12 Sep

We’ve been watching AGT for the last few years, can’t say I’m particularly a fan, but I don’t mind it most of the time. Except for the sob stories used to garner votes. I don’t mind hearing their back story of how they got to where they are, I just don’t want to hear a blatant pull-on-your-heart-strings sob story.

And I especially don’t want to hear an adoption sob story.

Years past, there have been young adoptees performing, and for the most part, their back-story has included adoption but hasn’t gone to the depths the adoption story this year has, even if some have offered more than I’d be comfortable with. With this season, I, and all the others watching the show, the spin-off articles telling the children’s back stories in detail is over-the-top and wrong. It’s your job as the parent to protect your child’s story so they have the agency to tell it, or not, when they’re adults. I’m not assuming you don’t love your children if you share more than you should, but they shouldn’t be accessories to give you better odds of winning. There’s a way to talk about the hard paths your child lived that makes it clear they had the opposite of a privileged life – without going into detail in front of millions of people.

Why do some think the adoptees story is fair game for promotion?

In what other situation would it be acceptable to tell another’s most private of all stories, and then, get patted on the back for telling it? And yes, I understand most that overshare truly want to get more people to foster, more people to adopt, and you likely believe if other people just knew how bad some children are treated, they to would climb on board. But at what cost to the one fostered or adopted? Why deny them agency over their story? And certainly they could/can chose as a young adult to tell their story, and encourage people to dig deep and consider fostering and helping children, you as the parent could be part of that telling too, but as a parent of young, vulnerable children who’ve seen and experienced far too much, your role is to protect them.

It’s also unnecessary if you’re entering a talent show, people should win on their talent or not.

I didn’t intend this post to go off on the tangent above, I wanted to talk about how publicly told adoption sob stories trigger me, can trigger other adoptees. Why we continue to plead with adoptive parents to not do this. Why should you care about some random adoptee you don’t know getting triggered? Because it may be your child getting triggered by oversharing of another adoptees story, or you oversharing their story.

For me personally? My husband loved Michael’s first song, I was spitting nails before he’d even begun to sing, so I have no idea if it was good. We got into one of our few fights that night, he didn’t get it. The next time Michael sang, I tried to hear, he tried to understand, then we had a decent conversation about oversharing, the saviorism, the potential for the accolades to become something they need, and how that could impact the family dynamics, and so much more. The third night, he’d obviously spent time thinking about our conversation and I think he got it, he also got that he can’t ever truly understand because he isn’t adopted.

Find the middle-ground when you share your child’s story, please.





Posted by on September 12, 2018 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , ,

13 responses to “Oversharing

  1. Dannie

    September 12, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Ha I was wondering if you had seen this and if anyone would write about it. Truly a lot of oversharing especially now that everyone has access to internet and tv shows, which can include birth families etc. Plus how will they be treated at school now? As for the singing, I personally do like voices like that, more earthy sounding…..but the backstories eeeek I think it’s too much.
    I know for me, I stopped blogging because the internet is forever and kids grow. It’s enough Disney channel teeny bopper shows that my 9 yo loves are now talking about adoption all the time and making jokes at times and what not, more exposure from me would not be helpful


    • TAO

      September 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm

      I needed some distance (lots of distance) from that first show to a place where I could rationally write about it. I was serious about spitting nails…just hope someone who needs to hear it can in this toned down post.

      As to ‘how will they be treated in school’ – my biggest fear honestly – salacious gossip travels faster and farther than just about anything, it’s never forgotten either. Just really sad how folks don’t even consider the long-term potential harms, or the harm to their relationship.


  2. legitimatebastard

    September 12, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    I’m glad I don’t own a TV. Whatever this chld’s adoption story is, he is a minor. It was talent show. No one would talk about grandma’s surgery and that she has to live with us now. Nor would anyone talk about parents divorcing or … Stay on the topic on the talent show.


    • TAO

      September 12, 2018 at 4:06 pm

      Multiple children, multiple stores overshared. The sob-stories seem to becoming more of a trend lately, not necessary, win on talent alone. And don’t share your child’s adoption story to millions of people…


      • Heather

        September 12, 2018 at 10:43 pm

        I agree, what does someone’s back story have to do with their talent?

        t’s not respectful of the child at all. As has been said many times, the internet is forever.


        • TAO

          September 13, 2018 at 1:13 am

          Exactly – google your name as a teen…ugh


  3. Heather

    September 12, 2018 at 10:41 pm

    While I don’t watch AGT I totally understand what you are saying.

    A number of years ago while waiting in a ride line at Disney World I overheard the conversation ahead of us. I learned way too much about a young girl’s life from her oversharing adoptive grandmother. It wasn’t her story to tell and the worst part was the way they spoke as if the girl wasn’t even there.


