My daughter told us the other night of a time in middle school when she shared with two teachers her complex feelings about being adopted. Yes, I really love my family, she reported as they nodded sympathetically. But also, she continued, being adopted sometimes sucks.
The sympathetic nodding ended.
Oh, you don’t mean that! one teacher told her. The other tag-teamed: Look where you ended up. Your parents are awesome! (why thank you).
My daughter was mad at the time about her feelings being invalidated, about being told she should feel differently than she feels. She was angry that someone who doesn’t know adoption first hand corrected her about her actual experience.
As far as I can tell, neither of those teachers — one in her 30s and one in her 50s — has a direct connection to adoption. So how are they qualified to speak so authoritatively on it?
You Don’t Have to Be in Adoption to Know Adoption. Duh.
Everyone knows about adoption, right? We see it in the movies and we see it on TV and we see stories about the movies and TV shows in People magazine while we wait at the hair salon or dentist.
You know, if the movies and TV shows got adoption right, people would have a better idea what it’s like to actually live in adoption. Historically, though, the media have not gotten it right. The media have gotten adoption flat out wrong by showing incomplete slices of it, by perpetuating stereotypes, and by reducing multidimensional complexities to 2D simplicities.Continue reading Adoption on Screen: “This is Us” and “Lion” Give New Focus