Adoption Survivor

dealing with it

house of denial

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Reading the following Traits of Families that Tolerate Incest and Child Abuse got me to thinking, and so I wanted to respond to each of the points they made so maybe you could see what an incest abuse house might look like:

Sexual child abuse is just one of a number of abuses taking place in an incest family. There may also be a history of family violence, substance abuse, and other criminal activity.

This wasn’t the case in my family, at least not that I know of.   My family was all about self-control to probably an abnormal degree.  Interviewing my father in later years I found out that his sister and father went to Florida together for a week, and that she came back, “different.”  I am sure there is more to the story, and I wonder to what extent it affected the rest of my father’s family, as there were five brothers and my aunt was the only girl.

My father blames his abuse on drinking.  However, he was not an alcoholic, and he was not drunk when the abuse began.  Later, these incidents coincided because the only time he could have an excuse for not being in my mother’s bed was when he was playing his bass on a gig, and drinks were provided to the musicians gratis.

Duplicity, deceit, collective secrets
The incest family hides its embarrassing secrets.

Incest is so taboo it doesn’t come up in any conversation, so it’s a level of secrecy too secret to even acknowledge to oneself. However, There weren’t collective secrets in my house.  I think it was more a sign of the times with their generation that would not air any dirty laundry out in public.  Or even to family members.  We didn’t have collective secrets but kept secrets from each other.

Rigid and tightly controlled
Incest families have rigid rules to prevent revelation of their secrets.

My family was extremely tightly controlled.  Mostly this was my mom’s doing.  If she was silently seething about something, you could tell because she would have micro-perceptible tics, and you breathed a little quieter and walked silently and made to sure to be ultra sensitive and stay clear of trouble.  The problem was that this was not a rare occasion.  She was like a hawk, and one sidelong glance was all it took.  It was like living in a library with the most vigilant librarian imaginable on duty, the one who hated her life and hated people.  So there was always this psychological tension in the air that you didn’t want to trip up.

Together, probably due to my mother’s influence, our family had strict rules about the activity and behavior of children.  It was a strange hybrid of progressive liberalism from my father and repressed Victorianism from my mother.  We were to be seen and not heard, but when we were asked to speak, it should be something progressive and liberal coming out of our mouths.

I was kept on an extremely short leash:  one time at 12 years old I went to the neighbors to borrow something, was gone for ten minutes, and my mother totally freaked out because I had been missing when she called on me.  When a woman with tics who rarely speaks freaks out, it’s twice as scary as when someone just gets angry.  I still shudder thinking about it.

You know how you go to visit some establishments as a child and you are made to understand that there are strict rules for decorum?  You keep your knees together.  You make sure your skirt covers your bottom when you sit.  You cross your ankles together under your chair.  You don’t bounce your legs or tap your toes.  You sit upright.  You don’t put your elbows on the tables, etc., etc.  Well, that’s how I felt in my house every day.  A billion unspoken rules, any violation of which would raise an eyebrow, or cause the corner of the mouth to twitch, or worse some silent muttering.  I wanted to please so badly, and every little sign of disapproval was pointed and severe.  Yes.  I was tightly and masterfully controlled.

Demand for blind, absolute loyalty
Incest families usually have a domineering head of household who rules the family through force.

Force?  or fear of madness?  My mother ran the household, because it was her realm – a booby prize of control because she had no life of her own.  Everything about her was about control:  controlling her emotions and making sure everyone else controlled theirs as well.  There was no force, except the police state of her stare.  That stare can not be underestimated, and I lived in constant silent fear of upsetting her precarious balance.

Poor boundaries
Disrespect for each others’ privacy, rights, and individuality is common in incest families.

Again, my family liked to think of themselves as progressive liberals.  Bathrooms were not private.  We only had one, and toilet use trumped shower use.  So in a household of six, this meant a lot of exposure.  Too soon, however, we were a household of three.  Nakedness or modesty was not respected, because both my parents were freely naked in front of us, ostensibly to prove in their liberal self-image that bodies were beautiful and nothing to be ashamed of.  So I saw much more than I wanted to see.  And I couldn’t, in defense, ask for privacy, because it was off the table as an issue.

