Holy Bowel Movement

Or, I don’t give a damn what my adopted son doesn’t tell me, because I already know how he feels.

In my baby book there was a space for my new mom and dad to write their thoughts on adopting me. They both used the phrase “angel sent from Heaven.” I couldn’t look at it without squirming. I couldn’t look at it without crying. Who would give away an angel? It was one of those things that made me feel growing up that I could never merit the love I received, that I had to be better than everyone else at everything, and immediately. Otherwise I was an utter failure, and something terrible would happen to me.

Why wouldn’t I believe that was possible? It had already happened once. Anyway everyone knows angels don’t leave footprints.

The book doesn’t exist anymore. Neither do my original baby footprints. When I was around seventeen years old and a few years away from doing anything close to coming to terms with having been adopted, I threw the book away. The gap between the me my parents saw and the me I felt I was had become too broad to tolerate.

It could have been a lot worse, though. I could have been adopted by a flaming maniac who thought I was only a demi-angel because my mother was both an angel and shit to be flushed away. Here is an A’Mom comment on a blog post entitled “What Your Adopted Child Won’t Tell You,” which is not a bad post at all:

God chose a special angel (his bm name) to help carry him to make me his mommy. His day is celebrated as the day i could breath again as his mommy and he loves it. Not all adoptees feel like this. I know my son doesn’t. I also knowone day he will want more info and thats why i keep track as best as i can so when he is mature enough and over 18 ( her request). God chose me he made the miracle that is my son. It was me that was chosen for that blessing.

In the first place, Lady, I wouldn’t call your mother shit, certainly not if I expected people to believe she’s an aiiiiin jullll. In the second place, this comment is so self centered I almost feel compelled to break out my stills of The Monarch again. Shit Woman made ME his mommy! His day is about ME! My adoptee loves MY day about him because who wouldn’t love helping ME celebrate ME! God chose ME ME MINE MINE ME!

Also, so dramatic. Couldn’t breathe until she had a baby? Then…whence the “again”? (Maybe she’d already had one, but her diaphragm stopped moving the moment it arrived? If so, did she stop breathing a few breaths after adopting, too?) Doesn’t matter, and you know why:

It’s because God chose her. Literally. Out of the other seven billion people on Planet Earth, he found her and her alone good enough to raise this kid. The bowel movement? Screw her, god chose for her. And the fact that this lady got the baby had nothing to do with the fact that this lady had the money and the patience and the time and the lawyer and whatever else it takes to coerce a woman or girl or bowel movement out of a baby these days. Nope. Goddidit!

Hey, Lady? Maybe your son will feel some or all of the things about adoption the post lists; maybe he won’t. You’ll never know, because if he does, he won’t dare tell you. Even if he did, you wouldn’t know, because I see no evidence your son’s feelings will ever be of any importance to you. You’re more concerned with denial, and that stuff takes a lot of energy.

I’m adding something here, both in interest of fairness and as a warning.

This angel comment reads like the work of someone who was happy because s/he had just adopted–same context as my parents’ “angel” words.

My parents never called me an angel to my face. They didn’t raise me with the idea. I simply found it in the book when I was old enough to read it and took it as some standard I was meant to be meeting–a thing that was written twice and never (as far as I can recall) said aloud. All these decades later, I haven’t forgotten it.

Kids listen. Kids read. Kids take their parents’ words as gospel. If you call a child an angel to his/her face, the child might react the way I did. Or the child might believe you. Why would Mommy lie, after all? And angels are better than people, aren’t they? Angels deserve special treatment. Either way, you might be setting up your kid for some unnecessary hard knocks in life, especially if that kid is going to feel different all his/her life as it is.

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7 Comments

Filed under AdoptoLand, General Ignoramitude, Stop Saying That

7 responses to “Holy Bowel Movement

  1. Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    The chosen ones….

  2. I’m not as comfortable expressing anger as you are, so I’m glad you did it for me. BTW I’m both a birth mother (know some folks don’t like that term) and an adoptive mother. There are mothers, and there are adoptive mothers, but the world doesn’t see it that way. Folks were puzzled by black anger back in the day. I’m not puzzled at all by yours.

    • Thanks for reading, pammcrae. I suspect you can tell why I don’t like the “birth mother” term, but if others are comfortable with it, that’s fine by me. (Some people are not comfortable with my saying I have four parents, but that is my truth. I know it’s not everyone’s.)

      It is always a blessing to know my anger doesn’t puzzle someone. Truly: it makes me feel a tiny bit saner.

  3. The article linked in the post is a very good one, I think. My son is Latino not black, but the same principle applies. Let me assure you though that we don’t wear adoption-themed clothing or celebrate Gotcha Day. Great resource. Thanks!

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