Friday, November 13, 2009

National Adoption Month...Hmmmmm

It goes to show how much in the fog I was until recently. I didn't even KNOW that someone had come up with the idea of National Adoption Month (hereafter referred to as NAM).

From the description on the above linked site, it would seem to be a great idea. Raising awareness and promoting adoption for children who are in foster care....great, right? My problem with it comes when people use NAM in their responses to comments as proof that it's a wonderful thing ALL the time. It's not. It's completely offensive to adoptees to celebrate such loss and's disrespectful. Just as it's disrespectful to proclaim that it was "God's will" that a mother gave up her child so a couple who were unable to have their own children could take over and become the parents.

Spending time with my natural mom solidifies our bond...and yes, makes me extremely resentful that she felt that her only choice was to give me up. Would my life have been hard? Maybe. But no more hard than it was to live with the monsters people entrusted to my care...

I had both of my children out of wedlock. Never in my mind was there a chance that I'd give them up for someone else to raise. Was I prepared to be a mom? No. Honestly it's been difficult. If I'd have a choice, I would have waited until the relationships I was in were more stable. But with all the issues I had growing up, I'm not surprised that this is the course of my life. I don't begrudge my mother the choice she made for herself..and for me...but that doesn't mean that I'm not hurt.

It's not easy for people who aren't adopted to understand the point of view of adoptees. We're labeled as being anti-adoption. But really, shouldn't we be allowed to be bitter? And if not, tell me why...


  1. Cricket - you are "allowed" to have any feeling you have. No one can stop that or stop you from expressing it. You own your feelings and have every right to them.

    I don't see National Adoption Month as specifically disrespectful to adoptees (though I can see why you would). I guess to me its like saying Christians that celebrate Christmas are being disrespectful to Athesists.

    You do not have to believe in the good of, or celebrate ,adoption. Your life and experiences have led to rather the opposite conclusion, but there are people out there with different beliefs shaped by different experience. Do you really blieve they should be denied the right to feel what they feel and express it?

  2. Tina, I was not abused or neglected by my adoptive parents. I had an awesome childhood, yet I am still reluctant to encourage overseas adoption. I still feel as though adoption awareness isn't really about awareness - more about celebrating about what the *adoptive* side gained. No one *likes* to think about what the other side lost, or that they should feel *anything* about loss since "they signed the papers."

    There are adoptees who have had awesome adoptive parents and lives, and still feel as though adoption isn't necessarily something to be celebrated so widely when it has done so much damage to those who are left behind. What does that make you think?

  3. Tina,
    In my post I said:
    "My problem with it comes when people use NAM in their responses to comments as proof that it’s a wonderful thing ALL the time."

    I stand by what I said. It's when others generalize the happy experience that THEY'VE had with adoption as being the reason why I'm wrong for holding a dissenting feeling about it.

    I respect your opinion Tina...and I'm really glad you keep coming back. No, I don't think that AP's should have to change the way they think..although I will continue to become defensive when I'm told, point blank, that I'm just bitter and need to get over my childhood and realize that it was for the best that I was placed for adoption because things could be SO much worse. Really? How's that?

  4. Mei-ling,

    I've read many of your posts as well as Cricket's and as I've said to her before, I am grateful that you both choose to blog publically so that others can learn from your thoughts.

    I believe that in a perfect world adoption should be unnecessary. That every child should be born to parents who are able to love and care for them. But we do not live in a perfect world. Children should not be seperated from their parents, their country, or their culture unless every possible alternative has been explored. But neither should they be left in neglectful or abusive situations regardless of whether those siutations include biological family or alternate care givers. The fact that many children are taken from families that are neither neglectful nor abusive is a crime and should be punished as one.

    In my life and my experience, the ties that love creates has created my family as much or more than any bond of common DNA. I understand that many people have a different experience. Their reality is as valid for them as mine is for me. We should both be able to acknowlege the others without having to negate our own. I think it is possible to celebrate adoption while still praying that someday it will be unnecessary.

  5. Cricket - thanks for answering. I really see in the way a lot of AP's respond to you - that they need to completely invalidate your feelings and what you have experienced for some reason.

    I hope in exploring thoughts sometimes I do not do the same - I try not to but I think we are all shaped by our experiences and subject to blind spots or insensitivity to things outside our own experience.

    I am glad you don't let it wear you down and give up - stop posting publically. Your voice is important (to you yourself most of all but not only for you).

  6. Hi,

    As a birthmother I am taken aback by your comments and thoughts. I know that I dont know your whole story and I am sorry if you have not had a perfect life but guess what most people dont.

    I choose not what was best for me but what was best for my son so that he would grow up with all the things that I was not able to give him like a roof over his head and food on the table. Love is not enough to raise a child.

    I agree that the adoption systems around the world are not perfect and that there is corruption in a lot of the international adoptions that that some people feel that they need to collect and rescue children as that is what god tells them. To that I say bullshit. Too me the only people who should be able to adopt are people who are willing to accept the culture of the child that they are adopting and make sure that they keep their natural language as one of the ones that they speak.

  7. Trixy,

    What you don't seem to understand is that even if I HAD a perfect life (which, you're correct, I didn't and I hope you'll read my entire blog to find out just how imperfect it's been), I'd still feel the loss of my natural family. It's an ingrained emotion that I have had forever, and will deal with forever.

    My natural mother too thought that she had given me a better life…that even though she loved me, she wanted me to grow up with a mother and father who could nurture me and help me to grow. Instead, I was placed with abusers. With people who were so caught up in having children, they neglected to realize that they had NO business being parents. I had food on the table and a roof over my head, but I was also given a lifetime of pain and anguish.

    I do agree that every family has its issues, but guess what...for the adopted child, those issues are multiplied a million times over. I know that's probably not easy to hear for you…but I hope that one day you'll be able to ask yourself this...

    If love isn't enough, then what is?

  8. Thanks for your thoughts on NAM. I also have mixed feelings about it. I get the intent, but also think that "celebrating" adoption is a different choice of words than I would use. Adoption has a huge component that brings up loss and pain for many. I am grateful that my son is in our lives, but am cognizant that it means that there are others who are not in his life. For me, it means honoring those people and acknowledging that whether present or not, they will always be part of my son's life.


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