My father’s hip liberal attitude included family baths – and my mother participated probably only because he urged her to.  The bath is where my abuse started.  Family baths that my mother opted out of, to have more time to herself.

Parents immature and inexperienced in life
Parents of incest families usually never become fully mature adults.

While my parents were both very responsible and upstanding citizens, I would have to characterize them both as being very immature.  They didn’t take action to improve themselves or gain more understanding.  Their actions were self-absorbed like those of children.  They did not learn from situations.  My father was a whiner, a pouter.  My mother avoided situations.  These were not emotionally evolving people in any sense of the word.

Conflictual marriage or troubled divorce
In incest families, this may refer to situations where children are pushed into the drama between a conflicted mother and father.

The hallmark of my parents’ relationship was no communication.  They did not speak of issues in front of us children, ever, and would go behind closed doors to literally whisper their disagreements.  Again, the environment was tightly controlled, especially emotions.  Afterward, it was clear that nothing had been resolved and a wall of silence was what we were taught by example, as how to deal with relationships.

My father used me for validation when my mother wasn’t around.  He would try to get me to sympathize with him.  Later, he would use me as a confident and tell me their relationship problems.  Still later, he told me he turned to me because  my mom was “cold” to him in bed.

My mother was perpetually miserable in crush on someone else.  For some reason my siblings were unaware of this, but I could see it/feel it.  And later confessionals with my parents confirmed this.

What we had here were two people dependent upon each other in a maternal/paternal way, but who both felt trapped.

No childhood for the children
Incest families are somber and strict places, where the authority figure (usually one of the parents) dictates behavior for everyone else. Rather than let children run around and play, they force children into a regimented routine.

The sound of children playing was like nails on chalkboard to my mother.  She liked babies.  But didn’t really care for children.  She wanted to read and fantasize and escape, and me making any noise at all would destroy her perpetual search for reverie.   She also shut down joking amongst my father and brothers, and any time my father was happy or whistling or in a good mood, she shut that down too.  It’s as if her unquiet suffering mind required all her focus and concentration, and any disruption which brought ugly reality into that effort was frowned upon.

Chaotic situations, traumatic stress
Incest often takes place in chaotic households, with unstable roots. These families may move often and lack connections to any one community.

Or, these families carefully craft a place in community, superficially always present, yet not really engaged with any of it.  My parents really had no friends, despite attending church gatherings for fellowship.

Low level of appropriate touch
In the most toxic incest families all touching is considered taboo. Parents do not hug, caress, or cuddle their children, as normal families do. This is perhaps the most telling symptom of incest.


I can remember being asked for a kiss at times – you know, the kind of staged pucker-up type of full-on kisses.  But there were no random kisses to the head, no caresses, no holding hands except in dangerous traffic situations, no bear hugs. In short, no physical affection of any kind.  Occasionally I would see my mom smiling or amused over something.  But affection to her was buying me a soda or an educational workbook and watching me enjoy it.  But touch?  nope.  nothing.  One story my mother repeated several times was of breaking a hair brush over my sister’s head because she squirmed while she was fixing her hair.  I sat very still as a result.

My father, on the other hand, loved to wash my hands and clip my nails.  It was these small opportunities for skin contact, in an environment where there was no touching allowed, which fed him in some dark way, and which was a precursor for his uncontrollable desire to molest me.

Compensating veneer of religiosity
Incest perpetrators often hide behind an external show of religion.

Church was my family’s only social life.  Religion is great.  It provides the facade of community and bolsters their place in society.  It convinces them that they aren’t really the anti-social misfits they really are.

What was my home environment like?

Well, I can tell you that at first glance it looked like anybody else’s house.  Except that it was eerily quiet.  It was heavy, like kryptonite.  But of course that would change if anybody came over:  then my home became a mirror of whoever came to visit’s personality.

