Hubby & I spent the night on the west side of the state Saturday night. We were out that way specifically to catch the theater debut of one of our friends. (I’d tell you more about the play, but “I’d prefer not to.” But I do have to say, I do think our friend did a wonderful job.)
We’ve been to this town before (the most recent to see the Cowboy Junkies about five years ago), but never got a chance to really check the place out. But since our friend lives out there, we managed to get the “grand tour” of the area which included a trip to a local brewery that produces the only beer my alcohol-allergic / beer-loathing Hubby will drink. Seriously didn’t know that this brew was locally-produced.
Anyway, we ended up staying the night because the play didn’t even start until 11:00 pm. And then afterwards, well … of course we ended up going out and grabbing a drink afterwards. So we booked a room at one of the local hotels just to rest our heads for the night. After all, it’s a decent 3-hour ride back to Detroit and we weren’t about to make that drive after being out until 2 am. (Okay, maybe we would … if we were still college-age!)
The next morning, I turned on the TV in the room (while Hubby started to get ready) and started flipping through the channels. As I flipped, I stumbled onto the Dis.ney channel that happened to be showing the animated film, “Ta.rzan.” I don’t know what possessed me to keep the TV on that channel, but I suddenly found myself sucked into the movie.
There’s something about Dis.ney animated movies that I really enjoy. Especially the ones that were produced from “The Little Mermaid” onward. OK, so there were a few that I could care less about (hmmm … “Emperor’s New Groove”?), but overall I’ve liked their films.
In fact when planning our wedding, Hubby & I created a “Three Wishes” theme, including designing our own invitations (which, back in 1996, was definitely not a common thing to do) based on the movie “Aladdin.” It started with a porcelain figure of Jasmine & Aladdin that Hubby gave me when we were still dating which we thought would make a great cake topper. Then we chose “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” as our first dance and then gave little ceramic genie lamps as our favors. Yes, I guess you can say we had our own version of our “Dis.ney Fairy Tale” wedding.
But I digress … What struck me about watching “Ta.rzan” was the whole “Boy being raised by a gorilla” thing. Specifically the part where Ta.rzan found out how he came to live with and grow up with a pack of gorillas. Now, I’m assuming that most people have seen this movie or are familiar with the story. However, if you haven’t and you have the urge to read the book / watch the movie … then I suggest you skip the next two paragraphs.
If you recall that in the movie (because the movie actually does vary a bit from the book by Edward Burroughs), Ta.rzan was brought up by a pack of gorillas and was always regarded by the other gorillas as different. This, however, didn’t matter to his “Mom,” Kala, who brought him up as her own, after losing her own baby gorilla by the same leopard who killed Ta.rzan’s parents. When Ta.rzan stumbles upon Jane and is surprised that there is a person who looks similar to him, he tries to learn from Jane (and her father) as much as he can about his “kind.” Ultimately, Jane is supposed to be leaving back for “merry olde England.” As Ta.rzan had ultimately fallen in love with her, he has to make the decision to either remain behind or go with Jane.
Before Ta.rzan’s decision is made, Kala tells him the truth about his parents and how, after her own son died, she raised him as if he was her own child. After he makes his decision to follow Jane, he turns to Kala and tells her that she will always be his mom.
Uh, yeah … and that’s where the tears started flowing. (Thank God Hubby was in the shower at that point!) I kept thinking that if I was Kala, I would would be absolutely heartbroken. Proud of him, but utterly heartbroken for myself.
First of all, it’s the whole “mother who loses her own biological child” thing. How can that not relate to how I’m feeling? Okay, so I never was able to get pregnant on my own and have never physically lost a pregnancy. Or worse, a baby. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have the right to grieve about not being able to have my own biological baby. And how about those that have experienced failed IVF’s alongside with me? Or those that have experienced ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages? Those are all losses.
And then there’s the whole “being raised by someone that didn’t give birth to you” issue. Uh … that would totally relate to adoption. I know that my journey through infertility has taken me down the adoption path. And I know that every day I am one step closer to becoming just as strong as Kala wanting to raise a child that isn’t biologically part of me.
I know that adoption is my fate and once I have my child, I will be so totally, utterly and unconditionally in love with him/her. BUT … I can’t help but think that somehow, somewhere down the adoption path I will truly start to freak out about the possibility that this child might not love me or feel that the love he/she has for me is not as strong as it would be if I were his/her biological mother.
Huhm … I just realized that perhaps my child would probably think the same of the love that I would have for him/her. He/She could be thinking … “Does she love me as if I were born from her womb?” Well, the answer to that is yes. As I’ve never been able to experience pregnancy, I guess I wouldn’t know the difference between loving a child that is biologically mine or loving one that was brought into our family through adoption. So my future son or daughter … I want to let you know this right now: I will love you, because … to me, you are my own child.
Damn Dis.ney … why must you always produce movies about orphaned heroes or heroines that overcome adversity. Do you purposely peer into my heart and see which one of those heart-strings (or better yet, my apron strings) to pull?!