It’s still not very funny half the time. I still can’t make WP let me link the way it used to. But I’m gonna do it: I’m gonna NaBloPoMo. Because National Blog Posting Month coincides with National Adoption Month.
Day One: Words Are Pow-Pow-POWerful!
(Or, The Snurchin’s Top Ten Keys To Using Jank-Assed Adoption Language, inspired By This):
1A) You are The Real True Parents. Never allow anyone to forget this. You adopted because and only because you wanted a child that was YOURS and had NEVER been attached to anyone else’s family EVER. Your child will learn volumes about biology, sex, healthy family relationships and integrity from your insistence that he was poofed into existence at your whim. Insisting you’re The Only True Parents at every opportunity is also a great way to teach your child the meaning of good sportsmanship, which is to parade around the end zone screaming “I’M in possession of this ball NOW, and that means nobody else ever touched it! IN YOUR FACE!”
1B) When referring to that…thing that occasionally makes you remember your adopted child is adopted, be sure not to dignify her with the word “mother” in any way, not even by using the phrase “birth mother,” which might elevate her to the level of a battery hen. That is too good for her. She is to be known as the “birth woman,” the “incubator,” “the stork,” “your Why-must-you-break my-heart-by-asking-such-things” or That Slut. This will prepare your adoptee for later life by helping him or her develop the proper attitude to take towards powerless women in a patriarchy.
2) Your dictionary lies. The word “natural” means “superior; best of all; good, true and virtuous” rather than “original” or “unaffected” or “occurring in nature.” That is why you should get insulted every time you hear it (which you won’t, because nobody says “natural parents” to adoptive parents anymore). In order to avoid offending adoptive parents, any space before “mother” or “father” where the word “adoptive,” “natural,” “birth” or “first” might be expected to go for clarity’s sake should be filled as follows:
–For “adopted” or any variant, sing very quickly and quietly at least two lines (but no more than one verse) of The Star-Spangled Banner, as in “I know you’ve been waiting a long time. I’m so glad you finally o-oh say can you see by the dawn’s early lighted a daughter. Congratulations!”
–For “natural,” use HUAH! because it sounds patriotic and emphatic. “You’ve only been playing the piano for a week? Man, you’re a HUAH!”
–For “birth” use “bed on a train,” as in “The stars are brightly shining. It is the night of the dear Saviour’s bed on a train.”
–For “first,” simply clear your throat or cough, as in “You didn’t get past [cough] base with her? Bummer, Dude.”
3) Parents who really love their children never apply adjectives to them (“adopted,” “natural,” “talented,” “beloved” or “my,” for example), even when that would make a conversation about the children comprehensible. Whether your child is there to hear you or not, do NOT refer to him or her as anything at all other than “child.”
4) Adoption is a one-time, totally-in-the-past event. Even though adoption is nothing to be ashamed of, it must be swept under the rug because once
the warranty runs out adoption is finalized, the child’s DNA is magically removed and replaced with DNA that is half yours and half your spouse’s. Your child’s knowledge that you are ashamed of his or her origins and method of entering your family will only make him or her stronger. Once the papers making George legally and officially adopted are signed, we would simply say “George is not adopted anymore.” This is good for George because it will make him feel he ought to earn his parents’ love over and over again for the rest of his life.
5) When speaking of adoption, it’s important to stress that your child’s first parents never wanted him. Knowing he was brought into the world by people who made a special plan to get rid of him forever without ever having met him will help George feel better about himself.
6) It’s 2011. Children born to unmarried parents are simply referred to as children; the stigma has almost disappeared. Which sucks, because it’s a lot harder to make women give those little bastards up to more deserving homes these days.
7) Adopted children who find their parents are not “reuniting” with the humans who gave them life. They are magically Making Contact with a being they have never before encountered or had the first thing to do with. That’s why they look so hard for so long–simple curiosity. Silly little buggers!
8 A child adopted from overseas is not a “foreign” child, and that’s why you don’t have to obtain a passport or citizenship for it. It will never be harassed by any police office or immigration official no matter its appearance, and it will never have a second’s trouble obtaining a passport.
9) This was number three! What’s WRONG with you people? Do I really have to tell you again not to call that adopted child adopted? I don’t care if it’s still too young to comprehend language, you must never, ever EVER admit that this beautiful, positive, wonderful thing happened to it and you!
10) OTOH, if you need some praise, blab your head off. Adoption is a private matter between a child and his family, and should be treated as such unless you want to raise money for another adoption, read a story about how awesome you are in the newspaper, or be interviewed on The Today Show. Remember your child’s adoption story is yours and nobody else’s.