This post is an attempt to have a conversation I missed yesterday, the third day of my visit to my youngest. We were getting a little edgy with our familiarity. Ezzie tossed out a saucy little comment about how I might not like one of her friends.
Not wanting to be pigeonholed, I answered maybe I would.
No you wouldn’t. She’s pro adoption.
Ok, that would be a likely conflict, not so sociable meeting point. You are right again. Let’s get these veggies home and in the fridge and change the subject.
Back home this morning, I woke up wanting to have taken that conversation deeper. How could this friend of my youngest daughter really be pro adoption? Is she a happy adoptee? What does she even know about adoption?
I suddenly did want to talk to her about it and ask her these questions. And then the remembrance of Ezzie’s throw away comment about the growth of love based activism circled back around. How do I bring love into the conversation?
What questions can I ask? How many happy adoptees does she know? How well does she really know them? Those obvious questions put her on the defensive, make her an easy adversary.That’s habitual and not what I want. She’s likely bought into the PR machine and thinks she’s idealistically speaking up for gay rights or something like that.
What does being pro adoption mean to an idealistic artistic gay woman? (Disclaimer: There has been much awkward mother/daughter stumbling about the labels I am supposed to use or not use: gay, queer, he, she, they, trans, etc. They’re still working it out so I know I haven’t got it right.) They are so busy trying to get their identities figured out, being true to themselves; I suspect them of overlooking the identity issues of adoptees. Now I sound patronizing. Yuck.
I just let out a deep sigh, a heaviness that crosses the room to my husband and my dog, as I sort out my thoughts and feelings, frustrated at my inarticulateness.
How can you be pro adoption of you’re pro woman? How can you be pro taking people’s families and identities away from them? How can you be progressive and not see neo colonialism in adoption? Adoption is not just about seeing how cute babies are and how everyone deserves a loving family. Oh to be more articulate and specific and enlightening is so much WORK. Does she work with foster kids? Does she get a sense of ambivalence there?
How silly is this conversation I’m having in my head without knowing her at all. I’ve seen her smiling picture and I know she’s been supportive of Ezzie when she needed it. It’s really a conversation with myself. I’m getting to set the scenarios and set up the remarks, the questions, the insights. It’s all my own BS. It’s good to have these little chats with myself. It helps me listen better, think and speak better.
Maybe I’ll get to meet her next time.