I saw a television show today about adoption. On the surface it was supposed to be one of those home decorating shows that run on HGTV and DIY 24 hours a day. The premise of the show had two very hipply dressed hosts visiting a home in need of spiffing up. They achieve this by selling the families old possessions in a yard sale, then use the money to buy new hipper decorating things. It is implied that with this done the family will experience complete happiness, at least until they aren’t hip anymore.
In this episode they came to rescue a family of three living in an average tract house somewhere in southern California, like they always do. Dad was a slender balding systems analyst and Mom was a big and perky party planner. The daughter was a beautiful impish eight year old obvious international adoptee. Though it was never mentioned, I assume she was of Indian decent.
Most of the families house was a mish mash of things that seemed to have all belonged to the parents since before their marriage. There had been no thought given to decorating, except for the little girls room. It had been painted a bright blue, with bunk beds covered in tulle, and finished out in a Barbie and Horse theme. I imagine it was the Mother’s idea of a perfect little girl’s room.
In this show, each family member is responsible for deciding if their own things will be put in the garage sale, and the hosts speak to them individually about things that they feel need to be sold. They spoke with the little girl first.
The host assumed that she would want to keep her Barbies, she didn’t. She said that she never played with them and didn’t care if they were sold. He then asked her if she wanted her new room done in a horse theme, since there were so many on the high shelves all around the room. She said no, she didn’t really like those either, and since they were on such a high shelf she never got them down. She didn’t like her bunk beds either.
They then brought in the Mother and told her that the girl didn’t want the toy horses anymore. The Mother refused to let the toy horses be sold, she had always wanted them so badly as a child. All the while the girl sat there, with that reserved erect posture, so different than the adoptive Mother, saying nothing, looking only at the TV host who had taken up her cause. It looked to me like she actually had some hope in getting rid of the unwanted toys at first, but then I saw a look of resignation, she knew she would be keeping the horses. I knew that look so well.
I felt so bad for that little girl. I knew that wasn’t the first or last battle she would lose. I knew exactly how she felt.
I didn’t watch the rest of the show, I already knew how it would come out.