Adoption Survivor

dealing with it

Archive for the ‘Q&A’ Category

Do you believe that interracial adoptions should be allowed?

with 23 comments

Open Question

I need opinions on adoptions.?

Do you believe that interracial adoptions should be allowed? After answering this question can you please explain your reason why

Additional Details

I completely believe that it is a wonderful thing, but for a project i need various opinions.

Answers (14 answers, 12 of them think it’s great)

It’s great if you want to make a child who’s already had to adjust to a new life even harder, because the world is not color blind, and transracial adoption isn’t going to change that. Who has to bear the brunt of this wishful thinking? The child. And race is also tied to assumptions about culture. And is the other race parent really going to be able to pass the child the necessary skills to deal with that disconnect and lack of cultural knowledge? Poorly at best.

What is the motivation of adopting transracially? Because they’re cute babies? Because the adoptive parents are fascinated with other cultures? Does this have anything to do with what’s best for the child?

Being a transracial adoptee was not a wonderful thing. It was a world of tension, ridicule, not matching anyone, not belonging anywhere, and somewhat disturbing to be a walking billboard for my parents’ charity. Being a transracial adoptee means always having to explain your situation. Being a transracial adoptee means being sentenced to forever being reminded you were obtained unnaturally. Being a transracial adoptee means having to tell yourself, “I was chosen. I was chosen. I was chosen,” every time you’re feeling pain. That’s just the harsh truth, whether you love your parents or not. It’s unnecessary and avoidable. Racial matching is not being racist – it’s being kind to the child.

Yes it can be done. But it’s a messed up thing to do. It was especially hard for my African American adoptee friends separated from that strong and vibrant culture: there is no substitution for that. To be an oreo is to be culturally killed and cut off from everyone who looks like you, but you still have to pay for your skin color.

People just don’t think. THEY just want to feel good about what THEY want to do to make the world better. Children should not be the social experiments of privileged Utopian fantasies.

Source(s):

adult transracial adoptee living in her birth country

Written by girl4708

January 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm

Posted in Q&A

Do you think ALL adoptee’s feel the SAME about their adoption in terms of loss?

with 2 comments

No doubt there is an initial loss of being seperated from the natural family. But do you expect that all adoptee’s are going to feel the same level of loss?
  • 2 weeks ago

Additional Details

What about those who are raised without secrets and lies or in open adoption? Is it possible for some to have a healthier outlook on their adoption than others?

2 weeks ago

By “healthier” I mean more positve outlook and self-esteem and at peace with their adoption circumstances.

 

I agree that it’s not healthy to “stuff” feelings. But is it assumed that adoptee’s who claim to be “not bitter” do that?

*************

NOT  CHOSEN Best Answer:

Sunny – I wish I could give you ten thumbs up!

Questioner – I’m going to answer your question, but maybe from a more literal stand-point, just because (most) everyone else is being refreshingly on point and trying to be objective and you’ve got some great general answers there.

– First, I think loss is loss is loss.
– Second, I think you can weight the losses. For example, losing a mom is HUGE, no matter what your age or circumstance, on a visceral level
– Third, losses ADD UP.

losing faith
losing relationship
losing your country
losing your culture
losing your heritage
losing your language
losing trust
losing innocence
losing ignorance

it’s like a soup of pain: the bulk of each adoptee’s experience is loss of mother. then each soup is made unique depending on the combination of other added losses.

my best adoptee friend has all of the above. she lost her mother by death. a few years later she literally got lost. she lost her father by adoption when nobody searched for her father – even though she was 9 and knew his name – she lost her siblings – she lost her country when she was sent to America – she lost her heritage – she lost her culture – after two years, all her language was lost – it wasn’t long before her innocence was lost when her adoptive father abused her – and all this time. she was fully aware of her powerlessness because of her age. So in the end she lost all the relationships she valued, she lost faith in the charity and responsibility of adults, and she lost trust in those pledged to care for her.

