Got it all figured out do ya’?

Regarding the comment on my last post. Sure, why not. I’ll give it a go……

“When you guys get self-righteous and mean, though, it pleases me to stir the hornet’s nest, to try to get you to think. It never works, but I am an optimist. I think brains work even when we don’t want them to. It sinks in somewhere and sits quietly, waiting to come out at a later time.”

I find myself wishing the same where you (and many like you) are concerned. The thing about communicating with the likes of you is that you DO take great pleasure in saying things that you KNOW will hurt us. You admittedly take great pleasure in that and quite frankly this is what makes us take you far less seriously than we would if you were kind. You also seem to come up with a different reason to object to our honest emotions (as though that were even possible) each time you comment. You change your reasoning about as much as you change your underwear. You are out there looking for a fight for no other reason than to give validity to your own unrealistic fears. Another reason I personally find it impossible to take you seriously.

“I like her stance that not all adoptees are messed up and angry and longing for their birth mommies. She provides another perspective that I find refreshing.”

Of course you find this refreshing. Why would you want to go through life thinking your own children may actually be MISSING their mother? That they may be angry about that AND be “messed up” about the whole thing because everyone around them (including their parents) in no uncertain terms tell them they are UNREASONABLE for feeling this way? Don’t think for a second that your children do not sense this even if it is not spoken.

“For those who do want to stay in contact, like my children’s birth mothers, it has worked out fine. For my friend’s son’s mother, she has sent a clear message about what she wanted the day she disappeared.”

You are right, there are plenty of mothers out there who are NOT wishing for reunion. We all know that. Many of us have actually faced that. But make no mistake; that in NO WAY removes our desire to FEEL the most natural thing in the world which is to connect in some way with the people responsible for our existence. You nor anyone else may take that from us. You nor anyone else may explain away our birthright. When you try to discredit us you only create that which you so adamently object to……….messed up and angry people. Who, by the way will (regardless of the situation) long for that connection one way or another.

I do not have any attachment as to your like or dislike of me but PLEASE consider what I have said for the sake of your children. Your goal of discrediting us only serves to discredit the little ones under your own roof.

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29 Comments

Filed under Adoptive Family, Truthful Musings

29 responses to “Got it all figured out do ya’?

  1. kt

    All too often, we do or say things in which we believe is for the benefit or betterment of our children. Yet when one strips to the core and looks within, we’re actually acting upon or hiding behind our own individual fears.

    No matter how much effort one goes through to hide behind those fears, people figure it out….children especially know a helluva lot more than we give them credit for as they don’t have as much bs cloggin’ up their minds.

    There’s only one way….honesty….which brings out ones power. Being honest to oneself is incredibly challenging yet empowering.

    Positive compared to negative.
    Honesty compared to lies/fears.
    Power compared to force.

    Power always prevails over force.

    A wonderful post, Mia.

  2. Mia…please understand that I am new to this (we just got home 2 years ago) and my three year old isn’t really asking questions or noticing anything at this point. We do talk about China, airplanes, meeting us etc… No, we haven’t talked about birth/first parents yet…although when we read some of our books they are mentioned so she has heard it. We also have the issue of her foster parents (she lived with them for 11 months) and so really she has 3 families. Unlike a domestic situation Annslee will never likely have the opportunity to meet/know her first family (the natural parent thing threw me…I thought I was that..heck I’m not un natural I don’t think??) I really don’t like labels at all but realize they are necessary. I wish Annslee would have the opportunity to meet those who loved her and cared for her in China…especially the ones who conceived and birthed her….it will not happen I am sure. When she is older I will gladly help her travel (go along if she wishes ) to China to look.

    I guess all my rambling is to say all adoptive parents aren’t out to keep the truth from their children. Most of us would lay down our lives for our kids and believe me, knowing one day Annslee will hurt to the core over the loss of her first family, country and culture breaks my heart.

  3. mia

    Yes, of course all AP’s aren’t out to keep the truth from their kids. Many do though you have to admit.

