Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Girlfriends

I don't know how many of you watch Girlfriends but for the most part I love that show. Now, the operative words here are "for the most part". I love that show because I can relate to it. I mean they took Sex in the City off so this is the next best thing and hey, they even have the same skin color as I, so the jokes even make sense to me (hee hee). But, after watching Girlfriends this week I decided that I was still fuming about the episode from last week.

Last week there was an episode about adoption. I was extra excited until the show began and Maya (not Toni...Thanks Tasha, obviously no one else watches or caught that) who is black and a regular cast member was taken aback by a new neighbor (who was white) who came by with a black baby. She immediately assumed the baby was not hers then she assumed that the baby was from some African country. The white neighbor immediately corrected her and told her the baby was hers (which I thought was great). The neighbor then went on to say adamantly that she would not adopt from Africa when there are so many needy children here in the United States. Maya then gave her the “yeah girl” and then they said a few more words, then the rest of the show basically focused on a newborn child.

Now, don't get me wrong, the need for adoption is tremendous in the US but the person who wrote that episode obviously doesn't know the truth about the foster care system, single parents, and why people adopt internationally. I was totally offended by the show. It made it seem as if we are adopting because we care nothing about the children in the US. It made it seem like it is so easy, like there are a million infants available. Like you can fill out paperwork today and get an infant tomorrow. They didn't say that you can't even adopt an infant (through the public system) without going through foster care, they didn't tell the horrors of parents wanting their children back, they didn't say that single mothers in many states can't adopt infants from public agencies because they "save" the babies for married couples...they didn't say all of these things but they were quick to put on the television their interpretation that WE are wrong or bad for adopting from AFRICA...I'm just sick of people judging what they don't know or understand...I'm sick of it. Yes, my baby girl (and maybe boy also) is coming from Ethiopia so what! Guess what? Do you think my skin is brown because I came from uhhhh Ohio? Can you tell I'm a little pissed off at 1 am?

12 comments:

habeshachild said...

You have every right to be pissed off. It bugs the crap out of me when I hear people judging single adopting parents who are adopting internationally. Those people have no freakin' idea what the options are for us, and/or what our decision making process was.

The other thing that really bothers me is the opinion that we, as Americans, have an obligation first to children in our own country. Hello? We are all global citizens, whether we like it or not. And if we in the wealthier countries don't start feeling an obligation to reach out to those in the poorer countries, we will all suffer together.

Just my two cranky cents.

haze said...

LOL, yes, you seem a bit PO'd and rightly so. I don't watch that show but wish I had seen that episode. I second everything you said. The show should have been more careful and responsible in their depiction of international adoption.

Hi! I'm Laura & this is my blog. said...

I love that show-the black Sex in the City-and they are usually very good about highlighting important issues. Out of curiosity, was the white woman they portrayed married? Just wondering. I agree with you all. Adopting domestically as a single is very difficult and a child is a child is a child--what makes an American child more deserving? And really, when think about it, at least kids in America get free health care and free education and a whole host of other services...

Tami said...

Yes, the woman was married. You are absolutely right...a child is a child we all have to start having some accountability for our children regardless of where they live! I think I'll write the show a letter!

Anna said...

When we decided to adopt internationally we went through our house and had a big tag sale. At the cash box we had flyers that told our story-what we were doing and why. I was shocked at some of the things people said to us! "there are plenty of children in this country that need homes" (I explained how we tried that-for four years) "Africa?! Why Africa" (I said, why not?) etc etc. People were just so rude it was terrible. Adoption is desperately difficult, regardless of where you happen to adopt from. Adopting from the US is difficult, and so is adopting internationally. Children are children, it should not matter where they were born. I think writing into the show is a great idea. I know I felt better writing to (was it the Gap?) when they had those stupid adoption T shirts. The producers of the show should know their script was callous and offensive.

iesha said...

Girl, you should write a letter! People feel they always need to judge and it isn't right! So what if a person decides to adopt internationally? Should we judge women who choose to have medical intervention to have children? How about judging people who choose to be child-free? There are a lot of different ways to make a family, none better or worse, just different.
BTW, when I called the Homeland Security hotline regarding a question about our fingerprinting, the recorded message told me (and this is a summary) that basically if I was having problems then I should remember that there are plenty of children in the US available for adoption. HUH?? Like it is any easier adopting domestically?!
Everyone needs to follow their own choices and quit judging other people!

Rebecca said...

We've been asked a number of times why we aren't adopting domestically - even so far as a couple trying to convince us that we SHOULD be doing that. I think people have to go through it to understand. Plus, if people from outside Ethiopia don't adopt there - who will? I know there's a big push for Ethiopians to adopt Ethiopians. Until then, do we let the orphanages get so overcrowded that no one is helping out? Ignorance is...ignorance.

Tracey said...

One of the things that bugs me about black Americans giving me a hard time about adopting from Ethiopia is that we are always trying to claim soemthing of Africa, so why not its orphans? African art is ok, African literature and music are ok, but don't adopt an African child. It makes me crazy

Tasha said...

It was MAYA... not Toni. Toni left the show 2 seasons ago when she 'went to NYC to be where her daughter is' and her ex-husband. I actually got tird of Toni and her selfishness. Monica is a bit better but I can't understand why she puts up with William's wishy-washy ways. What ever happened to the policewoman he was dating? I liked her. She was the least 'show me the money' character on that show.

And um, I thought your skin is brown because of the pollution in DC. ;-)

Tami said...

Oh yea...Maya....I'll change it Tasha...The policewoman, he decided he loved Joan then ofcourse that didn't work out.

VALARIE - Single, Ethiopian-bound, mother-to-be of two bright-eyed Ethio children. said...

Hey Tammi, here is the response I use. A person who says there are kids here that need adopting I ask them, "So, are you thinking about adopting them?" People give a really funny look. I mean if people are that worried, I'd think they would be filing their applications. Adoption is so personal, I just refuse to debate the issue with any person who is not willing to jump in.

Valarie

Tami said...

Thanks Valarie! I'll use that one.