Category Archives: Adoptive Family

“Hater” is kind of strong don’t you think?

I was going to let it go too. But everyone knows no self respecting hippie-type can be called a hater and let it go. I am all about the love man!

Apparently all of the attention you received from all of us ingrates has caused you much wailing and gnashing of teeth. It’s not easy seeing being green. Before your personal blog was protected from the wolves I could see that you definitely have people in your corner. There was a lot of this; “oh dear don’t let the haters get you down” and “they’re just bitter, angry adoptlings who come from gawd awful situations” and “you are a good parent (pats on the head) so don’t let anyone tell you different because you are doing God’s work” bull. As though this has anything at all to do with what kind of parenting skills you have.

You see it really doesn’t concern me how often you volunteer at your kids school or how many brownies you can bake in a day and I don’t hate you, I don’t even know you. I do have a huge problem with the business you are in though and THAT I will not mince words about. Like I said in my comment section nothing pisses me off more than people selling babies in the name of God.

I see the two “non-profits” you work for (run by Malcolm and Amy Young) also have a blog to further advertise their marketable product. I see that there you can also get up to the minute “situations” so I guess it’s good to check back regularly?

Here are just a few of the situations available next month;

African-American Boy, 2/17/09,SC, $21K

African-American Boy / Girl Twins, $33K, 2/1/09

Yes, I did notice that you get a discount if you buy two.

Be sure to ask about the minority discount!

I do have a question though. Is publicly advertising an infant for tens of thousands of UNNECESSARILY CHARGED dollars and basing that price tag on race considered human trafficking? I guess not as long as you throw in the word Christian.

Obviously my friend what I have failed to recognize is that if you preface your business with the word Christian and throw in some key bible verses for good measure all of this blatantly obvious marketing of human beings miraculously becomes- God’s work.

So sorry to have hurt your feelings my dear. Please go about your BUSINESS! And now that  you know I don’t hate you please do try to get some sleep.

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Filed under Adoption Politics, Adoption Schmoption, Adoptive Family, Truthful Musings

The Pretender

Regarding my previous post on “grafting” because obviously there is some misunderstanding-

I get that Paul is trying to make his children feel a part of something bigger than themselves, part of the family in a deeper, more meaningful way. I’m not questioning his motives here. What I am saying is that what he proposes (regardless of intention) doesn’t work. You can say something flowery and pretty it up all you want to but that doesn’t make it reality. Regardless of how much you WANT it to be true.

Take my adoptive grandmother for instance. She died before I was adopted. I never had the opportunity to meet her and thus do not have any emotional connection to her other than the fact that she is my amom’s mother. From what I’ve been told she was a pretty amazing woman. I honor and respect her memory but the fact remains that I have no blood connection to her what so ever. No matter how much I may “want to” I can’t own that blood connection.

I am not suggesting here that an adoptee can’t be made to feel that they are a part of their adoptive family unit. My brother is my brother, my dad my dad etc… What I AM saying is that the buck stops at pretending we share DNA because we don’t. I am NOT part of their family tree and never will be. The FACT IS my true heritage is and always will be growing on the branch of another tree. The same is true for my children and their children and so on.

Look, all we want, all we have ever wanted, is for society to allow us to stop pretending and simply tell it like it IS. This grafting business is a prime example of the lengths adoptees are expected to go to to fit in. We are tired of being shape shifters and fixers, of burying our feelings for the sake of others. We are tired of trying to be something we’re not. Mostly we are tired of being ignored by the bulk of society when we continually tell you how damaging and absolutely exhausting it is having to live in the land of make believe.

Maybe you can try and understand why so many of us are less than cordial when we talk about it. This uphill climb we are forced to make to simply be who we are would make anybody testy.

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Filed under Adoptee Family, Adoptive Family, Natural Family

Leave My Family Tree Alone

You can find value in Theresa’s posts on ANY given day, she gives a real world, no nonsense POV that smacks you but good. I will admit that that stories she Diggs are usually highly triggering but I read them because it really does no good at all to bury ones head in the sand.

