Friday, April 23, 2010

Jillian Michaels: Adoption = Rescue

At Huffington Post:
'Biggest Loser' trainer Jillian Michaels has a hard little body and she plans to keep it that way. Michaels, 36, tells Women's Health she is unwilling to become pregnant because of the way it would change her body.

"I'm going to adopt. I can't handle doing that to my body," she told the magazine. "Also, when you rescue something, it's like rescuing a part of yourself."
And don't you know that, even with these views, she'll find a social worker to approve her to adopt. . . .

14 comments:

Wendy said...

Of course she will, those types of agencies are a dime a dozen. I am glad they posted the article, I now know not to buy any of her DVD's and will tell my friends to do the same--I wouldn't want my money contributing to her adoption fund.

osolomama said...

And the comments that followed were even more ridiculous.

Gabriela said...

I worked in an orphanage in China. I would say about 90% of the women visiting who either had adopted or were in the process of adopting used the same terminology. "Saving" the child. That the child was "lucky" to be in America and with them. That they would love to have another but "where would we put it?!" (actual quote).

Mahmee said...

Disturbing that a child is referred to as a 'something'. Not to mention the overall disturbing B.S. message in the rest of it.
M.

travelmom and more said...

I think Michael’s comments are fairly normal, and I would venture to suspect that more than one of us thought about adoption as having the opportunity to give a child a life that it otherwise might not have (in other words "save"). All of us when thinking of having a family in an abstract way make statements about how "When I am a parent I am going to..." or criticize parenting styles, or talk about how "my child will never watch TV or eat refined sugar" then we become parents and the reality of life sets in. Until we are looking eye to eye with this little person we make a lot of statements that those who have children roll their eyes at. I decided to adopt instead of have biological children for many altruistic reasons but those were abstract ideas that I entered into this journey with, over time and a lot of reading and the enormous responsibility of an amazing child in my arms I realized that adoption and parenting is much more than I ever thought it would be. I realize that adoption is not about saving a child and I also realize that kids throw temper tantrums at very inopportune moments regardless of how spectacular my parenting is. I think we should strive to educate others about the complexity of adoption and parenting and not criticize simplistic comments that are made without knowing what parenting a child is all about.
Dawn

t~ said...

Gawww, comments like that make me want to toss my cookies.

LisaLew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Her view is as good and valid as any. As long as she becomes a good parent, who cares.

From reading this blog and the comments on here, I can see many APs who will raise overly sensitive children who will have a hard time in the future because of this sensitivity, which they will blame on being adopted. This blame will then of course result in even more protective and paternalistic behaviors from APs.

Heck, life is great, but it also has a lot of crap. Non-adopted children could have as many issues as adopted children. Balancing being sensitive with being strong is better than being overly sensitive and touchy about every little issue along the way.

malinda said...

Anonymous -- You're right, I'm raising a couple of sensitive pansies who won't put up with being the subject of racism, who won't consider themselves second class citizens just because they're adopted, who will insist on their right to a family that doesn't expect them to be grateful, who will not meekly accept idiot statements that they were "rescued."

An, yes, I'm an AP who will stand up for my children instead of telling them to simply get tough, and deal with racism on their own, who will tell them that people like Jillian Michaels are wrong in thinking that adoption is rescue instead of just saying, "Oh, well, all opinions are of equal value, so don't criticize a one." As an adoptive parent I will comfort my children when their sensitive feelings hurt because they miss their birth parents or wish they were fluent in Chinese, instead of telling them to just get over it.

Are you parenting an adopted child? If so, I hope you'll do a lot more reading of this blog, but maybe you could try it with an open mind this time.

LisaLew said...

Anon - I get what you are saying in a sense, I have also worried about "overpathologizing" adoption related topics. But, remember this is a format to display our serious thoughts, ideas, advice, more.... which includes writings from parents by adoption,adoptees, birth mothers, and a very informative Dad who was born in China. (I love reading his entries!)

Read the top of the blog. The author writes - "Talking about adoption, birthparents, abandonment, race, and China with my kids. That's not all we talk about -- but reading this blog, you'll think it's all we do!!!!!" There many aspects of our children's personalities that we embrace. However, we also recognize that they are adopted from China which gives our children and parents a unique perspective.

Anonymous said...

Seems like some people on here are on such a high pedestal such that they're so ready to criticize anyone who doesn't share their same lofty ideals.

Frankly, how they expect the average person to share or even know what all the sensitivities are is amusing in itself.

And somehow this lack of knowledge seems to translate to being bad parents.

Heck, the expectation on here seems to be that APs have to be perfect, and have to treat their kids in some sort of saintly manner.

There's a good way to set yourself up for failure.

Mei Ling said...

"Heck, the expectation on here seems to be that APs have to be perfect, and have to treat their kids in some sort of saintly manner."

That's the whole point of adoption - that adoptive parents are better emotionally, physically, economically or materialistically.

Gwyn said...

Though I disagree with her... well, overall shallowness, I must point out two things: First and foremost, think of your adopted child(ren). Do you think they would be better off if they weren't with you now? No! Of course not! They're with their true "forever family"! So, if you look at it from that point of view, it's best for them to be with you, so you HAVE saved them from a life without you! I'm not at all saying that her reasons are right, and her wording could be better, but really, every adoptive parent has saved their child, just as the child has saved you from eternity without them! Okay, enough rambling about that. Another point I wanted to make was that, though the fact that she didn't want to get pregnant because it would 'ruin' her body disgusts me to no end, I have though along similar lines. I am currently too young to adopt, and though I want children as soon as I am able to take care of them, I don't ever plan on becoming pregnant. I don't really think there's anything wrong with adopting for physical reasons, as long as the AP accepts in their heart that their child is theirs no matter how they became a part of the family.

Maman et papa éléphant... said...

I think it is annoying to always have to make sure to use the perfect wording when we talk about adoption...by the way, French is my first language so, please, don't jump right away if I don't write my english perfectly! This being said, I see so many AP being offended by so many words or misunderstanding...just be patient with others...I don't think Jillian Michaels will treat her adopted child as a "something"...come on...it is just a way to express herself...maybe it could be better but who are you to judge others? And she does not have to explain herself in details about why she does not want to put her body through a pregnancy? Because apparently, she did not say "ruin" her body...and even if it was the only reason why she does not want to get pregnant is to keep her body as is...she has the right...and it does not mean that she would be a bad mother because she does not want to deliver a baby herself? This is a choice, as the one of not having any kids...

I am a future adopting mother and the mother of a "bio" boy and I just wish to be enough patient with others that are not that familiar with adoptions terminology...what to say...what not to say...I am sure I don't ask some questions with the good and sensitive wording most of the time but I still remain a dedicated and loving mother for my child...