Thursday, August 18, 2011

Come, Let us Puke Together!

Let us bow our heads and puke together.

In an interview with Jennifer Grant author of Love You More: The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter, entitled "Adoption is Not a 'Ministry''  Jennifer challenges interracial adoption, and why it’s more than a “missionary” project....yet she speaks of being "called by God."

The publisher describes the book thusly:
Following the invisible thread of connection between people who are seemingly intended to become family, journalist Jennifer Grant shares the deeply personal, often humorous story of adopting a fifteen-month-old girl from Guatemala when she was already the mother of three very young children.
Her family's journey is captured in stories that will encourage not only adoptive families but those who are curious about adoption or whose lives have been indirectly touched by it. Love You More explores universal themes such as parenthood, marriage, miscarriage, infertility, connection, destiny, true self, failure and stumbling, and redemption.
Note that she believes this child was 'intended' for her! I find that the most arrogant thought anyone could possibly have.  You mean to tell me that God intended for a child to be born to parents unable to raise him or her, becoming an orphan, and "languish" in an orphanage fifteen months, just to be there  for YOU!  Her original parents died or suffer a major loss for YOU!? Are you kidding me?

"Adoption is wonderful for growing a family" she says. And indeed reviewers have said of her book: "Love You More is a wonderful book describing the journey of a family being completed by the adoption of  their little girl from Guatemala." But she believes it is not the best way to address global issues of poverty. Yet she did it and now preaches this. HUH?

And, not only did she adopt, because she was 'called by God' to do so, but how odd that God - in His infinite wisdom - would have called this American woman and her husband to ignore the 120, 000+/- children in US foster care who can never be reunited with their original families and who could be adopted, and instead to adopt from Guatemala, a nation plagues with crime and impunity, kidnappings and child trafficking!  Odd, eh?  Do you think "God" just didn't know, like the agencies that handled these adoptions?

Love you More, the title of her book nauseated me from the moment I heard it. I found it offensive, albeit unintended. Is love or  adoption a competition?  Does she love her child more than she loves her husband, or are they not just different kinds of love?

As a mother of three, how do her other children feel about that title, I wonder? Did it hit them in the gut as it did me and make me squirm with discomfort? Do they wonder exactly what that title implies and what the whole book says about them and their relationship with their mother? Why is this one child singled out for an entire book?

Is she implying she loves her daughter more than her daughter loves her or that she loves her adopted daughter more than her daughter's other mother does or could have? I don't get measuring love in terms of more or less.

If anyone has read the book and cares to share, please do so. (Though I will NOT allow this blog to become an advertisement for the book, so please save your praise for anywhere other than here.)

Meanwhile, excuse me while I will reach for a barf bucket to rid myself of the bile created by this woman's eagerness to exploit her daughter's image and life in order to pat her self on the back for saying that patting oneself of the back for adopting should NOT be the motivation for adopting.


Ma said...

It's the thing you say to kids when they say I love you or vice versa: I love you. I love you more! Don't think it's a reflection on her other kids.

Mirah Riben said...


But you do not know how it FEELS for her other kids. My first reaction as a mother who lost a child to adoption was that she was referring she loved her child better than her child's original mother.

I do not think for a moment that she intended to offend anyone, but IMHO it's a lousy choice fora title.

However, her choice of title is far less offensive overall then her preaching to not do as she did, and her misguided belief that she was somehow "destined" by "fate" to be this girl's mother...which implies that the girls natural mother was not meant to keep her. God just used her mother as a surrogate vessel?!?

Do people think things out?

Anonymous said...

Wow. You certainly have strong feelings about this. You seem very angry. I wonder if part of your story is that you were hurt, that you felt like someone who should have loved you seemed to love others more.
"Love You more!" is what some loving parents say to their children. All of their children. When a child says, "I love you" they respond "I love you more!" and vice versa. Then the child may respond, "No I love you more!" The author, a mom of four, says it to all her children, because love is not a limited commodity. You're correct that love cannot be measured. The more you love, the more love fills you. It's what God says to each of us--I love you more. It's playful, and limitless, which is what God's love is. There are no limits to his love for you. But if you have not experienced that, it makes sense that it would confuse you. Which is why it's always a good idea to read a book before you attack it. If you'd read the book, you would know that she's not saying she loves her daughter more than her other kids, or more than her birth mother.
I'm trying to understand why you would so harshly criticize a book you have not read. I have read the book and it addresses all the questions you raise, and the author shares your concerns that children can be exploited. She deals with these complicated issues while telling her story, which does not focus solely on the adopted child, but on their family.
You seem disdainful of the term "called by God." but looking at your blog, it appears that you are called by God to preserve original families, to protect children. You may not know that the fire in your belly and sense of anger at injustice comes from God, but I would humbly ask you to consider this: that is how God most often speaks to human hearts.
Thank you for caring about orphans. Every person matters. Including the author of this book, and her daughter, whom you have likely hurt with your anger and bitter words.

Mirah Riben said...

Thank you for your free and unsolicited pop psychology analysis of me, who you don't know. Gotta love the hypocrisy of slamming me for - admittedly - speaking about a book TITLE of a book I have not read, and commenting on an interview I did read...while analyzing someone you know nothing about but one blog post! Bravo to you!

Did you even bother to read my previous reply which answers your questions??

I may well be "called" to help preserve families and prevent exploitation and coercion. And as such, I abhor those who have the audacity to claim it was "intended" for them to take a child from that child's culture, extended kin, language and homeland and change that child's name and life to suit themselves and their needs or desires....and even worse, on top of having done that, PAT THEMSELVES on the back and make them self out to be some kind hero and expert for doing exactly what they now preach against!

And I got all of that from the author's own words, which I HEARD her speak at the interview site i linked to!

Lorraine Dusky said...

Books like this make me need to take an aspirin and lie down. I wonder if the wonderful writer knows if her daughter was stolen from her parents. Like, really knows, not just what the lawyer an factotum collecting money told her. All adoptions from Guatemala are iffy and need to be questioned, yet our society glorifies the people who perpetuate them. Why not help the child's real family keep her instead?

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