A while back Theresa did a Digg (or is that dugg) on something printed in the Humboldt Beacon entitled Grafting on to the Family Tree. It was written by Paul Rodrigues in response to a straight forward plea for open records written by Mara Rigge entitled Adoptees Discriminated Against. I can’t seem to get Rodgrigues’ response out of my mind. As a matter of fact the more I thought about it the more angry I became.

Rodrigues comments; “Both of them had questions about their roots as it pertained to their adoptive family, and I explained to them that they were grafted onto the family tree, and like a branch that is grafted onto a living tree, it is just as much a part of the tree as one that had grown naturally.

On the surface it’s easy to see why Rodrigues’ response would be triggering but I had to dig (no pun) deeper than the surface to figure out why it bothered me SO much. Then it came to me. This superimposed work of fiction by Mr. Rodrigues epitomizes EVERYTHING that ends up imparting irreparable damage on adoptees . To suggest that an adoptee is simply grafted onto the adoptive family tree is both completely dismissive and entirely disrespectful not only to his children but to each and every adoptee out there.

I wish it worked this way Mr. Rodrigues, I really do. But the fact of the matter is you simply cannot create fact out of fiction. The only way you can effectively assist in working through the unique issues your children WILL face by being adopted is by acknowledging truth and fully supporting them in that very personal journey of self discovery. You do them NO favors by forcing them into a designer pair of rose colored glasses in place of real, honest, roll up your sleeves and get a little dirty….work.

I know as parents we want to protect our children from ever feeling sadness or pain. Unfortunately adoption NATURALLY comes with some measure of both. It’s OK, really. Far better to acknowledge it than force your children to pretend everything about being adopted is perfect. Speaking from experience I can tell you that pretending things are as they are not puts FAR more pressure on your kids than allowing them to acknowledge reality and work through the resulting emotions.

I know PLENTY of adoptive parents who work tirelessly to understand the many nuances of raising an adopted child (just take a look at but a few over to the right listed in my AP links). They try, they fail and then they TRY AGAIN. Just as so many of us adoptees do as we work our way through the labyrinth of the unknown that IS our historical identity. And what our place is in it. You ask too much of us when you suggest we live in a land of make-believe where ones true biological history can be grafted elsewhere. Closet dwelling biological families would do well to grasp this too.

I remember my visit to Ellis Island which I blogged about way back in o6′. This is a place where the blood of our ancestors seeps from the walls constructed in their honor. I ask you Mr. Rodrigues; what honor is there in a lie? The truth may not be a pretty or comfortable place to visit but that is exactly where you will find your children’s dignity.

So as for this whole grafting idea? You are definitely barking up the wrong tree.

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Filed under Adoptee Family, Adoption Schmoption, Adoptive Family, Natural Family

The City of Brotherly Love…

….is calling YOUR name!

Philadelphia Adoptee Rights Demonstration

July 21, 2009

We propose a one day ADOPTEE RIGHTS DEMONSTRATION at the National Conference of State Legislature’s Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA, on Tuesday July 21st, 2009.

The National Conference of State Legislatures is the largest group of its kind, the national organization of STATE LAWMAKERS, the people who DECIDE whether you may access your original birth certificates… OR NOT.

We propose a gathering of adoptees and all supporters of the rights of adoptees to unrestricted access to their own records of birth, representing all fifty states, a one-day rally that will be an opportunity for adoptees to demonstrate their commitment to adoptee rights and to meet their state delegation.

Please join us!

http://AdopteeRightsPhilly.blogspot.com

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Filed under Adoptee Family, Adoption Politics, Adoptive Family, Media, Natural Family, Open Records

Adopting My Dad

I really think I am trying to accomplish the impossible and quite frankly for the LIFE of me I can’t come up with a sensible reason why. My dad is incredibly difficult which I knew BEFORE I moved him in here last month but our backs really were against the wall. It’s a fairly long story but the short version is that his caretaker took care of my dad AND his bank account.

I actually think I am doing a pretty good job with the day to day things like remembering his pills, taking him to the Dr., getting him to change his clothes (yes, this is actually an issue). I am even staying relatively sane in spite of having NFL Total Access blaring on the TV from 7 am until 10:30 p.m.. It’s his temper that I am having a hard time with because he’s mean. He has always been mean. He actually took a swing at me yesterday because I turned off the TV so we could talk for a moment. I’m not in any physical danger or anything, I mean he’s strong as hell but he is 84 years old so I’m much faster and I just moved out of his way. I stayed relatively calm but I CLEARLY informed him that I wasn’t a child anymore and that if it happened again he’d find himself sitting in the closest nursing home I could find.

