I have been very sporadic in my blogging this summer–well, not sporadic as much as absent! Sorry about that. I just can’t seem to get in sync with all of the summer activities: pool, camps, sleepovers, bike rides, playdates…. I find myself running from sun up to sundown. When school is in session the kids are just as busy (or actually, more so) but at least they go to bed early, so I can get up early and blog. During the summer, they are up really late–and so I am up late, and then I sleep in.
But I saw something in the paper last week that really touched me and I felt compelled to blog about it. I saw an obituary that really made me sad. The deceased was only 37–which is sad enough–but what stood out for me was the opening phrase of the obit. ”Mary Smith (not her real name) adopted daughter of Roger and Paula Smith, passed away at her home on Tuesday, July 19th….”
The phrase “adopted daughter” hit me hard. Whoever wrote the obituary–Mary’s parents, siblings, or friends–felt compelled to include that word “adopted” in the opening line of her memorial. It was as if her adopted status was the central characteristic of her life, the overriding feature and nothing she did in the 37 intervening years she was on the earth could usurp that aspect of her identity.
It made me wonder about Mary herself and if she felt different from her siblings because she was adopted. I hope not. And I guess that most I can hope for is that it was written by someone not close to her or her family. I know that historically there has been a certain amount of shame associated with individuals who have been adopted, but I thought that our attitudes had changed enough so we no longer parse people out based on their adopted status.
This obituary suggested that we still have a ways to go.