What facilitated my abuse?

In retrospect, it was my mother.  Not on purpose.  But everything she did set up that heavy environment.  Except for the t.v., which was my babysitter, no noise was tolerated.  Where was she during my bath time?  Where were my siblings?  Why did everyone allow my father to read me bedtime stories every night by himself?  Why did we do nothing together as a family?

And that one day when the social worker came to visit, (I vaguely remember my mom cleaning house for the social worker’s visit and how perfect she was that day) how could they be so clueless?  Did they even bother to look closely?  Did they see us play and interact?  (of course not – there was no play) Did they look at our photo albums and see any candid fun shots?  (of course not – there were no candid fun moments)  Did they do anything besides have some coffee and ask my parents how I was doing? Of course not.

So actually, EVERYONE facilitated my abuse.  The entire family was so lost in their own misery nobody thought about me or that I was a child or what I needed as a child.  And the social worker was just there to rubber stamp everything.

Gack, I should have gone into social work.  This is just so distressing to think someone could have caught this.   I know I could walk into such a home, sniff, and say, “something’s not right.”


Written by girl4708

November 10, 2009 at 8:01 am

Posted in Infinite Longing

Screening for Woody Allen

with 39 comments

Today I’ve got no insights, revelations, or provocations. Today I am merely asking questions. The question I mainly want to ask is: How do we screen out Woody Allen? There are a few of us molested Korean adoptees who have come out of the shadows to speak about the traumatic consequences of latent yellow fever combined with the ability to adopt yellow.

Do these men KNOW they have yellow fever when they adopt? Is that why they choose Asian countries to adopt from?

Are these men pedophiles before they adopt?

What is it about these men that allows them to cross personal boundaries, morals, and ethics?

How is it these men are so infantile and self-absorbed they ultimately can not control their urges?


My similarly abused Korean adoptee friends and I all share the above question. In addition to the exclusive attention, I was also treated differently in many other ways than my non-adopted siblings were:

As confidant – about relationship matters between my father and mother. (I was a child, for God’s sake – who didn’t need to know that information)

As a special prize – The man actually referred to me as his little concubine…(I can’t tell you how gross that feels)

As an equal (yet fictional) participant – and this is where it gets weird – most of us were not raped and most of us our abuse ended after puberty. But let me tell you – physical pain is nothing compared to having our minds twisted inside out, and molestation or rape or both – it’s still all about control. And the thing about incest is that it’s a captive audience, and in the adoptee’s case, a captured audience. In a private hell that lasts sometimes over a decade, from which the only escape is actual physical escape. And who’s entire family dynamics are permanently scarred long after the abuse ends.  Because incest is chronic.  Our fathers rationalized they were above rapists because they loved us. Not only did they have to relieve themselves, but they also wanted us to love it. And them. In a super natural way. It was some sick ego masturbation going on. And the greater the challenge or convoluted nature of it all, the more illicit and rewarding for them.

In their socially retarded fantasy world, what they were really hoping for was what Woody Allan got: a child bride. Not just any child bride. An ASIAN child bride. Because of the mystique of Asian women. Because we were so docile. (because we were scared shitless because we had to adjust to a new and foreign life. I am not making this up, that is how I felt but if you’d asked me at the time I would have told you how thankful I was to be adopted) Because they thought of us as if we were little geisha. This is my theory. I can only venture to guess, but they are educated guesses because I LIVED with the man fourteen+ years.

Did my father intentionally adopt me to molest me? Of course not.

Did my father think Asian women were alluring? The idea probably fascinated him.

Was my father sexually attracted to other children? Maybe.  Probably.

But did he cross the line with anyone else? No. Just the Asian adopted daughter. Because the adopted Asian daughter is both exotic, vulnerable and, most importantly, accessible.

