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.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

I Probably Won't Be Doing Any Shows with This Guy

I could certainly get a lot more work if I believed the adoption myths. I am painfully aware of this fact and sometimes, people remind me of it. I often am critical of celebrities who use the money that we pay to see them to adopt someone else's child. I am especially critical of comics who do this kind of thing. I used to think that comedy was the last bastion of truth and I really admired the comics that I have worked with who have been nothing but supportive when I talk about adoption. However, so many comics have adopted lately that I find myself wondering how much of a career I have in comedy. I am up front about my feelings about adoption with comics; there is one I worked with at Canoga Park Bowl who is determined to adopt a child. I told her that I was very much against stranger adoption. I will tell this to anyone who asks. It's interesting though that when I hear from people about what I write, there is a clear line of demarcation: Those who adopt hate me, except for a few, such as this one. They use ad hominem attacks and any other faulty logic to discredit me. Here's what adopter and comic Dana Gould wrote:

Dear Comic Mom,

I greatly enjoyed your response to the LA Weekly's article about Tom Fryckman and Cathy Ladman's adoption story. As an adoptive parent myself, one who has, in your words, "taken another woman's child," I am always interested in learning about other people's views on adoption, especially when they are breathtakingly ignorant and narcissistic.

Like yours!!

Let me just touch on one point. Briefly. A full refutation of your letter would take too long. But, one point, please.

Why do you assume that the decision to adopt is based solely on one's inability to biologically procreate? Can you not see children as anything other than a little genetic mirror? The world outside Brentwood is teeming with children who don't have parents. The "mother" for whom you pine is nowhere to be found. These children NEED a mom and dad. They're called "orphans". They live in big buildings full of other children in the same situation. These buildings are called "orphanages". I bet if you ever set foot inside one and actually exposed yourself to the plight of these children, you’d revisit your narrow, ego-driven worldview and maybe even throw up in your mouth a little bit.

All over the world, people like myself, Tom, Cathy and so many others, take these children into their lives, giving them a family and saving them (sometimes) from grotesque, tragic and unspeakable fates.

My children were in orphanages for the first year of their lives. They live in America now and have blossomed into healthy, luminous, beautiful girls. But you can't see photos my children on a website, Tricia. Because even though my children are from another mother, I value them enough not to pimp them out on the internet to prop up my flabby stand up act.

Like you do.

Dana Gould
Comedian
Adoptive parent


It'd be really easy to get down about a letter such as this one. After all, he's basically saying that I'm a bad mother because there are pictures of my children on the Internet, or something like that. And of course, he's a great adopter because, supposedly, there are no pictures of his adoptees? And yet, there are lots and lots of people, as Mr. Thinking Mama pointed out, who have pictures of their children on the Internet. And yes, I've pondered this question, and I think I'm doing the right thing. My children certainly love to see themselves on the Internet and usually, I don't talk much about them in my comedy routine, although I often, with their petulance and permission, allow them to do comedy with me. Mr. Gould, by the way, despite his supposed disdain for genetic similarities, talks much in the routines by him that I've heard, about how his family is so screwed up that they should not reproduce. It's funny material and as a comic, he has a lot of success. Again, this information is what I've heard from his videos. Gould also probably depends on comedy for his living; whereas, I do not. Therefore, I have much more creative freedom and I really appreciate that. I can be "flabby" if I want to be. He has, of course, more commercial success, but then again, I can live with myself and I sleep easily at night, both of which are great benefits for me. If I had to tour and that kind of thing, I'd find it difficult. However, I am fortunate and thankful to have Mr. Thinking Mama to help me.

It's easy for regular readers of my blog, many of whom are mothers who have lost one or more children to adoption, to see how Mr. Gould has fallen into the adoption myth trap. He truly believes that he has saved his little China girls (I think that he adopted from China; I'm assuming so, here) from death or some such and he fails to see how his demand, and the demand of other China adopters, are indeed contributing to the problem. There's a mom out there who longs for her child, or children, and Mr. Gould has them. Fortunately, for him, that mom was hoodooed by the Chinese government into giving her child to an orphanage. And it seems as though he believes that by bringing these children to the ever omnipotent America, he has saved these children from a certain doom.

For the record, people have suggested that I, mother of three boys, adopt a "China doll" (not my quote, but the quote of an adopter). I will not, however, increase demand for adoption by taking one of these children and pretending that the girl is my own. Mr. Gould's words are, unfortunately, quite predictable. Fortunately, there are many non-adopters who are listening to me and to the voices of moms in the U.S. who have lost one or more children to adoption. Perhaps the Chinese moms who have lost a child will be silenced, but those of us have lost family members and can speak up are beginning to do so.

1 comment:

Charles said...

Thinking Mama:
My name's Charlie...I was adopted and have recently returned to my mother (the good folks at the adoption agency, with their well-developed screening processes, somehow stuck me with sadistic, abusive people...whoops!)
But yes, unfortunately, Mr. Gould's words are predictable. The reason for this is this is the only way adopters can ease their conscience. My belief about adoption, excluding the implications of growing up in an unnatural environment, is that it breaks the (dare I say it) sacred bond between mother and child. And these desperate, child-worshiping know this full well. They have to revert to the standard "I saved my pet child from almost certain poverty and despair by taking it from its family" in order to ease their guilt and convince themselves that what they are participating in is ethical.
I noticed in Mr. Gould's letter that he went to some lengths (many of them only tangentially related to the subject of the post) to insult your stand-up career. The last refuge of people with no answers, no arguments and little moral high ground to stand on is personal attacks, as you aptly mentioned. I would like to ask Mr. Gould (aside from 'why did you stop taking your pills today) what his 'daughters' see when they look at him. Certainly not themselves. Genetic similarity is there for a reason; it allows people to see a source for themselves. Those poor girls are stuck in a family and culture that doesn't reflect them at all. Which is what I fear will happen with Haiti's young when our fine religious Americans get over there.