La La How The Life Goes On

Well, That Didn’t Take Long

Posted on: May 7, 2010

I have been wondering when it would happen, and today I got my answer. I was in the Stop & Shop with Baby Sister when she came speeding up to us. You know her. That lady. The one who watches Lifetime or TLC religiously, who loves Jesus, makes recipes with Campbells soup, and who just has to congratulate me on being SUCH A NICE PERSON for adopting my daughter. Like, has to come clear across the aisle to say God Bless You For Doing That.

I struggle with these interactions, as you know. I’m sure she’s actually a very nice lady who means no harm in her own mind, so I don’t want to be an asshole to her, like oh such a bitter adoptive mother. But on the other hand, when my 5 year old is present, she can hear herself pretty much being called a charity case by a total stranger. So how am I supposed to react–not for this lady–but for my daughter? “Oh thanks! Yeah, she really should be very grateful to me because I am indeed a really nice person whom God should bless tenfold for taking her in.” That’s an eating disorder or a career on the stripper pole waiting to happen.

So once again I fought back the urge to congratulate her on having a daughter who didn’t abort her grandchild (God bless her for that! What a nice person choosing to have a family biologically! Not everyone would, you know) and just did my usual script. “No, no, we’re the lucky ones. No, no. This is just how we chose to build our family, nothing more. No. I haven’t ever seen Adoption Stories. No, I’m not familiar with that show. Oh yes, I’m sure it’s very heartrending. I’m not certain it’s applicable to our family though.” {Begin to ignore her by talking to Baby Sister about orange juice selections. Begin to walk away slowly while she’s still talking]. “Have a nice day!” {RUN!!!!}

It’s painful because I understand the the person really does mean well. Very few people come up to a lady and her kid in order to make them feel bad or ruin their day. But the cumulative effect of all this “well-meaningness” is rather toxic because I constantly have to be working Bambina’s inner mind to ensure she doesn’t internalize all this “she should be so grateful, she’s so lucky” bullshit, have to constantly be modeling good behavior so I don’t actually make the monstrous statement of blessing someone for not terminating a pregnancy or so I don’t make my children think that talking about their adoption makes me angry. It doesn’t. It makes me happy. But you know what? We don’t always want to talk about it with strangers in the Stop and Shop, know what I mean? Especially ones (and it’s always the ones) with a particular worldview of adoption, where it’s second-best, and really a charitable act by people who have no other options. I have been asked, “Why China when there are so many needy children right here in America?” Well, why get pregnant when there are so many needy children right here in America? Why the fuck is it my job to take care of America’s needy children simply because I chose not to pass on a faulty gene to my offspring? How about your kids have one less baby biologically and adopt one of those needy kids then?

See? This is the conversation I must always fight to not have when approached at the A&P. Which is why I default immediately into my Stepford Wife/Pollyanna scripted version of “How do I say none of your business politely while making sure my kids don’t feel slighted by my response–and then escaping?” It’s work, y’all. It’s effing work.

And you wanna talk work? I’m about to get militant on the people at Children’s Hospital…and all up the chain of the United States HIPAA laws if I have to. Because I checked “Adoptive Mother” on the form for Baby Sister’s appointment (because it’s medically relevant, in terms of having no family medical history, etc), I have been informed that until I produce the original copy of her adoption decree they will not share any insurance or medical information with me because, barring that document, there is no proof I’m her mother and therefore entitled to her information. So you know what my next question was, right? “Um, do biological parents have to produce a birth certificate? Or do you just take their word for it that they are the parents?” “Silence–Um…well, not technically speaking…um..” “So let me get this right: I have to prove that I am this child’s mother but if I’d just checked “mother” you wouldn’t actually need any proof at all?” “Well…um…” “I will not be providing you with an original adoption decree until every other parent is required to also produce legal proof of parenthood.”

PLEASE give me a reason to kick your ass, stupid insurance guy. You’re not going to share information with me about my child? Oh, I think you are. And you’re going to do it without seeing one piece of paper, just like every other parent apparently gets to at your institution. Unless you want to go on record as saying that biological parents (those who check “mother”) are inherently more trustworthy than adoptive parents (those who check “adoptive mother”). Please let’s go there. Please. Because I will knock your dick in the dirt in ways you can only begin to imagine.

So. As you can tell, it’s been an Adoption-Filled day, and not in the I Feel So Blessed By God Himself For Being So Awesomely Giving way. 🙂

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3 Responses to "Well, That Didn’t Take Long"

Miz Jones! MKP forwarded the link to your blog. It was a brilliant way to catch up with your crazy and wonderful life.

Your writings made me laugh and cry – lout loud; tissues required in order to see the words. I did not realize how – terribly – much I missed your sharp and acerbic sense of humor. And, I did not realize how hard a fight you have had to wage to maintain your health. But, has you have said — the girls and the Dada give you remarkable motivation.

Stay well, stay happy and keep writing! LAH

I can’t tell you how I laugh when I read what you’re thinking , and then what you actually say. I think you’re way, way too nice to ignorant jerks who inflict themselves on you in the supermarket…people have no boundaries,and no civility anymore. And after reading your expletive rants, it cracks me up to see the smiley face at the end!!Love you.

Irene

Your ass-kicking of the hospital person was awesome.

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