“I knew terrible things. But I knew I musn’t let the adults know I knew. It would scare them.” – Maurice Sendak
I’m giving this quote below a last shake, because it contains so much of value in looking at how adoptees are viewed. Please press delete if you’re getting bored with it and hope to see you back tomorrow for something new.
If adoptees that were part of the “old”, “closed” or “broken” system have so much anger and bitterness toward their adoption process, world, etc., then why don’t you do something USEFUL with that energy and work to help ensure that those terrible habits of the past are done away with?
How does Binkie know what we do, what we feel and what we do with our energy? How does Binkie come to assume we all we feel bitter and angry or is that a judgement based on some of our criticisms of a broken system; one which is still just as broken as it ever has been? The ‘terrible habits’ I have already commented on and it really is flummoxing to think the atrocities, abuse, stigma and cruelty inflicted on adoptees can be ascribed to ‘bad habits’ – come on Binkie, get real! What happened to the learning you said you did so that you wouldn’t make mistakes with your adoptee? Did it stop short at the terrible things or was it even more selective?
We are unable to change the past, we have to live with it, contend with what it contains and at best change our attitude to it so that we can survive and with luck, thrive! Yet again we are being asked to fix something that is finished, gone, except for the repercussions, the effects which we live with daily and will do so all our lives. It is for those who use the adoption industry, support it and sing its praises and its weaknesses to fix what ails it. It surely is for adopters to ensure that the adoptees they are raising will have equal rights alongside them; if not how do they live with themselves, what they have done and what they perpetuate? It is without doubt the duty and should be the calling and task of every adopter to ensure adoption changes, that the legacy of the past is obliterated. If not, what does it mean to espouse the wonder and beauty of adoption when it creates people who will never be equal, always stigmatised and denied?
Some of you like to pull that little guilt number on us too, trying to shame us for our ‘vile words’ and for ‘spewing vile words’. Perhaps you have never had ‘terrible things’ in your life, never been abused or suffered grave losses. Lucky and fortunate you! It really is reminiscent of the preacher who endlessly tells his followers to be faithful in marriage, only for it to be discovered he has not been, exposed as a hypocrite. How is it possible to allow young adoptees to be ‘lesser than’, second-rate citizens and not to seriously try to do something about that? Perhaps you do, perhaps you support adult adoptees in their attempts to gain equality, not just for themselves, but for the children you are raising. If you don’t it would be neglectful and hypocritical wouldn’t it?
Educate yourselves on positive open adoption and push to educate others. Not gripe about a bad story from 30 years ago. Adoption is going to continue, and won’t go away just because you have a bad view of it.
Supposing your life story contained ‘terrible things’, would you bottle them up for life, never speak of them and allow the same things to happen to others much younger? Supposing that was abuse or the attentions of a sexual predator and your silence endangered others, prolonged the abuse and you were not able to heal, to move on because you could not speak or tried to, but were told you were wrong, had imagined it or were never to mention it again. Supposing you were told your words were ‘vile’ and you were disbelieved, not acknowledged or validated. It happens to adoptees constantly, perpetrated by people who will not believe, cannot believe and are in denial. It happens to victims all the time, which is why abuse cases take so long to come to court – in my State 49 years, only yesterday for a case of marital rape.
How would you regard being told to forget about your early life, your story and your history? Wouldn’t be ‘normal’ would it not to ever mention memories, family, where you came from as a child, what you did, what happened to you, adventures you had, places you went? Do you regard your life as a child thirty years ago as ‘a good story’ or where the things that were hard, difficult and that you would change if you could? Personally, thirty years ago I had been an adult a very long time! I’ve probably lived more years since then than since you were born, so perhaps you’re not including adoptees like me! Pushing to educate others seems to apply only to the things you want to hear and believe, not to the other aspects of adoption and the adopted life such as the high percentage of risk for adoptees of abuse, murder ; the nearly 90% incidence of anxiety and depression amongst adoptees at some points in their lives; the lack of rights; the trafficking of children; the knowing adoption of children with parents; rehoming while blaming adoptees for the breakdown of placement; the list is endless…..
Adoption is broken, whatever view we have of it; particularly in America, where it is based on money-making greed, disrespect for the cultures of others and lack of care for young American citizens who languish in the foster care system unable to be parented by biological parents because it is too dangerous, abusive or they don’t want to.
Continuing just to bitch on adoption blogs or tell PAP’s that they’re awful people for wanting to adopt is just a waste. Be more constructive with your life and serve a purpose. You’ll feel better when you accomplish something.
Many adoptive parents are wonderful people, try to be the best parents they can and rarely waste their time blogging; too busy getting on with the commitment of the job. Of course some bloggers have to blog as a condition of their adoption, along with the donate button that must appear in their blog sidebars. When do requests for money stop being begging, extortion and the commodification of adoptees for advertising and donation of funds become ethical?
I seem to remember the word hatred appearing in your comment somewhere. Perhaps you are not familiar with the concept of not disliking/disagreeing with/hating a system while not having the same feelings towards the human beings within it? Adoptees are often told how sad adopters are for us, because we hold the views some of us do, they make a big show of pitying us in a patronising way, as if we are somehow misguided, misled or deceived or even stupid and ignorant about our own lives. Of course we know how disempowering it is to be pitied, most of us have experienced it in some way all our lives and still do, mostly from todays adopters. Who amongst us would welcome that pity with all its strings and attachments, the stigma it implies? You are not to be pitied; you are adults with free choice and were led to adoption through your own actions and decisions, whatever you may say about receiving the call. You have responsibility for your decisions, your actions and the consequences of your actions and also for the outcomes of your adoption/s. It sometimes does not appear that way when your attitude to adult adoptees appears to have no connection to your attitude to young adoptees or their future. What a strange dislocation and disconnect that is!
It seems those who like to advise, believe adoptees don’t have lives, do other things, have families, jobs, businesses, goals, ambitions but spend their time with no other purpose than bitching on blogs! Serve a purpose and feel better, accomplish something! Really? You just can’t be serious! Nothing quite like lumping us all together for a piece of advice or is it life coaching? Don’t need it thanks Binkie, don’t know any adoptee who does, we long ago worked out our own techniques or are working on them and have been very succesful for the most part – think Steve Jobs, Judith Lucy, Kate Adie, Jeanette Winterson, and thousands upon thousands of other who would look successful in what are probably your terms. The rest of us are succesful just because we survived and thrived or will eventually, even when you don’t take our other achievements into account. Yes, it’s complicated; no, it’s not one-dimensional – perhaps that’s your big mistake? Failing to see the dimensions, the complexities and the uniqueness of every adoption story.
N.B please be aware that ‘you’ may refer to adopters collectively and excludes adoptive parents or in some instances refers to a singular ‘you’, the generator of the comments quoted who’s anonymity has been protected by the use of a pseudonym. That pseudonym represents a fictitious person who possibly bears no resemblance to any real person alive or no longer alive. As in other areas of life fact is often stranger than fiction!