We tend to focus on the main loss, but there can be so many. This is why I call myself an adoption survivor. Because for me and many of my fellow adoptees, we shoulder so many losses on top of the main loss.

How can you measure something like that? I’d like to measure it in dollars and sue the adoption agencies. I’m hoping someone with a water tight case can and does.

As for your additional details.

I personally have a great deal of empathy for the “not bitter” adoptees, though I do wish they wouldn’t protest so much and see me and my experience as the enemy. Just like them, I don’t want to be pitied – I just want to see change for the better, and that requires some sympathy. Two different animals entirely.

Regarding those so-called “kool-aid” adoptees, I feel for them. When you’ve got everything as good as it gets, then whatever feelings you have about losing your mother become incredibly treacherous waters to navigate. When you’ve got no other additional losses that can share some of the heat, then you’ve very little allowance to complain. The margin for even the smallest expressions of pain becomes extremely prohibitive. That’s a tight-rope I wouldn’t want to walk, and a much more difficult position from which to discern one’s deepest feelings. Some may call this denial. I call this an ineffective way of dealing with the core issues.

I’d also like to add that a “healthier outlook on their adoption” and positive outlook and self esteem are not the same thing. I can have a positive outlook and very high self esteem and still have a negative outlook on adoption. Maybe instead of “healthier outlook on their adoption” you meant “more socially acceptable outlook on adoption” ? Other than that, it’s just common sense that those who have been treated with more equality and given the truth won’t have to add injustice at the hands of their parents onto their loss will have less of a burden to carry.

We all experience loss and struggle with it in our own ways, due to our infinitely varied circumstances. We all do the best that we can because we have no choice. Peace does come through acceptance of our adoption circumstance. However, some things no human should be asked to be at peace with: like violations of our civil rights, exploitation, abuse, etc. And as long as adoption is involuntary, as long as there is exploitation, as long as there are violations of our civil rights and the obliteration of our identities, then we should not rest.

Because no child should have to experience even one added loss on top of losing their mother, and no child should lose their mother just to fill the arms of another, which happens far more than anyone cares to admit. These losses are preventable. Prevent, and we don’t have to ask these questions.

Written by girl4708

November 12, 2009 at 12:25 pm

Posted in Q&A

What does “feelings of abandonment” actually mean?

with 7 comments

I’ve noticed that many of the adoptees on this forum mention experiencing feelings of abandonment.

Sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but what do feelings of abandonment actually feel like? How does it actually make you feel? Do you feel alone? How does it affect your life growing up? Do you have difficulty with trust and forming relationships with others?

Sorry, I am not trying to be stupid or insensitive, I just don’t really know what it feels like. I’m doing a project for school about adoption, and I think it’ll be a lot better if I can actually understand what it’s like to be adopted.

All answers appreciated. The more details the better, please.

Thanks so much. :)

I’m still in denial about this. I’m actually pretty cut off from my emotions and can’t describe what I’m feeling most of the time. I only found out about this, and that I probably have it, because other people tell me I must feel this way. So I’m still deducing what it actually is/feels like, and the way I do that is by surveying everything else, since the abandonment issue is like a hole that can’t be defined.

What I can do, however, is tell you the symptoms of what might indicate this feeling:

People who are warm and inviting cause alarms in my head to go off, and I push them away.

I expect everyone to be forthright and honest, and am always disappointed: my standards are so high no one can possibly meet them, and I am highly critical of everyone who gives up and/or is selfish in a relationship.

I never believe people I want to be close to will bother being vested in me, so I don’t bother to try.

“I’m a loner!” I say too often, as if it were something to be proud of.

I don’t join things or participate in things: I belittle such social activities as trite, superficial, and a waste of time.

When others around me are forming relationships, I count the days until its demise.

I don’t believe anything real lasts anything longer than a blink of an eye.

I don’t take down phone numbers. I don’t call. I don’t visit anyone. It seems like a waste of time and effort.

