Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bad adopter, BAD!

Question: for those of you who are parents, what do you think one of the most important jobs of parenting are? Would protecting your child(ren) be something that you feel is important for you? Do you think parents have an obligation to do so?

Earlier this year, my family and I took a long weekend and spent a few days in Wisconsin Dells for a sort of last hoorah before school started. It was a lovely weekend - the weather was sunny and warm, the parks weren't terribly crowded, and I got a great deal on lodging and passes to the Mt. Olympus theme park. (I love a good deal). Now I'm not as excited about going on roller coasters as I used to be, but the kids are at an age where they can ride without a parent so I have no problem finding a bench to rest my behind while they are having their fun. On this particular weekend, however, my happiness at sitting on that park bench and soaking up some warm sunshine while watching the ever-interesting parade of people going by was ruined. Absolutely, positively, ruined. And not just those few minutes; no the rest of the day, the rest of the trip, were destroyed by the actions of one person.

Let me explain.

The kids wanted to go on one of the many wooden roller coasters at the park. DH decided to ride with them, and I was more than happy to wait, and maybe enjoy some Dippin' Dots. So I found an empty bench near the exit and proceeded to mind my own business. It wasn't long before a woman sat on the other side of the bench, which of course I didn't care, she was trying to eat something but in my state of being preoccupied with minding my own business, I didn't really get a good look at what it was. So I was just kind of casually looking around, hoping she wouldn't want to drum up a conversation (I am an intensely shy person and HATE trying to hold conversations with complete strangers...HATE IT). But of course she did.

It started out innocently enough, she asked if I was waiting for my kids to which I replied a short yes, hoping she'd get the hint. But of course she went on, telling me how she hates wooden roller coasters and thinks they are SO unsafe and SO stupid when they can be built out of metal and don't they know that wood can rot? All the while I'm not looking at her, not encouraging her, but she persisted. I shrugged my shoulders - they (whoever that mythical "they" are) have been building wooden roller coasters for the last centruy and I'm sure there are safety regulations and inspections that are followed, but I didn't want to get into this discussion with her. I personally see no problem with wooden coasters; after all, doesn't metal rust?

So soon after her diatribe about wooden roller coasters, she waves and calls out to someone who I assume is probably her kid - I don't know, I wasn't really looking. Then she turns to me and says, "That was my son. He's 14. We got him out of a Russian orphanage."

Me - silence. I can feel my face turning red.

She goes on. "Yeah, he used to be SO clingy. When we got him home we would NOT let me out of his sight! I couldn't even go to the bathroom!"

Me - silence.

Lady: "But lately he's been getting better, like now he's actually going on the roller coaster without me. He's becoming more independent which is kind of good, I guess."

Me - crickets.

Lady: "But he used to be so bad. They say the teenage years are hard but I think the preteen years are worse. I mean he was so BAD. We had to call the police on him a few times, he was just awful!"

At this point I was livid, but I was just so shocked and stunned that this woman was TELLING ME THIS. What. the. fuck!!

I mean, first of all, what is the purpose of announcing to a complete stranger that you "got him" from a Russian orphanage? Attention whoring much? And then, THEN, to go on and tell this complete stranger how completely bad and awful this kid is and was? Honestly??

I really wish I had had the wherewithall to respond to this twit. I wish my brain didn't freeze up in these situations rendering me unable to barely breathe, let alone give this woman a piece of my mind. I WISH I could go back and say to her, "What is wrong with you?? You are his MOTHER. You are supposed to PROTECT him, not exploit and use him to - what - try to get a little praise or sympathy from a COMPLETE FUCKING STRANGER!" And I'd go on to tell her that as an adopted person, I found her to be obnoxious, disgusting, rude, and a horrible awful person. I'd then wait until her poor little son got off the roller coaster and gave him my condolences on being stuck with such a monster for a "mother."

But of course, I said nothing, and being that my family got off the coaster before her kid did, I got up and got away from her as fast as I could, without a word.

It still gnaws at me to this day though.

If this woman happens across this blog? I want you to know that you disgust me. I want you do know that not ONLY will I not give you praise for what you seem to perceive in your mind as being some sort of saint, but I think you are the scum of the earth for using that boy and his very personal life circumstances for your own narcissism. And I can't believe this shit is STILL bothering me. I just feel so horrible for that innocent little boy.

And yes, I know, sometimes kids adopted from Russian orphanages suffer from RAD and he probably did exhibit some "bad" behavior and yadda yadda yadda, but that is not the point here. The POINT, my friends, is that she USED this to try to GAIN some paltry adoration from someone who has NO BUSINESS knowing what happened to that child. She EXPLOITED him to her benefit. Her ONLY goal here was to try to get me to respond in a way that would make her feel heroic for having to deal with it THAT is the point. As a mother, it is her JOB to protect him, and not flaunt his pain for personal gain.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

On being "chosen"

A lot of people like to adoptees that we're special; that we were "chosen" and should therefore feel really good and blessed and happy. It seems to be a favorite (right after "you could have been aborted," which if you think of it, how does one go from being a worthless and unwanted thing to be gotten rid of to being special and chosen in one breath? Talk about a mind fuck). I know I heard it, I think pretty much all of my adoptee friends have heard it too.

As a young child I really used to buy into it too. I would imagine my parents driving to the adoption agency, their faces lit up with these huge grins of anticipation, their hearts pounding as they arrived at the place where they would CHOOSE THEIR BABY. I pictured a big room filled with other adoptive parents just like mine, and soon a line of ladies would come from an inconspicuous wooden door off in the corner, each one smiling brightly as they each carried a plump and adorable baby dressed in white cotton dresses with eyelet trim. These babies would then be passed around the room, from adoptive parent to adoptive parent, and whoever was holding the baby when she stopped crying would "choose" that baby and they'd adopt her and go live happily ever after.

I had an active imagination as a child.

Chosen...was I chosen?

My amom told me a story one time that before they adopted me, they had received a call from the adoption agency, telling them that a baby girl was available for adoption. She was everything that they had hoped for...except for one dark stain on her record, her mother had been on drugs. (Insert audible gasping in of breath). So my parents in all their parental wisdom decided NOT to take that particular baby. Which leads me to wonder; what if they had? What if they DID adopt this little girl? Then there'd be somebody ELSE sitting here in my chair, with my name and all my memories and living MY life. Who, then, would I have become? Where would I be? What would my name be? What kind of life would I be living?

For I sure as heck wouldn't be who I am today.

My parents waited until the NEXT little girl was available for adoption - mois - and the rest is history. But I don't think of it as being so much chosen as just being the next available baby for the people at the top of the list. They didn't come into a room and select me from a group of other babies. They didn't pass me around and keep me because I stopped crying for them. No, I am who I am because of simple logistics.

I wonder about that little baby that was passed up. Where is she now? WHO is she now? Did she get as good of parents as I did, or was she abused and mistreated? Does she know she came *this close* to being ME? If she went to the people who were next on the list after my parents, would I have went to them if she had been chosen by mine?

God it is such a mind fuck.


So I have been pulled back into the blogging world. I really haven't had a lot to say for the last year or so, I guess life and work and everything with it has consumed my time and my thoughts, but all the fuss that has arisen over a little letter I wrote has got me to thinking and spurred me to action. I figured since a lot of other people are posting it, I might as well too, and try to address the comments on my own blog instead of everbody elses. (Sorry, iadoptee!)

So I will post my letter on a separate page here at the Cabbage Patch. And, hopefully, I will find the time and inspiration to blog again. I've kind of missed it anyway!

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