Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cold Risotto

Today, I have a story for you. It's made-up but I think it's a good story. I promise there's a point to it. Here it goes. (My sincerest apologies if your name happens to be Susan. It's a lovely name.)

Once upon a time, a woman - let's call her Susan - went to a restaurant. Susan was very, very hungry. Some people might have thought she was stupid to go to a restaurant when most people cook for themselves, but that was Susan's business, not theirs, and for one reason or other, Susan was going to a restaurant for dinner.

Susan's waitress was very friendly right off the bat. She made Susan feel welcome and kept her water glass full and took her order and promised it would be out shortly. Excited and, as I said, very hungry, Susan eagerly awaited her risotto. She was so hungry, she thought this risotto was going to be the best thing in the world. As she waited, she had visions of risotto dancing in her head and all she could think of was how happy she'd be once the waitress brought out her dish.

Some time passed, and suddenly the waitress was getting as crabby as Susan was. Finally, after half an hour or more, the waitress slammed down a dish of cold risotto and the bill and stalked away. Susan was stunned. And the risotto, in addition to being rather cold, was quite possibly the most disgusting dish of risotto ever served in the history of food.

Susan was, understandably, appalled. She complained to management. The manager was appalled as well, and tried to explain things. Shortly after Susan's order had been placed, the chef quit. The waitress received a phone call from her boyfriend, who dumped her - on the phone, and while she was at work! The manager assured Susan that her dinner was an exception, not the norm. This was a top-notch restaurant with a good reputation. He offered to comp the dinner and pushed a gift card at Susan in the hopes that she would give them another try and see that their restaurant was not as bad as all that.

But Susan was unable to get past her cold risotto experience. She told every person she knew about it. She blogged about what a horrible restaurant it was, and how no one should ever eat there. When people mentioned to her that they'd eaten there and had a lovely time, she railed at them that they must be stupid not to see what a terrible restaurant it was, and she harassed those people repeatedly and with great force about what a bad decision they'd made. She ridiculed them for their naiveté. She found their personal blogs and left numerous comments about what idiots they were to even consider eating at that restaurant again. In Susan's opinion, this restaurant should be closed down immediately and not allowed to open again until changes were made to ensure that no one would ever be served cold risotto again - in fact, they shouldn't even serve risotto. Susan decided to make it her life's work to speak out against the restaurant, and she couldn't understand why the whole world didn't join in her crusade.

Now, you're probably wondering why on earth I am blathering on about snippy Susan and her cold risotto. Susan sounds like a real piece of work, doesn't she? Because really, who could have such an ego as to assume that if they had a bad experience somewhere, no one else should even consider that place?

Let's change the subject for a second, and then I'll get back to Susan.

Sorry, that's a terrible segue. Here's a better one.



That is an awesome Segway.


Anyway.


I have a great experience with adoption. I think it's wonderful. I might not tell the entire world to eat at this restaurant called adoption, but if I knew someone was hungry and didn't know where to eat, I would certainly tell them to consider eating there. I would tell them about my experience so they would know that, even though it serves up the occasional dish of cold risotto, eating out isn't a hazardous thing. It can be, but it doesn't have to be.

But I have noticed that there are a number of Susans in the adoption world - on-line, in any case, and they are just as snippy and unyielding and very much against the institution that they feel wronged them so much. They got cold risotto. And that's not fair, and I won't argue that point. What I take exception to is these Susans (allow me to apologize if your name happens to be Susan) who go on-line and tell hungry people that they need to learn how to cook because restaurants are inherently wrong. I don't like hungry people being told they're going to get food poisoning if they eat out.

You know what? I can't stop these people. I know there are people out there for whom adoption has not been a good thing. I feel sorry for them. The things that have happened to some people are unfair, wrong, and shouldn't happen to anyone. But I get tired of them insisting that adoption is a bad thing, refusing to believe that it can be an amazing and wonderful thing, simply because it wasn't for them.

