Yes, a zillion blogworthy things have happened in AdoptoLand since I posted last. I’m going to ignore’em all in favor of a snarky, popcult-related post. (Surprise!)
Deborah Snyder, the producer of Man of Steel is an a’mom. Here’s what she has to say about Kal-El/Clark:
…[I]t’s the greatest adoption story in all of history. I think that’s an interesting way of looking at it – maybe because I was just in the process personally of adopting my two children. The people of Earth adopt him and he adopts us, as well.
Why is it that adoptees always have to “adopt back” or “adopt in turn”? The evangelical adoption movement currently says “Jesus adopted me, so I adopt a heathen orphan.” People use to ask me all the time “when” I was going to adopt, as if I owed it to the world. A very few (I hope), very special APs take this “adoptees must adopt” nonsense to such an extreme that they claim it was their child who–sorry, something stuck in my throat, ahem–Their child [retch] oh ew sorry, be right back.
[brandishes toothbrush] They say their child adoBLARRRGH I CAN’T AND WON’T SAY IT! Back to Man of Steel:
Ms. Snyder says Clark is on this journey of self discovery, trying to figure out who he is and where he fits in, and in the end he comes to see what Jor-El, his Kryptonian father, has sacrificed and given for him.
Birth fathers are so awesome. When they step out of the way and don’t fight things. When they have the decency to mail us our baby from another planet and then die. Also, what about his mother? Hello, she died too!*
And he also realizes how his Earth parents made him who he is.
(Yes, yes, we know, we know: the Kents are his real parents.) The people who raise us, no matter who they are, do much to make us who we are. This is so very fucking obvious that nobody ever bothers to say it about anyone who is not adopted. We say it about adopted people so very many times because, deep down, we fear it is not true of them.
(And what if it weren’t? What if parents raised a child with love and it turned out they didn’t have that big an effect on his or her personality? Would that be bad? Do children have a duty to take after their parents or, failing that, to be molded by them? If they don’t do that, but turn out fine otherwise, did anything necessarily go wrong? Or did the child maybe just grow into being himself or herself? Does that mean all that love was wasted? To me, a child who turns out to be exactly himself or herself no matter who said s/he had to be something different represents a parenting success, not a failure.)
Back to Ms. Snyder: All those themes and notions follow him throughout the whole film. That’s something that resonated with me, even from when we started reading the script and started talking about doing this film.
The most important thing about any adoption story, and I employ not a hint of sarcasm here, is that it resonate with APs or PAPs. It just won’t fly otherwise. (OK, the “fly” part was sarcasm.)
But what if Superman were real? What if the fact that he’s adopted (“these themes and notions”) followed him throughout his whole life? Well, sooner or later he’d probably have to deal with the fact that being adoptedreally does make you different, and not always in a super-strong, X-ray vision kind of way.
He’d probably join an online support group or forum.
clarkk: Hey All, I was adopted in Kansas and I’m thinking of searching. I’m kind of worried my parents won’t understand, but we had a family reunion last week and now I can’t stop thinking about it. It just kind of hit me that my entire life is a lie.
adoptedandcranky: Welcome, clarkk!
GAadoptee: Hi, clarkk! Welcome to the wacky world of adoption searching.
lilbastard: Hi, clarkk. LOL yes! Makes you feel like you’re from another planet, right? As far as searching goes, you kind of hit the jackpot being from Kansas–if you were born there. Do you know where you were born?
clarkk: Kansas, but I can double check with Ma and Pa.
adoptedandcranky: Any luck, clarkk?
clarkk: I hit a dead end. )-: The State of Kansas has no record of my birth.
lilbastard: You’re sure you weren’t born somewhere else?
clarkk: Why would Ma and Pa lie about that? I’ve always known I’m adopted.
GAadoptee: )-: We’re here for you, clarkk.
clarkk: Hey guys, sorry I was offline for so long, but…this hurts. I don’t get it. It seems there was no agency and no legal adoption, and that’s why I don’t have any papers.
lilbastard: Oh shit, you’re black market? That complicates things for sure. Sorry, clarkk. )-:
clarkk: They told me they “just found” me! So I asked where and they said “It doesn’t matter, Clark, you’re ours,” and of course I am, but I’m adopted too. Ma cried when I asked where they found me. I shouldn’t have said anything in the first place.
GAadoptee: I feel ya, clarkk. But none of this is your fault. And you’re not being disloyal to your ma and pa. We all have the right to our origins, no matter how secret they’ve been.
clarkk: They said they were so glad to have a baby of their own they just wrapped me in a blanket and took me home! Did they even look for my other parents? I can’t ask them, but I need to know. Why do I feel so guilty about this?
adoptedandcranky: clarkk, I pm’ed you my phone number after our IM conversation yesterday. Please contact me if I can help, even if it’s just to listen. A lot of us have been through this.
adoptedandcranky: Anyone heard from clarkk lately?
GAadoptee: No. I pm’ed him Monday.
lilbastard: Hope he’s OK.
clarkk: Hey, I’m back. I really thought things couldn’t get any weirder. I am so confused. I don’t know if I’m going crazy or what. I don’t even know if I should tell you this. I did what you all said: I kept asking and waiting and assuring them I don’t want to replace them. And this is the story I got: Ma and Pa found me in the middle of a field in a smoking crater. They both swear I popped out of this gray dragonfruit-geode-looking thing.
clarkk:That’s crazy. It’s crazy, right? I asked if they had the gray thing or any pictures of it and no, they didn’t have a camera with them. Why would they expect me to believe this? Why can’t they tell me the truth? I’m so mad I could throw a car! But I can’t be mad at them, so what do I do with this?!
adoptedandcranky: )-: Are you anywhere near Smallville? There’s a meetup/search group there.
lilbastard: Giant gray stone dragonfruit-geode in a crater? Is that the new cabbage leaf?
GAadoptee: It’s not you, clarkk: that’s some crazy sounding shit right there. )-:
clarkk: My parents have been holding out on me. I don’t even know how to feel about this. They had information about my original parents all along. They still don’t want to let me see it.
adoptedandcranky: I know it’s hard. APs can be so insecure. Just remember you have a right to know who you are.
Kal-El: Hey, clarkk here. Check out my birth name! Think I’m Jewish?
adoptedandcranky: Could be. Nice to meet you, Kal-El! (-:
CAadoptee: That’s great!
lilbastard: WTG Kal-El! So they showed you the info they do have?
Kal-El: Not yet, but I really think they will soon. I think I’ve convinced them I don’t want to fly away and join some other family I never met.
Kal-El: I don’t know how to tell you guys this….
*Unless she didn’t. I can’t keep up with DC Comics continuity (and neither can anyone else).