Wouldn’t Want To Be Like You

I have a whole lot of adoptive parents hoping that their prescious little ones don’t turn out like me.  You know, I don’t think there’s too much chance in that happening.

Attitudes like mine don’t come overnight, it took me darn near 40 years to come up with this one.   It took time, nuturing, and determination.  As easily as things are going to come to these APs kids, I just don’t think they’ll have time.

As we know these kids will sail through life, how could they not?  Their loving adoptive parents have only the best intentions, we know those are always rewarded.  When you are a straight A student, captain of the soccer team, and giving recitals at Carnagie Hall, there just isn’t time to become dis-satisfied with your situation, or wonder what could have been.   Besides those things could dissappoint adoptive parents and nobody wants to dissappoint the greatest parents in the world.

We know these kids can’t stay by their adoptive parents sides forever, but I doubt they’ll have much trouble when they hit that ivy league university, they just won’t have time to use the college years for self-discovery.  Dual degrees in law and medicine,  even if are a genius, take a lot of time.   They will be busy preparing themselves as a fertility expert and adoption lawyer.  That’s a lot on a young person’s plate.

Then, of course they’ll met that special someone, most likely a corporate CEO who donates his whole salary to UNICEF, or possibly a heir to a royal house of Europe.  What with the wedding at St. Patrick’s chathedtral and the reception for 1000 at Tavern On The Green, they be caught in a whirlwind.

Producing an heir also has it’s stresses.  There won’t be much time to think when the perfect grandchildren start to arrive.  Besides they will be so proud to present you with these children.  How better for the perfect adoptee to show appeciation for their parents?  Then of course they will start the cycle all over again, the soccer team, the concerts at Carnagie Hall, the dual degrees.  A happy go lucky dynsaty that has never taken a moment for self examination, wonder, or one moment that was not perfectly happy, satisfied, and without fear.

Well, that is as likely to happen, as the precious adoptee should turn out like me.

I’m pretty unique, I’m pretty smart, and darn it, people like me.

I’m also pretty happy most of the time.

I wonder if some of those adoptive parents might want to reconsider.

Do Not Remove By Threat Of Law

Consumer protection agencies are involved in most facets of our lives these days. I wonder if adoptees should come with warning labels. Considering that we have become a product for public consumption, it might be in the best interest.

There could be label for those adopted at birth, specifying that there was no testing done on this particular model and no guarantees are offered or implied. One for children from foster care that specifies that some testing had been done, there is a guarantee, but consumer rights vary from state to state. Country of origin labeling would also be useful.

With the use of labeling consumers could not say that they were not warned. Use and care labels would also be helpful:

Hand Wash-Warm Water

Towel Dry

Feed FDA Approved Foods Only

Do Not Expose To Temperature Extremes Without Proper Protection

And of course, a warning label:

Your new adoptee is a self learning product, if not carefully cared for your adoptee can develop a mind of it’s own. To avoid this expose only to proper thinking. If you should develop problems with your adoptee, reprogramming is recommended. Consult your Yellow Pages for the nearest service center.


A Little More Than Kin And Less Than Kind

I loved Ophelia: Forty thousand brothers
Could not, with all their quantity of love,
Make up my sum.
Hamlet, 5. 1

I’ve always had a soft spot for tragic women. In my younger years, I fancied that I might become one, but it was not to be.

I remember growing up in my small town, I would see the ladies with their big Loretta Lynn hair, and baby blue Lincoln Continentals and think they must be like Princesses. I would remark on their beauty and style only to have my Mother say something to the effect of how “they weren’t our kind of people”. I didn’t understand, they always seemed nice enough to me.

Mother knew something I didn’t. When I asked about my first Mom, I was told that she was probably a teenager that was too young to raise me. Quite believable and I accepted it without question. It was not so, and Mother knew it.

My first Mother was 36 years old when I was born. She was raising four other chldren and had been married three times at that point. I was not the child of the man she was then married to, nor the child of the man she would marry right after my birth. There was a man listed as my Father, but first Mom knew something I didn’t.

Two women who couldn’t be more different, they both lied to me, for different reasons. one thought I’d just accept the story without ever questioning. The other, somehow suspecting that I would have a questioning nature, offered a half truth.

It is conjecture, of course, to say I can account for the motivations of either of these two women. I don’t feel that I know the hearts of either, but this is how I see it.

My a-Mother lied to me for all the reasons that a-Mothers always lie. Her own fears , self-delusion, and dread of what I might turn out to be. There is little wonder that my mention of the more free living ladies about our town made her nervous, surely she thought my first Mom must be one of them. Nothing in the world would frighten her more than thinking I might become a Virginia Slim smoking, big haired, tight sweater wearing, Lincoln driver. It was against everything she stood for.