I believe everyone, friends, especially, will eventually **** on me.

I always keep my emotions under control. I disdain those that don’t.

How does this all add up? How does this feel? It feels like I am in a fight, and I’m always prepared for the worst. If I let down my guard, then something really horrible could happen.

I guess that something is abandonment.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not totally socially inept – people like me, some think I’m charming, some admire me, many respect me, some even love me. But there is always this inaccessible part of me that I will always keep remote and protect. And if I let anyone go there, I feel I will die.

Again.

Written by girl4708

August 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Q&A

What is wrong with adoption because you want a family?

with 2 comments

Open Question

Ok I get the hole not telling the adopted child they are adopted, I am in favor of not amending OBC (Original birth certificate0, and just getting an adoption certificate, I am have even changed my opinion on closed adoptions, in fav of enforcing open adoption. However i don’t get why so many of you say it is selfish to adopt. People don’t give birth thinking about the kids needs. They have kids because they want kids. Some people can’t so they adopt. .

Answer

“People don’t give birth thinking about the kids needs.”
I’d beg to differ with you here. By nine months gestation, a mother is thinking a lot about the kids’ needs.

“They have kids because they want kids.”
I’d beg to differ again. Many kids are accidents. By nine months gestation, they are wanted. It is outside forces and circumstances which can sometimes make this want a conflict.

“Some people can’t so they adopt.”
Agreed.

I don’t understand why everyone can’t admit that wanting children is selfish? What’s wrong with that? Nothing, in my book.

What’s wrong is when that selfish want GROWS so large it is to the exclusion of reason. When the ripples it causes that effect others and even the child are of no consequence. When self-reflection and honesty to the child are abandoned to justify this lack of responsibility. When social and personal ethics are set aside for the ultimate goal.

Being selfish is okay. Being selfish without regard to others is not okay. Being selfish and calling it a selfless act is repugnant. The inability to recognize the difference indicates a level of maturity most parents should be above.

So it’s not being selfish which is the indictment. The indictment is for predatory practices, blind ambitions, narcissistic tendencies, and anything that is BEYOND responsible selfishness.

Children deserve not only basics and opportunities and love, but they also deserve to be considered and cared for by balanced, mature, emotionally responsible people.

btw, thank you for taking the time to recognize the child’s civil rights. good job, indeed!

Written by girl4708

January 16, 2009 at 1:51 am

Posted in Q&A

What is this need to KNOW WHERE YOU CAME FROM?

with 2 comments

The following question was deleted from Yahoo!Answers.  Fortunately, I saved a draft. Please forward to anyone who also doesn’t get it.

Question

What is that, especially after you were brought into and loved by a afmily?

It seems rather selfish to me. It also seems like the effort to have a ready excuse for what doesn’t go the way that you want it.

I am trying to understand.

Answer
I’ll take a stab at it, but it’s nearly impossible to describe because you have to live it to really understand.

Say you had amnesia. You wake up and you are in strange surroundings with new people, and you can’t remember your name or where you came from or anything about your life prior to waking up that day. You get a new name, but you know you were called something else before. You eat food, but you know it is different than everything you ate before. You are cared for, but you know they are not who cared for you before. What a difference one day makes. How can you not remember? You know there are so many things about yourself, but they are all gone and you don’t know who you are anymore. You’re too in shock to know what to do.

This day goes on to the next and the next and you gradually become familiar with this new life. But you are confronted with questions that cause sheer chaos inside you. Draw your family tree. Chaos. How were you born. Chaos. Does your mother have the same color eyes. Chaos. Do your siblings look like you. Chaos. Form field – what ethnicity are you. Chaos. Medical history. Chaos. All you know is you had an identity once and it’s gone now. People keep asking you these things. You look at other families and they all look alike. You have a child and it looks up at you, half your face. You look up like your child and see – nothing but chaos. You look in the mirror and see – a stranger – who looks nothing like anyone else.

