Sunday, July 30, 2006

Egg on my face

I'm reading: Egg on my faceTweet this!

We were almost done with dinner when DH announced that a package had come. I love to hear that I've got mail! As a child I used to send away for those free publications from that consumer information center in Pueblo, CO in a desperate attempt to fill the mailbox. Yes, I even ordered a pamphlet on dietary fiber, "Grandma called it roughage." Hmmm. Maybe I was a bit of a quirky child myself.

I excitedly opened the large puffy envelope and seeing as how I lead a pretty mundane life, tried to puff myself up a bit. I told the boys that the envelope held a book that was not even available for purchase in stores (or for linking at Book Sense) yet, and that the publisher was sending me a free copy of this book, just so I could review it. After making it clear just how special and cool I was, I pulled out, oops, a different book.

"Someone made a mistake. I'll have to contact them to get the right book." I slipped the book back in.

"What is it?" Let us see. Let us see!"

"Oh, it won't really interest you."

"Show it to us!"

The book I received, with a bold title in red and black print in all caps, was The Girls who went Away: The Hidden History of Women who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade.

Okay, where did I not want to go with my boys:
A) Who went away?
B) Why they went away?
C) Where did they go?
D) Why a mom would put her children up for adoption?
E) What teams are Roe and Wade, when are they versing each other, and can we go to the game?
F) All of the above.

Last time we had a serious adoption talk Smartypants was about 2.5 years old and we'd read a picture book on the topic. Weeks later, he looked at me with big, sad eyes and asked me why his "real mom" (not a term the book even used) gave him away. It took a lot of reassurance and explaining that I am both the mommy that made him and the mommy who now cares for him.

The Roe v. Wade thing we only touched lightly on two summers ago (ages 4 and 6) when there was group of protesters lining the streets with their 4 foot placards of Jesus alternating with 4 foot placards of uh, what are those suppsed to be? And this promotes family I supposed it could lead to an A-ha! moment.... Hey kids, remind me to talk to you about abortion! Or, let's skip the pool and spend our morning hanging out with these fun new friends!

The Girls book is actually a pretty engrossing read. I will pass it on to any local reader who's like to review it on the blog.

I once worked with a woman in her mid-40s who called everyone into her office (we were a small crew in a social work setting with loose boundaries) and announced that she was a birth mother and that her son was trying to reach her. Until that moment, no one knew her deep secret- not even her ex-husband or younger siblings knew that she'd become a mother in her teens.

The weeks that followed this conversation were filled with Oprah-esque reunion stories: birth mom, birth dad and child unite! But then a more Springer-like plotline began to develop. Mom and Dad rekindle the passionate flames extinguished by the adults around them so long ago, except, he's married now, so that's a little tricky. Birth mom makes disparaging remarks about adoptive mom and moves to Australia with son (or something like that). From the perspective of a youngish outsider, it all began to look a little weird. Now I can appreciate the complexity of emotion, the intense feelings that had been bottled up for decades; I am sure it takes a couple of years for the dust to settle, and for everyone to adjust to their new roles and identities.

I'd love to review the book, but my plate is a bit full. Agree to review it here and it can be yours! Contact me if through the profile page if you're interested.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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