Friday, April 24, 2009

the Boy in the Stroller: How not to react


I knew better than to drink a cup of coffee at 9 o'clock at night.

Now, it's after midnight.

My mind is racing, and I'm starkly awake when I want to be soundly sleeping.


A conversation took place back in March on a Friday night between my husband and a woman.

I had been debating whether to write about what transpired.

But what the heck. I'm up and feel the need to throw it out there.


In some ways, it was to be expected. You don't set up a "booth" on a sidewalk advertising that you have found your birth parents and that you're trying to meet them in Korea, without anticipating that you might encounter an array of questionable reactions. (To read about that experience, see the pertaining post called, "the Sidewalk")

Why I ventured to engage myself in such an idiotic activity--I don't know. Most likely, absolute desperation, and perhaps an eccentric lapse of logical and consequential thinking. What's that called again? Oh yes, impulsiveness.


The woman asked my husband, "So, your wife has found her birth parents, and she is trying to meet them in Korea?"

My husband replied, "Yes, that's right," expecting a supportive congratulations and best wishes.

The woman proceeded by practically yelling, "Well, my son is adopted, and he is a gift! And I don't care if he ever finds his birth parents!"

She might as well have slapped both of us in the face and saved her breath. I personally would have preferred the concrete hand print on my cheek over the intangible pang in my gut.

She stomped off, as she jerked the stroller that held her young son, and disappeared.


My heart still wrenches and plummets when I think of the young boy in the stroller.

I will probably always think of him now and in the years to come--wondering what fate came upon him as a result of growing up in such an environment. I cannot call it anything but hostile and ignorant.

Maybe I'm wrong to make such a conclusion without knowing this woman or her background. Maybe she was just having a bad night.

In all honesty, though, I get the feeling, if that's the case, then every night is a bad night, if you know what I mean. May her mind and heart find better understanding and enlightenment, if not only for the sake of her son.

My heart is with that little boy, and I hope and pray that he will ultimately find his way.


dragondreams said...

As an adoptive mom, I look back on myself prior to adopting my daughter-I was certainly threatened by birth parents. The unknown looms large for everyone. I found the fact that my dd was an "orphan" to be comforting.

Then when I met my daughter and held her in my arms. My entire world upended and nothing was ever the same. Her pain and confusion became mine, later her dreams and ambitions became my dreams and ambitions.

We would give anything to erase the huge injustices that have occurred for her.

Godspeed-its been my experience that you never entirely return from a journey like this.

Mia said...

I know how you feel! Your story makes my heart go out to that boy..that's just lack of unconditional love, I think.
You should support your child's feelings, even if you as an adoptive parent are nervous.

You shouldn't be afraid. If your adoptive child loves his/her birth parents more you probably had problems to begin with, that doesn't have anything to do with the birth parents!

- and to dragondreams:
First of all, it's entirely possible that your daughter is not an orphan, even though you were told so..
And secondly, her orphan-status doesn't necessarily make it easier for her to come to terms with her past..unfortunately. In fact, it can just make it that much more difficult to get closure.
I'm not trying to be negative, just speaking from personal experience.

Mei-Ling said...

[The woman proceeded by responding, "Well, my son is adopted, and he is a gift! And I don't care if he ever finds his birth parents!"]

My good god.