All this anger is making me tired.

Let me tell you, folks, it’s tough being an angry adoptee. For starters, I have to be angry all the time. Do you know how hard that is? Or how much energy it takes? Or how easy it is to forget? That’s the worst part. I mean, it’s so embarrassing. I’ll be going along, happily enjoying my life, and then, d’oh! Someone who knows I’m adopted will see me and I’ll have to play it off like I was faking it the whole time. Then the people I’m with who don’t know I’m adopted will think they did something to upset me, and I’ll have to smooth things over later, and the whole thing is just awkward.

But it’s worth it.

You see, I am critical of certain aspects of adoption. I believe that while it may be necessary in some–perhaps even many–cases, it is less than perfect, and that part of making adoption humane is acknowledging that fact. I also believe that adoption exists for the purpose of meeting the needs of children first, and everyone else’s needs after that; it should never be driven by adults’ needs for children. I believe that adoption is unavoidably made necessary by tragedies which are not erased by signing a paper, and ignoring that fact is harmful to everyone. Finally, I believe the current ideology of adoption in our culture and the discourse it produces are dehumanizing to adoptees and natural parents, so the way we talk about adoption is frequently the subject of my criticism.

To me, these seem to be perfectly reasonable things to say. However, saying these things apparently makes me an angry adoptee. Now, I will not deny that sometimes I get angry. I am a human being, and human beings get angry from time to time, and sometimes I even get angry about things related to adoption. But there is a big difference between being called an adoptee who gets angry from time to time, and being called an angry adoptee. The latter implies that one is angry by nature. And apparently, that’s what I’m supposed to be.

I still haven’t worked out exactly what I’m supposed to be angry about. Since my alleged anger is supposed to be part of my nature, I guess it’d have to be something pretty deep-seated, right? Well, the most obvious thing would be my adoption. It would make sense that an angry adoptee would be angry about his adoption rather than, say, his car payment, because car payments probably aren’t going to come up a whole lot in discussions about adoption, which is where the term “angry adoptee” gets thrown around all the time. Okay, so let’s say I’m supposed to be angry about my adoption.

Well, that’s a problem, because I’m not. And I never have been. Not once. Seriously.

I have been sad about it, though not obsessively so, and really only when reflecting upon it as I have in this blog. But for the most part, it’s really just kinda something that happened to me. I wish that it hadn’t happened, but it did and that’s just my life and I’m pretty used to it. So I’m having a lot of trouble being angry about being adopted.

Maybe I’m angry at my adoptive parents. Well, this looks promising, I mean, who hasn’t been angry at their parents about something? Only that’s the problem, isn’t it? It has to be some kind of special adoptee anger, not just being pissed off that they wouldn’t let me go to that Aerosmith concert when I was 14.

Maybe I’m mad at my natural mother. I mean, she did relinquish me and I could see someone holding a grudge about something like that. Maybe I do. But then wouldn’t everyone adopted as an infant feel the same way? Why would only this special subclass of “angry adoptees” bear this grudge?

I hope you can see my dilemma now. In order to be in any way critical of adoption and the culture surrounding it, even if I’m not actually anti-adoption, I have to be an angry adoptee. Everyone says so. Happy adoptees have absolutely nothing bad to say about adoption, at all. So that’s off limits to me.

Sure, sometimes things make me angry for a little while. But then something good happens and I get all happy and stuff, and then I worry that I won’t be able to be critical of adoption because I’m not angry anymore. I need something that I can use to keep myself angry all the time, or at least most of the time (like except for when I have to go to the bathroom or something). It would help if it was something that would make me completely anti-adoption, too, because we all know that you can’t be critical of something without being completely opposed to it. That’s how we know the Democrats want to completely destroy America.

If I can’t maintain all this anger, then I will just be an adoptee who has formed certain opinions critical of adoption as it is currently practiced, based on his own experiences and the experiences of others whose lives have been affected by adoption. And in the current discourse of adoption, that’s something that just can’t possibly exist.


12 Responses to “All this anger is making me tired.”

  1. 1 joy21 July 5, 2007 at 6:46 am

    I AM WRITING THIS IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I AM SO ANGRY, okay envision the rest of this comment in caps pls. There are many reasons for this phemonena

    Lex I: Corpus omne perseverare in statu suo quiescendi vel movendi uniformiter in directum, nisi quatenus a viribus impressis cogitur statum illum mutare.

    There is no escape from the laws that govern our physical world, one of them being that adoptees unlike other humans, due to their very nature as bureaucratic changleings operate on a binary system with positions, Happy and Angry.

    The arts offer another explanation, the power of the alliteration. Angry and Adoptee work actually on both ends. Happy isn’t so far off either.

    It is so much easier to deny alliterations psychological complexity than humans.

    But then it could be just like my teenage son said when we were walking through a parking lot where there was a white minivan parked with a large sticker or a cross on the back and a little boy who resembles Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes kneeling and praying before it, he pointed to it and said, “mom, you realize those are the same people that you are actually talking to on the internet don’t you?”