    Laura I’ve gotta’ say the fact that you are “new to this” speaks volumes for the accuracy of the need for adoption reform. A person should be well versed in these issues BEFORE they adopt. Follow me here because I don’t really think this is a PAPs fault. I’m talking about PAPs being taught the core of adoption reality, what an adopted child can and cannot be, what their children most likely will experience and how to address these issues TRUTHFULLY and with some measure of success. Too many AP’s are blindsided by this stuff because they were never told ANY of it. They think its going to be one way and when it starts to show up they mistakenly cover reality by thinking that being a good parent will erase everything else. Certainly being a good parent helps but it isn’t going to make the truth go away.

    Sadly the ones who do have trouble with the truth tend to be those who have tons of unresolved feelings regarding their infertility. Adoption is fed to these unsuspecting souls as a cure for what ails them by the vultures of the adoption industry. Necessary process of these emotions is never addressed during home studies or PAP classes are they? A substitute is offered by the agency who could care less if you know WTF you’re doing. It’s OK to say substitute because we KNOW we are substitutes for the “real” deal. It is what it is. Very few people adopt (that can have children of their own) only to open their home to a child in need. Normally it’s to replace a child they could not have and very much want. That’s just a fact. And it’s not even necessarily a bad thing IF it doesn’t create a false environment for their child. IF the child is not forced to be something they can never be. Pretending never works. Everybody has to feel comfortable processing their true feelings.

    Think for a moment as to why it is that people who are looking to adopt are not counceled in such things as need for truth and issues of identity? Why is it that no agency (that I know of) even bothers to ask such an important question of their clients: “Have you sat with your grief? Have you mourned the loss of the child you cannot have? Because if you haven’t you will instinctually try and make this child into something they cannot be.” And the ironic part is that when adoptees come to the place where we wish to search for our truth (many of us seeing it for the very first time) these same agencies demand WE seek counseling before we can proceed. The irony blows my mind.

    We’re a pretty smart bunch and we know that when it comes down to it wanting to love is the driving force for most people who adopt. The problem is that many (not all) APs complicate the action of love with REactions of fear based upon unresolved issues. Fear and love cannot exist in the same space. It just can’t. So fear becomes the driving force instead of love.

    You may not be able to physically materialize your child’s natural parents but you CAN allow her to process HER grief without hiding it, covering it up or making it into something it’s not. Prepare yourself because as an openly honest parent you WILL create an environment in which your daughter will feel comfortable telling you her truths without fear getting in her way. That’s a good thing by the way. You’ll do just fine as long as you use honesty as your mantra.

    Peace.

  4. Mary

    Great post again. As for Chinese born adoptees, look at what is happening in Korea. No one thought that Korean born adoptees had a change of finding their natural families, some are now finding them. DNA databases may eventually be the way to reunite adoptees from China.

  5. Mia, keep fighting the good fight. I’m glad you’re out there doing it.

  6. Ditto to what Dawn said.

    Rock on, Mia.

  7. This is a great post, Mia. You have a way of stating things much more gracefully than I ever can.
    You are an inspiration.

  8. I effing love you Mia!

    How patronizing is this: “I like her stance that not all adoptees are messed up and angry and longing for their birth mommies.” MOMMIES? It’s so much more than an adult wanting her damn MOMMY asshat. Um, heritage? Identity? Ding, ding?

    I am not an angry adoptee (for the most part), but DAMMIT! statements like that on top of someone trying to mess with legitimate emotions just for the “sake of argument” is nothing more than asinine.

  9. mia

    Thanks everyone.

    It’s true Mary, more and more TRAs are locating their original family. How awesome is that?! I was once told by an AP that the reason many people travel so far to adopt is so they don’t have to deal with the whole “birthmother thing”. I don’t know how true that is but the fact that less and less domestic adoptions take place as open adoptions become more common…..well, it sure makes you wonder. I don’t care how far you travel there is no such thing as a clean slate baby. We ALL have a true history that, contrary to popular belief…….. travels well.