And that social taboo against incest? Not quite so strong when the child is not your blood…

Did Woody Allen date Mia Farrow because she had adopted daughters, one of them Asian? Maybe…their presence certainly made Mia more interesting. Maybe they were more interesting than Mia. Maybe they became an obsession. Woody was lucky, (from my father’s perspective) in that he didn’t have complete and total access to Mia’s children and that he was ‘t technically married to Mia, so he was free to turn the fantasy into reality.

Think about it, and it’s a recipe for disaster:

Take one relationship frustrated, sexually frustrated, sensitive, self-absorbed immature man

Give him close proximity and access to his fantasy and curiosity about the exotic

Now make the fantasy helpless and under his care, so that his love for his adorable charge grows each day

Let the relationship grow over time until the child trusts and loves him.

The acceptance is confusing and feeds the man’s longings for love, exciting the man

All of these things are hidden from the naked eye, from paperwork, from the itemized lists of social workers. All of the quantifiable qualities of an adoptive parent, these men PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS.

For the love of God, why can’t anyone BE A JUDGE OF CHARACTER when it comes to the safety of children?

How can we leave the adoptive parent’s judges of character to be self selected?

Why do we have to be objective when screening parents?

Isn’t subjectivity and gut instinct valuable in this instance?

How many children could I save alone if I were allowed to be a diviner or barometer?

The answer? Many.

You don’t find these men by looking at their bank account or their social activities or their job stability or their church affiliation or who will vouch for them. You won’t find these men with a short interview and handshake – they appear affable, magnanimous, and personable. Hell – any psychopath can trick almost anyone into thinking they are someone that cares, that you want to trust. (not that these men are psychopaths – they are a different creature entirely) No. You find these men by learning about their world view – which will almost always be essentially self-absorbed. And their mannerisms – which will be pouting or petulant, or delicate. And their rationalizations, obsessions and neurosis – which will come out through extensive interview about ethical and timely topics. (see amendment *** below) And their cowardice. And the way in which they look adoringly at an Asian child: I’m sure there is a scientifically measurable difference in their physical response.

There is a sixth sense we abuse victims have – the hair that rises on the back of your neck, the sick feeling in your stomach, the understanding when you see a child old beyond their years hand in hand with a protective yet charismatic father. I do hope someone can do some scholarly work and profile these men: interview fathers convicted of incest, convicted pedophiles, men in rehab programs. There are commonalities, I am sure of it. There must be predictors that can be used to rule out these adoption candidates. At present, the only thing I and my other sisters in abuse have found is in this article:

“Incest is more likely to occur in a family where at least one parent is a stepparent, said Alan Davis, head of the National Council on Child Abuse and Family Violence, and it shows up far more often in homes where both parents are not the natural parents.”

I also once tried to compare the rates of incest in biological families as compared to adopted families, but found that the data only indicated whether or not the families were natural or not natural, and that each state defined non-traditional families differently, so there was no way to filter the studies for adoption, as it wasn’t included as a variable in many of the studies. But if incest is more likely to occur in a family where BOTH parents are NOT biological, then doesn’t it follow that it is more likely to occur in an adoptive family as well? And to us sexually abused Asian adoptees, given the deeply ingrained proclivity to infanticize and sexualize Asian females in our culture, then it seems like a no brainer that we are especially at risk.

Please, somebody, please look into this – Not only collect data on past cases, but come up with a psychological profile of the adopting incest perpetrator. Because even one Woody Allen that slips through the present “screening” process is one too many.

Oh – and I wanted to correct that, on second thought,  interviewing these men about ethics and topical issues wasn’t really best, because they know what the socially accepted answers are.  More revealing would be talking about relationships.  These men never take responsibility for their part in relationships – they are always the victim.  Their roles are often frustrated and they feel dis-empowered.  They seek out young friends/lovers that are weaker than themselves, because their lack of control over their own lives makes them feel impotent in some way.  Innocence turns them on.  It is my belief that the man who turns to his own children is often very weak in the social pecking order of male supremacy.

In addition, it is not just the infantalization and sexualization of Asian females, but also the feminization of Asian boys…who are also incest victims.

