I starting stalking Jill over at The Happiest Sad about nine/ten months ago. I don't think I was ever gutsy enough to leave a comment (I stalk a LOT of blogs and I don't want people I don't know to think I'm a creeper) but I enjoyed reading her posts. When I was deciding what I wanted to post during National Adoption Month a specific post of hers came to mind. Before I post her work of genious (and that is what it is)...let me give you a little background. In the adoption world, there are people who love it and people who hate it. I remember being surprised the first time I googled "adoption" and found page after page of people berating the women who had "abandoned" their babies and calling the adoptive parents "baby stealers" and my heart sunk when I read of adult adoptees who said they wish they had been aborted instead of placed for adoption (SERIOUSLY!). I remember wishing I could go back to my blissfully ignorant state where I thought everyone loved adoption and it was all sunshine and rainbows. But now, I'm glad I've read the other side. It makes me more aware and more prepared...knowing that there are still those people out there. But it does make me sad that someone had such a horrible experience with something that can be SO wonderful.
Ok, so here is Jill's post. It is called Cold Risotto. It is long, but oh, so worth it. If after you read it you are left hungry for more you can read more on her blog, The Happiest Sad.
Cold RisottoToday, I have a story for you. It's made-up but I think it's a good story. I promise there's a point to it. Here it goes. (My sincerest apologies if your name happens to be Susan. It's a lovely name.)
Once upon a time, a woman - let's call her Susan - went to a restaurant. Susan was very, very hungry. Some people might have thought she was stupid to go to a restaurant when most people cook for themselves, but that was Susan's business, not theirs, and for one reason or other, Susan was going to a restaurant for dinner.
Susan's waitress was very friendly right off the bat. She made Susan feel welcome and kept her water glass full and took her order and promised it would be out shortly. Excited and, as I said, very hungry, Susan eagerly awaited her risotto. She was so hungry, she thought this risotto was going to be the best thing in the world. As she waited, she had visions of risotto dancing in her head and all she could think of was how happy she'd be once the waitress brought out her dish.
Some time passed, and suddenly the waitress was getting as crabby as Susan was. Finally, after half an hour or more, the waitress slammed down a dish of cold risotto and the bill and stalked away. Susan was stunned. And the risotto, in addition to being rather cold, was quite possibly the most disgusting dish of risotto ever served in the history of food.
Susan was, understandably, appalled. She complained to management. The manager was appalled as well, and tried to explain things. Shortly after Susan's order had been placed, the chef quit. The waitress received a phone call from her boyfriend, who dumped her - on the phone, and while she was at work! The manager assured Susan that her dinner was an exception, not the norm. This was a top-notch restaurant with a good reputation. He offered to comp the dinner and pushed a gift card at Susan in the hopes that she would give them another try and see that their restaurant was not as bad as all that.
But Susan was unable to get past her cold risotto experience. She told every person she knew about it. She blogged about what a horrible restaurant it was, and how no one should ever eat there. When people mentioned to her that they'd eaten there and had a lovely time, she railed at them that they must be stupid not to see what a terrible restaurant it was, and she harassed those people repeatedly and with great force about what a bad decision they'd made. She ridiculed them for their naiveté. She found their personal blogs and left numerous comments about what idiots they were to even consider eating at that restaurant again. In Susan's opinion, this restaurant should be closed down immediately and not allowed to open again until changes were made to ensure that no one would ever be served cold risotto again - in fact, they shouldn't even serve risotto. Susan decided to make it her life's work to speak out against the restaurant, and she couldn't understand why the whole world didn't join in her crusade.
Now, you're probably wondering why on earth I am blathering on about snippy Susan and her cold risotto. Susan sounds like a real piece of work, doesn't she? Because really, who could have such an ego as to assume that if they had a bad experience somewhere, no one else should even consider that place?
Let's change the subject for a second, and then I'll get back to Susan.
Sorry, that's a terrible segue. Here's a better one.
That is an awesome Segway.
I have a great experience with adoption. I think it's wonderful. I might not tell the entire world to eat at this restaurant called adoption, but if I knew someone was hungry and didn't know where to eat, I would certainly tell them to consider eating there. I would tell them about my experience so they would know that, even though it serves up the occasional dish of cold risotto, eating out isn't a hazardous thing. It can be, but it doesn't have to be.
But I have noticed that there are a number of Susans in the adoption world - on-line, in any case, and they are just as snippy and unyielding and very much against the institution that they feel wronged them so much. They got cold risotto. And that's not fair, and I won't argue that point. What I take exception to is these Susans (allow me to apologize if your name happens to be Susan) who go on-line and tell hungry people that they need to learn how to cook because restaurants are inherently wrong. I don't like hungry people being told they're going to get food poisoning if they eat out.
You know what? I can't stop these people. I know there are people out there for whom adoption has not been a good thing. I feel sorry for them. The things that have happened to some people are unfair, wrong, and shouldn't happen to anyone. But I get tired of them insisting that adoption is a bad thing, refusing to believe that it can be an amazing and wonderful thing, simply because it wasn't for them.
Adoption was the best thing in the world for my little Roo. It was the best thing in the world for my mother. And it was the best thing in the world for probably close to 100 little children I can think of just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are countless others for whom it was also the best. We're all happy with our risotto. We are proof that the restaurant isn't a bad place, that the risotto isn't always cold and that, just the opposite, it's frequently the best dish on the menu.
Susan's risotto was bad, but that doesn't mean I'm going to let her tell me that my risotto was a mistake and that I'm going to regret it for the rest of my life and that I "lost" my appetite to risotto.
For every horrible, traumatic, food-poisoning story you hear about adoption, there are probably ten thousand stories or the best dinner ever that no one ever tells. Cold risotto makes for good news. A cozy family meal interests no one.
Is adoption always the right, best, most wonderful thing in the world? Nope. Because it involves people, and people are imperfect. But I think each hungry person should be able to decide for him- or herself how best to have dinner.