    Andie I know that was entirely condescending. It was a CLEAR indication of very DEEP issues she has regarding her feelings toward her children’s origins. It really just makes me very sad for them more than it makes me mad at her. It does make you slap your forehead considering she thinks its unreasonable for us to be “messed up and angry”. Like HUH? If she doesn’t get a clue soon she’s going to end up with messed up and angry children of her own. If they aren’t already. It’s all very sad.

  10. Great post Mia – and an even greater response from you here in your comments.(up top in response to Laura)
    You have a great way with words my friend – and you always make me see things for new angles.
    Thank you.
    Biggest hugs,
    Poss. xxxx

  11. Mia ~ that is the reason some APs travel so far. Then again, the international adoptive community that is searching or planning/thinking about searching for their children’s first families is growing larger all the time. I’m a member of Yahoo’s group BirthParent Contact which at this time has 1,075 members. I would bet that some parents who search are not in Yahoo’s group also. People are in varying stages of searching, some having found their childrens’ parents and their kids being in reunion.

    OK, I’m off on a tangent — 😉 .

    Just wanted to throw my $0.02 in on that.

  12. (((Poss)))

    justenjoyhim the word many was a direct quote from the woman who said that to me. I do try to use language that is not all inclusive. Honestly I am very aware that there are exceptions to every rule. I try to use words like many and some and often instead of all, or always or never etc…If I ever come off otherwise call me on it but I think I usually stay pretty aware of that when I write.

    I am really glad to hear there is a yahoo group of this nature out there. Really glad. You know I value your input so thanks for your two cents.

  13. Mia-

    Great posts here! I found you thru Possum. I’m an adoptive parent (please don’t hate me). I’m always on the lookout for blogs/opinions/personal stories about adoption, so that I may educate myself on countless issues, and therefore be able to enrich my daughters lives, help them, add knowledge to our journey, etc.

    As I’ve stated on my blog and on others, I don’t think adoption is an always or never type of deal as far as feelings and opinions go. There are many people with even many more varying experiences and opinions.

    I value hearing your opinion. Cheers! -Esther

  14. mia

    LOL Don’t hate you? I don’t even know you! I’m glad you commented. Please say hi whenever you stop by. I only bite when necessary. ;o)

  15. Oh, Mia, sorry — I understood that it was from someone else. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear — happens a lot because my mouth AND the keyboard get ahead of my thoughts. Oops. I was just starting off on my tangent/almost a post just because that topic gets me all enthused/confused.

    Enthused/confused? — yeah, like I said, it is — and has been — a topic/post in itself. I was almost starting a post here and then stopped myself. Heh heh.

    I gots to learn when to shut the hell up. 🙂

  16. Oh, that’s way the hell confusing —

    only “enthused/confused” because Nate’s mom asked for “confidentiality” in her relinquishment documentation to the orphanage so we are mighty torn. Otherwise we would probably have already been well on our way towards searching for her.

    There I went ahead — keyboard getting ahead of me. Dagnabit!

  17. carosgram

    I am grammie to a TRA who is 3 like Laura’s little girl. However, she frequently talks about China, plays with her sisters about going to China to see her aya, acts out how her daddy came to China to get her and sometimes makes her sister who is playing daddy give her back to her aya. She has pictures of her aya hanging on the refrigerator and looks forward to a trip to see her. She knows her ‘mama in China’ carried her in her belly just like her mama here did her sisters. I find it hard to understand how my granddaughter could think about her mother in China, her aya and the whole way she came to be a part of our family and Laura’s has never even wondered.

  18. “isn’t really asking questions or noticing anything at this point.” —
    What Carosgram said is so important — Noticing and expressing are different things. Our daughter, home at 17 mos, almost three now, asks questions all the time — I’m not sure she’s thinking things other children her age don’t so much as she is expressing it in ways particular to her. Dh and I and I have said that with dd there’s no latent content — it’s all manifest.
    I really believe you can help your daughter by making sure it isn’t “one day” in the distance but many times throughout her life that she can be wracked by the pain of her losses AND be okay, happy and secure.

