Archive for July, 2007

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I’m writing because I feel like something needs to be written here. I feel like I can’t leave things in their current state, with my previous entry at the top of my blog. It’s not that I’m ashamed of it or am disowning it. I still feel the same way about forums, even though I’m really not mad at the people involved. At least, not anymore.

I was mad at Joy. I felt like I had been kicked, hard. I did not contact her and ask, “Did you just kick me, hard?” I didn’t even think about it and I don’t know why I would have, it seemed plain as day to me. But I think it’s getting worked out now. I’ve cancelled the flaming bag of poop scheduled for her doorstep.

I was never mad at any of the other people involved in that thread on AAAFC. But it is really starting to become clear that there are many ways in which I can’t relate to them. I don’t think it’s because they’re bad or I’m bad. I like them, which just makes this harder. I have some theories about this and I will write about it some other day.

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I guess I’m not adopted enough.

What follows is grumpy writing about forum drama that I’d rather just put behind me. I’m leaving it here because I think it’s an important historical document in my experience as an adoptee interacting with other adoptees on the internet, but I’m splitting the post to remove the text from casual viewing because it doesn’t really go with the rest of my writing. (Apologies to those reading over RSS, my edit probably made this look like a new post but it’s not.)

Continue reading ‘I guess I’m not adopted enough.’

Big surprise, “forever families” aren’t really forever.

Okay, so I did all this blogging about how I don’t like the term “angry adoptee” and apparently I am the sort of person whose hijinks amuse the Gods to no end because wouldn’t you know it, today I ran across something that makes me want to tattoo “ANGRY ADOPTEE!” to my forehead and march around carrying a sign that says “ANGRY ADOPTEE!” while I shout to random passers by, “I AM AN ANGRY ADOPTEE! AAARGH!!!” until someone locks me up in the angry adoptee wing of the nearest loony bin.

What could cause such a reaction, you ask? Well, if you’re an adoptee or even just a decent human being and you don’t want to be completely enraged for hours, possibly days or weeks, then do not check out this blog post in which cool adoptive mom Judy discovers, much to her horror, an ad in her local paper for an adoption replacement. Wait, that’s a little ambiguous, let’s hyphenate for clarity: re-placement. As in, placing for adoption again.

Chloe, re-placed adopteeSorry, Chloe. You see, it just didn’t work out. It was time to part ways. After over nine years. Hey, these things happen. We love you, but we’re not in love with you, and maybe it would be better if you saw other parents, and we saw other children. We just can’t deal with all your issues. This just isn’t what we wanted. But hey, we can still be friends.

Tragic, isolated case? Oh, no. This particular adoption agency has a fucking return policy. “When adoption can’t be forever, adoption disruption is an option.” Go read that page. Go read it! And if it doesn’t make you completely sick and/or furious, please do the rest of humanity a favor and throw yourself off the nearest cliff.

I was thinking about going through and listing all the things that are wrong with this, but I don’t even know where to begin. No, wait, here’s the one thing that I think bothers me the most, and that is saying something considering how much everything about this is just wrong. All this bullshit so many adoptive parents spew all over the internet about how they are their adoptive children’s real parents is a big fucking lie as long as things like this are allowed to exist. Real parents don’t need an escape clause. Any adoption agency that offers one should be shut down immediately and the people responsible for it never allowed to work with children again.

I have gone out of my way several times in this blog to say that I am not anti-adoption. However, if we have actually gotten to the point where adoption is not final, where adoptive parents do not have the same commitment to their children as I have to my biological child, then we truly would be better off outlawing adoption because it has become nothing more than trafficking in human lives.

She’s… so pop-u-lar!

Sometimes I think adoptees have some kind of latent telepathy or hive mind thing going. Not seriously, of course, otherwise by now we would surely have formed a vast conspiracy controlling the world’s economies for our own nefarious purposes while simultaneously maintaining a façade of lost souls on the internet trying to figure out who and what we are. And that’s just ridiculous, no way such a thing could be true! Hahahahahaha! Such a silly idea!

But anyway, one of the things that’s been on our hive mind a lot lately (here, here, and here–the Vietnamese team takes all three medals in this event!) is anger and bitterness, and how these ways of describing (and dismissing) any adoptee who harbors any negative feelings about adoption at all just won’t go away. I’ve written about this too (several times now), and I would fall over from shock if there haven’t been a dozen others, but it just won’t go away. It’s really frustrating! Some variant of “angry adoptee” shows up just about every day on the search engine hits for my blog, and I don’t know if it’s from some adoptee who really is angry looking for like minded folk, or what.

It’s tiresome and I’ll try to shut up about it, or maybe just find a way to joke about it, but I know I can’t really let it go as long as I keep encountering it. Like misheard lyrics to a popular song, the idea of the angry/bitter adoptee just keeps coming back again and again no matter how many people we try to correct, no matter how thoughtfully and carefully we try to explain. I guess it’s just the cross-eyed bear that you gave to me.

Adoption did not ruin my life or crush my soul or whatever.

