What the Use of “Adopted” in Quotes Has to Do With Smoothies

Sometimes, blogging, like so many things in life, is about showing up. Seeing what happens? Well, I’d like to do one better than that. Ahem. This may be too lofty a goal, though. Ahem.

But I did want to write briefly about the Katie Holmes’ news, and its coverage. I’ll admit that I spent a little too long the other night on the Hollywood Reporter article that spelled out why Katie Holmes may be the biggest threat to Scientology pretty much ever. I plead rubbernecking? I was, however, like many in the blogosphere, really put out by the way Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman’s children were referred to as their “adopted children.” Though I have very little in common with Tom Cruise—we’re both short, maybe—I, too, am a parent and adopted a child, but didn’t adopt all of my children. I do not think of myself as less of a parent or put-in-the-qualifier parent to my daughter in comparison somehow to my sons. The constant use of adopted in that article muscled in some idea that adoption is different than and possibly lesser than or not quite real.

I wasn’t the only person to take note of this, obviously.

I have written about how language fails us sometimes in regard to adoption (fun fact, an essay about this was just moved into a new gallery at the International Museum of Women and an article about it featured our picture; Internet=small world). Open adoption or not, there are familial ties to the child beyond the nuclear family. Is this complicated? It sure can feel that way.

When I’m hanging with my kids on a hot day and can provide them with cooling smoothies, it feels pretty simple, though. Also, not that you ever doubted it, Team Katie all the way.

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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