We are all familiar with phrase Honesty is the Best Policy. Yet I think it’s safe to say that we have assessed certain situations and discovered that while honesty is a policy it may not always be the best one at the time. Like if someone’s child looks more like a gremlin than a human baby it’s probably best to “Awwww!” and go on about how precious they are, opposed to exclaiming “Daaaaaaaaamn what the *beep* was that thing?!” Riiiiiight? Right. Or even if your homegirl is dating or marrying a flaming homosexual (knods at Star Jones) maybe it’s better to stay mum, because gaydar is not always accurate. But what policy should we adopt with is comes to adopted children?
Generally speaking I think adoption is a great idea! Be it a road, a grandparent, a puppy or a person. I can’t even convey here how excited I was when my parents were considering adopting a boy a couple years younger than I! As an only child it was a dream come true. But unfortunately it wasn’t a dream that materialized and I occasionally wonder how different life would be for the three of us if my parents had follow through with their plan. I think, if I ever have enough money in my bank to finance it, I’d like to adopt a child, the legal way. But I wonder when is the right time to be honest with the adopted?
It seems that if you don’t tell the child while they are young like pre school age, there really is no right moment. Jack Nicholson found out that his sister was really his mother from a journalist in 1974 after both is mother and grandmother passed on. My mother’s cousin found out after the neighborhood kids informed her through their taunts and teases that her parent’s had picked her up some place. A girl from my high school still doesn’t know the man she calls father isn’t biologically related to her, and her mother is no longer in the picture. And I have heard other stories of kids finding out on their 18th birthdays after their entire families have concealed the truth years. “Happy Birthday Jimmy! You are an adult now and we aren’t your parents! Now go be a productive member of society.” Say whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
This weekend I learned of yet another adoption tale to add to my collection. I found out that a girl from my church- for the sake of story we’ll call her Naomi-was adopted. I always assumed that the older lady she rolled with to church activities was her granny, but alas that’s what I get for assuming. Last month by coincidence, luck, destiny or however else you’d like to label God’s divine will, Naomi found out she had a younger sister (who is walking around with Naomi’s face) who also attended the same church. For months people asked them if they were related and their retort was no, besides Naomi was adopted. But then one day the girls started talking and Naomi shared what she knew about her birth parents. Younger sister said the same things about her birth parents. The rub is that Naomi’s sister was not put up for adoption and still lives with their birth mother. Or course birth mother is feeling uncomfortable about the two girls hanging out with each other; which I can kind of sort of understand because it’s hard to face the truth after 17 years. But my heart breaks for Naomi, because I can’t help but wonder what it is like for her to see her sister and other siblings go home to their momma. My heart breaks for their mother who made decision-which I can only assume was difficult-that no one else understands but her. But it’s a lot to deal with for all parties involved, and I wonder if it would have been better for all if we church folks just continued to wonder how it could be possible for two girls to look so similar and not be related. Isn’t God amazing?
And I think for all of us as we get older we start learning the family secrets and it can be jarring. There are several cousins who I later discovered weren’t related to me by blood, but it didn’t change anything for me. Back in the day many a young pregnant woman birthed their child, gave it to big momma to raise and that was the end of it.
But what it was like for my cousins, when the truth was fully revealed? Did they really care about knowing the truth when a loving family formed around them and the lies anyway? Or were they appreciative that honesty was the policy eventually chosen?
See You In Seven
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot