Adoption bumps into you all the time…

17 Dec


Adoption bumps into life more often than you would think.  It’s downright hard to actively avoid it, which I don’t do because it interests me, yet even when I am just living my life – it’s there.  Here are five times adoption jumped into my consciousness in the last week, without any real warning.

Watching Survivor and having one of the contestants out of the blue state:  “Jeff, there is something about my relationship to Katie, my daughter because I’m adopted. And I don’t have those connections in my life, not until I had her had I felt a real connection in my life. It’s a pure, unadulterated, pure love I have for her.” –Tina Wesson, last night on Survivor.” (credit to Lorraine at FMF who had the actual comment Tina made in this post).

Choosing to read this article in the NY Times titled “A Formula for Happiness“.  An article that should be just something to read, and hopefully, learn something from.  Of course happiness is 48% percent genetic, and if you know anything about twin studies and adoption, you know it is likely they used twins separated at birth to get to that figure…and of course they did – 111 pairs of twins who were separated at birth and adopted into different homes were part of the study.

Watching an episode of Almost Human and part of the plot was how could the defendant have been in court, and yet also kill one of the witnesses at the same time.  They query whether there is an identical twin and no there wasn’t any record of that, and then your mind automatically goes to sealed records, the history of separating twins for adoption – and that one could have been placed for adoption.  (no, that wasn’t what happened and looking up the show Almost Human on Wikipedia the title of the episode is “Blood Brothers”)

One of the people I follow on Twitter who primarily links to health articles, linked to the current posts here and here on the tragic story of Ashley Smith, an adoptee.  That took me back to this post I did about her and how I had followed her story, but didn’t know she was adopted until her mother testified at the inquiry into her death.

Another link completely unrelated – The new face of judicial defiance turns out the story the Judge is referring to, the mother has a child who was adopted, who wants to reunite with her and get to know her.

Bonus: This one was in a tweet by Claudia D’Arcy so it was from the adoption world, but adoption wasn’t mentioned.  The reason I clicked it though is due in part to all the hype about Saving Mr. Banks film, combined with the movie I watched as a child Mary Poppins, and, that I had recently been reading about the life of Walt Disney (who also happened to be an AP).  So of course, I clicked on the article about the author, only to find out she adopted a son and chose to only adopt one of the twins…

This is a pretty typical week…


Posted by on December 17, 2013 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , ,

36 responses to “Adoption bumps into you all the time…

  1. heatherrainbow

    December 17, 2013 at 1:12 am

    So that’s why all the disney characters have broken families….


    • TAO

      December 17, 2013 at 3:48 am

      Heather – he was originally an animator, and only got into that type of movies after they adopted their second daughter – whether it factored in to the story lines or not – I don’t know, but I have long thought it might have.


    • Heather

      December 17, 2013 at 7:29 am

      I’ve often wondered why so many of Disney’s main characters have lost their mothers.


  2. Snarkurchin

    December 17, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Oh my gosh… I *hate* learning that about P. L. Travers. How horrible!


    • TAO

      December 17, 2013 at 5:14 pm

      Kind of makes you sick to your stomach doesn’t it…


  3. eagoodlife

    December 17, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Another horrendous abuse of twins by choosing one over the other for adoption….there should be a law against it!!


    • TAO

      December 17, 2013 at 5:13 pm

      Von they are getting better – I think in the US NY was the first place to stop the practice (whenever possible) but not just to make two adoptions out of one pregnancy. I was horrified when I saw a post on a forum by a PAP about an expectant mother who was having twins and the agency was going to give the PAPs something like a 10% discount on the adoption fee for the 2nd baby if they took it too- WTF? That happened 5-6 years ago now…really ? for filling out a 2nd adoption petition that is fill in the blanks anyway?


  4. Lorraine Dusky

    December 17, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Adoption is everywhere in the culture! Law and Order SVU has it practically every third or fourth show; The Bachelor; America’s Next Top Model; so many nighttime dramas they are too numerous to list, and as you said, Survivor, as we both began posts with Tina’s quote. I watched the end of Homeland last night and of course they can’t continue the show with problems like expressing breast milk as part of the plot and I sat there in horror for a few moments thinking, saying –OH God, don’t tell me this is going to have an adoption in it!–until Carrie’s father finally said he would raise the child, that she couldn’t give her baby away.


    • TAO

      December 17, 2013 at 5:09 pm

      Lorraine – it really is everywhere you turn and is the result of people wanting to normalize adoption – but of course with the caveat of not wanting adoption to define the child – but you can’t get away from it because of normalizing it. Sometimes I just want to not have “adoption” be a plot line in a show because every show has them – SVU, Rizzoli and Isles, Criminal Minds, and I draw a blank but many others too.


