"The Wondering Jew"
Feb. 05, 2006 - 20:21 MST
One thing I like about the JOA between the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post is that the Sunday edition is called the Denver Post and the editorial pages give me an idea of how the Post is thinking.
A thing I like about our Sunday paper is that often something good and caring turns up also.
Victoria Donovan a part-time writer and a lawyer in Denver has a guest commentary in today's issue. So, in full, italics mine and a cap or two also.:
PLEASE DON'T TELL MY DAUGHTER SHE IS LUCKY
"I am at the grocery store picking out oranges when I see a smiling woman approaching. "Is she adopted ?" askes the woman, gesturing toward my daughter who is wedged onto my hip. I nod. The woman leans in close to my daughter and grasps her hand. "Aren't you a lucky girl."
"My daughter is Chinese and I am white so it is easy to conclude that she is adopted. Because of our differences, we tend to attract more attention than racially similar mother-child couples. At first, the attention was a bit unnerving for me. I used to the be the type of person who would slip into a grocery store, complete my shopping and leave without saying more than a "good morning" to the cashier. After my daughter came home, I discovered people were curious about her and I was often stopped along the grocery aisles to chat or answer a question."
"I am open about my daughter's adoption and I don't mind people asking where she was adopted from or coming up to say "hello." But when people tell my daughter she is lucky, I worry how such a statement might impact her. I understand the inclination to say such a thing. The person believes my daughter was in an orphanage (which she was) and they see her adoption as a deliverance from poverty, neglect and a life unfulfilled."
"What they may not comprehend, however, is how my daughter might feel being told repeatedly how lucky she is to be adopted."
"I don't want my daughter to grow up feeling she should be grateful that she was adopted; no one should be ther bearer of that burden. This is true of any child, adopted or biological. I recall my Mother telling me that I should be thankful that I had adequate food and a roof over my head, comparing my comfortable life to the imagined orphans in far off lands. I suppose she was trying to make me appreciative of all that I had, but the effect of her frequent admonitions was to make me feel unworthy."
"Why, I wondered, was I lucky enough to have plenty to eat when so many other children were starving ? I was only a child yet I felt the weight of thousands of hungry children on my shoulders and the guilt of being one of the lucky ones."
"It is important to me that my daughter develop the ability to feel compassion for others, but she should never feel as though she owes anyone. She did not choose her life, but all of us who come in contact with her can influence how she views it."
"Being adopted does not make her lucky it is simply part of her story."
"While there are several ways to create a family these days, adopotion happened to be my preference. I wasn't particularly attached to the notion of having genetic offspring and since there were many children already born who didn't have parents, it made sense to me. This option also meant I was freed from the constraints of my biological clock and could structure my life in a way that might otherwise have been impossible or at least very difficult. I just had to keep an eye on the age requirements for adoption."
"The day I met my daughter, I was certain I felt the same excitement and anticipation as did a woman delivering her first child. I was not there to rescue my daughter, or to play the saint I was there because we had been united, through various forces as Mother and daughter."
"Today, at 2 years old, my daughter is a bright girl who loves to laugh, freely shows affection and has a courageous streak that prompts her to explore and open herself to new experiences. She likes to walk around the house in my shoes, enjoys being read to, and will spin and rock gleefully to music. If anyone is lucky, it is I."
Not being adopted (that I know of), nevertheless, I have been there had that "aren't you lucky" guilt trip laid on to me. An aunt, a family friend or two tried to get me to eat something I didn't like by telling me that some poor African child would love to have that to eat. In the case of my aunt, she'd try to get us kids overfull and would say the same thing, "Why a starving child in India would love to have that to eat, and would "eat it all up in a wink." Urgh, how I hated those words and I felt unworthy enough and didn't need a guilt trip laid on me, especially when it was food I didn't like or when I was already too full. Other careless words of adults made me feel unworthy enough. Of course, they called it an "inferiority complex" never trying to figure out how I got that way.
I won't discuss adoption nor will I discuss natural birth. That is the bailiwick of each person in their own personal life.
But what I will say is that I think this very nice, caring woman is going to be one of the greatest Mothers in our town. To my mind she has the right philosophy and apparently doesn't light off at people because of what they say about her daughter being lucky, just that she would rather they didn't.
So it looks to me that this little Oriental girl will be raised by a very caring Mom who is using her SUPER INTELLIGENCE . . . . . . . . . .0 comments so far