Adult Adoptees Advocating for Change
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x posting this in every forum I belong to


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joy
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« on: May 07, 2007, 12:10:09 am »

I have noticed that not always but by and large adoptees do not get a
long with adoptive parents or preadoptive parents on line.


Of course there ARE exceptions, and some of my all time favorite on
line people are adoptive parents  but for the most part, as classes of
people we seem to be more likely to engage in fisticuffs than
comaraderie


*Personally* I do get along with my adoptive parents but on line not
so much.


What does this phenomena mean?


Is it a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing thing?


What does it mean about the nature of adoption?


Should we care about the impact of adoption on the child?


How is adoption different now?


Do people think that adoptees who blog, go to forums, etc, are
different than the adoptees who don't?


Does this apply to parents who relinquished?


Does this apply to adoptive parents?


Just very curious





   

   

   
 
 

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Possum
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2007, 02:23:59 am »

Interesting question Joy.
I can tell you about my bio sis - also adopted out.
She says she feels very much the same as I do - BUT - her a-parents still have a very strong hold on her - and she hasn't the energy to be on forums or blogs as I do - with other life events (divorce & 3 kids etc) - to be as active on the internet as I am.
Me - my a-dad died when I was one - my a-mum died when I was 18. When I started searching at 25, I still had major guilt issues due to the memory of my a-mum. Fast forward to age 35 - the fog well and truly started to lift - and I started feeling quite passionate about searching and about finding others who had experienced similar things.
And passionate about finding out about the 'real' me. (Possum is a people pleaser from WAY back!!!)
My sister's a-dad is very very very possessive (he quite literally hates that I have come on the scene - sees me as a threat - yeah - little 'ole me) and puts a heap of pressure on J to not have much to do with me. (she does - but doesn't talk to a-parents about it)
The ownership thing really really pisses me off.
Anyway - I'm a lot more passionate about contacting our mum - J is certainly interested in what I find out - but she's not in the right 'space' to do much about it herself.
For us - it comes down to an energy level for the fights.
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dory
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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2007, 09:18:23 am »

I have noticed that not always but by and large adoptees do not get a
long with adoptive parents or preadoptive parents on line.

Especially PAPs - and I think that is solely because most are so anxious for a baby and have heard nothing but the wonderful aspects of adoption that they can't hear anything else. We're raining on their parade so to speak.

Quote
Of course there ARE exceptions, and some of my all time favorite on
line people are adoptive parents

Same here. One of the women I adore most in my life has adopted 5 children - and she's more than an online friend - we meet about once a year in person and talk on the phone from time to time. I wonder how the online PAPs and APs that think we are just angry adoption haters would explain that.

Quote
What does this phenomena mean?

I think it just means that we have completely different views. It would be like trying to get someone who is Pro-Choice and someone who is Anti-Choice to have a civil conversation about abortion.

Quote
Is it a good thing, a bad thing, or just a thing thing?

Well - definitely not a good thing. I think it's a bad thing for the little kids involved because if we can't have meaningful conversations about what adoption means to adoptees - as adults - how are their kids going to feel like they can talk to their parents.

I think that a good portion of APs look for our anger - which sometimes really isn't hard to find - I know I've used it (or sarcastic humor) as a coping mechanism - but that doesn't mean I'm an angry person - I'm actually pretty darn happy. But it helps justify that they don't have to hear us. It gives them an out. We could have a decent conversation about the ramifications of adoption and then they could look at a post where we bash someone who is on myspace with an icky "Dear Birthmom" letter and they totally forget anything we said previously, just toss it out the window, because see, we're not well adjusted.

I wonder if they can even understand what it feels like for some of us to see that stuff. I wonder if they even think about what some of the stuff their kids will see in public - the messages that will be thrown at their kids soley for being adopted - and how it will affect them.

We're expected to be okay with reading about all the happiness adoption brings them - but they don't feel they should be expected to hear our truths. I always say it's their kids that will lose out.

