Saturday, August 29, 2009

Slice This

I'm tired today.  Tired of having to "explain" loss to those who don't get it....or choose to ignore it.  What isn't understood is that it doesn't matter whether the child grows up in a wonderfully loving and supportive household...there will still be loss.  You can buy the child a million ponies for the backyard and throw all the circus birthday parties you want..there will still be loss.

Adoptive parents can attend every school function, every ballet class, every piano recital, every baseball/soccer/basketball/hockey/golf/track/tennis....well you get the idea...and there will STILL be loss.  Yes, every child will go through an identity crisis...being a teenager SUCKS no matter how you slice it..but if you're not prepared, you will miss that your child's angst may be MORE that just teenage rage. 


What amused me the most about reading the blog I alluded to last night was that the AP was very proud of having real-live-adoptee-blogs (and isn't that exciting??) on her blogroll.  ::clap clap clap::  There were three.  Three blogs that were probably (and yes, I'm making a sweeping assumption here, but at least I have the cajones to admit that) added just because they were the first ones she found when she googled searched. 

Want advice??  Start planning for the  I've compiled a list of links that she, and other APs may find helpful.




Direct message to Kelli: If you've read from any of the above links before, then ::clap clap clap:: (here's a cookie)...I hope that you have memorized the signs of adoptee loss because one day you'll need to recognize them in the Vietnamese child you have claimed so desperately as your own.


  1. I'm an IA adoptee and AP.
    I'm sorry you are so clearly struggling but I have to tell you that not all adoptees go through or will go through the sense of loss or desire to be with their birth families. It happens, but not always. I found my birth family (with the help of my PARENTS) and it was a nightmare. They didn't want me, they wanted money. They never wanted a daughter, they wanted a son- which is why they abandoned me. Yes, abandoned. So not every reunion story is all 'rainbows and sunshine', either. My birth mother all but told me I was dead to her because she got 'her sons'.
    Please don't assume that every AP has their head in the clouds, either- or that you have them or their childrens' histories/circumstances completely figured out. You're angry and I hope it works out for you soon.

  2. I think the biggest problem on both "sides" here seems to be that people want to lump everyone together. Obviously everyone has their own personal experiences, both the APs and the Adoptees. I don't think it's fair to lump all APs together, just like it's not right to lump all Adoptees feelings together. We don't all feel that we "saved" our adopted children, just like the amount of confusion and pain felt by adopted children varies.

    I honestly do not read a lot of adoptee's blog, because I have no idea how being adopted is going to affect my daughter at this point in time. I do plan on always discussing her adoption openly in our family and hopefully I'll be able to see signs that she is needing to find answers about herself and her birth family when that happens. But I have no idea if it will be something she will have a little interest in or something that will consume her until she finds the answers, I just hope that she will be able to come to me so that I can do whatever I can to help her find those answers if possible.

    I think perhaps it's hard for a lot of APs to imagine their adopted child being in so much pain and not being able to do something about it. I just love my daughter more than anything in the world and want her to be happy. I wish she had been able to know her birth mother and be raised in her birth country, but without sharing her personal experience with everyone, that didn't happen. I do believe the best possible scenario is for all children to be raised in a loving birth family, after that in the same birth country. But I still believe it is better that my daughter be raised by me than live her childhood in a Russian orphanage. As an Asian child in Russia, she never would have been adopted by a Russian family. And I do claim her as my own, how would it be fair to her to raise her and not think of her as my own? I believe it's possible to raise her as my own while still acknowledging that she has a birth family somewhere.

    I hope I didn't take over your blog too much, thanks for your thoughts and I wish you the best.

  3. Bella,

    I do understand that adoption has become a necessary evil...but that does not mean I have to agree with it. I'm sorry you misunderstood me because I do get that there are certain circumstances where it's better for the child to be placed in foster care because their parents can't care for them...but what we do not agree on is that there are times when the loss of the natural family doesn't affect the child. That loss is ingrained in the child from birth...and while it DOES affect everyone does happen. It just depends on how open the adoptee is to working through their pain.