Adoption was the best thing in the world for my little Roo. It was the best thing in the world for my mother. And it was the best thing in the world for probably close to 100 little children I can think of just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are countless others for whom it was also the best. We're all happy with our risotto. We are proof that the restaurant isn't a bad place, that the risotto isn't always cold and that, just the opposite, it's frequently the best dish on the menu.

Susan's risotto was bad, but that doesn't mean I'm going to let her tell me that my risotto was a mistake and that I'm going to regret it for the rest of my life and that I "lost" my appetite to risotto.

For every horrible, traumatic, food-poisoning story you hear about adoption, there are probably ten thousand stories or the best dinner ever that no one ever tells. Cold risotto makes for good news. A cozy family meal interests no one.

Is adoption always the right, best, most wonderful thing in the world? Nope. Because it involves people, and people are imperfect. But I think each hungry person should be able to decide for him- or herself how best to have dinner.

24 comments:

jgirl said...

good post Jill! he who yells loudest, usually has the least important thing to say...

Becky said...

I don't usually comment on blogs of people I don't know in person and I apologize if you think I'm being stalkerish, I found your blog one day and I've been following it ever since. However, as a future adoptve mother, I love your analogy, is it okay if I link it in my blog?

CnR said...

Well said. I have stumbled upon anti-adoption blogs that are not only quite sad but almost scary with their blazing fire-flames all over the place and black backgrounds. It's too bad their experiences have not been pleasant, and maybe weren't the right choice for them.

Thank goodness for your blog!

miraculouslymyownaz said...

I've been reading for awhile and have never commented. I am inspired by your words on a regular basis and I hope that my little R's birth family feels as confident in their decision as you do.

Thank you for writing this post. This is something I have always thought, but you know, it is easy for me to think it because I am adoptive mom. Its affirming for me to hear someone on the other side of things say it (and so eloquently, I might add). Thank you.

~Bri

Candace said...

You don't need to publish this comment :) I just wanted to say I LOVED your story, and the point of the story. I think it can be applied not only to adoption but to single parenting (which I chose). Living in Utah all I heard was I needed to choose adoption, that single parenting was wrong. How my child will grow up to be a delinquent or I will be on welfare and live in a poor house etc etc. Just because that happens doesn't mean it will happen to me... my situation may be a great dish of risotto :) I did consider adoption and I love the adoption world, I love the success stories and how it brings families together. So my point... thank you I loved this post!

Bellatrix and Narcissa said...

well said :)

audra said...

Jill I LOVED this, and I've seen blogs and blog posts by the Susan's out there. Glad to see personally with so many of you amazing ladies that the formerly quiet patrons are finally starting to speak out about their more pleasant "risotto" experiences.

Lia - not Juno said...

Hehe, cute analogy -and TRUE. Man did I get SLAMMED with Susans when I first started blogging, and it seemed impossible that there could be ANYBODY out there who would even utter the word "risotto" anymore. I mean, why would you, when risotto VICIOUSLY RAN OVER YOUR DOG WITH A TRACTOR WHILE LAUGHING IN YOUR FACE? But I cling to the notion (that is slowly being reaffirmed) that there are many people out there who still love risotto, who have never seen risotto driving a tractor let alone running over any dogs, and who routinely fully enjoy a delicious dish of it. I've never had delicious risotto, but I sure like the idea of it - I hope it tastes as good to me as it has to you.

Of course, even with a full plate of delicious risotto in front of you, there's the constant presence of, I dunno, ants or something. /end metaphor - No matter how wonderful or right of a choice the adoption was, there's sadness too. That's what I get from you, at least.

Lia - not Juno said...

Oh and we have the same birthday? That's nuts! Go us! I love being on the Scorpio/Libra cusp. I am SUCH A SCORPIO and for a long time I thought I was a Libra and it really fucked me up. Not that I give much credence to these things.

Christy said...