I also wanted to add that, off the record, a worker at an organization to help Korean adoptees in search of their birth families estimated that it was their experience that approximately 50% of the adoptees they had encountered had suffered abuse at the hands of their adoptive parents.  These personal anecdotes were not something initially revealed or revealed on paper. There have been 76,646 adoptees who have returned to search for their families.  Given those figures, the unofficial count of abused adoptees could be staggering.

Written by girl4708

October 19, 2009 at 6:14 pm

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.


Written by girl4708

August 11, 2009 at 4:26 pm

Posted in Q&A

Who Am I? The Mystery of #4709

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Despite a few places where there’s been a heavy hand on my story…I just really really really appreciate all SBS has done for my case, and for exposing some of the serious problems regarding the control of records.  They were amazing to me, did an amazing amount of research, and truly investigated what the central issues are concerning adoption law and conflict of interests.

Those core issues are:

* The adoption agencies are the ONLY ones who have access to adoption records – this excludes even the government.
* Nobody but the government has any power to monitor adoption agency activities.  Their power is limited and they don’t exercise it.
* KCARE, the new central organization created to assist with identity retrieval, is a private organization with no governmental power, relying only on adoption agency cooperation.  KCARE has no original documents and no access to them.
* Even today, children with living parents’ identities and social histories are fabricated in order to make them available for adoption.  Their original identities are never recorded with the government, and only the adoption agencies hold this information.
* Adoption agencies know their presence replaces social services and feel entitled to funding from the government.  (but they don’t want government oversight or government access to documents)

Given the above issues, is it any wonder so many adoptees and first parents are unsuccessful finding the truth?

From the bottom of my heart, for me and for ALL ADOPTEES who only seek the most basic information about their identity,  which should be every person’s unalienable civil right, I thank SBS’s We Want to Know That director, Kim Ji Eun, and all of her tireless dedicated staff.

Thank you also to TRACK, who brave many slings and arrows asking Korea – and the world – to stop looking away.  Only through recognition of the ugly truth and reconciliation through correction, of the causes and mechanisms of its creation, can Korea begin to replace their shame with pride.

Here are my video comments and updates on the documentary:

Written by girl4708

August 8, 2009 at 1:06 am

Posted in Infinite Longing

So what if I was…

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Scene 1:

My father comes into the house, whistling.  His face is beaming and with a hop in his step, he rushes up to me and announces it’s a glorious day for a motorcycle ride, do I want to go?

My mom is concerned and swears that he’d better drive extra cautious, like this time will be diferent.

My father gets the helmets.  Nobody really asked me if I wanted to go, not really.  I really hate going, because I know the only reason he wants me to go is because my little arms will have to  hold onto him, and that gives him a thrill.  A thrill right out in broad daylight, in public, and no one will know.  He yells through the wind to hold on tighter, and I guess I must comply, because despite it being beautiful and freeing on a bike,  it’s pretty scarey being on Hines Drive with it’s curves and all the unpredictable drunken people partying along its edges.  My long hair is a tangled mess.  Taking the helmet off always rips a handful out.

We get home, and he knows I know what his motivation is.

Daddy, I say, looking straight into his eyes, can we go see Annie?  I really want to see Little Orphan Annie in Detroit.

Well, it’s really expensive honey, but we’ll-see-what-we-can-do.

Yeah, that’s right.  You better…or no more motorcycle rides.

Scene 2:

My bedroom.

I just-can’t-take-it-anymore.

I don’t know what it is I can’t take, but I have to leave.  I don’t even remember what the upset was, but I have to go.  I have barracaded my door with my bed and my dresser, and my toychest is under the bedroom window, which I have opened and am trying desperately to climb out of.  If I could only grab hold of the lilac bush…

But the dresser and bed are sliding and the door to my bedroom is opening, and just like the door always opens when I don’t want it to, there I am again, dreading what’s next, helpless.   My dad pushes the furniture aside and my mom follows him in and asks me what I am crying about, and I sob because of course I don’t know and I can’t tell her.

