What dreams may come.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I started watching this old movie the other day and something occurred to me. In the story the children die first, then the father, then the mother commits suicide. While getting used to his new surroundings the father (Robin Williams) meets a young man, (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and a lovely stewardess (name unknown at the moment). These two young people in their late 20's early 30''s befriend the father and help him get adjusted to how things work in this new place.

while alone with this stewardess in a row boat, the father finds out that the girl had chosen this particular look because her father once told her that oriental women were graceful and intelligent and beautiful. He then realized that it was he who had made that comment and the the stewardess was in fact his daughter. He later finds out the the young black man (Cuba Gooding) was in fact his son, and the reason he had chosen his looks was because the fathers mentor many years before was an elderly black man whom he admired and deeply respected. The son knew that his father would listen to this man because he was the only man the father had ever listened to.

At first I thought it would be really great to pick out any look you wanted in this type situation. But then I started thinking about how if I was in this position as the parent, how warm and comforting it would be to see my children's real faces. To be once again in familiar loving company, not as something they had picked out but who they were or had become. Then it hit me. Adoption. How I had longed for the company, the companionship of my daughter for so many years and I didn't have a face to go with it. I longed for someone whom I had not seen since she was 6lbs. with slightly olive skin and a head full of dark brown almost black hair. This was a hard realization for me. Although my son's, I would want to see in a familiar form, I accept and form my daughter comes in.

I was taken back by this double standard. I pondered it throughout the movie.

Then comes a part when another man, who had been along for the search of the wife who committed suicide, who the father also knew previously, says to the father "do you know why we choose these different exteriors in this place?" and the father started to rattle off the obvious choices when the man stopped him and said no, it's so the rolls don't get in the way. The roll of who the father is, who the child is, who the teacher is supposed to be and the student.

Again I relate this to my own experience with my daughter. We met as grown adults. There was no mistaking or confusing who held what position in our relationship. Her parents are her parents. She is a grown woman who does not need a mommy, but could use a blood relative and a friend. There is no teacher student relationship between us. There are no parent child rolls. There is nothing to get in the way of us being who we are. There's only two grown people who listen to one another as friends, and accept the package each one comes in.

How I managed to twist this movie into my own reality is beyond me, but it makes sense in a way. Rachael is my child, but she came in a package that was unfamiliar to me in the beginning and I had to accept her as a woman. A woman who needed to be respected as an adult, as a stranger, as a new friend, and it worked, just like in the movie.

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2 comments: to “ What dreams may come.

  • Waiting Parents
    Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 8:03:00 AM PDT  

    Hi. I just wanted to stop by your page, and let you know that I did publish your comment. I thank you for getting your feelings out with respect and consideration for my excitement. You were tactfull and nice about how you feel and I do respect your feelings. If it helps at all to know, I will share with you that I had no intensions of hurting anyones feelings by wearing that shirt.. and believe it or not, It was bought for me from a good friend who happens to be adopted. So you can probably imagine why I had no idea it would creat such an uproar. I have only worn the shirt one time and it was for an event that was held at my home with friends and family who support our decision to adopt. There were also a few other people there that day, who were adopted either at a young age or at birth and they made a point to come up to me and tell me how cute my shirt is.. so again, I had no idea it would get this kind of reaction. I do apologize for any hurt feelings. Until recently, I also had no idea that any one viewed the blog other than friends and family...

    Best Wishes, Kristi

  • Lori A
    Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 8:41:00 AM PDT  

    Thank you for responding and publishing my post. It is a mixed bag adoption is. You never know what your going to get. I can see myself, where it is considered cute and does get the message out there that kids need homes. Adoption can be a wonderful thing. It is however hard for some of us at times to be reminded.

    I hold no malice toward ethically adoptive parents, my daughters life was as good as it gets because of hers.

    Keep in mind that most adoptees are compliant to others at the cost of their own feelings. By this I mean that even if someone didn't like your shirt they might say that they did because they knew it would make you happy. This is not to say that that is what happened in your particular instance, but rather to draw your attention to what lengths some adoptees will go to please others.

    Thanks again

 

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