Love this post! I was just pondering this over the weekend at the National FSA Conference; How "appetizing" to be in a place where we were all "snacking on" the same positive language of adoption and can have a break from "cold risotto" complaints!

Que and Brittany's Adoption Journal said...

I think the topic of adoption and the topic of our church have the same lightning rod effect of the Cold Risotto scenario.

There are people who make it their life's work to dissuade others from it, but they don't stop to think that because not everyone is the same, it might be a good thing for someone else.

Jason & Kelli's Family said...

AMEN! Thank you for sharing your story. You are 100% right-each of us has the right to decide for ourselves what is best. I am shocked at what some people say to our son's birth mom at times-it makes me so sad. Your courage is inspiring!

Angee said...

Wow Jill. That was seriously so inspirational! I completely agree with everything you stated! And what a great way of putting it. Would you mind if I posted this on my blog? I have been trying to share my testimony on adoption as much as possible. I do get the occasional "Susan's" that try to dispute my love of adoption, but no one can change how I feel about adoption. Thank you for your sweet testimony!!!!!!!

Jill Elizabeth said...

I'm glad y'all like it! If you want to share, please do, just credit me and link back to my blog. And let me know you've put it on your blog so I can brag about it :-)

Cluff Family said...

Jill, your post was fantastic. I really liked it and my name is Susan so you know it was good if I liked it. I will have to look further back and see if you posted pictures from your Ireland trip. I hope you did!

Angee said...

Just blogged your story (and gave you credit and well deserved praise). :) Here's my blog. http://crazycolvins.blogspot.com/

Lara said...

Way to spread the love. Yeah, not as drama/news worthy, but it's the only weapon we have.

P.S. Loved the Segway. Hehe

LeMira said...

LOVE this analogy!

Sassy Christian Momma said...

Bravo! What an exceptional Piece! You are a gifted writer! Thanks for sharing that fabulous analogy!

William and Alicia said...

Just linked to you on my blog. Awesome analogy btw! http://williamandalicia.blogspot.com/2010/08/cold-risotto.html

Also, thanks for having our Hope To Adopt button on your blog :)

rebecca woodward said...

I found your blog through William and Alicia's blog and I am truly touched by your thoughts and insight. My heart goes out to you for some very personal reasons. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself Jill. Here's a really big hug...

rebecca

Michele said...

Hi,

My name is Michele and I placed my daughter 25 years ago. I had the best Risotto ever in my experience and I so can agree with everything you have said. I am now in the reunification prcoess with my birth daughter and it has not been going that well. I am still hopeful I will meet my child someday but I too am weary and scared that it will not be a happy ending.

I loved your anaology. I have been posting on Birth Mom Buds blog for about a 3 months now and have been blasted by several adoption haters and man where do these people come from I wonder? It is amazing and scary!

Keep up the good work you are doing. I loved reading yuor story on BMB too by the way. I knew you looked familiar.

The name of my blog is:
http://michele-whileimwaiting.blogspot.com

Take care and it was an honor to comment.
Michele :)

Toni said...

Thank you so much for your perspective and your sharing heart. As an adoptive mother of four, I can relate to your words about the negative view of adoption painted by some. The fact is, LIFE is of positives and negatives, challenges and blessings. Yet for some bizarre reason, there are folks who view adoption as bad, wrong, substandard, etc. Such a pity they don't "get" it.

I blogged about adoption today as well. Feel free to stop by and read my post if you like. But I would also like to share something I wrote about "real moms" some time ago. You can find that post here; http://inthemidstofthisseason.blogspot.com/2007/03/real-moms.html

Amanda Barr said...

As an adoptive mom, I'm always interested to hear from adoptees as well as first moms to get everyone's perspective. Thanks you, thank you, thank you for your blog and its positivity. I've run into some very negative and hateful people over the past year since I adopted my first (the second to be finalized in Sept.), and it's always so empowering to come across someone like you who is really telling the truth and not spreading venom.

Thanks again!