I am not going to deny the experiences of those for whom adoption has made their lives miserable. They say it and I believe them. But it did not make mine miserable, and I think there are a lot of worse things that could have happened to me. This does not mean I’m “grateful” or think myself “lucky” to have been adopted, or some other bullshit like that. On the whole, being adopted is worse than being raised by one’s biological parents, all other things being equal. Of course, all other things were not equal, and given the circumstances into which I was born I cannot say for sure which would have worked out better for me.

I wish that I had not been adopted, and by that I do not mean that I can see an alternate universe in which I had not been adopted and things had worked out much better for me. I wish that I had not been adopted, because I wish for all the things that people have because they were raised by their biological parents. Things they are so used to having that they aren’t even aware of their existence or what it might be like to be without them. That’s what I mean.

I don’t think the lack of those things has made my life hell, but it has made it more difficult than it would have been otherwise. As a person, I am incomplete in ways that are very difficult to describe. It took a long time for me to realize that, too. It’s hard to admit that there might be something wrong with you, especially if it can’t really be fixed. It goes against our whole culture.

But that is not hell. Hell is being sexually abused, or watching your family die in some war, or something like that. I’m not saying that some adoptees don’t go through hell just because of their adoption, but I am saying that I do not think that I have.

Sometimes it seems like people take the position that if adoption isn’t the best thing ever then it must be the worst thing ever, or vice versa. It’s not just that I find this frustrating and unproductive, it’s a kind of thinking that is completely alien to me. To me, it sounds like this: A: “Three is less than four.” B: “Oh yeah? Well it’s more than two, so it must be as much as four! More than four, even!” Or maybe like this: A: “Three is less than four.” B: “Oh yeah? Well two is less than four, so clearly you believe three is equal to two, and you’re just whining about having two when if you would just open your eyes you would see that you have three.” I’m not saying that it actually is like that, it just sounds like that to me. Maybe someone can explain it to me a little better.

I feel like every time I criticize adoption or make fun of certain aspects of the culture that surrounds it, people want to pigeonhole me as the “bitter adoptee” who hates his own life and wishes he’d been aborted. Apparently there really are some adoptees who are at least somewhat like that, and I honestly don’t understand them any more than I understand the “happy adoptee” who claims to have absolutely no negative feelings about being adopted. It’s really not my place to deny either of their experiences but I can’t connect to them, either.

I wish we could talk honestly about adoption without getting caught up in agendas or having to stay within particular camps. I wish the people who really hate adoption could hate it without comparing it to genocide or the Death Star or whatever. I wish the people who are really happy about being adopted would stop implying there’s something wrong with everyone who feels differently, or at least show some signs of having done a little introspection rather than just knee-jerking.

I wonder, if we all had a conversation with no adoptive parents or natural parents in earshot, and absolute certainty that none of what we said would ever get back to anyone outside our little covenant, what would we really say to each other about adoption?

So it turns out the Potters had adopted Harry from Voldemort.

Actually, I have no idea. My wife isn’t handing over our copy of the book until she’s done with it. But in the meantime, I thought this video was pretty funny, albeit not related to Harry Potter.

My thanks to Theresa for posting it on AAAFC.  I got quite a laugh out of it.

They are scared shitless of us.

Because they know that, sooner or later, their kids are going to find us and talk to us. Adoptees used to be invisible, not just to everyone else but to each other. There were no adoptee gathering places, no “bastard bars” that could be used as starting points for organizing ourselves. It was perfect. Shame, secrecy, invisibility, isolation.

Then along came the goddamn internet. Newsgroups, web forums and blogs, oh my! Totally fucked up a good thing, didn’t it? Adoptees sharing their experiences, finding common threads, finding their own roots, too. Organizing. Opening records. More and more of us talking to each other.

But that’s not all. Transracial adoptions have become so common that adoptees went from being invisible to sticking out like sore thumbs. The cat’s out of the bag and talking to the other cats when nobody else is around to control the discussion. Who knows what they could be saying to one another. Maybe they will pass along those adoption related rumors they’re hearing on the internets.

This is why some people are so eager to silence us, lampoon us, step in and control our own discourse and tell us what to think. Their own adopted children, sooner or later, will encounter an “angry adoptee.” It’s unavoidable now, even for people living on remote tropical islands. And it doesn’t matter how much they believe we are crazy or just bitter or whatever, and how much they believe they will be able to raise their kids to not buy into our crazy ranting or whatever dismissive terminology they apply to what we have to say. They know there’s a chance, maybe just a small chance but still a chance, that their kids will listen to us.

If you are the type of adoptive parent that seems to be prevalent on the internet these days, even one kid listening to defogged adoptees is too many if it’s your kid. Nobody wants their kids to fall in with a bad crowd. And in their eyes, we are a very bad crowd.

We will be here when their Guatlings and their China Dolls, their expensive white babies and their outsourced surrogate kids all come looking for others like them. We will have some very interesting conversations.

This is another reason why I believe cross-“triad” discourse is a big fucking waste of time. The most subversive thing an adoptee can do is talk honestly to another adoptee about adoption. If we are just here for each other, no one can stop us.

They are scared shitless of us, and they should be.