Sometimes after the children are asleep, I watch television, and I have noticed several adoption stories taking place on different networks and different shows. ABC has Modern Family and Grey’s Anatomy. NBC has Parenthood and now Smash. And, CBS has NCIS. Now, I am not endorsing any of these shows or suggesting you watch any of them; I just found it interesting how common an adoption story is becoming to Prime Time television.
While the most common adoption story playing out is international adoption, Parenthood has an adoptive family matched with a birth mother, and NCIS had a character find out as an adult that she was adopted. I am always intrigued to see how screenwriters are going to let the different elements of adoption play out. Scenes from different shows caught my attention. On Smash, a couple with a teenager is in the process of adopting from China. When the dad learns the shortest the wait could be is 2 years, he doesn’t want to move forward with the process anymore. The teenager overhears his parents talking and later says, “…She’s waiting for us to come and get her. What’s going to happen to her if we don’t go get her?”
Another scene that caught my eye was on Parenthood. After the birthmother gives birth to a baby boy, the nurses place the baby boy in the adoptive mother’s arms and the birthmother turns her face away in anguish. They ended the episode implying the birthmother might change her mind, but they didn’t really make that clear.
The last scene is from NCIS. Through a series of events one of the main characters discovered she’s adopted. As she wrestled with this discovery and revealed it to another character, she said, “It’s me. I’m adopted.”
In the above-mentioned scenes adoption affects more than just the adoptive parents. These particular scenes highlight the birthmother, the adopted child, and nuclear family members; adoption affects these people and many more. It will affect anyone that you do life with.
As my husband and I began our adoption process, we read a book called Adoption is a Family Affair. If you haven’t read this book, I would suggest it as a way to start thinking about how adoption is going to affect your family and friends. There might be scenarios you haven’t considered or aspects you may want to explain more or that you may want to keep confidential. Whatever your situation, it’s beneficial to think about your family and friends and how you can help educate them on the adoption process. You are going to want your family and friends to be supportive, so take some time to support them.