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So, I just found this meta that I never published in my drafts.
The scene between Abbie and Jenny’s former foster parent is one of my favourites in The Lesser Key of Solomon for so many reasons. I’ve heard/read about how exploitative the foster care system can be, but usually when it’s portrayed as such in the media, I rarely see the kids most marginalised by that system (i.e. children of colour, black kids especially). So, I appreciate the fact that Abbie’s pain and Jenny’s pain is actually being explored on the show through their eyes.
These two were in and out of foster homes and according to Abbie, they finally landed in decent one right before the incident in the forest occurred. I think the audience can safely assume that they didn’t have the love, support and security they needed after their parents lives fell apart. I think we can also assume that they suffered some neglect and abuse in those homes.
The confrontation emphasised why she and Jenny could only rely on each other, clarified why she lied about what happened to them, and why she held onto those lies for so long in order to keep some semblance of normalcy in her life. Lying wasn’t just about her own self-preservation, but Jenny’s as well. She was right, who would believe this bizarre testimony from two fostered black teenaged girls who had been drinking underage in the forest? Where would they be shuffled to next? Abbie truly believed that she was doing the right thing, but once she lied and betrayed Jenny, things spiraled out of control and she couldn’t take it back. She continued to justify her decision, which is part of why it was so difficult for her to come to terms with the truth in For the Triumph of Evil, even to the point of risking her life for the lie.
I will say though, one thing that disappoints me a little is that I feel like the narrative places the entirety of the blame and pressure on Abbie; I don’t think we’ve seen anyone acknowledge that they understand the choices she made. Even Corbin seemed to focus on Abbie’s fear about what she saw in the forest as opposed to her convictions (e.g. you were young, you made a mistake and thought that what you did was the right thing to do). I do think that in this instance, the narrative subtly acknowledges why Abbie felt justified. You could just imagine her recalling a similar situation and her picturing Jenny in the place of that neglected young girl lying on a cot on the floor, especially when the woman says to her, “I put a roof over your sister’s head; no one else wanted her,” as if that’s all that’s needed to parent a child.
Seeing Abbie finally being able to speak out and finally being in a position where she has the power to get justice against people who abuse this system and the kids in that system was very validating.
/PRESSES FACE TO SCREEN
srsly tho as a RL transracially adopted foster care survivor (we haven’t seen all of Abbie & Jenny’s foster/surrogate parents but the ones we have seen are all WHITE, which again is in keeping with the actual realities of the system so again well done TV writers/casters), THANK YOU for this post.
Amazing how a show about biblical prophecies, witches, and f’ing time traveling aristocrats has come up with the most accurate, relevant portrayal of foster care than any other current “gritty” TV series with the requisite tragically orphaned(TM) protagonists.
Bolded the parts that hit closest to home. omg what other excellence is waiting in your wings X
Adoptive mother on her 12-year-old daughter.
From When Children Are Traded, published November 20, 2013 in The New York Times.
I remember reading the Reuters investigative report on foreign adoptions gone wrong this year - there are white people who repeatedly adopt foreign children or buy them underground online. I still think about that article every day, and this quote or something similar to it appeared in many parents’ mouths - that they wouldn’t mind having someone kill their children than have to spend another minute with them.
I just finished reading them, actually. If we had continued the conversation then you would have found out that nearly all of the experiences you've written about or reblogged have happened to me because of the circumstances of my birth and how I was raised. It's clear there's not much point in continuing, though. Have a good week and a nice holiday.
oh wowowowow so YOU TOO were picked out of a catalog between $30,000 - $50,000 bucks a pop with final price contingent on your physical attractiveness, number of diseases, and neurotypicality?!
YOU TOO had your gender determined by industry laws of supply & demand with your parents’ purchasing power? YOU TOO were regularly likened to the most infamous serial rapists & murderers that preyed upon your (paid predetermined) gender? YOU TOO were trafficked and warehoused in an exponentially growing underground market of parents who abandon and trade their “forever children” with zero legal repercussions? YOU TOO survived government subsidized institutionalization to cure the “primal wound” of your conception and “inevitably sociopathic rage against your birth mother” wherein you were subjected to “therapies” that so violate every human rights convention on the planet they’ve resulted in the highest number of documented cases of child death-by-torture in modern history? YOU TOO had your true age, place of birth, parentage, and developmental history completely withheld from you by the entity that delivered you to your fam for aforementioned $30,000 - $50,000? YOU TOO have been the subject of economic recovery and bans? YOU TOO had the circumstances of your birth certificate(s) make a multinational-billion behemoth charged with mass abduction trip over itself to enlist your help to cover its own ass in an oncoming diplomatic standoff? YOU TOO have been roadblocked all access to your medical history in the midst of cancer treatment?
YOU TOO were told throughout childhood & adolescence that all your immediate family members were killed by a war responsible for your “salvation,” only to discover as an adult EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM STILL ALIVE.
How we doing here? 8 outta 10? Surely not less, seeing how you share “nearly all my experiences” of course.
Being bi/multi-racial does not actually endow you with ANY insight into being orphaned, a transracial adoptee, a transethnic adoptee, or a foster kid.
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