  5. Beth

    December 17, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    The primary/primal stories of:
    -loss of mother/father/sibling/family
    -search for lost family
    -adapting to new family/environment
    -survival without family
    -rejection by or of family
    And all the possible outcomes that one could think of ARE EVERYWHERE.

    I don’t see how it can be possible to avoid it,
    Nature is filled with it.
    Even if you live in a cave…
    Doh, dang cave drawings 🙂


    • TAO

      December 17, 2013 at 8:46 pm

      You are right Beth – just seems like it would be nice if you could go a week without it being in the plot line of TV shows…


  6. shadowtheadoptee

    December 17, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I don’t really pay much attention to television, for obvious reasons. There is one thing that I keep hearing that really, though I don’t know why, makes my stomach tie up in a knot. It is a commercial for an upcoming Celine Dion Christmas special, one of those home for the holiday things. It’s the children in the commercial…hers I’m assuming…adopted I’m also assuming…Listening to the children talking about belonging, feeling a part of, happy, well it’s a Christmas special. As a Christmas special, wouldn’t it suck otherwise? lol Yep adoption is perfectly normal and we all live happily ever after, and then we grow up?

    Why do celebrities do that to their children. They want them to have normal lives, then plaster them on the television, for the entire world to see? What, exactly, is normal about that even if you weren’t an adoptee? (shrug)

    Sorry, went a little sideways on the topic, but it’s kinda been eating at me. What the heck is nnormal anyways?

    I’ve been considering becoming an unadoptee. I just haven’t figured out how, exactly, to do it. Like you say, doesn’t matter…you can’t get away from it, ignore it, escape it. It’s everywhere. Even in the Shopper’s guide, little classified ad thing. Hubby read me an add the other day: two doctors looking for an expectant mother..would pay expenses, noted that they were “financially” secure, etc Uhg, made me want to throw up. I mean, seriously, the freaking Shopper’s Guide, because we all know that expectant mothers, who want to do what’s right for their children, and make an adoption plan, read the Shoppers’s Guide looking for potential adoptive parents, especially with the lack of solicitation they would get on the web? Wonder if tequila would make it all go away?


    • TAO

      December 17, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      First it was the Penny Saver where ads were placed by prospective adoptive parents, now the Shopper’s guide. What’s even more creepy to me is Craigs List the on-line shop for anything and everything place. I think it has to become mandatory that any advertising must go in the adoptee’s Life Book. Look honey, this is the ad we placed on Craigs List to find you because we knew your mother wouldn’t bother going to an adoption agency…


    • Beth

      December 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      ya know, it’s not just celebrities that do it. I’ve seen several families this season pointing out the Chicken Soup Christmas special in their family. Especially the new families. oh crap, mine did it. Allowed a cheesy Christmas eve newspaper article telling about their special present the “live doll under the tree” that the judge “gave’ to the perfect deserving new family. “And Christmas is a time for joy.” I can only imagine what would have happened if they’d had the internet then, omg.


  7. cb

    December 17, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    You’re right about adoption being everywhere.

    I’d just watched Law and Order SVU – “Double Strands” where there turned out to be an “evil” twin, it was a bit predictable (although I thought that the actor did portray them well in that the “bad” twin isn’t totally unsympathetic despite his awful crimes).

    Btw, I’ve noticed that Law and Order doesn’t particularly like birthmothers – this one was a ghastly individual who said something like “she gave him up once and he should have taken the hint”; in another episode years ago, I remember one once where the child found her birthparents and they ended up being the ones who murdered her aparents – let’s just say not that many people would be encouraged to find their bparents based on those two episodes! Re the twin plot, they mentioned about the twins being separated and I remember there being a run on articles about it a few years ago and suspect that this particular episode was based on that.

    I just watched Dalziel and Pascoe where there was an adoption subplot (atlhough the main subplot was the child migrant scandal where they sentf UK children to Australila, supposedly for better lives but where many a time they ended up being abused in their orphanages (as in the book/movie Oranges and Sunshine).

    There are ads for a new program on Aussie TV next year called “Love Child” – trailer:

    Wiki entry:

    “Love Child is a forthcoming Australian television drama series set to screen on the Nine Network.
    Love Child follows the lives of staff at the fictional Kings Cross Hospital and the wild streets of Darlinghurst in the late 1960s. [1]
    Joan Miller is a smart and sophisticated midwife who returns home from London to take a job at the Kings Cross Hospital. Dr Patrick McNaughton is a charismatic head of obstetrics at Kings Cross Hospital. Frances Bolton is the tough matron who also controls the running of Stanton House, a home for unwed pregnant young women.[2]
    The series was created by writer/actress Sarah Lambert.”


