"If you play with fire, you are gonna get burned" ~Author Unknown
The brown haired boy stood proudly on the playground and announced to the crowd of new school mates that his father was a fireman.
“My Daddy is a fireman”, the boy said
“No he is not!” said another boy.
“Yes, he is!”, said the first
“NO! YOUR DADDY IS NOT A FIREMAN!”, screamed the disbeliever.
“You don’t even know my Daddy” said the brown hair proud boy. He took his toys, hung his head low and walked away.
Maybe it’s me, but given that situation, I would tend to believe the child until I had proof otherwise. It’s his reality. It’s his Daddy. Why would I doubt him?
I take this same approach to adoption trauma but find myself consistently amazed by those who don’t.
I am most intrigued by those who have had happy adoption experiences who insist that the negative experiences of others simply can’t or don’t exist. What is with that? Is it a matter of positive outweighing the negative?
Do these people really truly believe that there are no negative sides to adoption or are they just that frightened to admit it or their own pain? I don’t know. But like the little boy fighting for his fireman daddy, I am not going to insist their happiness doesn’t exist simply because my experience was the reverse.
If we fight a war, and 100 people are NOT killed, does that negate the hundreds that were? Do we look the other way and jump for joy at the few who were spared and ignore those that were killed? Or do we mourn them and work towards a more peaceful world where war doesn’t have to be?
Hundreds, thousands of people died in the attack on theTwin Towers (even friends of mine) but many survived. Do we ignore those that died, those that suffered losses, simply because some survived? Do we ignore terrorism simply because some people traipsed across the Brooklyn Bridge and lived to see another day?
I have two members of my immediate family who suffered the loss of siblings at a very young age. Both members have told me of their own survivor guilt. They felt bad that they survived and their sibling was taken. One of those family members can openly discuss that loss and the grief, the other cannot. It simply didn’t happen. It’s fine. They are fine. It’s no big deal. They seem to suggest you could kill off another member of the family and they would be fine. It’s okay, really.
Is this what SOME happy adoptee experiences are rooted in? Survivor guilt? When faced with the horrors of adoption, do they have to pull down the pompoms because it makes they feel better about their own experience? Or are they in denial? Are there thoughts buried so deeply and they are so painful its easier to stay on the surface and do the adoption cheers than to descend into the levels of hell? More importantly, if they are truly so happy and wonderful, why do they demand so loudly and harshly that they are happy and adoption is wonderful? Who are they trying to convince?
I am not against adoption in theory. There will always be the need for someone to care for the child of another. I am very much against name changing, closed records, coercion, intimidation, baby brokering, stigmatizing single, unwed mothers, maternity homes, coveting they neighbors child, adoption as the cure for infertility, illegal practices, adoption being promoted in our public schools, and yeah, individuals who disregard the adoption pain of others simply because they didn’t experience it. What?
The car crash on the mountain involved 7 cars and 20 drivers and passengers. Two of the cars exploded upon impact. Three adjacent cars and passengers caught in the accident caught fire. The passengers escape the cars but not the fires. Several dropped to the ground and began to roll to extinguish the flames. Still others ran frantically around screaming, their hair and clothing engulfed in flames.
Passengers from the remaining two cars survived unscathed. They simply backed up their cars and drove away. After all, since they were not affected, the accident didn’t happen. They didn’t see it. No need to call the authorities. Nothing happened. They were FINE.
What a good day for them.