I'm a gifted adult survivor of child abuse by my adopted parents, who left me with chronic depression, PTSD, and a touch of autism for good measure. Here I examine the fragments of my past. It's enlightening but not pleasant. You've been warned.

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Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Adoption Story Part 2: Cindy

My Adoption Story Part 1

Any forensic examination of the process my adoptive parents went through when they decided to adopt has to ask, "What the Hell was up with Cindy?"

After deciding to adopt, the first decision my FAPs made was to eschew Catholic Charities in favor of a private adoption.  This is atypical behavior on their part.  Private adoption was the most expensive option, and they were cheapskates.  Also private adoption involved a lawyer, and this is the only time I can ever remember my adoptive father paying for a lawyer.  That just wasn't his M.O.

But there's another problem with not going with the cheap-and-popular option.  Dad said Mom told him about that time that she wanted nothing to do with Catholics.  Now Mom hated a lot of people and wasn't shy about proclaiming it:  blacks, Jews, women, gays, and basically anyone the least bit happy, successful, or respected.  But I never remember her ever saying she hated Catholics.  There had to be some other reason.  I wonder if she and her first husband tried to go through Catholic Charities, and they rejected her?

 So I was told that after this there were character references, home visits, and Mom spent three years teaching a Sunday School class to get certified as "good with children" (Mom never taught a Sunday School class or anything else AGAIN until Dad died and she had to make nice with the church to use their free labor) but I'm not sure who did the certifying since they went with a private adoption.  Someone whose seal of approval would presumably look good on some document somewhere.  Were there private companies that would certify PAPs for a fee?  I must look into that.

But the really screwy part of this story was Cindy.  In order to prove to the certification people that they were competent to handle a baby my adoptive parents-to-be got a dog.  Now what kind of dog would make the best impression on the certification people?  A golden retriever, with it's proven child-friendliness?  No.   A collie, intelligent and loyal?  Nope.  How about a beagle with it's small size, amiable nature, and gentle disposition?  Nuh-uh, not good enough.  They had to go and get a chihuahua, the perennial front-runner in the Least Baby-Friendly Dog in the Universe competition.

But not just any chihuahua.  When they went to the puppy farm to pick out a dog, there was one little puppy who had been dropped by a great height by a little girl and was now deathly terrified of all little children, and as a result aggressive towards all little children.  They were assured that she would be a fine dog -- AS LONG AS SHE WAS KEPT AWAY FROM ALL BABIES AND SMALL CHILDREN.

And that's the way Cindy was.  She was a fine dog -- around adults.  Around any child including me she would growl, bark, and otherwise act like she was about to start a fight to the death.  Cindy stayed in the house with us, but as far away from my adoptive younger sister and I as space would allow.  If we were even in the same half of a room with her she would go spastic.

So, you're thinking, that's a sad story but what else were they going to do with the little dog after they (foolishly) brought her home?  Well, they could have given her to my adoptive paternal grandmother, who already had a chihuahua, was known to dogsit for people who traveled abroad for years, lived in the same town, and repeatedly offered to take Cindy in.  No deal.

Now, what's wrong with this picture?

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