Monday, June 25, 2012

Joyce Maynard Talks About Adoption Disruption

I've posted before (see here and here) about Joyce Maynard's decision to disrupt her adoption of two Ethiopian girls.  Here, in an interview with National Geographic Traveler, she talks about it for the first time publicly (at about 11:30 she talks about the decision to adopt, then the meeting with her new daughters, then traveling in Ethiopia with the two girls, and then starting around 18:15, she talks disruption until the end of the clip):

If you watch the whole clip, it seems rather bizarre to have this conversation about disruption in the midst of casual talk about travel. I found the whole thing rather unsettling because of the juxtaposition of this conversation with flighty talk about bad haircuts and fun travel.

Some of the reasons Maynard gave for why she "wasn't the right mother" for these children is that they needed a father and they needed a younger mother.  That's as much detail as she gave. She confesses her own arrogance in believing that "love conquers all," but that's as close to an apology I heard.  And there's nothing about lessons learned, nothing that sounds like genuine regret, just a blythe assurance that all was right in the girls' lives now.

I'm sure she chose this forum because it would be a softball interview.  But, in my opinion, the softball nature did not show her in a very positive light.


Real Daughter said...

You're a brave woman to watch. I would end up tossing my Mac through the window. Sickening.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Maynard carried on a email conversation with me asking for a phoner--so I guess she could convince me that I ought to take down my post about her finding another home for the two girls she adopted. I frankly did not see the point, as I thought I was rather kind to her, considering.

Joyce Maynard's adoption "disruption"

Leah said...

Maynard got in touch with you, Lorraine?! Wonders never cease. Had she not, like, READ your blog? She's pretty much the archetypal adoptive parent often bashed (and rightly so) on FMF: clueless, ignorant, ego-driven, and blithely certain of her own moral righteousness. Blergh.

I try not to be critical of adoption disruptions. While the idea makes me deeply uncomfortable, I understand that adoption always comes from a place of trauma, and some children are so traumatized they cannot function in a family setting. But I can't help but think that so many disruptions could be avoided if APs educated themselves about the reality of adoption. Attachment issues are par for the course, not an aberration.

Lorraine Dusky said...

Lzzz...just read your comment, and yes, Maynard and I carried on an email discussion. Basically I saw no point in talking to her on the phone. I wasn't mean to her, adoption disruption must be painful for all. The post at first mother forum continues to be read quite often.

Sunday Koffron Taylor said...

I just got up the nerve to actually watch this.

"It was the most brutal experience of MY life...not thankfully of theirs, Not thankfully of theirs."

Good thing the adoptive parent gets to decide how painful the experience her children was...and good thing to know that it hurt the parent MORE..