14 Jan

I love genealogy.  Most know, I spend as much time as I’m able to, working on any one of my four family trees.  I’m also the keeper of family papers and letters.  Today, I want to talk about a sentence in one of those family letters.  Looking back, I’ve had that letter for about a decade, I probably read that particular letter a year or so later, since then, I’ve let it sit for a while inside of me…

I wasn’t ready to talk about it, here, or even how to, until, I read a post the other day.

I’m Exactly the Same Now as I Was at 2 Years Old

In that post, one sentence kept coming back to haunt me.  I couldn’t figure out why, it wasn’t the worst sentence I’ve read that’s related to adoption, so why did it keep bothering me.  This morning, the penny dropped, and I realized, it’s because the feelings evoked inside of me from reading that one sentence, are the same feelings evoked from that one sentence in the family letter about us kids.

Sentence from the family letter in my possession: “Their three borrowed children are all smart enough.”

Sentence from the post linked above: “When cared for well with love and attention, she is likely to be a good adoptive material.”




Posted by on January 14, 2016 in Adoption


Tags: , ,

8 responses to “Triggers…

  1. pj

    January 15, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Tao-Had to read both posts over couple times this morn…then went on to read news where local couple trying to adopt 3 Ukrainian children (while asking the community to donate $125 K) as “love these kids and always felt they were mine”. Guess they’re considered good adoptive material and all smart enough…. Yes, sometimes it’s just too much .. Thoughts are with you.


    • TAO

      January 15, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      pj – I think you understand…I sat with that sentence, the visceral reaction evoked, complicated with, who, that person was, the ramification/reverberations if those feelings were known, the timeframe. Complicated.
      Add the other sentence – the reality of feeling like little, itty-bitty people being judged ‘good enough’ for adoption….
      Still can’t explain…but I hope people mull on the flip-side for even a minute…


  2. By any other name

    January 16, 2016 at 12:02 am

    That would be seriously disturbing. My thoughts are with you.


    • TAO

      January 16, 2016 at 4:23 am



  3. L4R

    January 16, 2016 at 4:41 am

    That is one loaded statement: “borrowed children” and “smart enough.”

    Don’t belong in the fold and not quite good enough. Us v. them mentality. The outsiders are smart enough, but not as smart as our own family.

    Very painful. I’m sorry.


    • TAO

      January 16, 2016 at 4:53 am

      It definitely made me sit back and whoa with a sting…but I’m logical, I know the era, the age…feel worse if my parents knew the attitude…if that makes sense…it would have really hurt them…but…the sentence didn’t fade away either – apparently it’s a keeper in my mind…it is what it is. When I read the other post, it triggered a reappearance…

      How have you been?


      • L4R

        January 17, 2016 at 5:55 am

        Not too bad. Making it successfully through the winter. You?


  4. Carol A. Hand

    January 25, 2016 at 5:51 am

    I find both statements absolutely offensive and dehumanizing – both remind me of advertisements for slaves or children scooped up from urban streets in the 1850s through 1929 and sent westward on “Orphan Trains” to be “placed out” with farm families.



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