    • TAO

      September 13, 2018 at 1:12 am

      People are so clueless / savorism


  4. Tara-Anita Brown

    September 14, 2018 at 5:00 pm

    When I hear persons tell an adoptees story (or talk about it) or even just say that the person is adopted, there is an air and tone of pity and gossip. It makes me cringe. As a far participating on AGT or other promotional tv shows their adopted status should have nothing and has nothing to do with them performing. It seems as if they think that if they mention it, it people would feel sorry for them and would favour them more to win (roll eyes and smh). Plus the parents for the most part (in my opinion) use it to inflate their own egos. ironically, they don’t realize that their adopted child’s talent is hereditary its in their genes,, from their biological family, not from them.


    • TAO

      September 14, 2018 at 7:24 pm

      Thank you Tara-Anita – me too.


  5. beth62

    September 15, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    Everybody’s got a story they could use. Looks that way anyway!
    Looks like it’s a requirement for most shows, cough up a tear jerker. Just cause it’s called a documentary doesn’t change things either.
    When your story includes children and the deeply personal parts of their story, even with their permission…. (a child’s decision/permission, really?) it upsets me too. Whether it’s personal stories of adoption, foster care, illness, accident, poverty, abuse, social stuff, a talent, an opinion, idea, potty training, whatever – other’s Will reuse your story for their own means. Good intentions or not, I think your chance of being used by someone else is Huge today.

    Better think on it hard before using that one to win the gain.
    What if you loose?
    Is the chance to win worth it?

    Who’s really to blame for all these cornball stories of helping others, overcoming traumas and hard times, rising up, in our media? 🙂

    It’s one of the most basic primal needs for humans to connect with each other, even if it’s just reading about a stranger in a book or a blog. How do they do it, what do they think about it, what happened to them, could I help them, could they help me?

    We want to share our stories and hear of others, but safely. So much so, sometimes we throw caution to the wind. There is a primal hunger for it. Sometimes even fiction is a fix, if we can get caught up in it enough. How many episodes of a series have you impatiently waited on, how many books couldn’t you put down, just to hear more of the stories of the people involved?
    I don’t have a real need to find out how others deep sea fish, dig for gold, build on frozen ground. It’s their personal thoughts and actions, how they deal with things in their life, that keeps me watching, keeps me wanting that connection, as distant as it is.

    These personal stories, wherever or however they are told often get used by others. That’s usually where the trouble begins.
    And others use those stories to make money, gain ratings, spin their own game on it. Use them to make their own point – good and bad.

    Nearly everything you see and read. Somebody’s giving up something, or has taken somebody’s to give up and use, or is just making it up as they go. And we want it, ask for it, can’t get enough, can’t seem to live without the stories of others. The deeper, the more personal, honest and vulnerable it gets, the better.

    There’s only a couple of things we really need to survive well on this planet before our lives are done: Earth (shelter, water, food) and connection with other humans. Like it or not, fight it all ya want, good luck with that ☺.

    Oh yeah, there is a show on now, Castaways, that delves into the need for connection. People struggling to make sense of things in their lives and decide to self-strand on islands to think about it or prove something to themselves. They each packed a bag, but some end up with another’s bag. They learn about the person from the clothes they wear, things they packed… and a journal. Then they decide if they want to survive alone or go looking for others to survive with, and if either are really a good idea, or not. All have been excited to meet the person who’s journal they’ve been reading, they already feel connected, concern, compassion, curiosity. I’m waiting on the next episode.

    ramble ramble Don’t tell a kids deeply personal story on international story telling forums. Everybody knows singers and dancers are a dime a dozen. If they use a kids story to win – don’t fall for it. Complain to Simon 🙂 They are the ones using the kid (your kid) for more money and fame – for themselves.
    Wake up 😴

    Liked by 1 person

  6. beth62

    September 20, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Looks like his story and mutilated Garth song got him 5th place.
    What can ya say 😀 way to go Dad.
    Grumpy great grandpa got all bent over the voting. Grumpy great grandma said, Silly, it’s not about who has the great talent. It’s about who will work the best in Vegas. And who the young girls, who actually vote and buy music and tickets, like the best. Looks like they really like the show US, cute boys and cheerleaders. Imagine that 🙂
    That was fun watching at the great grumpy house. And we think we are grumpy LOL We don’t even know what grumpy is!!


    • TAO

      September 20, 2018 at 3:31 pm

      I’m looking forward to becoming more grumpy – although it seems lately I’m just more sad and troubled, but that too shall pass. Great Grandpa/ma – sound like me an hubs – have to say, he was not rooting for Michael – he’s been thinking about that over display a lot…



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