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Last nights episode of Who do you think you are…

19 Feb
I just watched last nights episode that showcased Rosie O’Donnell’s search of her mother’s side of the family.  When I first heard she was doing the show I was horrified because of her prior statement about what she told her kids about why they are adopted. 
Watching the show I could see her emotions and throughout the episode I kept hoping the penny would drop and she would become an advocate for changing the laws for adult adoptees…sadly..it is all about her…
She traced back to her maternal family back to great-great grandparents in an Ireland work house…
And she ended with I can’t wait to tell my kids what I found
Now they may think it is great.  They may enjoy her ancestry.  They will ‘get’ that is part of who she is and where she came from…it may be great for all time…and at the same time, consider what they will think if when they get to her age (48) (or any age for that matter) and want to know where ‘they’ come from, what makes them, ‘them’.  All the while knowing their mom went on a journey to discover where ‘she’ came from that made ‘her’ who ‘she’ is…and find out she has done nothing to help ‘them and perhaps even hindered ‘them’ to have the ‘same’ right she has, and used that right on national tv…to discover who ‘she’ is…sad she cannot see exactly what that may do to them.  Kind of like pouring salt on a wound if you ask me. 
I would not want to be in her shoes if that day ever comes…
We all deserve to know where we came from.  Who we are…What paths our ancestors followed, what challenges they faced, what tragedies they bore, what made them who they were and contributed to who we are today…I want to know all 4 of my family trees in-depth as far back as I can, with as much detail as I can find…they are all important…every single one of them…

 

 

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9 Comments

Posted by on February 19, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics

 

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9 responses to “Last nights episode of Who do you think you are…

  1. Von

    February 19, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    Absolutely, as an adoptee who has been lucky enough to discover those lines back to 1770 on one side, it is enormously important.So sad when someone is selfishly blocking of others without thought or comprehension.

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  2. cb

    February 20, 2011 at 1:09 am

    I found this link – I thought being in Australia, I wouldn’t be able to watch it but I can, so here it is:

    http://rlstv.com/2011/02/19/who-do-you-think-you-are-us-rosie-o%E2%80%99donnell-season-2-episode-3/

    I’m going to watch it now so will comment more later.

    Talking about family trees, I’m interested in all 4 of my family trees as well.

    With my amum’s family, I have discovered that a distant UK ancestor founded a bank (this bank became infamous for having collapsed owing to the act of one man back in the 90s – a major international story at the time). My ggggrandfather was Chief Justice of Maoris and my ggggrandmother was Maori, which makes my mum 1/16th Maori – of course, that sort of brings home the fact that of course, I am not 1/32 Maori, not being a blood relative. I asked mum recently about looking at a photo of her granddad (which I’d seen in the past) and she said she had given them all to her sister as she didn’t think we would be interested. I was rather hurt because she could have asked first, these are people she had talked about through her life so why wouldn’t we be interested.
    With my maternal biological family, I know the names of my closest 3000 relatives LOL – well, I have them in 3 family history books. In fact, I wrote away for the books before even contacting the family and was pleasantly surprised to see photos in them as well – I was able to check out my mother, her brothers, her mother and father and her maternal grandparents and paternal grandfather. I got the impression from the photos that my grandmother and maternal great grandmother were the true heads of their household – that’s the way it should be lol. Though my biological family tree may be less “auspicious” than my mum’s family, it is more “me”, I feel more of a connection to my bgrandmother and great grandmother and other ancestors than my adoptive ones because they are intrinsically “part” of me (btw I have not met any of the grandparents/greatgrandparents, either biological or adoptive, they have all passed away).
    Btw the very first photo I saw of my birthmother was in the above books and the first thing I noticed was her arm and I thought “that’s my arm” – it was identical to mine.

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  3. Dannie

    February 20, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    I don’t follow Rosie that much because I find her rude and crass as a person in general, so I missed what she has said about her children….

    however, if she is actively blocking her children’s ability to search out their hx, that is a shame.

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    • cb

      February 21, 2011 at 1:32 am

      Dannie, I believe she said something along the lines of God making a mistake and putting her child in the wrong tummy. Apparently also she and her brother (not the one in the video) are against open records for adoptees. She is apparently worried that her children’s mothers will ask for money if they knew who she was. I think her brother is a legislator or something.

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  4. Raven

    February 21, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Rosie’s brother is a New York State legislator. Every adoptee I know who has approached him about the issue of open records and adoption reform has been met with sarcasm and contempt. They are not nice people…

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  5. shadowtheadoptee

    February 21, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    What an interesting comment for her to make considering her connection, and ties, to a particular agency, which seems to have run into a bit of trouble and bad press? Things that make me go “Hmmmm?”

    I was also wondering as I watched, and listened to her talking about how she couldn’t wait to tell her children what she had found out about her heritage, just what she would tell them about their own heritage, should they ask?

    My adoptive family talked frequently about their ancestory, and family. They felt records were important. Family Bibles were passed down from generation to generation with names, dates of births, marriages, deaths, etc. I loved listening to the stories, and tales about my adoptive family. In a way it is in part, a part, of me, but it is also not part of me. The feelings, as I listen to my adoptive family’s family history were not the same as the feelings I felt as I researched the maternal side of my biological family. The connection I felt to the ancestory of my adoptive family is not the same as the connection I feel to the ancestory of my biological family.

    The feelings I felt as I stood at the grave site of my great, great, great, great, great grandparents is one of being grounded to a heritage that is truly mine. I did not know them, had never met them, because they had passed long before my parents were even a glint in the eye of their fathers. Still, that feeling I felt standing there, feeling the headstones, so worn and smooth, moved me like little else in my life has ever done. It grounded me in “who I am”. I hope Rosie did learn something, and feels some compassion for the children she adopted when they want to know more about “who they are”.

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  6. The adopted ones

    February 21, 2011 at 9:23 pm

    Thanks everyone…I have just been horrified, amazed at the gall, mad, angry…such a range of emotions every single time I thought about her doing the show. I wasn’t going to watch it but I had too – like watching a trainwreck – hoping somehow the switch would be thrown and she would realize…perhaps she will now, one can always hope but the cynic in me says she won’t, I don’t believe she has it in her.

    Normal family history that is passed down each generation is one thing in an adoptive family, stories shared, it gives you a sense of what made your parents. Going on TV and conducting a search that you KNOW your kids cannot do is just plain mean, nasty, ill-advised and incredibly self-absorbed. Especially when you are AGAINST open records for adult adoptees…that is what galls me the most.

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  7. cb

    February 22, 2011 at 10:40 am

    Near the end of the show, she says “the murthas are alive and well today inside of me” and I thought, what about those families that live inside of her children?

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