Sunday, March 11, 2007

Real Kids

Real kids have always intrigued me.

Real kids are the ones who grew up with the people who created them. What a weird concept.

What is that like? I don’t know.

To live with people who look like you. Even if they are assholes, they still are yours. What a bizarre thing.

All my life I’ve been surrounded by real kids. I’ve got one. I'm a step-mom to a few of them. I’m married to one. I was adopted by two of them. I work with them. I live next door to them. Even though I don't remember her, a real kid gave birth to me. Another real kid made her pregnant.

I like real kids, even though the majority of them don’t know shit about being adopted. And why should they? They’ve never thought about it really. It’s only when a real kid winds up somehow knowing a fake kid like me that they start to think about it.

I read a book over the weekend by a real kid that knocked my socks off. Actually that is a lie. I read the book Saturday and into Sunday... I started it when I went to bed Saturday, and it kept me up all night. And then when it was over I spent the next two hours crying.

When I came back here tonight I meant to catch up on all the blogs I wasn’t able to read last week, but instead I read back through this real kid’s archives at her blog.

Julia Scheeres is one damn cool real kid. She’s got a great blog. She’s been blogging since 2005 actually; I just never knew about her until I came across her book at Barnes & Noble this weekend. Julia Scheeres also wrote a book that kept me up all Saturday night.

Jesus Land is her story of being a real kid with an adopted brother, David, just a few months younger than her. Julia’s white. Her adopted brother David was African American. They were 16 years old in the middle of the racist Midwest. Holy crap. This is an amazing story about abuse, racism, adoption and another multi-billion dollar industry just as corrupt as the adoption machine – the horrific and despicable practice of sending ‘troubled’ teens away to tough love for-profit boot camps.

I think what I loved most about this book, bizarrely enough, is that I couldn’t relate to either Julia or David. I could kinda relate to David, being adopted, but shit I couldn’t relate to being the only African American in town. And I could kinda relate to Julia, as she’s only a few years younger than I am and has a kick-ass memory of what it feels like to be 16, as well as providing a kick-ass musical soundtrack in my head as she brought back memories of all the cool hits from the ‘80’s. But I can’t relate to being a real kid. All I could do was let their stories wash over me and listen to what she had to say. And then marvel at her as Goddess-like, she descends into the underworld of Escuela Caribe like Isis searching for her lost brother/son.

Jesus Land is an incredibly powerful book. So powerful I wanted to share it with y’all if you haven’t read it already. I’m pretty grateful I found it.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some blog reading I need to catch up on.

Buy this book, you bastards! Don't forget.

11 complaints from ingrates:

Anonymous,  March 11, 2007 at 7:50 PM  

It is a shame when "Christians" forget that the greatest commandment is to love their fellow man.

ULB loving husband.

MomEtc. March 11, 2007 at 9:15 PM  

I've got to read this book. It'll break my freaking heart, but I've gotta read it.

Possum March 11, 2007 at 10:15 PM  

Just had a peak at the blog. WOW.
Thanks for the heads-up on this one.
Might not be able to get it her in OZ - will have to check it out.
Yeah - I'm sure I'll be crying my eyes out also.
Your also right ULB loving hubby - this commandment seems to be on the top of the forgetful list for Christians - way too often.

Ungrateful Little Bastard March 11, 2007 at 10:54 PM  

It is a shame, cool husband. They should go to your family's church.

MomEtc, yeah, I think you will love it and cry.

Possum I know in the UK it was published as "Another Hour on a Sunday Morning".

Possum March 11, 2007 at 11:25 PM  

Why - oh - why do publishers feel the need to change the name of the book depending on the country it is landing in?????
It's not like the UK and the US speak different Englishes!!!!!
Just one more thing that really pisses me of!!!!
OK - back to the Uni books for now...........

Ungrateful Little Bastard March 11, 2007 at 11:36 PM  

ahahahahaha Possum. You mean Another Hour on a Sunday Morning doesn't translate into Jesus Land in UKish? LOL! I don't know publisher's reasons for different titles for books/movies either. Is a puzzlement.

Doughnut March 12, 2007 at 7:06 AM  

Thanks for sharing Theresa. I will have to check out her blog when I have more time. Monday mornings can be rushed (which is when I am typing this comment). I haven't read this book, but being a "real kid" having grown up and still living in the midwest, I can probably relate to what Julia has to say. It is very "lily white" in most of the midwest and of course when you tell someone that that is your brother...a great many thoughts go thru their head insantaneously.

Anonymous,  March 12, 2007 at 3:01 PM  

I will get this book tomorrow when I go to the library. Thanks!!!

Unknown March 12, 2007 at 3:28 PM  

Real kids have always been mysterious to me too, I was talking to one about adoption last night, his father was very abusive, we talked about the fact that even though his father gave him a tough time he had all the rest of his family too, like aunts uncles cousins.

A whole group of real people.


Ungrateful Little Bastard March 12, 2007 at 5:45 PM  

Hi Lee. I spent the years between 7th and 11th grade in various Chicago suburbs. The neighborhoods tended to consider themselves 'educated' so there was never any overt racism, HOWEVER there was a kind of racism by default in that every face was a whiter shade of pale, with the exception of only one of the schools I went to. While no one would ever dare speak any racist thoughts, I'd have to wonder what type of reception Julia and David would have received in some of my schools. I think (hope) they would have been treated better than what they received in Indiana, but I honestly can't say that for sure.

Ungrateful Little Bastard March 12, 2007 at 6:24 PM  

Yep. A whole group of real people. Bizarro, totally.

I hope they have it Mia, it's a good one.

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