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.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Adoption and the Real World

It's so very easy for those of us who have been separated from our natural families by adoption to theorize and publicize and whatever-else-icize our feelings about adoption. It's easy for us to pontificate about how horrid adoption is and how terrible it is to separate children from their families. Sooner or later, however, most of us run into adoption in the real world and there, most of us disconnect from the brave souls that we are on the Internet.

Yesterday, that disconnect happened to me. I was talking with someone here in N.C. who also happened to be a Facebook friend and she was holding a baby. We were talking about some stuff from high school and, even though I didn't remember her precisely, I guessed her to be about my age. "Is that your daughter?" I asked, thinking it was so very cool that someone had a daughter when a part of me has not yet given up on having my own daughter. "Yes," she said. "She looks like you," I said, because the child did have the same hair color as the woman holding her. "She's adopted," the woman continued, making a comment about how the child actually looks more like her husband. There I was, in the middle of a church baptizing, dealing with what I was going to say to a woman who felt it was okay to take away a child from her mother. I did the only polite thing I could think to do at the time, "Oh," I said. Then, I left as soon as I could.

It's sometimes more than a little strange being in North Carolina, facing people who know me only as "Beauford's girl" or "Ann's daughter," when the reality is that I am no kin to Ann or Beauford. As much as I dislike California, I really enjoy the freedom I have there to live with the truth. I can talk about my real dad or mom or any other members of my natural family and I can be who I really am, not as the little girl whose natural identity was changed by the horrid Children's Home Society of North Carolina. I have a really strong desire to be in the place where I grew up, to live here and to raise my children here. There is so much comfort in this place. And yet, there are so many people who view me as something I am not: the daughter of Beauford and Ann.

In many ways, with the adoptress I met yesterday, I acted the only way I could in a polite setting. It would have done little good to tell her how I feel about adoption or to explain to her that I was not going along with her little fantasy and that I would not call the child she was holding her daughter. I'm not going to lie. But it felt awfully wonderful to know the truth inside me and to hold that truth, even if I don't openly proclaim it on every street corner. I felt a little more at peace with things yesterday than I did just a few years ago, when I would feel and take on a child's hurt from being separated from the mother.

The truth is that as long as adoption agencies make money, adoption propaganda will prevail and adopters will think of taking another woman's child as something to be desired, as crazy as that sounds to so very many of us. On this blog, I can voice the truth and if and when adopters find it, so be it. In the real world, I will not lie to perpetuate the adoption fantasy. Nope. I just won't do it.

I know that many people look at me here as Beauford and Ann's "daughter," although I have never been and never will be. And I know that some of them have an antagonistic attitude toward my real parents, thinking that I'm being somehow disloyal to Ann and Beauford by acknowledging my natural family. So be it. I know the truth and I am becoming more comfortable with it every day.

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