Does anyone else have that book? It’s a children’s story about a Kangaroo hopping around wishing for family when a baby bird is bumped into her pouch – and a family is born. Dori likes it. We have read it several times but I have some serious issues with that book (I have been accused of being overly analytical at times and freely admit this is one of those times).
First of all I was not wandering around all hopeless and sad waiting for a baby to be dropped into my lap. That notion that adoptive parents are some pitiful subset of society annoys me and devalues the way our families are formed. It implies we could not have the “ideal” family so we settle for second best.
Second a baby is just dropped into her lap. I really think that that is how some people think adoption happens. You just pick a baby from a catalog or come across some orphan while traveling through Africa. There is no thought of the deliberation, education and consideration an adoptive parent should go through before adding to their family, especially transracially. And of course no mention of endless paperwork and heart wrenching waits.
Finally – and this is my real beef with the book, there is the relinquishment. (I don’t have the book in front of me so I am recalling from memory.) The baby bird is in a nest full of siblings and is bumped out by a brother. The mama bird knows she does not have the resources to feed her big family and sees that the little baby is in a safe warm place and leaves the baby with the kangaroo.
This is the point I usually have to pull out all my patience and move on with the story quickly. You see I have this completely illogical, unreasonable, nonsensical anger swell up at Mama Bird. Why the heck did she let baby bird go? Why did she not kick out big brother bully? Really this random act is all it takes to let that precious baby bird go away? How on earth will the kangaroo explain that one day? Well baby bird you were just too hard to for your mommy bird take care of so it is a good thing you ended up in my poach because if I had not been there who knows what you may have fallen into.
There is this twisted feeling I have every time I read that scene. I am so happy for mommy kangaroo but so sad for the baby bird and the momma bird and the whole bird family. I feel such heartache and anger that baby bird was relinquished. I feel such heartache and anger that my baby was relinquished. I know. It makes no sense at all. It is a circular logic that makes me hope Dori doesn’t think all that deep.
The Blessing from Above is a sweet simple adoption story. But adoption is not all sweet and never simple. A mother child bond must be broken for a new mother child bond to form. It makes me wonder if Dori’s first mom loved her so much more than I do or so much less. I cannot fathom ever letting her go.