Like most problems, it started off innocently enough. I joined Facebook. I loved connecting with old friends and getting to know new friends. And man, what a great communication tool.
Then I started a blog. No big deal. Lots of people blog.
Then it was Facebook groups. Adoption related groups everywhere. Cool. So cool. Then not cool.
How did I land on a Facebook group where everyone was in agreement that adoption was the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a person? Wait. Okay, maybe this is cool. Other view points and all that. Adoption truly is the worst thing that ever happened to some people. I get that. I hear you. Whoa. Hold the phone. Did they just refer to all adoptive parents as “Adopters”?
As in, “Adopters all think they are entitled to other peoples children!”
This group seemed particularly hard on the adoptive parents of the Baby Scoop Era. That’s when I was adopted. They were talking about my parents. Say what you want about me (Call me an adopter? I am rubber and you are glue..). Say what you will about your own parents, I don’t know them. Maybe they don’t deserve to be called your parents. But all adoptive parents? Across the board? My parents? Step back.
Actually, it was me that needed to step back. In spite of the fact that this group has a name that felt like it might be a good place for me, it wasn’t. This group is for people who have had negative experiences with adoption to share freely. Sorry. Carry on. Speak your truth. I will quietly close the door on my way out.
Then no matter where I went, if it’s about adoption, the subject of Gotcha day cannot be far behind. For the record, we celebrate it. We celebrate for a bunch of reasons, if you want to know why, I have posted about it several times, most recently (over 3 years ago!) here.
I understand if you don’t celebrate it. You do what is right for your family. I support you.
I get it if you celebrate it and call it by your own special name. Family day? Cool. Adoptiversary? Awesome. But the venom this name Gotcha sometimes inspires? I recently read a comment that said “I have never cared fort the g-word.” Is it really so horrible that we cannot even utter the word? We have the n-word, that makes sense. The f-word, again okay. But the g-word?
The thing that got me, that pushed over the edge, was a particular post. A link with a photo of a “Gotcha day” keepsake item that was for sale. The poster said that some people were just never going to get that “Gotcha day” is offensive to adoptees. Hold on. I am an adoptee. When did I give her permission to speak for me? She doesn’t know my kids, how could she possibly know how they feel?
Several commenters weighed in in agreement but the one I remember most called the keepsake “horrifying”. HORRIFYING? That’s pretty strong.
I was feeling pretty heated. Then I realized something truly horrifying. I was becoming a crazy person. I needed to shut my computer down. Get out of the house. Do some errands.
I headed straight to Target. I looked at my fellow shoppers and realized none of the stuff I got worked up about was even on their radar. If I had a chance to interview each person there and ask them to tell me something horrifying, I would probably hear things like, cancer, world hunger, ISIS, Ebola. I am willing to bet not one person would say, “Well there is this Gotcha keepsake…”
Target gave me perspective. And new placemats.
Some time has passed since that day at Target. I think I am okay now. I still check stuff out. After all, adoption is a central force in my life. I do want to hear other points of view. Small doses are key.
Besides, I have my own crap to deal with. For example, there is someone our family who is clearly starting menopause, while someone else is smack in the middle of puberty. Our house is a hormonal firestorm. I have a human and a canine with epilepsy to manage. And there is the ongoing mystery of why if my two sons are the only ones to use their bathroom, why are there 4 toothbrushes in there? And why does it appear they both use the same one? I have a life to live. A family to enjoy. Mysteries to solve. A computer to spend less time on.