Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Tama Janowitz, let me introduce you to

yourself, as seen through the eyes of google:

Way to go!

You don’t care, right? You’re a big girl. You’re rubber; we’re glue, blah blah blah.

But here’s the bit that you overlooked.

Your daughter.

Who, if she’s anything like my kids were, is probably pretty darn internet savvy. And if she’s not, chances are, one of her friends is.

I made a little post a while back about kids and ego surfing. Kids not only ego surf themselves, they surf their friends names too. Just out of idle curiosity, sometimes out of less than idol curiosity.

Way to go.

I don’t know your daughter, so I can’t speak for her. All I can speak is for me, and how I felt about my adoptive mom. I spent a lot of time being pissed at my adoptive mom at Willow’s age. Sometimes justified, sometimes not so justified.

But here’s the rub: no matter what I said about her, no one else could. If anyone said anything about her, my defenses were up. In spite of arguing, I loved her. And I also tried my hardest to identify with her, to the point of over-identifying with her, because that’s what some adoptive kids do. So if someone said boo about my adoptive mom, it hurt, it hurt so bad. Even if someone said boo about my adoptive mom about something that she said or did that was wrong.

My mom sometimes said things about adoption that hurt me. I wouldn’t call her on it. I’d act out in other passive aggressive ways, I might have saved it up and thrown out a "not my real mom" comment to her a few weeks down the road, but to expose the rawest, most vulnerable part of myself, even if I didn’t have the words to know what that even meant, would have been forbidden. And I wasn’t supposed to hurt at the things she said. If she said something, and I reacted in any way other than the way she thought I was supposed to react, then I was the one who was wrong. So I learned to react the way she expected me to.

Why? Because I loved her.

So someday, maybe it’s already happened, maybe it will happen tomorrow, or next month, or next year, Willow will read all this, and will hurt. Because you’re one of her moms, and people are calling you an asshole.

I spend a lot of time looking through old newspaper archives of the ‘60s and ‘70s. And I can say now, as a 44 year old woman, if I came across an article written by my adoptive mom saying something half as assholeish as the statement you made, and then came across oodles of letters to the editor saying my mom was a complete and total moron, it would still hurt me. Even if she wrote something outrageous. Even if I agreed 100% with what every letter to the editor said – it would tear at my heart.

Why? Because I love her. And to her face I might just defend her and dismiss her critics, while hating myself for lying.

Validating her feelings on adoption was very high on my list of priorities, even when I acted to the contrary.

Yeah even now, I’m ashamed to say, I might just lie to her and not tell her my true feelings. My feelings aren’t her feelings, and therefore they are wrong.

One of the many gifts of adoption.

So you and the New York Times can go ahead and and refuse to publish the comments of adult adoptees. We’re used to it, especially with the condescending attitude of upper class liberals who smile when they stab us in the back, or tell us to get a sense of humor. God we’re so sensitive, can’t we take a joke?

Here are some jokes:

How many New York adopter assholes does it take to screw over their daughter for the sake of their ego and career?

Why did the clueless entitled white woman who grew up in a family of her own race, knowing her own culture and roots, cross the road?

Knock knock
Who's there?
Hero rescuer adopter in search of non-fetal-alcohol-at-risk baby
Hero rescuer adopter in search of non-fetal-alcohol-at-risk baby who?

I don’t have a punch line though. But that’s OK; maybe you can make one up at the expense of your daughter and her country. That’s what real moms do, right?

8 complaints from ingrates:

Susan November 15, 2007 at 6:29 PM  

Thank you so much for writing this.

Anonymous,  November 15, 2007 at 7:20 PM  

So much for the New York Times being a "respectable" paper!

What is their agenda that they will not publish comments from adoptees who KNOW what it is like to be adopted?

Or to put down a person's heritage and culture?

This Tama Janowitz is a real ignoramus!

Shame the New York Times has sunk to this level - you would have thought they would not have allowed such ignorance to prevail in the pages of their "quality" paper.

Alas, it is "quality" no longer!

I think I'll look at the National Enquirer instead! It couldn't be much worse!


MomEtc. November 15, 2007 at 7:54 PM  

I never stopped to think that what I wrote could *hurt* Willow. Sigh.

Anonymous,  November 16, 2007 at 5:25 AM  

Google is wise and all-knowing.

That last link really says it all. *bangs head on monitor*

Anonymous,  November 16, 2007 at 2:18 PM  

Thanks for writing this.

Ken November 16, 2007 at 2:29 PM  

Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

Ungrateful Little Bastard November 16, 2007 at 2:54 PM  

Mom I'll cross-comment here what I commented over at Judy's place:

Oh Judy I didn’t mean to make you or anyone feel bad about your writing! Otherwise I’d be trashing myself. Which I do often, but anyway. I probably wasn’t clear, happens frequently.

What I was trying to get across was something that I experienced more than a few times in my own childhood, when my mom would say something just so WRONG about adoption, but I’d still validate what she said, because I wanted to much to identify with her. And even now, if my mom says something that really irritates me adoption-wise, I find myself in this inner struggle between trying to justify her thoughts (oh, different era, hard childhood, blah blah) and being truly angry with her.

Believe me, seeing people mad at my mom would hurt, but MUCH less than seeing her say one of the reasons she chose to adoption me from one place or another would be a lack of potential prenatal alcohol exposure, or blithely trashing where I came from in the name of witty, urbane banter.

Tama reminds me very much of one thing that makes me frustrated with my adoptive mom. When you trash an adoptee’s roots, you trash them.

And Cathy, you're not that far off on the whole National Enquirer bit. Even my former favorite, the Weekly World News. You DO know that Hillary Clinton adopted bat boy, right?

Anonymous,  November 16, 2007 at 7:09 PM  

I like you.

I really, REALLY like you!

*HUGS and tears*

Thank you!


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