Last Friday I was part of a radio interview for a call in show.
The topic was supposed to be haiti and child trafficking.
I was being interviewed because of my professional work - not anything to do with our personal adoption.
The producer sent us advance questions before the interview.
I spent hours cramming my head full of talking points pertaining to those exact questions.
I have never been on a radio interview before. I definitely have never been on a call-in show before. In fact, I rarely listen to the radio and my experience with call in shows is limited to J's fascination with turning on C.ar T.alk to annoy me.
All of this lack of radio experience means that there was no way I could predict the twists and turns my interview would take. (J was all "I warned you about call in shows" when it was over like he is the call in show expert!)
Awkward Exhibit A:
Caller: Ummmm....yes....I am from xyz small town and I once took a first aid class a long time ago....will the Haitian government employ me to help?
My Ideal Host in Ideal Radio Land (obviously created just inside my head but not existing in reality): "well caller, that's a good question but not on the topic of ___________! So let's move on shall we? And remember...stay on topic!"
Actual Host: Grrreat question! Guest (insert my name) how do you respond??
Me: Aaahh. Yes. Um. (Now grasping for interview tactics I had gleaned from my tiny amount of prep time that day.) That IS an excellent question. But maybe a better question would be....(insert my own new theme for the conversation.)
Sigh. It went on for an hour. I got into the groove right around minute 59.
Now this is why I am posting about it on my adoption blog:
The Very First Caller asked This Question: (I did not hear it directly as I was accidentally dropped from the call at this time. The host called me back and summarized.) Something along the lines of...."Isn't it paternalistic and suspicious that so many white people want to adopt black babies from Haiti and Africa?"
Not prepared folks. Not in the preparatory questions!!
In my opinion not even on theme. And not really a question.
I had some adoption answers (specific to Haiti) prepared but not one answer flew to mind. I instantly reeled with the personal impact of the question/comment.
My answer was not all that profound. And I moved on quickly.
But what I wanted to do was rant at this person about how little he understands of love, about fighting for children to be in families and not in orphanages, and how trans-racial adoption has nothing to do with colonization or the assumption that African families can't be good parents.
My heart hurt after the program was over and I returned to this question. I feel like I may have sacrificed my personal opinions to the god of keeping radio land happy and not inviting more calls on the same topic. My colleague later told me privately that she feels this is the elephant in the room when talking about adoption.
Has anyone experienced a similar comment/question? If so, how did you deal with it?
Is it a big elephant in the room or is it just a baby elephant in a herd of adoption opinions?
- Me. Us. She.
- J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.
- ▼ February (8)