I spent the rest of the day forcing images of the past out of my mind. Images of a time when I wasn’t 41 and he wasn’t 84 and I didn’t have any choice in the matter. Here’s an interesting fact; my brother (bio. son) has NEVER heard my dad so much as raise his voice. Seriously. Never. I on the other hand have spent YEARS trying to make peace with my childhood (my brother was long gone when I was adopted) and I think it is some sort of twisted irony that I have willingly put myself right back in that place I worked so hard to escape. Ironic…… or maybe MORonic.

The worst part is I actually feel some measure of guilt for being angry about the fact that it’s him here instead of my mom. She and I had issues for SURE but she would have acknowledged my children were in the room and loved them, she would have been aware of the sacrifice we were all making by having her live in our home. There would have been some measure of gratitude involved (now THERE’S some irony). Not so with my dad. He believes the world is here to serve him which is exactly what I do.

Why?

Crazy for sure and I really can’t answer that yet. The only thing I can think is that he is my father and despite everything- I do love him- and I love my brother -even though neither of them make it very easy to do. I guess I want my kids to know that this is what families do for one another, that love isn’t always reciprocated and reciprocation isn’t WHY we love anyway.

And then I think that all sounds like a bunch of crap and I really have NO IDEA why I’m doing it.

You know, sometimes I wonder what kind of family the social worker that facilitated my adoption has. What did her model of “family” look like? What personal criteria did she pull from when she made her decision? I wonder if she lives in a nursing home now or if her adult children are caring for her? Mostly I ask myself why she didn’t question the motives of two people wanting to adopt after 21 years? Had she DONE that she may have discovered the fact that my dad never wanted to adopt to begin with.

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Filed under Adoptive Family, Life in general, Truthful Musings

Myth Busting

Myth~ Adoptees who have great parents should have no desire to search.

“Myth is not a story told for its own sake. It shows us how we should behave.”

Everyone understands the natural order of things regarding procreation; it takes both female and male participation. It is a simple and indisputable fact. Just because we think we have outsmarted natural creation due to our desire (or need depending on who you’re talking to) to do things unconventionally doesn’t mean we can pretend natural order doesn’t exist. If you are alive then there is a female and a male out there who are responsible. Period. So why support the myth that implies the level of nurturing we receive growing up has anything at all to do with whether or not we have a desire to know the nature of our existence? Isn’t the distinction clear enough? It’s apples and oranges. A person could have the worlds best upbringing and still desire to know something about those responsible for their creation. It’s not that complicated.

Myth~ If we use words like “donor” and “birthparent” it diminishes their importance.

Myth is about the unknown; it is about that for which initially we have no words. Myth therefore looks into the heart of a great silence.”

Usually the only time you hear an adoptee refer to their adoptive parent in any capacity other than “mother or “father” is when we have to make a verbal distinction between our biological mother or father and our nurturer(s). Society came up with words like donor and birthparent to fill the silence left by the uncomfortable void that was created when it separated nature and nurture. The titles are a myth. Titles may fill the void for society but calling them by a new name doesn’t mask reality for us. They are who they are. By denying us the ability to know our origins you force our identity to remain stuck in that dark void. The titles diminish nothing. Without nature there would be nothing to nurture. You may call them whatever you choose but those responsible for our existence are crucial to our identity. As they should be. Duh.

Myth~ Sealed adoption records have little or no effect on a well adjusted adoptee.

“A myth {therefore} is true because it is effective, not because it gives us factual information. If, however, it does not give us new insight into the deeper meaning of life, it has failed. If it works, that is, if it forces us to change our minds and hearts, gives us new hope, and compels us to live more fully, it is a valid myth.”

We absolutely can be effectively nurtured/mothered/fathered by a surrogate. I don’t think anyone would dispute that. But for whatever reason society has created the myth that once adopted our creators can be completely eradicated from our lives with little or no repercussion. Not replaced mind you, but actually eradicated from existence. Poof, gone, kaput. As if our actual creation is of little consequence! If you think this does not have an effect on ALL adoptees then I dare you to find one among us that has never once had issues surrounding their birthday. After all why would we want to celebrate a moment in time that we are repeatedly told by society is so damn inconsequential? Shameful? Secretive? Disgraceful? Vault of Shame bad? Sure, lets throw a party.

