A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Somewhere in southern China...

...there is a woman with a hole in her heart.  It may be huge and ever-present.  It may be healing, much smaller than before.  We don't know.

If one listens to Kay Ann Johnson and Amy Klatzkin, co-authors of Wanting A Daughter, Needing A Son, there's a high likelihood that she has a daughter who is older than our dotter; there's also a possibility that she now has a son.  There's also a possibility that OmegaDotter has a younger sister.

We know nothing of her, except what is reflected in our OmegaDotter.  Her face is probably a certain shape, her lips bow in just a specific way, her hair isn't blue-black but deep brown with red highlights.  Long toes.  A big belly laugh.

Or maybe that is what our dotter gets from her birthfather.  Or paternal or maternal grandparents.  We don't know. 

The horsie stuff, I am convinced, was injected by some pseudopod from the Jungian overmind. 

We have no way of knowing if she was left where she was left by her birthmother on her own decision, or, as Brian Stuy of ResearchChina.Org tends to think, the birthmother was pressured to do so by paternal grandparents who want a son to continue the family name.  There are a boatload of cultural and political and economic issues in play in the reproductive policies in China that result in abandonment of baby girls and--to a much lesser extent--that of baby boys.  What is it like growing up in that milieu?

We just don't know.  OmegaDotter won't know.  All we can tell her are the facts, as we know them (even though there's evidence that some orphanages fake finding information):  she was found here, she was about seven days old judging by the umbilical cord stump, she was taken there, she was given a name.

I've mentioned before that OmegaDotter will bring up her birthmother at sporadic intervals, without any prompting.  It has helped, of course, that we present it as just par-for-the-course:  Your birthmother gave birth to you somewhere around here, you were left there at seven days old.  We think she was probably very sad about it.

What prompts this?  Well.  Long story.  There's a blogger with an incredible following who recently received her referral ("incredible following" = more than 600 comments of congratulations when she got her referral).  The weeks since have been a flurry of happy-happy joy-joy posts.  In the middle of the comment trail for one of her posts where she was sad about missing her daughter's first year, some anonymous person said:

Her other mother is probably worrying about how to make ends meet, and you're worrying about whether truckloads of designer clothes will fit. This isn't to trivialize your worries--but to put it all in perspective.

Meanwhile, both of you have missed out on significant parts of your mutual daughter's life - but first mom will be missing out on so much more.

I hope that even in your joy, which you certainly needed after all you've been through, you don't forget the grief going on on the other side of the world. You are the lucky one in this situation. I am happy for you, but I know that there is a woman out there who cries every day for her daughter, so I feel sad for her at the same time.

You probably already think about this anyway, but I felt the need to say it.

(I feel the need to mention here that the truckloads of designer clothing are mostly scores from eBay and thrift stores...)

This one simple comment has led to quite an uproar all over this slice of adoption blogosphere.

My personal opinion is that it was maybe the right thing to say, but the wrong time to say it.  And I wish to hell the original commenter had used her real name (this is a bugaboo of mine--if you feel something strongly enough to comment on someone's blog about it, for gosh' sake, use your internet nom de plume).

So.  Some takes, in no particular order:

Oh, dear - Manuela, a late-discovery adoptee
Twiddling My Thumbs - American Family, a transracial couple adopting from China
Alright, then - Baggage, single mom who adopted an older child via fostercare
Fashionably late - Kateri, a birthmother

In the meantime, somewhere out there is a couple that are OmegaDotter's first parents.  We think about them.  It's not a constant thing.  But we do think about them.  We've thought about them all along. 

Edited to change "larger extent" to "lesser extent"--argh!

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posted by Kate @ 8/21/2006 09:35:00 PM  
  • At 8/22/2006 08:19:00 AM, Anonymous baggage said…

    Thanks for your opinion on this too. You said it, as always, better than I can!

  • At 8/22/2006 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Siuan said…

    I think what you said, it the nail on the head. I read a couple of the other blogs you posted links to and they were well written too! I will never know what it feels like to be on either end but i can empathize with both a-mothers and b-mothers. I love reading your blog and about your points of view on these issues. Thank you for sharing. It broadens my mind and that's what I look for.

  • At 8/22/2006 05:22:00 PM, Blogger MomEtc. said…

    I saw that comment, too, and everything that ensued afterward. I certainly think "anonymous" is entitled to her opinion, but really chose the wring time and manner to express it. I really think it should have been done more diplomatically and by private email. The original post was very presumptuous about the blog author and I don't think that gets anyone anywhere.

  • At 8/23/2006 10:44:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think the writer of the comment is entitled to express her opinion, but I think she was mean-spirited in some of it, for instance the comments about truckloads of designer clothes. And I have to wonder about he motive, we are all adults and unlikely to significantly change at this point so why lecture NO/Karen? Does she really think NO/Karen hasn't thought about this issue before? I think comment writer was being self rightous and patronizing.
    As for the comment about the truckloads of designer clothes, I don't understand how some in the mommy blog community are about money. I've read in other blogs where the bloggers have been attacked for being "rich/superficial" ie. Waiting for Sophie during Thanksgiving and Eva Las Vegas. What is the problem about how they spend it and their lifestyles? this I am curious about, is it jealousy? envy? Anyway if I don't like a blog or what it conveys, I just don't go back to it. So the pictures of outfits/ shopping habits bother her, why the need to tell/bring down NO/Karen during her time of excitement? My opinion, MEAN!
    Sorry for rambling, I just like NO/Karen and a lot of the other bloggers and feel strongly about supporting them.
    Take care, Lin

  • At 8/24/2006 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Space Mom said…

    Thanks for posting these different links. I've read through them.

    I think I get upset that people Presume we put it all out on the blogs....

  • At 8/27/2006 01:16:00 PM, Anonymous Johnny said…

    As you said, that person had a valid comment, but chose the inappropriate time to rain on someone's parade.

    I hate anonymous commenters that can throw rocks out of the shadows.

    Direct email would have been more appropriate.

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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