Yes yes yes we can and must deal with this. But in my case almost three years got erased. Three years of culture and language is no small thing. It is not just a trivial thing to lose three years. Those were my formative years. They shaped me on a profound level. But all acess to anything that can tell me anything about the beginning of my story, any clue to alleviate that unworldly feeling like you are an alien dropped out of the sky, born at age three, is denied me. To know see how I will age. Denied. To know even one sentence to cover the hole that is three years. Denied. To have even one image to confirm that I am not an alien. Denied.

We can get by all right. We just must. But this amnesia induced by others, our original identities stolen is no excuse we make up to blame others out of selfishness. It’s a very very real loss. That nobody else has to confront except adoptees and amnesiacs. And it is haunting. And heartrenching. And frustrating.

Please don’t trivialize this. You can’t begin to conceive what this is like.

Written by girl4708

December 20, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Posted in Q&A

Adoptees: if you could have picked your own adoptive parents, would you have chose the ones you have?

with 7 comments

No, not being adopted is not an option.

How would the AP’s you were to be raised by be different, if you’d had the chance to choose them?

Answer

I would have liked to have established a RELATIONSHIP with them FIRST, so I could see what their true colors were and make my decision based upon that. Trust should be earned. Relationships should be built. Even children deserve that.

The problem with adoption is you become an instant family. Back in the day, this was sight un-seen. They at least got a photograph. I didn’t get any. I didn’t know them from Adam, but I had to live with them. Even today, it is typically just a visit or two. I not only had zero choice, but I had zero opportunity to bond except after I had already been totally uprooted and totally dependent upon them for – EVERYTHING. I was stranded with strangers, powerless. I also couldn’t speak English so I couldn’t even communicate my fears, reservations, or needs. I also had no way to leave a bad situation. I didn’t even get an interpreter… I can’t understand why adoptive parents would want a child under those circumstances, where love is forced because there is no alternative. I wouldn’t want a parent willing to settle for something that shallow.

I wouldn’t have chosen the parents I got. They provided well, but they failed not only me but also their own biological children in every other way – in all the ways that count. They should have been screened better. And asking me to choose my own adoptive parents isn’t enough, as I would have also traded in my siblings who didn’t appreciate the fuss and disruption of my presence, so I had to grow up with them hating and resenting me.

If I could have chosen parents, I would have chosen people who bothered to get to know me first, who liked me for me and not because I filled a need and provided a role for them. In fact, I think someone like a caring big brother or big sister would have been a much better choice than having to go live with a new family, to tell you the truth. The amount of quality bonding time might even have exceeded what I got with my parents.

I would have chosen people who respected and loved children enough to not re-traumatize them and abruptly rip them from their country, their culture, and everyone they could identify with. I would have chosen local people in my own country. Local adoptive parents or the orphanage, surrounded with others like myself – that is what I would have chosen.

How would my AP’s be different? My only friend in jr. high school had five sisters, a step brother, a step mother, and her dad. All nine of them lived in a two bedroom cottage and attic space. There was more life and love in that tiny struggling house than could be found in my house times ten. Careful, conservative, proper, respectable people don’t always make good parents, just because they go to church, can fill out forms, and can balance their budget. Opportunity can go to hell. Without a vibrant, caring, genuine family like my friend had, my opportunities seem like poverty in comparison. My parents of choice wouldn’t have been so superficially perfect.

Adoption can be just as creepy as an arranged marriage. You can qualify perfect attributes of the perfect people and they can still be perfectly hideous to live with and govern you. You can create a laundry list of what you want in a child, and find you hate them once they are in your care. And there’s something very creepy about being sought after with no established history and no relationship. Without any test, without any trial relationship, we can’t even establish whether these humans even LIKE each other. This kind of courtship takes time and proximity. It takes more effort. It is so much more meaningful.

In my world, love comes first and legal recognition comes after – not the other way around. That’s the kind of world I want to live in. People who prioritize values like that are the kind of parent I wish I had.