I can’t tell her what it is to be manipulated and to manipulate at the age when you should be playing with dolls.  I can’t tell her how it feels to be a living doll.  I can’t tell her I’m afraid of everything and everybody and mostly of breaking her world apart.  I can’t tell her I’m the other woman.  I can’t tell her what it’s like to be an alien in this world.  I can’t tell her because she is color blind and relationship blind and so sad about her life.

My dad moves the furniture back as if nothing happened.  My mom tells me that after I’ve washed my face, dinner will be ready.

Scene 3:

On the street corner, in front of my house.

New neighbor and her daughter come over to introduce themselves to my mom.  I am what, ten years old? yet she gushes over me as if I were four years old.  She starts stroking my hair.  It’s so soft and silky and long and black.  She talks slowly to me, to make sure I understand her words amid her squealing with delight.  She just loves almond shaped eyes.  She just always wished she had almond shaped eyes.  I am stiff. I don’t say much in response.  Her daughter Cara is bubbly and vivacious.  She says, “yes, m’am!” like Opie does on the Andy Griffith Show, like she really enjoys sucking up.  My mother is in love.  I don’t say, “yes, m’am!”

My mom gives her a polished tumbled amethyst rock.  Funny, she never gave ME one of her tumbled rocks.  She chastises me, “Why do you have to be like that?  Why can’t you be more like Cara?”  Cara looks like Annie Wharbucks.  I look like I-don’t-know-what.  No, wait.  I look like the Chinese sex bomb in Flower Drum Song.  How the hell can I say, “yes, m’am!” cheerfully?

Scene 4:

So I’m sitting at the park, near the baseball dugout, the one closest to my church, sneaking a cigarette, and my friend asks me about my birth mother.

“Do you think she was a prostitute or something?”  (I can hear the hope in her voice – they all wished I was the illegitimate daughter of a lady of the night)

I shrug.  “I dunno.”

“Do you ever want to meet her?”

“NO.  Why would I want to do that?”  I frown.  “Families suck.  Why would I want a second one?”

(incredulous) “But aren’t you even curious?”

“So what if I was, WHICH I’M NOT.  We couldn’t talk anyway.  Whoever the hell she is, she’s in KOREA.  Like I know how to talk that!  (I didn’t even know what it sounded like)

(silence…)  “Oh.  I forgot about that.”  (long pause)  “Wow.”  (romantic jealousy emanates from my friend)

Scene 5:

Same dugout, different time.

I’m making out with a boy, also from my church.  It dawns on me that we are having the same conversation as Scene 4, only we’re not speaking the words.  I suddenly feel like I am my mother.  Why do I feel so dirty?

I finally realize it’s not really me he wants to be with, but the idea of my mother.

Scene 6:

Small house party, Seattle.  It’s the post grunge, emo era and Michael’s slightly talented artistic friend is playing Dinosaur Jr. adnauseum.  His rich Korean American girlfriend walks in.  She’s slender and perfect and should be a model for L’eggs pantyhose. She name-drops designers, while proudly wearing her alternative long-haired white boyfriend like a street smart badge of honor.  She has it all.  A broken nail is suffering for her.

Later, Michael off-handedly mentions to me how gorgeous she is.  “What about me?”  I jest.

“Oh, yeah.  You’re made from good Korean peasant stock.”

Of course I am.

I’m just an orphan, probably daughter of a whore.


Somehow, my first mom doesn’t seem quite so vile now.

I’m sure she is/was a good person.

And being made from peasant stock is just fine, thank you.

Can I meet you, please?

Written by girl4708

June 22, 2009 at 8:28 pm

Posted in Infinite Longing

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. .


“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.”

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

Loving My Captor

A while back, just prior to being banned from an adoption abuse website for daring to confront a particularly Virulent Adoptive Parent who disrespected the website, I had brought up the topic of Stockholm Syndrome. The VAP took great offense to this.

