Adoption in the Media: Juxtaposed

This post was originally published on on August 6, 2009. Republished here with permission.

Screen Shot 2020-06-11 at 11.59.18 PMThanks to the blog Strollerderby, I found this video about adoption. It’s short (6:35).

Right-click the words “this video about adoption” and choose Open in New Tab. Watch the video, then come back. I’ll wait.

What did you think?

I can look past the fact that the child is a light bulb, and that the other children seem to be oil drops or “pee” dolls. It’s harder to ignore that the narrator sounds like my hypnotherapist. I’m OK with the Disney princess-like mom.

What bothers me, what really angers me in fact, is that it completely discounts the experience of the child. The child is too ashamed to tell his mother that the other kids are picking on him. He believes his mother yells at him too much. (Though we never see if this is true or just his perception.) He truly feels that he doesn’t fit in. He runs away and two other kids try to kill him. But all of that is waved away when he realizes that his mother loves him.

I think this goes in the category of Adopted Kids Should Feel Grateful. Grateful that there’s a “roof over his head” and “food on the dinner table”. I think the message the creator wants to get across is Adoptive Mothers Are Real Mothers, but he or she can do so without negating the child’s feelings.

Am I taking a parable about a light bulb too seriously? Possibly. I’m coming at it from the perspective that love doesn’t conquer all. It’s important to acknowledge that our children are different. Even if our children look like us, adoption does make them different. The film just skips right over that. The Mommy loves her child, and that, of course, is a wonderful realization for a child to make. But Mommy’s love doesn’t make it all OK.
What are your thoughts?

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