I’m really quite angry with Hollywood right now. There are lots of reasons I could be mad, from the plethora of poorly made movies with weak plots to the regurgitation of concepts (just how many CSI shows do we need?) No, I’m getting sick of the inappropriate image Hollywood has of adoption.
It’s no secret that I am an adoptive parent. Both of my children and full blooded siblings and adopted. I’m incredibly frustrated by the data kept on adoption and the way that it gets jumbled together. It makes getting a solid look at what adoption means in this country difficult. So perhaps I’m being a little hard on Hollywood, since it is hard to understand the public perception of adoption seems so hard to grasp.
With that said, Hollywood has absolutely glamorized the concept of adoptive children reuniting with their birth parents. I can’t help but think this is somehow not positive for adoptive families. I’m all for adult adoptees finding their birth families, if that is what they want. What I don’t appreciate is Hollywood glamorizing teens and pre-teens going out on their own searching for their birth parents.
This is a dangerous concept to adoptive families. Raising a teenager is difficult enough without giving teenagers the idea that life is better if they leave the family that raised them for the unknown. The Hollywood happy ending is not the only outcome. I know of an adoptive family that nearly ripped apart because their teenage daughter desperate to meet her birth mother. The adoptive family knew the story, tried to explain that the birth mother was not someone she wanted to meet, but the daughter wouldn’t listen. She glamorized her birth mother, just knew living with her birth mother had to be better than living with her adoptive mother. In the end, the adoptive mother traveled to Texas to visit the birth mother with her daughter. On death row. But that daughter just knew finding her birth mother would end like it does in the movies. A happy reunion and a new and better life.
I look at my two sweet children and wonder what teenage years are going to be like. Will I survive the first time one of them tell me I’m not their “real” dad? Will I cry or scream? Or both? I already have heard “I don’t love you” and that breaks my heart. What will I do when they “disown” me.
Hopefully I’ll remember that I said similar things to my parents. That teenagers have no concept of other people’s feelings, and they say things they don’t mean. That teenagers are God’s curse for everything you did wrong in your life. I just don’t appreciate Hollywood adding to the aggravation.