©2007 Celeste Billhartz
There was a news story on TV about an old circus elephant shackled and displayed in a small zoo that closed. She was sent to a larger zoo where she saw another elephant ... for the first time in 20 years.
The two of them called to each other, so loudly, so persistently, that the zookeepers finally opend the gate and allowed them to touch each other. Turns out, records show that they knew each other. Years ago, they were in the same circus.
As the narrator ended the story, I whispered, "Oh, my God!" and I cried. I cried because I knew that ADOPTING is a circus and we are the elephants, separated from our herd, sent far away, dressed up and taught to perform on cue.
And I thought about the circus audiences who are thrilled to see the elephants! They don't think about them having been taken from their families, forced to learn tricks, forced to perform for them. They would protest, I'm sure ... if they thought the elephants were mistreated, but they are well-trained and well-fed. So, the show goes on.
Most adoptive mothers are good women who mean no harm in their adopting an infant. They don't see the mother/family from whom the child was taken. They don't see the incalculable losses, all around.
The adopters, their families and friends see only the "circus" baby dressed up, re-named and taught to twirl and dance on cue.