A True Story
Conversations heard around the dining room table among several strangers paying their condolences at a Shiva ( a Jewish wake.)
For once in my life I kept my mouth shut. This was a house of mourning, after all, and it wasn’t the time to stir up any hornet’s nests. Instead, I listened quietly as the good and grateful adoptee… which seemed to make everyone feel very comfortable to tell their stories.
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"We have two adopted daughters. We always wanted to help them find their biological mothers. They wanted to know "who they were" and I believe in that. In fact, I hired a searcher- friend to help find one of their birth mothers. Unfortunately, neither daughter had a good reunion experience …. [ followed by a description of "a slut birthmother who drinks, takes drugs, has lots of boyfriends yadda yadda yadda ] Our daughter cut off all communication with "that woman." It was too much for her."
ME: My mother would turn in her grave if I ever even mentioned searching.
"Oh no, Anita, not today she wouldn’t object. Things are different today."
ME: (To myself) OH YEAH?
"One of our daughters is of Swedish origins (father pulls out picture of young woman with blonde curly hair and pale skin). When she was in school, she came to us and asked us "What am I?." I told her she was Polish and Russian, just like us, her parents. And that was settled and she was happy. [ husband and wife, both short, pudgy Eastern European Jews, nodding their heads and smiling] "
ME: (To myself) ) OH YEAH?
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"My daughter in law has found both her biological parents and is ecstatic! The whole family is so excited. We’re all going down to Florida next week to meet her mother and her grandmother and aunts and uncles. It’s just the most wonderful thing that ever happened."
Me: Your daughter in law’s parents; how are they taking all this? Are they going too?
"Oh no, they’re very quiet about it all. They never say anything. They’re very intelligent people but they don’t ever talk about any of this."
"You know, I always used to wish I were adopted. I just love the idea of being chosen."
Me: (To myself: OH YEAH?)
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"We have two granddaughters, ages 16 and 18, both adopted from Korea. (proudly shows photos. Our 18 year old is spending 7 weeks traveling and studying in Israel this summer."
ME: Have your granddaughters ever expressed a desire to learn more about their Korean culture?
"Oh No Why should they? They’re American!
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"I have an adopted daughter. She once thought of searching but then she said to me, ‘Ma, you and Dad have done everything for me. You are the only parents for me’."
Smiles, nods, "oh yes’s, " going all round the table.
"Twenty three months after we adopted our daughter, I gave birth to our son. My doctor told me this would happen and he was right. I had one of my own."