This week on Modern Family, the Dunphy-Prichett-Tucker households, contemplated surrogacy. They cooked up an idea to have the egg from the sister combined with the gay partner of her brother to produce a genetic mix of both families for the gay couple. Claire Dunphy said, “If there is one thing I have learned today, it is the pleasure of looking at your children and seeing both, BOTH, of you in there. … And something else guys, I make really good babies. I have like magic eggs or something.”
I was a bit conflicted by this plot line. As you know, I am very happy with my adoptive family. But with children of my own, I have questions about my biological background.
We switched health providers, and this week, I was asked again about my family history. As I have countless times before, I said, “None. I’m adopted.”
But I see reflections of myself in my children, just like Claire Dunphy observed this week in her children. It’s both beautiful and thought provoking.
This week, after everyone was tucked in bed, I heard sobbing coming from my daughter’s room. I climbed the stairs (Yes, her crying was that loud.), and found my girl crying uncontrollably. Before asking, I imagined the worst. A lie, some trouble at school, friendship troubles …
Through gasps and sobs, she spilled forth in anger, “I’ll never win a Caldecott! The book I’m writing is too girly-girl!”
After waiting for her to calm down, I explained that Caldecott winners were grown-ups who have spent years writing, and that the Caldecott award is a pinnacle of one’s career. I told her that no eight-year-old has ever won a Caldecott.
But it brought back memories of 1984. I had read S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders more than four times, and I owned two copies (one in pristine condition, one for the numerous readings). I also carried a notebook around as I wrote my first and only book, “We, Four.” I had high hopes that it would speak to other teens like myself and be made into a movie.
That girl isn’t far from the budding eight-year-old author I have in my household. I like to think that somewhere another Korean man or woman is flicking through the pages of a childhood novel and remembering the aspirations of youth.