To deny us the natural ability to acknowledge our creators is to somehow ask us to believe we do not exist. And if you think not knowing WHO you are is damaging, you should try not knowing IF you are on for size. I’m sure this will be instant brain freeze for most non-adopted people, it’s a very challenging thing to try to put into words, but I honestly believe that’s why you hear so many adoptees say they finally feel grounded, tethered to the earth, real, once they are given even one single piece of information about their origins. It’s actual proof that they do in fact exist, that they came from somewhere, that they have a beginning and did not just materialize out of thin air. It matters. If you’re not adopted you’ll just have to trust me on that one.

Myth~ The adoptees I know have no desire to search, are just fine, are perfectly content, don’t care etc….”

“Like poetry and music, mythology should awaken us to rapture, even in the face of death and the despair we may feel at the prospect of annihilation. If a myth ceases to do that, it has died and outlived its usefulness.”

All of us come to the party wearing the same hat, telling the same stories, perpetuating the same myths, because that is what we have all been taught. When it comes to adoption, society continues to perpetuate myths that have completely outlived their usefulness. Not only have the myths become useless, they have become downright damaging.

This is why I question the truthfulness of adoptees who continue to perpetuate these myths. I can almost hear what’s coming so let me answer it now. Yes, who knows, maybe it’s MY version of what ails the adoptee clan that is a myth. Maybe it’s the “perfectly happy and content to know nothing” adoptees that have it all figured out. I don’t know. What I DO know is that out of all the adoptees I have come into contact with over the years (and there have been so damn many I lost count….hundreds though) ALLLLLLL of them, as in 100%, have taken OFF that hat when they got even remotely close to knowledge of their origins. They dropped the myths because they no longer applied. That’s all I’m saying. Myths are stories and stories tend to change as truth is revealed.

*Quotes taken from; A Short History of Myth by Karen Armstrong


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Filed under Adoptee Family, Adoption Schmoption, Adoptive Family, Natural Family, Open Records, Truthful Musings

Myth

A one sentence definition of mythology? “Mythology” is what we call someone else’s religion

~Joseph Campbell

There was a very destructive comment made on Private Practice last night that still has me rolling my eyes.

Dr. Cooper says; “I’m adopted but I’ve never searched for my birthparents because my parents were great.”

Where do you suppose this myth originated? And make no mistake it IS a myth. I can buy the idea that if you had parents who were absolutely awful you might be inclined to search sooner but what in the WORLD would make people think that a person who happens to have “great” parents would somehow escape the natural desire to know their origins?!!! Seriously, who in their right mind would believe such a thing? Sadly, this particular myth appears to be assimilated as truth by most adoptees at one point or another.

I would like to believe we could find the origin of this myth simply stems from a misinformed society. I would really rather NOT believe this myth was purposely created and perpetuated by those who swear before God and man to provide us (adoptees) with the best care, both physically and emotionally, that they possibly can. Because that would not be so great.

This myth of course is just one example of many that as adoptees we are spoon fed from birth REGARDLESS if you grew up with a silver spoon or a Taco Bell spork. Unless you live in a cave no adoptee is immune.

Because of the mythical shroud wrapped so tightly around adoption I truly believe most if not all adoptees end up spending YEARS trying to undo the mental hijacking that happens to us from day one. As adoptees we must all go through the dirty job of untangling OUR truths from society’s myths and not a single one of us will escape this fate until society starts telling more accurate stories.

Honestly I think deep down every adoptee intuitively knows that the character of our adoptive parents really has nothing at all to do with wanting to know our origins. I would like to believe that when I hear an adoptee retell this myth that it is simply a case of misinformation having been fed to them by an uneducated public their entire lives and that they will discover the real story some day.

I would like to believe that every adoptee will eventually come to the realization that stories can be retold and at some point find themselves telling a new one created from their very own indisputable truth.

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Filed under Adoptive Family, Natural Family, Truthful Musings