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What does it mean about the nature of adoption?

To me, the very nature of adoption is based on lies and loss. I see nothing happy in it. I'm sure that my mother would have preferred to have another biological child than have to adopt. I'm sure that most people who adopt due to infertility probably would not have adopted had they gotten pregnant and carried a child to term. So they lose. And then somewhere along the adoption process they buy into the lies that this child will fill that whole - be one of them - that they are doing a wonderful thing. Adoption makes so many APs feel they are doing a good thing - I can't help but wonder why they think a child being separated from it's mother is good.

And we all know the first mom looses. I can't imagine how one goes on after handing over their child. It just doesn't compute in my brain. And the literature I read from adoption agencies just drives me crazy with their talk of birthmom being a hero and doing the most loving thing of all. The MOST LOVING THING OF ALL is to keep, love and raise your child yourself. Why is handing over your child to a "better" couple a loving thing? It's a phychological mindf*ck - building these women up to be heros - saints - it gives them an incredible amount of power in exchange for their child. And then how many of them have the open door slammed in their face once the exchange happens - all because the APs can't handle it.

Oh, and then there's us. We loose so much. You've heard it all before. We lose our first families - all of them - not just our mother - our father, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins - all of them. We lose our right to a document that everyone else has a right to - our original birth certificate. So many of us lost the chance to bond with anyone in infancy because we were shuffled around in foster care. We lose our heritage, genetic mirroring, ability to know where we got certain personality traits, our first names, our medical info. We lose it all - and we are supposed to be happy and grateful for that. And because of all the messages in society and messages our parents subliminally give out we suck it up and somehow manage to suppress all that grief all through childhood. And then some of us explode. And then we're labeled because we don't keep our mouths shut and forever remain the good adopted child.

I don't think the nature of adoption really has a lot to do with the best interests of the child.

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Should we care about the impact of adoption on the child?

Absolutely. If we are expected to care about what the impact of not being adopted might have on a child then we also need to care about what the impact of adoption DOES have on the child. It's not a trade off.

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How is adoption different now?

Well let's see - it costs more 

It's expanded it's boundaries to include other countries which really gives people a bigger sense of rescuing - so those kids will even have a greater responsibility of gratitude than we did for just being rescued from being bastards. It has changed the definition of "orphan" - because I always thought that an orphan was a child was left parentless because both parents died.

There are more open adoptions now - although I think there should be laws protecting first families from open adoptions being closed. There are probably less late discovery adoptees - and because of the huge increase in transracial adoptions more children will know they are adopted earlier.

There are more issues regarding racism due to transracial adoption. And this brings up the thought to me that it must really suck for these kids to always feel like they are on display. It would be like me having to wear an "I'm adopted" t-shirt every day of my life growing up.

There is far more educational information available to PAPs now - althought I'm shocked at how many aren't educated about anything other than how to adopt. I think at least two books written by adoptees should be required reading for a homestudy. There is just no excuse for it. Which brings up the thought to me about how some APs feel it is an adoptees responsibility to help teach them. I used to be all for that. Up until a week or so ago. Don't know what happened - feel like I lost my religion in a way. But I used to be all about trying to help educate APs for the sake of their kids and opened up and poured my heart out and exposed some of my deepest darkest feelings. Some responded with understanding and warmth - others pointed fingers and said "I don't care what you say, I'll do what I want anyway." Now I feel like my real goal is to just be here for support to other adoptees. Why should I be the one to educate PAPs and APs when they can't even go get a book written by an adoptee. I don't know - maybe my feelings will change back but right now that's where I'm at.

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Do people think that adoptees who blog, go to forums, etc, are different than the adoptees who don't?

People obviously think that. But the thing is - we're all different. Just like when it comes to raising a child - you can find a book to support any viewpoint if you look hard enough. One pediatrician says to let your child cry themselves to sleep - another says don't ever do that - and many books for somewhere in between.

