Sunday, September 30, 2012

It's My Book, My Story, So Back Off

Writing about adoption sucks. It also can be quite rewarding, but for the most part it just sucks. I am fortunate for the people I meet that get me, who understand mothers have different stories. The people who can find places in their hearts & heads to open up and HEAR others. I love each and every one of you. All the others can stick it .... where ever you like, as long as it is far from me.

This is brought on and will explain why I have been absent for so very long from you, my faithful readers. Several months back I was introduced and became friends with a wonderful woman who asked me to contribute for her magazine. AWESOME! I was so excited, and I still am because she provides a platform for so many voices in adoption that I consider myself rather lucky to be involved. However, being on a larger, wider based publication will invite more of the lovelies. And yes, I am being sarcastic using a nice word to describe some very nasty human beings.

I have been attacked before, and I can handle anything someone wants to throw at me. It's cool, I am game for a little banter and perhaps enlightenment on a subject that has been a part of my life for so, so long. I have dealt with the nastiest of the lovelies and come out better for it, because there is nothing finer than a challenge to remind you just what you are made of, and more importantly what it is that you are wanting to do with your life.

This particular post will address an issue that some people have chosen to bring to my attention. Wait, let me rephrase: people have barraged me with messages expressing just how heartless and uncaring I am to exclude certain things from my book. Yes, MY book. The book that I wrote. The book that I wrote because for YEARS I could not find the book to say the things I was thinking. My book that tells MY story, a story that is unique yet has many similar qualities to others out there in the adoption triad.

Allow me to say this, I wrote my book based on my experience and what happened as I knew it. I am white. I am straight. I do believe that children need two parents in their lives. I know that it did make me sad to leave them, but it gave me great pride that I was able to ask for help when many would not. This is the story I told, because it is MY story. If the book does not follow your story completely, that is okay. People are different. Different colors, different religions, different ways to love. Please do not try to change my story to fit your life. If you like the book, share it with your kids. If you need to add or take out things to fit your situation, do so. If you do not like my book, then do not share it. I thank you for reading it, and appreciate your feedback as long as it is kind and respectful.

However, please do not ask me to rewrite my book to fit what your family looks like. Sure, it would be great if you could have exactly what your family looks like in a book and if that is what you want I am sure you can find a way to create your OWN masterpiece online. But to suggest that I am racist, biased, homophobic or anything else just because I wrote and drew the pictures that were in my mind is absolutely ridiculous. It is ridiculous and disrespectful.

So you contact other authors and ask them to change their characters to fit what you see in your mind? I hope not! We would not ask Leo Tolstoy to change the title from "War and Peace" to just "Peace" because we don't like the word war, would we?

I appreciate your thoughtfulness and thank you for your understanding in this matter .... eh?


Anonymous said...

People seriously ask you to rewrite your book?!? That's ludicrous! Every adoption is different. I've often tried to think of ways to create truly custom books - in fact, I created a storybook for my son and will do one for my daughter. But to ask an author, "Hey, rewrite this, will ya?" That's nuts!

I enjoyed your book, even though my son is black and the baby in yours is white. It doesn't matter. Race isn't integral to the story. Yes, a two-parent family is, but that's OK. You can change some words around and make it ok for same sex couples too. I think your book works very well at telling your story, which is what it's supposed to do. I think it was very nice for my son to hear that a birthmom loved her child. He could extrapolate that his birthmom loved him too.

Some people! Sheesh!


Danya said...

Kels, this blog post is great and all, but I can't help but feel you're being a little bit racist/prejudice/homophobic by writing about your beliefs on your blog. Instead, your post probably should have read more like this:

"My name is Kelsey Stewart. I am writing a blog post. I am now done writing a blog post. I apologize."

Really, anything more then that is just hateful and biased.

Linda Hoye said...

I understand where you're coming from. As a regular contributor to that same adoption magazine--writing from an adoptee perspective--I've been attached for my views as well. Honestly, in light of the verbal attacks I was tempted to stop writing and speaking out but then, well, the attackers would have won the battle they were choosing to wage. I have no battle with anyone. I believe in the blessing of adoption. No, it's not the perfect scenario for everyone, but let's not silence the voices of those, like you and me, who believe in the blessings it can bring.