Friday, November 02, 2007

Why Do Adult Adoptees Speak Out?

Yep - I've been visiting that horrible Yahoo again. I admit it - I'm a glutton for punishment!!

I have to share a few GREAT answers which were posted - all from adult adoptees.

Firstly - the rant/question from a prospective adoptive parent left on Yahoo -

How can you judge when you have no idea how it feels? My husband and I have been trying to conceive for almost 4 years. Some for ya'll on here are so against adoption, but do you know how it feels. I have cried night after night and prayed that I would be blessed with a beautiful child. We have the abilty to love and care for a child and then ya'll come on here and put people down for wanting to put their child up for adoption. Someone even suggested abortion. That is just horrible. Abortion kills a growing human being. So for those of ya'll that have a problem with adoption go on and talk about something else. These women are having a hard enough time as well as us that can't have children. There is no need to discourage. God intends for a plan for everyone in this case it is bringing a life into this world to bless another family with the gift of a child. Don't ruin that. Adoption is a gift by all means.

Answer - by Marsha - an adoptee AND adoptive parent

What if there was some popular new drug on the market, say it has the cure for the common cold, and everyone around you was talking about wanting to take it. But, one of the main side effects for the drug is that there is a great possibility it would make any children you have later in life be infertile or have miscarriages for any pregnancies that are conceived. Lets also say that the government and media are not telling people about this side effect, though you know for a fact because your mother took it back in its experimental days and it happened to you. Now lets say there are forums and discussion groups all over the web for people who are talking about taking, or wanting to take this drug. As someone who has struggled with infertility, felt the pain and grief and loss, cried yourself to sleep so many nights and felt the bleak hopelessness, would you not want to get on those forums and warn people not to take this drug? Wouldn't you be telling them please listen to me, I have lived this pain, don't do this to your children, please!? Could you stand by and watch woman after woman take the drug without saying anything because its none of your business? Because there is a chance their future children won't struggle with infertility so you should just let it go? Would you stop telling people because it made them angry? Because it hurt their feelings? I don't think people understand WHY we come here and say these things. Its not because we're bored and we want to piss off the adoption board visitors. Its not because we're sick and twisted and think its fun to upset people. Its because we know whats in store for many of these adoptees and we want to let people know so they won't make the mistake our mothers made.

You ask if I understand...YES I do. I am an adoptive parent myself! Many of my friends are adoptive parents. I run a website for adoptive parents. I don't judge anyone, I just want to help people understand. I just want to make things better for others, not hurt people. Yes, I encourage women considering adoption to keep their babies. Thats not to hurt you or to try to keep you from having children, its to keep a baby with its mother and spare them the pain that my mother and I have had, that my friends and their mothers have had, that the other adoptees on this board and their mothers have had. There are children out there who NEED families, and I am certainly not saying you should not adopt one of them. I'm sure you would be a great family for a foster child or a true orphan. But I cannot look away as another mother and child are needlessly separated, and I will continue to do my very best to educate and inform adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents on ethics, attachment, grief, loss, racial issues, first parents, and anything else I can to make life easier for their children and their children's families of origin.

Another adoptee - Angela H - shares her views -

Adoption is not a selfless act. People adopt b/c they want a child. So they are being selfish. Maybe not in a bad way, but they are still filling a need/want.

That being said....I am an adoptee. While I do not think that all adoption is wrong, I just want you to consider a few things. Maybe people do not understand what you are going through being infertile b/c all people have not been there. And you are looking for understanding.

Now imagine growing up without ever knowing where you are from, who you look like, possibly losing your name, language and culture. Just as people can't understand what you are going through, you may not always understand what an adopted child is going through.

These are some of the things that I am afraid that some adoptive parents don't think about. If you adopt, please consider all these things in the process.

Adoption is loss. Not only for the child and the birth mother, but for the adoptive parents.

And another adoptee - Heather H -

I know how it feels to grow up adopted - do you?
Nobody should have to carry the burden of being a human band-aid for their parents' problems
I'm sorry you can't conceive that must be very painful for you. So is growing up adopted.