    • TAO

      December 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      It looks like a great series – doubt it will make it over to here. Will trigger a lot of people but hopefully others will learn too.


    • Beth

      December 18, 2013 at 1:39 pm

      I hope I get to see that one cb, it looks like a good one. And totally scary to me!


  8. Beth

    December 17, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    Even if it’s not a big part of the plot often there are comments of some kind made about adoption.
    I tried writing all the shows down before, too lame to keep it up tho. It’s not just me either, the adoptee, noticing it everywhere. My husband notices too, he either records it for me, or when it comes up unexpectedly groans, and says stuff like us. omg, really? I mean really?
    I admit I do “enjoy” the trash cartoon tv shows with the extremely rude comments, south park, family guy, etc. But I think I defiantly enjoy it because others will hate it LOL

    Hell on Wheels, the mother sent her baby back east on a train with some man to raise, it has racism working in it too. That one thru me, wasn’t expecting her to do that. sacrifice survival sort of thing, sort of.

    There is some new thing I saw that has jumped on the adopt a thing program, adopt a pet, a highway, a school, an animal, whatever. It must have been to much for me, I can’t remember what it was, blocked it out LOL

    It’s the poor and cold barn dwelling baby season ya know, time for the good people to step up and do their duty. They magically turn into angels for a couple of weeks a year, so Adopt an Angel and buy them a coat and a toy and Jesus will be happy and you will go to heaven. It’s almost like buying Jesus a coat.
    And Christmas is a time for joy.

    Oh! have you seen Generation Cryo???
    VERY Interesting so far. I love this kid Bree, hard to remember she is only 17. And it’s NOT about “adoption”, same kind of thing tho.
    “The show may make some uncomfortable, but for others, “Generation Cryo” will symbolize how a new generation is redefining family.”


    • TAO

      December 18, 2013 at 12:12 am

      Sorry Beth – I have it set to 2 links and it goes into moderation… There was a discussion or article on that show – will try to dig it up – haven’t seen it yet.


  9. Beth

    December 18, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Now I know, I’ll have to leave one of them at home to get in this joint? 🙂

    I haven’t read much about it yet, just saw two episodes… I can’t wait for the next. I’m hoping everyone notices the differences in the kids searching or not wanting to search, or just wanting info or… well, it really was interesting watching the individual choices and the differences in the choices due partly to the relationship with parents, or just due to the parents and how they would feel. And they said how they feel for all to see. Some of the kids were all for it, some were not at all looked like mostly due to feeling disloyal.

    I am sure many watching are looking at Bree (the one who initiated the search for her sibs and father and wants to meet + everything) thinking she is a nut job. But I think she has her head on straight more than the rest 🙂 no fear baby. The reactions of some of the sibs to seeing his picture was very realistic, and telling. Bree’s reaction to finding him and sending him a letter… was something. The first time I saw her not smiling or hopeful and was fearful. I hope she doesn’t chicken out! I hope this guy is not a jerk and will meet and be nice to her… and his other 14 good lookin children, ug.

    After seeing their dad’s picture and mentioning how he had become real, they called another sibling to tell them. One of them said to tell the one on the phone that “the realness makes the hate dissipate some” She looked very happy to have seen his picture, when at first she wasn’t into it so much. They really gave the time and explanation to much of the emotions that were going on, lots of sib support which is awesome. It’s very interesting to watch the “peer/sib pressure” in finding this guy and how much each of them wants to know and be involved..

    The sibs donor jokes with each other are funny as hell.

    There is a lot of “proof” in this show for me. This search and all the emotions, including love and hate, is about a sperm donor. Not a mother, not a father who may have loved your mother, or not, or raped your mother, or wanted you or not…. just a sperm donor and purchased material. It proves to me it’s not all about the primal wound just with mother and the experience of birth, the wound is there from not knowing, from it being hidden, from loosing a genetic parent and adapting and “pretending”. That’s not worded so well, but you guys must know what I mean?