    (on the issue of “natural” v “first” a lot of mothers have written, but I’m happy to add my thoughts about why I’m comfortable with both — and why it wouldn’t matter if I wasn’t — if they’d be useful to you, Laura).

  19. Mia…thanks for visiting my blog : ) Sorry it has taken me so long to come back over but grandparents were in town and we were having too much fun to go online LOL

    I should have been more clear, when I said “new to this” I meant I have only been actually parenting for two years. Believe me, I have read tons on attachment, adjustment and my fav books were written by adoptees b/c I know “you” are the experts and I want to learn from those of you who know and not some researcher who thinks they know. Also, I am happy to report that our agency, CHI, does ask the questions you referred to when they do the homestudy. I think you are right that a lot of people come to adoption from years of infertility pain. For us, adoption was our first choice. We never tried to prevent getting pregnant but we were always actively pursuing our adoption plans from the beginning.

    Carosgram & Abebech~ I wanted to also address your concerns about our daughter. She just turned 3 two weeks ago and she is saying about 10 words clearly. She is in intensive speech therapy 4 days a week (finally after I fought for it for two years!) and so she isn’t saying much about anything. One of the things she can say is China and she often shows up the pictures and “talks” about being from China. She will also point to us and say we aren’t from China but that pandas are : ) Believe me, we aren’t saving this up for “one day” We want to be open and honest with her about everything and want her to feel the same. Like Mia said, having an open door policy with our daughter will be best for all of us. I want her to always feel she can say anything to us and not fear how we will react. It isn’t about us! I don’t just mean about adoption feelings either…when she is a teen I want her to come to me about things …although, that thought does scare me but I will try not to flinch when she mentions sex ; )

  20. Laura, I responded on your latest blog post, but you can’t go wrong by being open to the possibility that she IS noticing even if she’s only taking it all in at this point.

    As for keeping communication open always: “I will try not to flinch when she mentions sex ; )”
    My mother actually blushed and said “I’m sorry — I can’t do this” 🙂 so I bet you’ll get a little farther than mine did.

    Still annoyed that in the comment that started it all “angry and longing” are equated with “messed up.”

  21. Keep getting the word out, Mia. It’s baffling to me that we even have to make arguments for ownership of our history. But if that’s what it takes, then fight we will.

    In solidarity,
    Sume

  22. Cath

    To Laura

    Never say never! There are already reunions happening in China!

    There is already a set of twins that have found each other – and they are only 2 years old!

    How did that happen?

    One set of adoptive parents thought they had adopted a single baby – then they discovered that the baby was one of a set of twins. How did they find this out? When the other set of adoptive parents posted a picture of the other twin online! They had both been to the same orphanage and belonged to the orphanage e-mail group.

    Both sets of adoptive parents believe that this will make it fairly easy to find the bio family as twins are considered very special in China.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6897567.stm

    There is also a group that has been set up to reunite Chinese adoptees and I have heard that they have already had a few successes.

    With China increasing its economy and with the Internet being without many boundaries, it will not be so hard for Chinese adoptees to find their bio families in future, especially with a number of support groups popping up everywhere.

    If you adopted from China because you thought that the child could not find its bio family, then that was a bad decision on your part and a poor reason for adopting any child. Never assume that a child will never be reunited with their bio family. There is always a chance of finding despite amazing odds – just like that Korean Olympic champion finding his bio father.

