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.

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10 Responses to “They are scared shitless of us.”


  1. 1 Andie D. July 22, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    I can’t help myself – this post made me laugh! I’m imagining an adoptive parent out there shaking in her boots with the knowledge that there is a whole SHITLOAD of us communicating honestly with each other.

  2. 2 Debbie July 22, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now, and although I disagree with you on many subjects, I’ve agreed with you on many (Guatlings? WHAT?) and have come to admire your voice.

    I plan on adopting someday although I could probably have biological children. My reason is simply that I don’t feel like creating a life and bringing it into a world where children need homes. The money spent on maternity clothes and leftover hospital bills could be put toward adoption expenses for a baby who would otherwise not have someone to call Mom and Dad.

    I hope to expose my kids to the dark side of adoption but at the same time, urge them to NOT feel “lucky”. It is a ridiculous burden to place on any child and I am not that psychotic to think that I would be some hero for adopting.

    Anyway, this is SO irrelevant to the original post.

    But I guess the bottom line is that some adopted kids grow up to be angry, and some are perfectly happy. As long as the adoptive parents can be honest and not total idiots about the matter, the latter is very, very possible.

    And I feel like anyone who calls their child a Guatling or a China Doll needs to step away from the bong.

  3. 3 iBastard July 23, 2007 at 1:52 am

    I was with you until you got to the “some adopted kids grow up to be angry, and some are perfectly happy” bit. This kind of “angry adoptee”/”happy adoptee” reductionist bullshit is exactly the sort of thing that I hate about the modern culture of adoption.

    You don’t know what the “bottom line” is because you do not live it.

    It is not so simple, and I am not an adoptee who went bad or something like that. Please, do you really read my blog or just skim it?

    I am generally a happy person. I have a good life. I doubt anyone watching me playing with my daughter at the park would say, “Man, that guy’s angry!” Saying that adoption has had a negative effect on my life is not the same as being angry about having been adopted. I am not angry about having been adopted. For fuck’s sake, how many times to I have to write that?

    Also, my adoptive parents were not dishonest or total idiots. They were pretty ordinary. So I am not some “angry adoptee” who was brought up poorly by idiots, okay?

    The only things that make me angry are denial of basic civil rights to adult adoptees, the revolting practices of the international baby trade, the coercive practices used on natural mothers, the dehumanizing discourse of adoption, and that the sort of people who are largely responsible for that discourse (adoptive parents and industry shills) are actually entrusted with other people’s children. In my opinion, these are things that should make any person of good conscience angry.

    I really do appreciate your comments and I am glad you read my blog but I am worried that I may not be coming through clearly on some of these things.

  4. 4 iBastard July 23, 2007 at 2:23 am

    Looking back, maybe what’s confusing is my use of the term “angry adoptee” in my blog entries. You’ll notice that every time I use it, I put quotes around it. What I’m trying to say by doing so is that it’s someone else’s terminology, not my own, and that I think it’s ridiculous. It could be that I am not making that very clear.

  5. 5 Debbie July 23, 2007 at 2:33 am

    I never implied that your parents were dishonest or total idiots. All I said was that if you don’t fall into one of those categories, your kid has a better chance of being happy about their adoption experience/adoption in general than if you DO.

    You didn’t “go bad” at some point. People react differently to similar experiences, that’s all. I’ve spent the past ten years (since my mid-teens) researching adoption and have found a wide variety of emotions involving adoption. It’s no one’s fault. I have feelings about certain things that happened in my childhood that could have been easily prevented, but I find people all the time who feel completely different about a similar event that happened to them, also.

    I’m sorry to have offended you.

  6. 6 Debbie July 23, 2007 at 2:37 am

    Oh and just because I described adoptees as being either happy or angry in adulthood doesn’t mean I would label them as Happy Adoptees or Angry Adoptees. Human emotion is a hell of a lot more intricate than that. Usually when someone has any type of strong feeling toward adoption, it can be summarized as being generally positive or generally negative, and that was my only reason for using angry and happy in my post to describe adoptees.

  7. 7 iBastard July 23, 2007 at 2:59 am

    Hey, no worries, if you had really offended me I wouldn’t have taken you seriously. 🙂 But I really do think your connection of adoption outcomes to adoptive parenting really sidesteps an awful lot. Yes, adoptees with crappy adoptive parents will probably not be all that keen on adoption, but I don’t think it’s relevant to why many adoptees feel the way they do.

    Many adoptees go through a lengthy period of feeling just fine about being adopted. I certainly did. Having my own child is largely what caused me to reexamine adoption and how I felt about it. The “variety of emotions” are what different people feel at different times.

    Also, in the social sciences, most research that tries to privilege itself over actual experience by the population in question is utter crap. I suggest reading Herbert Blumer, Erving Goffman, and Harold Garfinkel on how to find out what’s really going on in social worlds.

  8. 8 Julie July 23, 2007 at 4:27 am

    “It’s unavoidable now, even for people living on remote tropical islands.”

    ROFL

    Wink-wink, nudge-nudge. Heh heh.

  9. 9 Theresa July 24, 2007 at 12:59 am

    I predict a new generation of NetNanny type web filtering applications for adoptive parents.

    It could filter out such phrases as ‘Primal Wound”,or “the fog”.

    The thing that always makes me sad though is when these kids get online someday and find their parents blogs in whatever the future archive.org or google cache will be, and see pictures or videos of themselves crying or in those horrible “Made in China” onesies while mommy smiles obliviously

    You’re right that they should be scared, some of them are their own worst enemies.

  10. 10 iBastard July 24, 2007 at 2:15 am

    I’ve actually thought about setting up an archive of the worst things adoptive parents say, just so their kids can see it later. No commentary, just exactly what they wrote on forums and blogs. But probably some enterprising company will do it for the whole internet anyhow, so I’ll just make sure I’m well stocked on popcorn when that shit hits the fan.


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