I'm sure it feels real bad to lose a child to adoption but plenty of people pass judgment on mothers in the most harsh way possible they get blanket labelled with awful stuff like they are all drug addicts or aren't capable of raising a child (of course only after they have finalized the adoption - prior to that they are angels and selfless godesses)

What I'm trying to say is, adoption is not all about you. Adoptees who speak about how it feels being adopted are brave and courageous people who often get labelled as having a bad experience or bitter etc etc but the truth is, we ARE adoption and no amount of name-calling or attempted patholozising (I'm looking at you noodles) is going to magically make our reality disappear.

ps You are right, the child is not literally 'abandoned' but please try to understand that this is an adults point of view. Despite how adults feel, many many children do FEEL abandoned.
For example would you tell a child whose father had left the family that they should not feel abandoned, because they still have a roof over their heads, a family and perhaps a replacement Dad? KWIM?
I'm an Adult Adoptee who was raised well and adores her parents so pleeeeeze stop with the 'bad experience' cliche - that's so not true

See - we adoptees aren't just floating around the Blogosphere and the internet just to piss you all off - and make you have a bad day!!!

And no - our lives are NOT defined by what you see in the adoption on-line world. We do actually have successful in-real-life lives outside of these monitors!!

Sure - some may come off more cranky than others - but some have been very badly treated by those that should have protected them & shown them unconditional love - and for others - they're just sick to death of being told - 'be grateful you weren't aborted and dumped in the garbage' - on a daily basis.

We really are just trying to make those that adopt more aware of what's really involved - and make people more accountable for their actions - as ultimately - if adoption does really NEED to happen - don't we all want to help out those children that have started out their lives in less than ideal circumstances?!

And really - if we can help a mother and child STAY together - shouldn't we be doing all in our power - as caring human beings - to facilitate that???

And - think about it - for those that do believe in a God - would a loving God really want to deeply hurt a mother and a child (by separating them) - just so another women can have the child she's been longing for?? That's some twisted thinking - if you ask me.

Yes - there are some adoptive parents out there that are listening - that are trying to really do the best by their adoptive children - and thinking deeply about the ethics involved in adoption today - and about the pain that is associated for all involved - but they should stop pulling down the wounded adoptees - and instead make other adoptive parents that really are doing a shocking job (and frankly - giving almost ALL adoptive parents a really bad name) sit up and pay attention.

Our bio parents chose to relinquish us. (or that choice was forced upon them in some way)

Our adoptive parents chose to adopt us.

Please remember - we - the adoptee - had no choice in any of it.


Blogger Esther said...

I think you make many excellent points.

The only thing I'm still wondering is why so many disgruntled, hurt, (fill in the blank) adoptees are bashing others for adopting. That doesn't sit well with me. I realize you aren't bashing anyone for adopting. It's just something I wonder about, and wonder if anything useful could be done instead?

I don't think adoption in and of itself is a horrible thing, otherwise I wouldn't have adopted two children. On the other hand I see that adoption can be a nightmare for some (bio parents, adoptive children, adoptive parents). We've had our own adoption heart break with an older child we adopted, then we found out that child couldn't leave their homeland country because our old adoption agency was baby trafficking. Only the agency profitted from that one. The adoptive parents (us) lost out there, and our child (the orphan) lost out there. The biggest tragedy I feel is for her, because I wonder how she will ever trust, after being told by us that we were bringing her home, we're her parents, etc. Now due to our agencies illegal activity, she will never come home to us.

Anyway, I know that there is always pain, loss, issues for the adoptee. And I will be there for my children unconditionally, so that we can be there together on this journey, for always. They will always have my support.

Perhaps I'm confused, but it seems like there are certain adoptees that want to bash adoption, when I don't see that as the problem in and of itself. Could disgruntled adoptees make suggestions on how to improve things for the rest of the adoptees, adoptive parents, adoption agencies, out there? I feel this would benefit so many people the world over. Adoptees can share from their experience, educate others, and perhaps there can be a win-win situation?

