Tuesday, March 24, 2009


The night before last, I ventured north for a family dinner at my Mom's. During the dinnertime conversation a story was told where the protagonist was referred to several times as being adopted. It made me immediately go on the defense -- to the point where I stopped the story midway through to ask why this clarification was important. To this person's credit, they had a somewhat valid point, had I been uncharacteristically patient and allowed the whole story to play out. I also know that adoption is a non-issue in my family because my own sister is herself adopted -- so I'm not throwing this person under the bus, but instead, allowing this conversation to be a catalyst to what, I think, is an important point.

We have all been a part of conversations where someone embarks in an epic story about this person or that person and in a hushed tone includes their religious affiliation, and/or their sexual orientation, and/or their ethnic decent, etc... as adjectives to the story. But in reality, these tidbits of "juicy information", serve no purpose in the outcome or theme of discussion. I hate that. And I hate it even more now that my future daughter has the potential to be part of those types of conversations. I never want the fact that she's adopted from Ethiopia, make it into conversations, just because. I want people to look at her and refer to her as my daughter, not my adopted daughter. I think including irrelevant adjectives to stories can sometimes just set people apart and highlight differences in a negative way. I am not an idiot, clearly people will know that my daughter is adopted, but I don't think that this distinction is necessary in casual conversation. I have no issues talking about most anything, in fact, I usually embrace it -- and I am more than willing to talk about adoption, and my adoption process with my daughter if that is, in fact, the topic of conversation. Okay, I will step off my soapbox now. Just had to get that off my chest.

Back to dinner. It was great to see everyone.. it had been a long time. We celebrated both Maddy and Myle's 4th and 2nd birthdays, which made me happy because that meant cake and ice cream. My mom is sporting her new AHOPE t-shirt that she got her for her own upcoming birthday too. (Pictures are coming... my computer and I are at war, and I have seemingly lost yet another battle and don't have the patience required to upload a few photos)

Oh PS -- there have been at least two referrals this week... so, that means I'm moving up the list still. Whaoo hoo.


Julie said...

Shauna, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I have no idea what happened to it?! It disappeared into cyberspace. I didn't want you to think I rejected it or something. I admire you so much for the work that you do. You are a very strong person, and I know you make a difference in the fragile lives of those kids. Can't wait for your referral!


Eastiopians said...

Hey! I am right behind you on the girl waiting list with AGCI...I am #20....but like you said our numbers should be slightly smaller b/c of referrals. Anyway, we may end up traveling together in the future...so it's nice to *blog meet* you. ;) I'll add you to my blog roll.