To unwind from the stresses of life, I enjoy live music whenever I can. On Thursday Nov 1, I arrived a bit late for a performance by an Irish rock band that I know. Then, on Friday Nov 2, I attended a show by a local boy who made it “kinda-big,” as he would say.
Now, I made my way through the front door, paid for my ticket, and walked by people sitting at the bar to find a seat. A woman called out to me saying that she recognized me from the previous night. “If the violin player had a sister, it would be you! You look just like her!” she said.
At first, I took that as a compliment. I don’t think I look like the young woman who plays the violin, but, okay, I’ll accept that perhaps I do! Thank you! Must be the Irish in me!
But that compliment also stung. I’m adopted. I met my natural family already. No more surprises, please.
As this woman and I talked, it was light, fun, and filled in some blanks for me about the table full of people at the previous night’s show.
As it always happens, conversation led to, “And what do you do?”
Well, I answered that I’m a writer.
“Oh,” the woman said. “And what do you write?”
“I write about adoption. I’m adopted.”
The woman immediately drew conclusions. “Well, you should be grateful your mother didn’t have an abortion.”
I cringed. This correlation, again, by someone who knows nothing of the topic. It was obvious she wanted to tell me how to think and how to feel.
I stopped her dead in her tracks. “My mother died. And I’m not grateful.”
The woman looked stunned. “She did? When?”
“When I was three months old,” I said. “My mother was dying from cancer while pregnant with me.”
“Well, then. She could have had an abortion to save her life! She didn’t! And you are here!” This woman was so confident in her answer, she was beaming with delight.
Now my blood boiled. “Abortion was not even discussed. My parents were married. You seem to know a lot about my mother that I don’t know!”
I fumbled in my wallet and gave her my card – my business card that not only advertises my memoir, but also explains that my mother died and her death led to my adoption. My card also addresses identity theft inherent in adoption.
“Here,” I said. “Read this when you get home. By the way, adoption is baby-trafficking, baby-selling. I don’t think you want to keep going on the topic of adoption or abortion.”
The woman threw her head back in disbelief. She didn’t say it, but the words were written all over her face, “What? How could you possible think that adoption is child trafficking?”
“Just read my card when you get home. There’s much to adoption that you don’t understand or even know about.”
I moved away from the bar and took a seat to be nearer the stage.
I love it when people who know nothing about adoption explain their misconceptions to an experienced adoptee.
And please, don’t ever compare me to an abortion. You don’t know the circumstances of my mother’s pregnancy, my mother’s illness, or my birth. I do. I met my father in 1974. He told me everything.
Stop Adoption ‘Splaining to Adoptees. We are the experts, not you.
Adoption is Not an alternative to Abortion. We are not grateful to be alive because adoption took us away from our families. Adoption took away my birth certificate and gave me a fake one.
I’d like to abort anyone who feels the need for Adoption ‘Splaining to me. Ask questions. That’s how you learn.