Best wishes, Esther

2/11/07, 5:44 am  
Anonymous Robin said...

i LOVED that. That was such a great post!!! I have a hard time voicing those thoughts constructively, but it makes me happy that some people can (and a little teary). I especially loved the cold medicine one. :) very nice.

2/11/07, 6:27 am  
Blogger Lea said...

I agree with esther. I want to be prepared to help my children as much as I possibly can, when it comes to dealing with their loss and the impact of their relinquishment and adoption. Any tips to help in that regard are well appreciated. I probably need to search for some adult adoptee bloggers who were in the same situation our kids were in, since I would think that could make a difference in what they will deal with. I can certainly see your point, that adoptees would get sick of being made to feel as if they should be grateful. I feel very uncomfortable when someone says that our children are very lucky to have been adopted by us and I usually say something to the effect of we are the ones who are blessed by them, or something along those lines. What should an adoptive parent say to someone like that? My boys are not old enough to understand these conversations yet but, when they are, I want to be saying the right things. I am all ears.

2/11/07, 9:00 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Great post. Its sad when we adoptees talk about our experiences many feel we are bashing adoption or paps. Sigh.

2/11/07, 9:15 am  
Blogger Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

It is addictive Possum, in a masochistic way. I can't stop looking either.

3/11/07, 12:55 am  
Anonymous Lillie said...

Great post, Poss.

As always, you are simply BRILL.

3/11/07, 5:00 am  
Blogger Andie D. said...

Hallelujah Poss!

Esther, it's simple why so many adoptees (disgruntled or not) don't like to hear about so many adopting aparents. Simple supply vs. demand. If the demand weren't so high, the FOR PROFIT adoption industry wouldn't go out trolling for birthmothers.

3/11/07, 2:32 pm  
Anonymous mia said...

Great post Poss. I have to steer clear of answer because I get really worked up every time I go. I'm glad people like you and T are doing it though!!!

4/11/07, 12:00 am  
Blogger Nina said...

Esther...I think some of us adoptees are reacting to the HUGE changes in adoption as an institution which, I believe, is out of control. It's gone from finding a home for a child who needs one to supplying babies for infertile couples. We react negatively to treating children like commodities. Some of us feel adoption should not be touted as a wonderful solution for all..a win win. Because it doesn't feel so wonderful to be an adoptee. We're out of context. All of our lives. So we don't want to see the adoption industry grow..."on the backs" of voiceless children.

4/11/07, 3:36 am  
Blogger Nina said...

Esther...I think some of us adoptees are reacting to the HUGE changes in adoption as an institution which, I believe, is out of control. It's gone from finding a home for a child who needs one to supplying babies for infertile couples. We react negatively to treating children like commodities. Some of us feel adoption should not be touted as a wonderful solution for all..a win win. Because it doesn't feel so wonderful to be an adoptee. We're out of context. All of our lives. So we don't want to see the adoption industry grow..."on the backs" of voiceless children.

4/11/07, 3:37 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Possum how do I sent you an important confidential email?

6/11/07, 12:33 am  
Blogger Possum said...

mmmmm - anon - perhaps if you weren't anonymous - and told me what it was about - I'd help you out.
But right now - it's looking like SPAM to me?!?!

6/11/07, 5:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adoption is a difficult process for everyone.

I gave a baby up and then later adopted my son. My son was lucky that we knew who his birth mother was and that we encouraged him to know her.

Giving my daughter up was the hardest thing I ever did. It's hard not to want to know what she looks like now and how her life is. I don't expect I'll ever be a part of her life but that's ok. She was the most important thing in this situation. I believe giving her up was the best thing for her. I had no high school degree, I was working 12 hours a nights in a bar to feed and cloth her and when ever she got sick I didn't have the money to care for her properly. I tried doing the best thing for HER by giving her up. The social worker convinced me that it was the best thing. Would I do it again....I don't know because I don't know what she feels. I cry on her birthday every year, but I know she has good parents who love her and has a good life. One I couldn't have given her.

10/4/08, 4:59 pm  

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