As of this writing, at least 115 people “like” this on Facebook.
Another 106 thought it clever enough to “share” on their walls.
Adjectives used to describe this purported witticism include “cute,” “hilarious,” “hysterical,” and “cool.”
And, apparently, it made some people “LOL.”
And at the risk of calling even more attention to it, I present it to you.
But, rest assured, I won’t be dignifying it.
Is it a piece of drivel? Yes.
Is it cute, hilarious, hysterical, or cool? Of course not.
Is it worth the time I’m going to take to write about it? More than I can possibly articulate.
As the mother of three children by adoption, I am understandably interested in how adoption is portrayed in the media and in popular culture. I have to be. Nothing less than my children’s self-worth is at stake.
In our family, we celebrate adoption. It is seen as a miracle. The idea of ever using adoption as a way to insult another human being doesn’t even enter our collective consciousness.
Historically, however, adoption has been used as a gag, as the butt of a joke, as a way to torture a sibling or explain why someone is different from the rest of his or her family.
Why would someone be driven to tears upon learning he or she was adopted? Worse, why would someone think, of all the available insults in the arsenal that is the English language, that telling someone they’re adopted is how they’re really going to get under someone’s skin?
The idea behind it, I think, has to do with inverting a person’s concept of who they are, who they believe they are. But this interpretation requires analysis–and effort; and, sadly, a quick picture on Facebook that elicits 100-plus comments over a day or two isn’t inviting any kind of deep thought. The surface message, the one that proliferates and sticks, is that there is something wrong with adoption and something powerful in the insult of telling a person they were.
As long as these messages persist and the people with whom my sons will come in contact every day feel compelled to comment and share, we have work to do.
And that, like the picture you see here, is no joke.