    • TAO

      December 18, 2013 at 2:37 pm

      I think this comment should be made into a post all on it’s own – and you should review the future episodes for the blog too…hint hint…

      Just post the second link in a separate comment and you will be fine… 🙂


  10. Beth

    December 18, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    I bumped into it on TV last night, just overheard it as I was on the computer, don’t know what show it was. But while on the computer working on I think I bumped into it again looking at 1880 Census in western North Carolina, I saw living with elderly ggggg grandparents an 18 yr old girl with a different last name, not listed as daughter, gdau, neice, servant, boarder, but as “as of family”.
    I had never seen “as of family” before. I looked and on the same page were more children in a diff family listed as “as of family”. These had the same last name. One of the daughters who was old enough to be their mother, at 13 for the oldest, but they didn’t list the kids under her name as her kids like they normally did.
    Maybe it was a term used back then? or this particular enumerators term? I don’t know, never heard it before.
    As of Family.


    • TAO

      December 18, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      Damn I got sucked into ancestry yesterday too – new data from the 1600’s and 1700’s that was very relevant. One town in particular and whoever the person was transcribing/documenting the history had the most exquisite, legible handwriting I have ever seen. Amazes me to this day the records kept pristine from back then…

      Never heard of “as of family” before – perhaps a southern term as most of my research regarding a census is more from the northern states…will keep an eye out because I read the census and then add notes under the census for the readers of the tree to gain a glimpse of the life.


      • Beth

        December 19, 2013 at 1:44 pm

        Dang, I thought for sure you might have stumbled across it somewhere too.
        sucked into ancestry is a perfect way to describe it! I really enjoy combing thru the old census records, especially the fancy written ones. You know you’ve spent too much time there when you already know which page this new person you are working on, is on. I think I could easily call myself an expert of census history in Albemarle county, Virginia! Was told I could call myself a professional leaf blower too. They say if you spend 10,000 hours working on something, you master it. Master Leaf Blower, that’s me 🙂 The internal war of my love of shade and hatred of fallen leaves may never end.

        I dunno, but I kind of like “as of family”. But probably because I don’t know enough about it yet. I doubt it is a legal thing in 1880? Unless they were bound? When did that end? I’ve seen “bound girl” listed in those cases tho.


        • TAO

          December 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

          Not sure when bound/indenture ended but it probably extended to the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. I have seen niece, grandchild, etc so could be an agreed term to use by census takers to save time? I get sucked in until my brain gets so tired I realize I am going to make a mistake – my problem is I leap from generation to generation instead of being systematic…oh well – it’s fun.


  11. TAO

    December 18, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    Just thought I would add – watched NCIS last night. The medical examiner’s assistant (I suck at names) – he and his wife are adopting. In the middle of the crisis she comes in and says something like – the agency thinks they have found a birthmother for us – or the agency called and thinks they have found our birthmother. Didn’t note the actual comment but that is how it came across and I had the predictable response of wanting to through my water at the screen and shout she isn’t a “birthmother” like some incubator for “your” baby and she certainly isn’t “your birthmother”. I think the way it came across as all joy, joy, joy – no worries or feelings for this pregnant woman who must be in crisis – just teaches the public the wrong message…

    End rant…


  12. shadowtheadoptee

    December 18, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Beth as a co-blogger…brilliant. I agree TAO with what you said about her talking about that show. That, too, is a hint, hint. lol

    I had kept seeing the promo’s, in the fall, for a show called “The Blacklist”. It looked like it might be a good show, and I liked the voice, and sound of the main character, James Spader (sp). The first episode, and guess what? The main female character, and her hubby, were, yes, you know it, trying to adopt a baby. The very first freaking episode. I thought crap, not this one too, and my heart sank with disappointment, because you just can’t get away from it. I mean was that little plot really necessary as part of the show? Poor, pitiful infertile lady? Gimme a break. I haven’t watched it since. Just don’t like her character, well, I expected ther to be more to her. James Swas cool, the rest of the show not so much imo.You know, when you can’t see what’s going on, and all you can go by is tone of voice, they better be some damn good actors to make it believable. I’ll admit, the adoption plot, right from the stard, was a bit of a turn off too.

    Not watching television doesn’t save me. The random audio books I get from the NLS…full of adoption themse too. The most recent, disturbing one, was a auto biograhy of Jerry Wintraub (sp). Guess what? He is an adoptive father. Finding him a child was very lucrative for Catholic Charities, which is funny, because he is jewish. Did not like the book at ll, nuff siad on that.

    Beth, my favorite adopt-a? Adopt-a-duck for the duck race. Benefitting the blind. For $10 you too can adopt a little yellow rubber ducky that will be turned loose on a lake. Not just real sure how rubber duckys race, but? lol


    • TAO

      December 18, 2013 at 11:59 pm

      Oh Shadow, I forgot all about that show and I have watched every episode, the adoption is still an ever present topic but very minimal. The bigger topic is why is James Spader so adamant that she (the new FBI agent) is the only one he will deal with. I’m enjoying the series and since I have come to know you, I seldom watch the TV shows like I used to, you made me aware so now I listen alot and play brain games on the DS, I watch some scenes. I think it has helped me re-train my brain.


  13. Beth

    December 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    hint hint, I’d rather ya’ll watch the show, start a blog on it, then I can come in and agree with what you say, tell you how clever you are, and make weird or funny comments, and comments about other things entirely and take it way off track like I normally do 🙂 Don’t ya’ll like it that way too?


    • TAO

      December 19, 2013 at 2:01 pm

      What network is it on – I don’t get all of them. I love the comments and how we go in different directions… 🙂


  14. Beth

    December 19, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    oh, last night I got to overhear Bill Oriely however you spell it, go on about the evil USA fund using Planned Parenthood and the war against babies, and bad mouth everything PP does. Then he said the A word, and how they do not push adoption like they do abortion and we are all going to hell or something like that. (ok, he didn’t say we were all going to hell, but that’s what I heard LOL) All those millions of babies that could be adopted…. because that’s what should be happening, to save them. All the poor infertile people who deserve to adopt these unborn. Yeah right, you know he’s worried about the babies. He sure didn’t mention anything about how much tax money is spent on the thought of adoption.

    The study of past and present Eugenics has become my new hobby. The future is quite scary imo.


    • TAO

      December 19, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      I only watch Bill if my blood pressure is too low… 🙂

      Dr. Jen Gunter has a great blog post up on where are the pro-life when it comes to infant mortality in the US… 6.4/1000 when other countries who spend less per person on health care have them in the 1.?/1000. It’s good

      Life site news has a post up on X number of abortions but only so many adoption referrals. For pete’s sake – completely different topics and if you can’t see how different they are then you have no business commenting on it…

      As to all those millions of babies being born – christian post had a terrible post up about how all single mothers should be choosing adoption – you know the million or so babies born each year to unmarried mothers – just that number alone in the US would end up with huge orphanages of children warehoused waiting for a day that never came – because the brand new babies each year are the ones wanted…nor could anyone afford to add a new baby every year at 40K a pop…let alone adding in all those whose choice is abortion…


      • Beth

        December 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm

        They leave so much out of these discussions imo. I hate to say some things about my fellow women, but we are all just that, women, and we do natural human things.
        What makes people think that if these million or so women did give birth, that they would choose adoption?????????? I mean, get real. Is the plan to force adoption on them, how is that different than forcing sterilization on them, or abortion?

        They never mention babies/embryos being created and frozen, where many expire, some are discarded and never obtain their “purpose of life as intended”.
        And they certainly don’t mention all the mess everyone can run into with adoption.

        It’s the attitude of, If one is saved, the rest don’t really matter.
        As long as the deserving get a baby, as long as a baby gets the deserving, the rest don’t matter – they are judged as bad, wrong, negative, ignorant, selfish… how aggravating they are to so many.

        This is what it all says to me: If only some people would do what some other people want them to do, and what those some people think God wants them to do, earth would simply be perfect, for some! Why can’t people see that and just go along with it, WTH! 🙂


  15. Kelly

    December 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Please sign this White House petition about adoptee rights. The deadline for signatures is Jan. 17, 2014.

    I apologize for posting in the comments, but I found no way to contact the bloggers directly. Thank you.


  16. TAO

    December 23, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Good grief – you can’t escape it on any show. We were catching up on Haven and the new cast member who just came to town – she’s adopted. Then we tuned into that new Marvel comic show – a cast member was left at an orphanage and wants to find out who she is…sigh…


  17. Beth

    January 26, 2014 at 6:55 pm

    Doh, I think they should add adoption to the warnings about nudity, violence, sex, etc. in the upcoming movie.
    The Big Wedding – Robert De Niro, Susan Surrandon, Diane Keaton…
    The adoptee in the movie, Alexandro, is the only adoptee in the family with two other children, all adults now. Alexandro is getting married. Poor Guy, coming to his wedding are his mother from Columbia, his adopted mother, and his step mother. Tons of sex stuff and infidelity comes to light, his adopted brother and bio sister hook up, then Alexandro finds out that his biofather isn’t who he thought, and the mother doesn’t say who he really is.
    No big deal ya know.
    Poor Alexandro! And this was supposed to be a comedy!
    I am developing a deep hatred toward brainwashing cheesy movie makers.
    Then I watched Lizzie Borden 🙂



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