My first Mom lied for all the reasons that first Moms lie. She didn’t want to be found, she thought I might hate her, and she feared what I might turn out to be. I’m sure she expected that I would be a Talbots wearing, country club joining, Republican, mini-van driver. I’m not sure this would frighten her, but I do know she knew these type of women did consider her “not their kind of people”.

They both underestimated me. It never occured to either that I would turn out somewhere in between, no matter what they told me. It just seems that a lot of un-necessary bullshit could have been avoided if either had any faith in me, or themselves.

Jesus, Take The Wheel

I don’t care if it rains or freezes,

as long as I have my plastic Jesus

In other parts of the interents there has been some discussion on where the money that perspective adoptive parents pay agencies goes. Monies spent on advertising was a particular point of discussion, the sums spent by Bethany more specifically. Bethany is a part of Catholic Charities and I assumed their access to resources was vast, I did some research and was correct. The sheer amount of dollars involved mad me wonder where all the revenue came from, it was more than that from the admittedly large sums paid by perspective adoptive parents could ever account for. I did some more digging and this is what I found.

Bethany does get monies from the Catholic Church that had made up for much of their revenue until recently. It seems with the death of John Paul 11, and his charisma along with him, donations are down. Pope Benedict XVI with his German sensibility about money has come up with a novel solution to revenue problems, not just for Bethany, but all Catholic Charities, Vale Added Production Based Fund-raising.

Bethany being at the cutting edge of social services and having a good ear on the street has come up with a novel solution of their own that showcases Benedict’s vision for the future of raising revenue for good works. Plastic dashboard Jesus farming.

Bethany’s program encompasses all facets of their charitable foundation. From the orphans in Guatemala who literally plant the seeds of faith in the plowed up fields that once were their playgrounds to the recipients of good works who seek to pay back those that helped them with their stands at flea markets. Bethany employees at the many US offices even get into the act, setting up and selling from cardboard display stands that they designed themselves.

The Home Grown Plastic Jesus program seeks to offer the highest quality protection from vehicular mishaps to the faithful. Agronomist from top universities were called upon to develop a hardy fast growing hybrid Saviour statuette, that compromised nothing in holy protection. Different strains were developed and tested, the little Sons of God had to be tolerant of conditions and soils in some of the poorest countries on Earth. Not only did this mark a great advance in effigy agriculture, but a hands up to the communities that would grow them. “It was all worth it when I saw the look on the kids faces at the orphanage when the Jesus’ began to sprout.” said one researcher who had worked on the project.

Marketing efforts are now underway in Western Europe and the United States. One Akron, Ohio gas station owner is quoted as saying, “I can’t keep the little fellows in my store, everybody wants one.” The Home Grown Jesus will be available in many gift catalogs next year.

It seems that the future of faith based fund raising has come into the 21st century.

Possible Outcomes

What are a rednecks last words?

Hey, watch this!

Speaking as someone with some redneck cred, that is a funny joke.

Do you know why?

Because it’s true.

Weighing possible outcomes is a weakness of my native people.   They just don’t take everything into consideration.

In the third grade, a boy in my class broke his arm jumping off the welfare apartment using a sheet for a parachute.  No one was surprised.  He was sort of a hero, like Evil Knevil.  That cast was a badge of honor.   He had taken a chance, it would have been spectacular if he had made it.

Many of our most important cultural tales contain the phases, “We was all about half tanked up” and/or “that’s when I knew I was blowed up”.  Almost all are stories of  devastation to property, bodily injury, and economic loss.   They chronicle quests for bootleg whiskey, the theft of brides, racing cars, robbing banks, and practical jokes, just to name a few.  The thing almost all of them have in common, whether they end in failure or success, is that the process of trying to obtain these goals is much more important than the outcome.  Sure the story turns on the moment they know that they was blowed up, but that’s not what it’s about, it’s about getting to that point.

The reason that things do not work out most of the time almost always lies in not taking all things into consideration.   Maybe they didn’t know about the new police car, that the train didn’t stop in the next town on Tuesday, the watermelon patch was guarded by a big mean dog, or sheets just don’t work like parachutes on a fifteen foot drop.  It just never occurred to them, they had a plan, and attempted to execute that plan.  They ended up in jail, up a tree all night, or in the hospital, but they had a hell of a good time getting there.  If they didn’t come away with anything else, they had bragging rights, and that’s worth something.

Sure with a little research things might have gone more smoothly,  but I fear that they would never have been attempted at all.   That would be a shame.  People like me would have no cultural heritage.  We would never have learned that it really doesn’t matter how it all ends as long as you took the chance.

The joy is in the ride.

What does this have to do with adoption, you ask?

Absolutely nothing, but it has everything to do with reunion.