Adoptees that blog are more outspoken. But I personally have adoptee friends IRL that do not blog and don't really talk about their adoption yet they feel a sense of loss and pain in relation to it. One of my friends told me that she wholeheartedly feels she is in denial but that's the only way she can cope.

Quote
Does this apply to parents who relinquished?

I feel there are probably many first parents out there that are in to much pain to write about it. My mother is in to much pain to even talk to me about it. Again, it goes back to my though of how on earth can someone carry a child, give birth and hand it over to strangers and walk away? How do they cope? And if they want to change their minds - well - we've read enough stories to know they often don't get to. Then where does that leave them? How do they survive that?
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Aislin
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« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2007, 12:31:10 pm »

I can only answer one question in the last post. How do we surive? Not very well. Some of us don't. Some of us try not to but end up still being stuck here anyway. Right now my only means of survival is maybe my baby will need me one day. It wouldn't be fair of me to make her find a grave. So I stay in this world that I am not equiped to live in just in case she wants to know something one day. I don't know if it is really surviving as much as it is a minimal existance just in case.
I will leave it at that so I don't ramble too long and make this more about first moms than adoptees.
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Michelle
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« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2007, 06:22:40 pm »

I think adoption is a form of oppression. When people begin to wake up and see there's another reality or truth about their life expereince, it can become, at first, very liberating, but subsequent feelings that arrive post-waking up can be too much to take on - so they retreat.

If we really look at adoption for what it is: a social experiment gone bad or haywire, we can clearly see how we were the ones who got caught up in this social expereiment. Look at the thousands of adoptees and mothers/fathers who are searching....they are only in the searching stage, but they are waking up - they are questioning what happened to them. In Ontario, there were 150,000 adoptions in I believe four decades - one Canadian search registry has over 100,000 names on it. What does this say? The adoption experiment didn't work.

Adoption is a business, plain and simple. Some of us are seekers of truth by nature; it's easier for us (but at the same time painful) to challenge systems and beliefs. If I weren't adopted, I'd be stomping up and down for some other cause.

Adopters or pre-adopters have one goal in mind - a child to call their own. That hasn't changed and never will. If there were enough white infants available in NA, most would not give a rats ass about kids in orphahanges in developing countries. Does this make them horrible people? No, it doesn't. But it does make them part of the problem and not the solution. We are looking for solutions to adoption pain and trauma - most adopters are not.

One thing that really disturbs me too is how adopters are made out to be perfect parents - they see themselves this way because adoption creates this illusion (well, most people believe they will do the best they can for their kids, but they don't broadcast it around the world). They take good parenting to the extreme. Just like our parents of the BSE, these adopters will also experience divorce, mental health issues, psychological problems, illness, death, financial difficulties; children will be abused psychologically, emotionally, physically, mentally and so on. They are just people who can't have children. How does an adopted person who was abused feel when they see this all over the place? it's confusing as hell.

Some adopters do want to understand, but everytime I "educate" I am once again triggered and reminded of my own adoption suffering. When they challenge or dismiss my words, it's even more triggering. Just having sealed records is a gigantic trigger....a law that says I can't know my own family - and this is promoted and celebrated.

The way adopters ignore the mothes and fathers of the children they adopted because they don't want to share "their" child is also maddening. It's all a reminder of what I lost and have had to fight for with every ounce of my energy to get back. These people don't seem to care....their goal is to have a child who will  love and need them, and if and when that child decides to search for the truth of their existence, these oh, so, understanding adopters will be there to guide them. I question this also. I don't think it will be quite that simple (not all adopters, but many). But it's a good answer when we ask or share our concerns about a child's parents and identity.

I try now to just state what I feel and not attack. Although, attacking is required sometimes - it's part of any social movement, and the way I see it now is that if adopters or adoption fanatics and secrecy lovers don't like what I have to say, then it's their problem, not mine.
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Adoption is testimony to what the human psyche can endure...
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