Thursday, January 31, 2013

Liz Lemon and the Magic Adoption Agency

I love 30 Rock. I do. I love Liz Lemon, the quintessential woman whose life is consumed by work not because she chose her career over her personal life, but because her workplace is so damn needy. Let's face it, if Liz Lemon quit TGS (the show within a show), or Tina Fey left 30 Rock, the show would be dead right then, and dozens of people would be out of work. And that's why so many of us identify with Liz and Tina. Not that we've have that experience on that level, but because so many of us have had to work long hours because we were surrounded by idiots, or we were told that starting next week we'd be traveling nonstop for two months, so there go your chances of meeting someone new or even keeping up with your existing social circle.

Every time in the past seven seasons that someone has given Liz a hard time about being single, so many of us have nodded knowingly. That's Tina Fey's thing - going someplace we've all been, but worse, all to make us laugh about it and feel better.

Which is why the adoption subplot in the final few episodes of 30 Rock have infuriated me to distraction. I realize that there's no room for a realistic portrayal of adoption in a workplace comedy. But did they have to make it look as easy as ordering takeout?

First, Liz was on a list at the magic agency to adopt a newborn. As a single woman, the wait would be four years. I can only assume this was traditional closed adoption with just a waiting list. Since we didn't try to adopt that way, I have no idea if that's how it's done. When she got married, she got put on a different waiting list that would only take two years. The woman at the agency suggested that she adopt an older child if she didn't want to wait. "I can get you an older child tomorrow. What color do you want?"

Over the next couple of weeks, we find out that this magic agency handles international adoptions and domestic older child adoptions. Liz and her husband decide to go for an older child and at first, the magic adoption agency contacts them about a three year old in Romania who only exists for vampire jokes. Then they end up with six year old twins from Texas. That are delivered to them by plane before they've even seen a picture of them.

And of course I can't be happy for these fictional people because the reality is so goddamned hard. Last season, Liz even said that if they adopted an older child, they'd always be a little afraid of them. This season, she came to realize that after wrangling difficult actors at work, she could handle raising any child. And then she gets six year old versions of those same difficult actors. Well, isn't that neat and tidy and adorable? It made for a great gag. I realized that even through all my bitterness.

But I spent over a year trying to get my kid, and to make things work. A teenager, not some cute little tyke like everyone who knows nothing about adoption says I should've gotten, and should get next time. And at times I was afraid of...not her exactly, but the ways she was acting out. I was afraid for me and for her. And it was for her sake and safety that we let her go.

We're two years into this process and we've lost our child. And I have no idea how long it'll take me to recover from that loss, and from everything that happened while she was here so that I'll be ready to try again. So yeah, I'm resentful of Liz Lemon's magic adoption agency that delivers up children as easily as kung pao chicken. 

You can have practically anything delivered in New York City, but not a family.


  1. We all love you and are here for you! When you are ready it will happen! You are both great people! Despite the crape on Tv we understand your pain! Love you!

  2. I just left a response to your comment over on my blog, but I wanted to stop by here and again say, I agree 100 percent. I'm incredibly sorry to read what you went through -- if you ever want to discuss adoption with another person who's at least been through the process, please email me. I'd be glad to lend an ear.

    And I'm bookmarking your blog for more reading. Love the title!


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