Aspie with Attitude

Sure, I'm just another Southern Recovering Alcoholic NPR- and Sweet-Tea Addicted Comic Mom with Asperger's in the SFV, but I can tell you now that I don't necessarily fit the stereotype.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Et Tu, Maryellen Hooper?!?

I've probably mentioned this before, but a couple of months before Mr. Thinking Mama and I left Raleigh, I performed for a week at Charlie Goodnight's Comedy Club. Granted, having just started to do comedy, I was the lowest proverbial man on the totem pole, the opener, but the experience was fabulous and I remember it fondly. My mom, whom I had recently found, came to see one of my shows and the headliner was Maryellen Hooper. Maryellen seemed very nice, if not dismissive, in the way that all road comics probably are from time to time. For Maryellen, the winner of some Stand-Up Comic of the Year award or some such, I was a mere local comic in a club in a medium-sized city. Having now lived in Los Angeles and been in tune with the L.A. comedy scene for a while, I can sort of understand the attitude. Nonetheless, I introduced her to my mom and Maryellen was very pleasant, which I greatly appreciated. Trying to be nice, she asked my mom, "Has Tricia always been funny?" Wow, what a question for a mom who'd just been found and for the daughter who didn't grow up with her. The world of adoption reunion is a strange one indeed and my mom and I just sat there, neither knowing what to say. Fortunately, Maryellen made some joke, which my mom and I greatly appreciated, and the air was indeed much lighter.

Although I've yet to run into Maryellen since our move to L.A., which is not that unusual considering that you can hardly throw a rock in L.A. without hitting a comic, I've often wondered about her. And I was curious if she'd ever had a baby. I think she's a bit older than I am, although not too much, and I just assumed that she was happy with her career and not that interested in bearing a child. Turns out I was right about the second part. Actually, after finding out only today that Maryellen is an adopter, I don't know much about what she went through to make her decision to take some mother's child; perhaps, like Sarah Jessica or the countless other celebrities who use their money to take other people's children or pay a womb to gestate, she'd had many miscarriages and failed attempts. In no way do I mean to understate or fail to recognize any pain, physical and emotional, that she went through before she became desperate enough to take a mother's child and claim it as her own. It is indeed sad and heartbreaking when a woman wants to have a child and it doesn't work out. I sincerely hope that more people, especially the celebrity types, visit Brandon. Brandon, Wendy, Steve, et al. are the folks when it comes to helping people have their own children. Perhaps Maryellen could have benefited from a few visits with the folks at the Eastern Center for Complementary Medicine. These people help your body naturally to work the way it's supposed to and if you look at their testimonials, you'll see that they've helped more than one woman conceive her own child.

How extremely disappointed I was, however, to find out that Maryellen has adopted not one but two children. Indeed, she is so supposedly grateful for her good fortune in obtaining a child by any means that she wrote this review of an adoption book:

...Your book really touched me. Especially the opening statement about how he is my son whether I gave birth to him or not. His soul was meant to be my son. I have said that since he was born!

Maryellen Hooper - 1998's Best Female Stand-Up at the 12th Annual American Comedy Awards

Now, isn't that just the sweetest thing. According to the review, Maryellen must have scooped up this baby from his mother right after birth. These days, adopters tend to do that very thing, claiming that they, not the mother, can bond with the baby more quickly. The mother, with her leaking breasts and sore groin, is much more quickly disposed of. Peachy, isn't it? I especially enjoy the way that Maryellen so completely disposed of her adoptee's mom in her review, failing even to mention her.

And then, I googled around a bit more and found this lovely quote from Adoptress Hooper:

If you really want to see some angry moms, take your 6-week-old in a jogging stroller to the park wearing a size 6 miniskirt. I don't know why people give birth when you can adopt. I love them way more. I've seen the video. You have to be holding a grudge. . . . Giving birth in bed with no drugs? I don't even want to conceive like that.

Yep, that's what passes for adopter humor these days. Maryellen has the audacity to fault those of us who are fortunate enough to become real moms for our sagging, leaky breasts and the extra pounds that a new baby tends to leave, unless one has a personal trainer, of course. But the real jewel in the previous quote is that Maryellen claims to love her adoptees "way more" because she took them from their mother. So, I guess I don't really love my little guys that much, even though my breasts bled off and on for two weeks after my first son was born, until we finally got the whole latching on thing right. There's no love there. Nah, I really don't care for my guys nearly as much as I would somebody else's baby who doesn't look like Mr. Thinking Mama and me and doesn't have any comparable traits. Why, perhaps I should have given my own firstborn to Maryellen; after all, she could love him "way more" than his real father and I, right?!?

Look, I don't know why Maryellen didn't have her own child and I'm very sorry that she didn't. But she need not try to make it seem as though taking a baby from the very mother that God and nature gave said child and pretending that baby is your own is some kind of act of love. Far too many of us know that pretending to be a parent is often much more an act of insecurity and desperation than an act of love. The real act of love in this case, and in most adoptions, is supporting the mother and baby in staying together. I can't help but wonder why adopters fail to choose it.

It's really disappointing to read about celebrity adopters. But it's extremely disappointing to find that a celebrity you've worked with has taken it on herself to take someone else's child. I'm really sorry that someone who seems as nice as Maryellen Hooper has gotten involved in the $1.6 billion U.S. adoption industry, contributing to its profits. How very sad indeed.

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