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      The Beauty of Adoption
      發布時間:2019年06月01日     郝保偉 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
      字號 簡體 繁體 打印

      The Beauty of Adoption


      By Marjorie Hershey


      If you were to form an opinion about adoption based on media coverage, you’d probably conclude that it was a mess. Babies snatched from ambivalent[1] birth mothers. Crying toddlers[2] ripped from their families by birth parents who changed their minds. Teenagers searching for their “real” parents and discarding their adoptive families like out-of-style clothes.


      [1] ambivalent 有矛盾情感的。


      [2] toddler 蹣跚行走的人;學步的小孩。

      Those are the media images. They have little to do with the reality experienced by most adoptive families. Nevertheless, the media’s focus on “problems” posed by adoption encourages a very distorted view of a vital and wonderful institution. If you were part of an adoptive family, this is some of what you might hear:


      “Do you have any REAL (or natural, or biological) children?” The answer is yes. Children who come into their families through adoption are real, natural, AND biological[3]. Language makes a difference. What should we call little people who become part of a family because of adoption? Simple. We should call them that family’s children.

      “你有真正的(親生的或有血緣的)的孩子嗎?”答案是肯定的。通過收養進入家庭的孩子是真實的,自然的和有生命的。措辭很重要。通過收養而成為家庭一分子的小孩子, 我們應該如何稱呼他們?很簡單,他們就是這家的孩子。

      [3] natural 自然的;物質的。biological生物(學)的。這兩詞后接 children時,均可譯為“有血緣關系的;親生的”。


      “Who are their ‘real’ parents?” Say, what?[4] We are the people who were sleep-deprived during their infancy. We are the people who paid for their braces[5]. We are the people who cry with them when things don’t go well. We are the people who live through their teenage years. If that isn’t “real” parent-hood, what would you call it?


      [4] 這一表達多用于口語,表示對別人所說的話感到驚訝或難以理解。


      [5] brace (兒童)牙箍。

      “You are so kind to have adopted a child.” You give us too much credit. Adoption is not charity. People adopt children because they want to have children, and adoption is one of the ways that children come into a family. We are not the United Way[6]. An act of charity, no matter how commendable[7], normally takes place occasionally and at a distance. Parenting a child is up-close and personal. Our commitment to our children, like any other parents’, is total. It does not depend on sympathy, pity, or a desire to feel good.


      [6] 聯合勸募協會:全球性公益組織,在世界各地設有分支機構,旨在改善當地的貧困、失業、家庭暴力等社會問題。


      [7] commendable 值得稱贊的。

      “I couldn’t love an adopted child as much as one of my own.” Many people seem to believe that a genetic tie is necessary for a happy family. If that were so, presumably you would love your husband or wife much less than you love your brother or sister. After all, you have a direct genetic link to your siblings; you don’t, I hope, to your spouse.


      This belief seems to underlie much of the media treatment of particular families. In reports of child abuse, for example, reporters seem to find it necessary to indicate if the perpetrator[8] or the victim was adopted. Do they feel they’re helping to explain the tragedy? Is it that people with direct genetic ties would not ever hurt one another? Care- fully-done studies show that adopted children, especially those adopted very young, are just as well-adapted, healthy, and smart as are non-adopted children. But some children become available for adoption because they were abused or neglected by their birth families, and even years of loving care may not cure the anger that was thus sown.


      [8] perpetrator 犯罪者;行兇者;加害者。

      “I want a child who looks like me.” Chances are, you’ll be wrong at least half the time. “Looking like” is a matter of perception and expectation at least as much as physical reality. I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve been told that my tall, blond, blue-eyed oldest daughter looks like me. I’m small, brown-eyed, and brunette[9]. But we are mother and daughter; people expect us to resemble one another, and so they find the ways in which we do.


      [9] brunette 深褐色頭發的白人女子。

      At some point, we will build up enough experience with birth parents who would rather not be “found” and with adopted children who discover that their birth parents have as many warts[10] as their adoptive parents, that the situation will come into better balance.


      [10] wart 缺點,瑕疵。


      “Adoption is expensive.” Is it ever. That’s a shame, though I understand why it’s so. Just as families do not grow their own babies for free – hospitals and doctors do send bills for their services, no matter what – licensed social workers and various other safeguards[11], to make sure that these precious little lives are protected, cost money.


      [11] safeguard 保衛;防護措施。

      It’s not easy to convince some people of the beauty of adoption. There are some who go so far as to object to all adoptions, on the ground that[12] adoption “breaks up families.” To all of them, let me say:


      [12] on the ground that 基于;以...... 為理由。

      Adoption is not a problem. Adoption is a solution. There are people all over this country who would like to be parents, and who would be fine parents, but who are not able to grow babies. There are children all over this world who no longer have parents, or whose parents are unable to care for them. When these two get together, it is not a trauma[13]. It is not a minefield[14]. There’s a word for it. It’s called a family.


      [13] trauma 精神創傷;痛苦經歷。


      [14] minefield 雷區。