Written by girl4708

December 9, 2008 at 2:30 am

Posted in Q&A

For those who were adopted, when did you start understanding?

with 32 comments

About how old were you when you started to understand what “being adopted” means? What questions did you ask? What questions did you want to ask, but didn’t? What answers did your parents give you? Were the answers helpful? What, if anything, could have been done or said to help your understanding?

My daughter has always known she was adopted. She knows just about everything we know except for issues that she’s still too young for. She’s going to be 10 soon.

We have an open adoption with visits, calls, e-mails, etc. She rarely asks me any questions except for “why don’t I look like my sisters and brother?” and “why don’t they live with us?” We always tell her the truth. When I ask her if there’s anything else she wants to know, I usually get that deer in a headlight look. I know it’s coming. I know she’s going to ask more questions some day. I want to be prepared.

  • 3 weeks ago

Additional Details

3 weeks ago

ETA: Thank you all. You’ve given me more to think about.

Best Answer – Chosen by Asker

Adoption has never been something I was comfortable talking about growing up. I dismissed it as an issue and pushed it under a rug. I just wanted to live my life and try and be happy.

I threw myself into my interests – vocational, recreational, and relational with great fervor and passion. On the surface I appeared vibrant and successful. Yet nothing ever lasted. From childhood to present day, I’ve always been a little remote or a little too intense or a little too vested or a little too intimate.

At 43, after a failed relationship, I crashed. I crawled into a fetal position for two months surveying all my relationship disappointments and nearly didn’t make it to my 44th birthday. Until one day the obvious hit me – that I had been living my entire life avoiding and fearing abandonment. And because avoidance had been my main focus, I was ill-equipped to handle the normal ebbs and flows of relationships most people learn to deal with. That the rough start of abandonment and adoption truly was profound. That it shaped my whole life. And confronting that wound and dealing with it in a more productive way will shape the last half of my life as well.

And one of the main reasons for this handicap was because my parents gained more from me than I gained from them. Their self interest was, in effect, abandoning me. This is something adoptive parents don’t want to recognize. When the parent/child relationship is more about the joys and satisfaction derived from children than it is about truly what is important to the child, then who is there for the child and the child’s emotional needs?

I think childhood is not a time when children can express how they feel, or communicate their deep loss or grief or pain. I don’t think they should be expected to. Nor do I think they will necessarily share any recognition they do have with their second parents. Because you contributed to the process that caused them pain, even if your intentions were honorable. And they care about not hurting you. It’s our own private thing we have to deal with, that the child will never trust the parents to relate to. Because unless you’ve been abandoned and adopted you just can’t.

The only thing you as parents can do is put them first. Really care about them. Always be supportive. And never, ever, place conditions on your affections or put your own needs ahead of theirs. You need to be a rock of gibraltar, a constant and abiding source. They need to trust that you will always be there for them and never abandon them – in word, deed, attitude, in any way, shape, or form. Your loving words are not enough – they need to see/feel/know without a shadow of a doubt that they can be totally secure. The more insecure you show you are, the more insecure your child will be…

So I don’t think it’s a matter of having talks about adoption. In fact, that’s invasive, self-interested, a sign of parental insecurity, and a great way to further alienate yourself from your kids. It’s a matter of being a genuine and complete loving parent. And if your child wants to talk about it when she’s ready, know that all she wants is honest answers. NOT happy adoption rhetoric. HONEST self probing answers.

Again, the theme I keep going back to is this: we don’t need adoptive parents. We need PARENTS. Relaxed. Loving. Secure. Steadfast. Comforting. PARENTS.

Hope I’ve been of help.

Asker’s Rating:
5 out of 5
Asker’s Comment:
Every single answer gave me a new perspective, so my thanks go to all.
AlmostHuman, your theme of children needing genuine and loving PARENTS really hit a chord with me. Thanks also for sharing what you learned about yourself during your journey.

Written by girl4708

December 8, 2008 at 12:16 am

Posted in Q&A