Last night I was talking to my mom and Zoe about this article, about a ballerina with the American Ballet Theater who was adopted from Korea. She went with the company to Korea a few years ago, and the media there tracked down her birth family without her knowing. She's going back with the company for another tour, and is uncertain whether she wants to meet her birth mother. Zoe just couldn't understand why she didn't want to meet her birth mother, since that is Zoe's dearest wish. My mom told Zoe that she's met many adoptees (my mom is a retired therapist), and some wanted to meet their birth families and some didn't.
I reminded Zoe that until recently Maya wasn't at all interested in meeting her birth family, she didn't even want to hear about them! Now, Maya says she wouldn't mind meeting them, but she wouldn't want to live with them. Zoe said she would definitely want to live with her birth parents. She said, "I can see myself living with them, but I always see you and Maya there, too. But I don't see Maya's birth family with us." Hmm, she's obviously given this a lot of thought.
Zoe then asked me, "Would you feel left out if I lived with my birth family?" Hmm, how to answer that one?!
I said, "Well, it would depend. I would miss you if you lived with them for a long time and I didn't see you. But I wouldn't mind if you saw me, too. Like you imagined, with you and Maya and me all living with them."
Zoe asked, surprised, "That wouldn't bother you?" No, I said, "You know you're my daughter forever and I'm your mom forever, but you're also your birth parents' daughter forever and they are your parents forever. I would be sad if I never saw you, but I wouldn't mind at all sharing you."
"OK!" said Zoe, and then she was off to swim with her sister.
Of course, this is all in the nature of a fantasy right now. We're no closer to finding her birth parents than when we started. Sigh.
P.S. Of course, Zoe's emotions are more complicated than this conversation shows. She picked "Annie" as the movie to watch together tonight. As Annie's biological parents come to take her back, Maya asked Zoe, "How would you feel if your birth parents came to take you back?" Zoe's immediate response, "Sad." Really?!
On radical psychology and adoption.
17 hours ago