Monday, January 29, 2007

Being BabyGirls's mommy is a waste?

On Friday, I chaperoned BabyGirl's field trip. I drove a minivan full of children plus the school's new Marketing/Admissions person, Mar.

Mar’s young, in her 20s, very well-educated (she’s working on a PhD in Educational Policy, has an MS in social work, an MA in history, and is thinking of picking up a JD in her spare time); first-generation American whose parents came from Jamaica; and passionate about children, education, and social welfare. Since Mar’s new to our area and hasn’t made it to that museum yet, I invited her to come with us, and, well, I was assigned to drive FIVE kids and needed another grown-up to manage the chaos.

I like her. She’s young, idealistic, and working hard to meet the goals she’s set for herself to make the world a better place. She reminds me of me when I was her age: focused and driven on education and career.

In the blizzard-slowed hour-long drive, we talked. Mar mentioned that some of her friends are starting to marry and begin families, and that she’s not interested in any of that yet. I reiterated that her focus on education and career are fine (not that she needed my affirmation), then she said that she wonders if, in 10 or 15 years, she might regret not having started a family yet. I mentioned that there are lots of ways to make a family; that it’s about being a parent, not being pregnant; there are children in need of families; and that medical science can work wonders.

Her response? That my point about being a parent vs. being pregnant is poignant but that:
"It seems like putting all the effort into a child who isn’t your own is a
waste."
This, from someone with a Master’s Degree in Social Work and working at my daughter's school, was disheartening and a little alarming.

I don’t think she knows I’m a mom-by-adoption, and I wasn’t about to get into a big discussion on the validity of parenting-by-adoption because the car was filled with BabyGirl’s school friends. But I still find myself getting torqued up about it.

5 comments:

ruth said...

Wow, I'm speechless. I admire you for being able to hold your tongue! Are you going to speak to her in private, or just let it go? Any child that you care for is your own, it doesn't matter how they came to be in the family. I believe that family is more than blood and DNA.

Barb said...

wow, how ignorant of Mar. how utterly ignorant.

you're lovely, and you know it. (clap your hands?!)

Mommela said...

Ruth, it'll come back up again because I'll bring it up again when BabyGirl and her crew aren't around. If Mar were just some stranger, I'd let it go; because she works at school, it must be brought up again. The trick for me will be to stay pleasant and open without getting snappy and defensive.

Barb, I think you're pretty lovely yourself. And I am clapping! [electronic smiley face]

Dylan said...

Wow...I also think that was an insenstive thing to say, even if unaware of your family - it would seem like saying something like that in a car with five kids is fairly arrogant - I mean, she must not have thought at all that any of those KIDS might hear and be adopted, let alone YOU being adoptive mom.

Anyway, you know all that. Kudos to you for not getting into it there, and for intending to bring it up again. It sounds as if she's simply in need of education and more awareness...

Susan said...

Agh. That is a horrible comment. (and hi, I'm coming to you from Dawn's blog)