According to the above wikipedia link:

Stockholm syndrome is a psychological response sometimes seen in abducted hostages, in which the hostage shows signs of loyalty to the hostage-taker…

I was comparing the act of adoption to the act of abduction, as the editors of Transracial Abductees had done previously, only adding my own spin on the relationships that form with our adoptive parents.

Also, cited in the wikipedia entry:

According to the psychoanalytic view of the syndrome, the tendency might well be the result of employing the strategy evolved by newborn babies to form an emotional attachment to the nearest powerful adult in order to maximize the probability that this adult will enable — at the very least — the survival of the child, if not also prove to be a good parental figure. This syndrome is considered a prime example for the defense mechanism of identification

The VAP didn’t like this at all.  He didn’t want to recognize that his transracial internationally adopted children didn’t come to America of their own free will.  He didn’t want to recognize that they had no recourse but to get along with these benevolent people providing so much attention and basic needs, because they were totally dependent upon them.  He didn’t want to recognize his power in that situation or the child’s helplessness.

Okay – so adoption’s intent is not to abuse or exploit in most cases.  But isn’t adoption a benevolent form of abduction?  Isn’t taking someone anyplace against their will abduction?  And in the case of adoption, isn’t Stockholm Syndrome what adoptive parents are hoping for?

I bring this all up again due to a really amazing conversation I had with my daughter last week, as she asked about my relationship to my mother, and my siblings (her biological children) relationship with her.

I described my older sister feeling hurt that my mother did not communicate, and my oldest brother feeling resentment for being ignored by her, and my next older brother getting angry because we sometimes had cereal for dinner instead of the kind of meals he expected of a housewife to earn her keep.  I described my sadness for her, for having such self-centered children, for the tedium of her days, for her frustrated fantasy life, her sense of worthlessness, and her unsatisfying roles and the lack of respect she received.  I sensed her loneliness and hopelessness.  I wanted to make everything better for her, but could do nothing but watch her retreat into herself.

My daughter, amazed, wondered how it was that I, the adopted daughter, the transracial international foreign born daughter, was the only one who seemed to have empathy for this woman.

I thought about empathy.  I thought about how helpless people can relate to helpless people.  I think I recognized my situation, though perpetrated by her, as a reflection of her own situation…

Enter Stockholm Syndrome.

Witness Natacha Kampusch, the Austrian girl who was abducted and held captive for eight years in a basement, by a socially inept man named Wolfgang Priklopil.

Kampusch has sympathized with her captor.  She said “I feel more and more sorry for him – he’s a poor soul”, in spite of having been held captive for eight years by him, and according to police she lit a candle for him at the morgue.

Ms. Kampusch was labeled as having Stockholm Syndrome, which she denied.  Later, Austrians were shocked when it was revealed that she carried a photograph of Priklopil’s coffin in her wallet.

For me, that was not shocking at all.  Eight years she lived under that man.  Not only did he tear her away from her less than ideal family, occassionally beat her, deprive her of liberty, and probably molest her, but he also showed her tenderness, brought her gifts, and tried to make her captivity more comfortable.  She was the most important human being in his life.  And everything she could hope for had to be through him.  Eight years you get to know someone really well.  You start to understand what makes them tick, what brought them to such desperate acts.  You begin to feel for them.  They become dear to you.

Yes, I am projecting here.  This is my adoptive mother I feel for.  And I weep when I think of the desperation that brought my adoption into being.  And I weep when I read of her letters to Holt, and how important my capture was to her.  And I weep when I think of all those years seeing that it didn’t fix anything for her.  And to my mind, I am a victim of Stockholm Syndrome.  And I am okay with that.  Just like Natasha’s treasured photo of a coffin, we can’t condemn her or tell her that her feelings for him, whatever they were, weren’t real.  My adoption was bad, a crime really.  My relationship with my parents strained.  But more than anyone, I saw her for what she was.  I think I was the only one who really knew her.

I hate that I was captured.  I hate adoption.  This is no way to start a relationship.

But I loved my captor.   We’re all we had.

Written by girl4708

January 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Infinite Longing