Thursday, March 22, 2012

Adopt a... a highway, a road, an idea, a pet, a family, a school, a block, a park or a classroom

Language is a funny thing.  We have words that can only mean one thing, like a circle.  A circle in all of its various forms is either called a circle or it has a different, more descriptive name.  We call things that are in the shape of a circle, the name of the thing - ie. a ball, a hull-a-hoop, a face, a wheel - not simply a circle.  It's simply not descriptive enough.

But for some of our most meaningful concept words, we apply them to all sorts of things.  Take love for example.  I love my daughter, yes, but I also love coffee, walks, my wrap, sleeping in and meaningful conversations.  I love all those things - to lesser or greater degrees.

Adopt (and Adoption) is another one of those words, that we use in all sorts of ways.  I never thought of it before I adopted myself.  Oh wait, I should be more clear until I adopted a child.  A human being.  Not a highway, a road, an idea, a pet, a family, a school, a block, a park or a classroom.  Before I adopted a child.  Of course, those who have been a part of the journey know that there is a human being involved, but looking at google, you might wonder.

Here are the top -55 or so results when I googled, "Adopt a..."

As far as I can tell, 3 out of the top 55 are about adopting a child.  And this bothers me.

I know what a powerful, life-altering, not-to-be-taken-lightly thing adoption is.  For ALL involved, and to see it literally in the same category as "Adopt A Hottie"  and "Adopt a Hydrant" is surprising.

So, in my little corner of the world, I am asking people to choose a different word if they are talking about anything other than the most serious process of giving a home to a child who literally doesn't have one.  You can support your school, clean up your highways, be the best darn owner of a pet out there, but I feel like the word adoption should mean something deeper.

So, I for one am taking the word back.

Has anyone else felt this way?  What have you done about it?  Does it make a difference what word people use?  Am I being silly?

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