    I managed to find my son with just his first name in another country (I know others who have done the same without any name!) He was very impressed that I was able to (it proved to him that I really cared about him) and he was absolutely delighted to be found. He was not told the truth about his adoption and very important medical information had NOT been passed on to him (that omission almost killed him). He now e-mails me often and calls me once a month. He has also reunited with his father and all of his siblings (my story is a bit complicated but long story short – the UN has put me on their “Victim of Adoption Fraud” registry because I was denied basic human rights)

    One must remember that at least 70,000 children are actually stolen from their families in China every year for the purposes of human trafficking.
    They are not all “abandoned” as the authorities
    would lead us to believe.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/dispatches/chinas+stolen+children/876352

    However, to re-assure you, my son still calls his adoptive mother “Mom” and he calls me by my first name (but sometimes refers to me as his “other mother” as he feels we have both made important contributions to his life).

  23. Cath

    My son admits that before I found him, he was floundering a little bit. He was in a rut, in debt and he had a little bit of a drinking problem. He says he went into debt so that it would be easier for me to find him (which it did).

    I found that my son was suffering from low self-esteem. Why? Because he could not compete with his adoptive parent’s bio children who are Ph’D’s.
    He just isn’t made that way and felt a bit like a failure. His adoptive parents seemed to have thrown that back in his face constantly.

    My son didn’t look for me. Why?

    Because he thought I would be disappointed with him the way his adoptive parents were. I can barely forgive them for bringing down his self-image so low.

    They wanted a child who was like them and their bio children – extremely academic. They did not seem to accept my son for who he was and that he was NOT like them at all! They tried to make him something that he is not and then they made him suffer for it when he could not be want THEY wanted him to be.

    My son loves to cook – his adoptive family can’t stand cooking. They could not understand how anyone could cook for a living. Guess where he gets that from – both sides of his bio family. I love cooking, have cooked for a living, as has his paternal grandmother.

    My son loves to sail – guess where he gets that from – his ancestors on both sides. There are 3 generations of captains on my side of the family as well as a harbour master. I love boats as does his father. His father used to design them! I showed my son lots of tall ships in the UK which he adores. He feels a real connection to them knowing that his ancestors sailed tea clippers just like the Cutty Sark.

    Since finding my son, I have encouraged him to go back to college to study nursing (which I suspect his adoptive parents have ridiculed him for as his adoptive father is a doctor).

    Since finding my son, he has paid off his debts with his own money and eased off the drink.

    I told my son how proud I am of him.

    Do you know what he said to me?

    He said that was the FIRST time anyone had said that to him – including his adoptive parents who had NEVER said that to him.

    My son needs me in his life because his adoptive family simply refuse to accept him as he is. They do not really understand him or the way that he thinks. My son has said that and that I think like him (which he finds a bit spooky!)

    My son needs ALL of his family.

    A shame that open adoptions are only a recent invention. Closed adoptions have really hurt people like my son who needed someone with a similar point of view guiding them.

  24. Hey Mia! Just found your blog… it’s really great, you are really phenomenal.

    LOVED your post and your reply to Laura… as much as it may feel good to some people to say hurtful things to adoptees, it’s really amazing to have someone who will reply like you did. I have personally had some very hurtful things said in the past, and it felt very fulfilling and validating to read what you had to say in reply. I think you are great. 🙂

    Keep trying. That’s all we can do. 🙂

  25. PS i just realized how my last comment might have sounded… i didn’t mean at all that Laura was saying hurtful things and i’m terribly sorry if it came off that way… I think she’s awesome too for coming out and try reading and trying to learn too. 🙂

  26. Idetrorce

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

  27. mia

    Ide that’s not allowed. I’m kidding of course. lol I can’t really talk with you about it though because I’m not sure what it is you disagree with?

    Thanks for all the great responses everyone.

  28. Allison

    “Why is it that no agency (that I know of) even bothers to ask such an important question of their clients: ‘Have you sat with your grief? Have you mourned the loss of the child you cannot have? Because if you haven’t you will instinctually try and make this child into something they cannot be.'”

    I don’t think it helps people relate to what you are saying when you make blanket statements like this. Both agencies I have worked with focused solely on these issues before they would allow PAP’s to move forward with a home study.

  29. mia

    Allison that is why I said no agency that I know of. What agency did you use? If there are agencies out there that are offering these important services it would be good for everyone to know who they are.

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