    I wish you peace too...because it seems like you too have feelings of loss to deal with...I'm sure finding out about your natural family and the nature of your beginnings was difficult.

  4. I hope you CAN be there for your daughter when she needs your support...and I do encourage you to read all the adoptees' blogs you can possibly find because the sites that say "This is what you can expect your adopted child to feel" don't get to the real crux of the emotions. Reading the blogs that have been written from the hearts and souls of adoptees who have made our way out of the fog will help.

    I know that my writings here probably did seem completely generalized and that I was lumping everyone together..and for that, I apologize. But I won't back down from the fact that regardless of the upbringing and family life an adoptee has, there will be certain "traits" (that's not the right word, but you'll have to forgive me...I just woke up ;) ) that they will present that will either be recognized as being adoptee issues, or written off as being just teenage angst or temper tantrums.

    Thank you for being so respectful on my blog...I realized that my comments on Kelli's blog were a bit harsh, regardless of the fact that I completely stand behind my words and the words of my fellow adoptees there, anonymous or otherwise.


  5. I appreciate your response and actually, I dealt long ago with the feelings of loss, but thank you. They are what drove me to search and I never could have done it without my adoptive parents (financially or emotionally). I said goodbye to my natural family in my heart after we met and accepted the truth: they did not want me, plain and simple.
    What I deal with now are feelings of guilt for putting my (adoptive) parents through hell- one they took without blinking and that they certainly didn't deserve.
    I chose to adopt because of my experience- and because of what I have seen in my line of work. We can as APs and adoptees go back and forth about our own feelings all we like but the truth of the matter is that there remain many, many children whose orphan status is legitimate and deserve families.
    Take care and keep up the posts...

  6. Hi, I just had to speak up because your posts made me cry so hard. I did come here from Kelli's blog because I felt that some comments were much to harsh. However, I have to completely agree with you that there will be no children, ever, whose lives are not affected by the loss of their natural parents. That is simply not possible. I am an AP, and I do believe that there are circumstances under which a family is unable to care for their offspring, and under which that child will need a loving (hopefully) AP to give them at least a part of what their natural family was unable to give. That said, I don't believe that an adoptive family can "replace" the birth family. I don't think that an adoptive family can "erase" the pain of that kind of loss. We can only do our best. I very much hope that my best is good enough for the girl who has become our daughter. I hope that in some way I can ease her passage and provide her the love and self-esteem and support that she needs. And no, I do not feel up to that task. I do not feel like her savior. I feel like I need to strive to do her as much justice as I can. I was lucky with my own parents, for the most part. They did a wonderful (if not perfect) job of introducing me to the world. I hope to follow in their footsteps and give her the support and also the freedom she needs to be her own person in this world. Actually, I feel that in many ways Qiu Qiu has been my savior. I think I was a very selfish person before I met her. I think that her personality, her individuality, her inner strength has made me less self involved, and for that I will be endlessly grateful to her.
    Quite possibly, it has been she who has saved me from oblivion. Does that make sense? I hope so.

  7. As hard as its been to read all these blog posts and comments - I get what you are saying. That EVERY adopted child feels loss. I knew this already on some level, but you really made me think about it. I hope my daughter will be able to forge her way through this. I hope I can be there for her and give her the support she needs whatever that may be. I love her very very much.

    Not all APs are horrible, unaware people. I think some of us see what you are saying and are just scared. I think many of us didn't think all this through initially and maybe we should have. Some maybe will never think it through. But for myself, I can say that with the knowledge I learn along the way - I will try to do the best I can by my child. I hope that counts for something.

    I feel bad that all these discussions got so mean on each side. I hope for a continued and productive dialogue.

  8. Thanks for stopping by J. I'm glad you did...and I too feel bad that the discussions have gotten so heated. I know that not all AP's are like ostriches, with their heads in the sand..and I'm glad for your daughter that you seem so concerned and aware that there are definite issues she will deal with in the future. It gives me hope.

    My blog isn't meant to scare anyone...just to hopefully educate adoptive parents on the after effects that adoption will cause.



Share your words of wisdom with the rest of the class. :)