Suddenly, friends and family have discovered what I have been writing about daily for over a year and they are understandably confused. I would not have understood before about two years ago myself. Both of my parents were adopted and so adoption was the most natural thing in the world to me. Both of my sisters gave up children to adoption. What I can say is that ignorance is bliss.
But for adoption I would not exist and I never forget that. But for adoption my mother would have grown up in abject poverty instead of the privileges of wealth as the child of a banker and socialite. My husband has said that my story could be viewed as pro-adoption and that is the truth.
Even so, I cannot ignore the many voices of adoptees and the original mothers who have suffered because adoption carries with it inherent wounds and that is what I tend to try and explain in this blog.
Even so, today I read a heartwarming story. I am sympathetic to the pain of infertility. I do believe that couples who have struggled with that really DO need to seek counseling before adopting any child.
Back to that heartwarming story. A couple was traveling on an airplane with their 8 day old adopted daughter. The mother have given birth in Colorado. It had been nine long years of fertility treatments, miscarriages and adoption stress for this couple.
A flight attendant announced that he’d be passing out napkins and pens for anyone who wanted to jot down a message for the new parents. The cabin erupted into cheers and applause. A steady stream of people came by to coo and congratulate the couple.
One of the napkins read: “I was adopted 64 years ago. Thank you for giving this child a loving family to be part of. Us adopted kids need a little extra love. Congratulations.” YES, some adoptees are truly grateful and I do not doubt that but I pause on that thought “adopted kids need a little extra love.” Hmmmm.
The flight attendants explained to the couple that they are married, and a fellow flight attendant had done this for them while they were on their honeymoon. They wanted to pay it forward.
The new father shared, “Adoption is wild with uncertainty. You wonder, is this birth mother going to choose us? What happens if she changes her mind, if she backs out?” The overwhelming support the couple felt during that plane trip was also a time when they were worried that their daughter might somehow be stigmatized.
Southwest Airlines released a statement saying, in part, that the crew showed “kindness and heart” on that flight. Common kindness always matters. I actually do care about every part of the adoption triad. Just saying.