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.