart, so they matched us all together!"
Ah, now that sounds familiar. I don't say "meant to be" in any karmic way, but I have talked about the CCAA matching process, and there are pictures of the CCAA matching room in Zoe's lifebook. I've said I don't know exactly how they matched us, but I thought they did a pretty good job. I've told them that the folks in China saw that I was a professor, and figured education was important to me, so they matched me with the two smartest girls in China. And I've said that in her referral picture, Zoe had a very round face, reddish hair and a double chin -- and so did I in my dossier pictures, so that must be why they matched us!
And that translated for Zoe into "we were meant to be together." It's a powerful and pervasive concept in adoption-speak, so I'm sure she must have heard it phrased that way at some point, and/or read books that phrase it that way. Looks like I need to do some de-programming on this point.
The argument didn't, however, sway Maya -- she says, "I don't care." She still wants to be in G's family, where there's no turn-coat sister who'll play with Maya's friend instead of Maya!
The Angrier Adoptee, part 1
1 week ago