All my life I've been asked questions about my adoption. Today I heard a new one.
When I had Jessica (our oldest child) I got a sense, for the first time, of how hard it would be to carry a baby for nine months and then just walk away. A relief, perhaps, and a resolution, too. But I can't imagine that it wouldn't be mind-bogglingly difficult for anyone with a heart.
My entire life I've been grateful that my birth mother allowed me to grow up in an intact family.
But today, as a few people on Facebook discussed the “Burger King Baby” — a 27-year-old adoptee who's on the hunt to find the birth mother who abandoned her, wrapped in a shirt, in a Burger King bathroom — I was baffled at the curiosity. I know all about lack of DNA history, but there would have to be something pretty darn big going on to make me to want a meet up with the woman who dumped me, for the love of all that is holy, in a public bathroom.
We speculated about whether the girl wanted a genetically-specific mother figure of just to punch her lights out. But the graciousness of my friend (also an adoptee) by giving credit to the birth mother took me aback. The implied question:
Aren't you grateful your birth mother didn't abort you, given the alternative?
I thought about that for a bit. OK, for about 30 seconds. Then I answered it: no, not really.
Sure, I'd rather be here than be aborted. I'd rather be here than be decomposed body parts in a medical waste dump somewhere. But to me that's kind of like being “grateful” that the guy who just mugged me and stole my car didn't also slit my throat. No, not just being grateful I got out alive, but being grateful to the thief that he wasn't also a murderer. As I said to my friend:
It's weird when we have to be all, “Oh, thank you for not sucking me into a sink. You are so amazing!!!!!”
I guess I think that should be a given.
There are reasons to be grateful for and other things we should simply expect in the name of humanity. When the act of allowing a baby to grow rather than be slaughtered is no longer the latter, God help us.