  2. 2 Valentina July 5, 2007 at 5:25 pm

    We can’t vote for shades of grey, iBastard. Black and white! That’s how we like it. Takes less thought, time and effort and leaves us more time to read celebrity news.

    Joy21 – haha! Your son is right, of course. I have a sea turtle on the back of my vehicle, if that help those scouring my comments in order to neatly pigeonhole me into the angry adoptee = anti-adoption box or the happy adoptee = pro-adoption-JUST-the-way-things-are box.

    Take a nap, iBastard. You’ll be able to tap into your anger when you choose and unexpectedly for years to come. Angry adoptees can be much harder to spot in person than in their writings. Elusive creatures. I’ve heard rumors that some look like dads who type in Panera.

  3. 3 paragraphein July 5, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    OMG, I just died laughing reading the beginning of this. You are brilliant. (And angry. Very very angry. Inappropriately angry. And ungrateful, too. Bad iBastard!)

  4. 4 Andie D. July 5, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Haven’t you realized by now that any adoptee who openly talks about adoption in less than glowing terms is an ANGRY ADOPTEE?

    I’m not anti-adoption. I believe that SOME natural parents simply don’t want their kids, and shit, why shouldn’t that kid be with someone who does want them? Not to say it won’t fuck said kid up to realize that her nparents didn’t want her at all.

    Oops. See, I’m not anti-adoption, and I see some akids as abandoned. Now I’m going to piss off the aparents and the nparents.

  5. 5 Juan July 6, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Angry–yes; disturbed–not qualified to render an opinion. You predicate your posts and comments with “I’m not against adoption but….” but then you go after some people (I guess that would be me) sort of randomly, and it seems with misdirected hostility. I am certainly not defending Ms. Subversive. She is in her own little world. I don’t think she deserves anyone’s attention. My partner and I are trying to adopt a child who needs a home through the Baltimore City Department of Social Services. There is a great need of parents both foster and adoptive in this city and we are interested in filling that role. We chose to put information and a lot of personal experience into our blog to share that with friends and family, and to possibly help any other prospective adoptive parents, especially gays and lesbians who might be considering going through BCDSS also. So, to pick on one posting where I share something about my feelings of wanting to be a father, it seems kind of angry and hostile, and misdirected. Though, I am actually glad that you commented. I have enjoyed reading your blog and the comments of others. I am not adopted so I do not have any knowledge of what that might mean. Now I think I have some understanding about what adoptees face and what my son may face. So, angry yes. Helpful to me, yes. I just hope it doesn’t consume you.

  6. 6 iBastard July 6, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    I have never “gone after” you. I think if you are reading criticism of the discourse of adoption as being angry and “going after” people then that is very interesting. I think there is something very telling in someone always hearing criticism (that’s not even directed directly at them) as anger. I wonder what you are so defensive about. Also, I am really tired of having to explain at length, over and over again, that being critical of adoption is not the same as being opposed to every single case of adoption.

    I also don’t get why you and other adoptive parents seem to feel the need to explain your cases to me. Are you looking for my approval? What makes you think you need it?

  7. 7 iBastard July 6, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    Oh, I remember who you are now. Well, I still wasn’t “going after” you or picking on you, I just asked you a question about where your priorities were.

  8. 8 cheryl July 6, 2007 at 2:41 pm

    You know what, I’m tired of everyone’s real or perceived anger. That makes me angry!
    Maybe I should just take a nap.

  9. 9 Juan July 6, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    No, not approval, discourse. I appreciated your comment, it made me think about my motives and gave me a better frame of reference for the whole adoption experience. But that’s not what this is about. I was actually responding to your “anger making you tired” post.

    I would like to know something as a prospective adoptive parent–and I realize that you do not represent the whole of adoptees–but, what if anything can I do to raise my son in a way that helps him deal with him being adopted.

  10. 10 Possum July 7, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    Another great post iBastard.
    Yeah – being angry all the time is a burden.
    We write about our truth – a truth that others do NOT want to believe.
    So we are labeled.
    Keep up the great writing.
    Poss. xx

  11. 11 Sunny July 7, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    iBastard does not represent the “whole of adoptees”, just the articulate, honest ones. See, it’s sorta like coming out–you remember that. Lots of people asking you if you were sure, maybe suggesting that you try harder to be a person they were more comfortable with, or worse, suggest that you go back in the closet. That’s a cakewalk compared to what we adult “children” deal with. You get to live in your truth, open your mind and look at ours. Sorry for hijacking, iB, just couldn’t help myself.

  12. 12 Juan July 9, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    That’s just stupid. There just isn’t any logic in your comparison of being gay and being adopted. The two are so completely different. And even if you could make broad generalizations, the spectrum of individual experience makes your cake walk comment, well just plain stupid. Unless you’re gay and even if you are gay, unless you’re me, you have no idea of what I’ve been through. And that is where I am going. If I am about to adopt, shouldn’t I seek out those who understand from their own experience what it is like being adopted? What kind of parent would I be if I didn’t?

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