You know you’re an adoptive mom if….

The following was posted on one of my groups.  I couldn’t resist “tweaking” it myself!  

I stole this idea from my friend Amber and tweaked it a little.


You know you are an adoptive mother (or you should be!) if:
1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to
kiss them goodnight has ever made you lose sleep.
2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family.
3. You can’t watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing.
4. The fact that if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child, there would be no orphans in the world is convicting to you.
5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have
experienced the blessing of adoption.
6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about your adopted
child’s “real” parents.
7. You have ever been “pregnant” with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth (2 years!)
8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway knowing where God calls you He will provide.
9. You have ever taken a airplane ride half way around the world with a child you just met.
10. You believe God’s heart is for adoption.
11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacy’s you could ever leave on this earth.
12. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you
adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have them in your life.
13. You know what the word Dossier means and you can actually pronounce it!
14. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life.
15. You know full well that the journey of your child coming into
your family is one of the most wonderful, miraculous things that has ever happened to you. Posted by MiaJ at 10:11 PM  http://lightbright02.blogspot.com/2008/01/you-know-youre-adoptive-mom-if.html   

Here’s my “tweak” 

You know you’re an adoptive mom if….  1.   You sleep well, at night, knowing that you, an upper-class westerner, had the means to buy a poor woman’s baby.  

2.   You don’t ever have to contribute to another “Save the Children” Program.  You’ve paid up for the rest of your life!  

3.   You’re proven right that God doesn’t like poor, third-world women.  

4.   Your adoptee grows up with a mental illness or anger issues, and it didn’t come from either you or your husband’s side of the family.  

5.   You get to keep your figure and your boobs are STILL perky  

6.   People see you as a hero for rescuing those poor minority babies.  

7.   You get all kinds of wonderful tax breaks.  

8.   You had a pretty china doll when you were a child, and now you get one for REAL!  

9.   You can give your child back and get a different one (that one cried sooo much)  

10.  You get angry at people for comparing pet adoptions to baby adoptions (ok, so both post pictures and write sad stories, and you have to get approved—it’s still not the same!)  

11.  You have the money to make that DWI charge disappear before the homestudy.  And everyone knows that your husband was framed in that Dateline “To Catch A Predator” series).  

12.  If you had to fly halfway across the world to buy your baby, but got to stay in a 4-star hotel where they gave away free colored Barbies.   

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~ by eunmi38 on January 26, 2008.

40 Responses to “You know you’re an adoptive mom if….”

  1. I could go on and on about how wrong you are but instead I wonder what hurts have caused you to make such ugly, ignorant statements? How can you make such judgemental statements about someone you have never met? I am sorry for whatever pain in your past that has lead you to say such horrible things about adoptive parents. I am praying for you that you come to know the love of Christ-He can heal your pain because He too has scars. One thing I want to leave you with. Of course it would be the best thing for my child to have stayed with her bio mom. That however, was not an option. Would you rather she were sleeping in an orphanage right now or on the streets of a 3rd world country instead of in the arms of her daddy who loves her more than life itself?

  2. I came here from Mia’s site. At first I was so extraordinarily angry that you would attack her and her beautiful family without even knowing her. Then I skimmed through your archives and saw that you are a very angry, sad person. I don’t know what happened to you in your life, but it isn’t fair to assume that the situation you were/are in is the same for every adopted child or family. Mia’s is one of the most loving, wonderful families I know, and I am sad that you apparently did not have the same. Family and love has nothing to do with biology–there are shitty biological parents, too. I know that you are going to delete this, but oh well….

  3. Shame on you for demeaning another person’s experience.

  4. I am wondering what makes you so hateful. Mia’s adopted daughter is my niece and a vital part of our family. I am wondering what would provoke you to take time out of your schedule to come up with ignorant and mean comments about someone you don’t even know. You have critized her for not doing her research prior to adopting. What makes you think she didn’t read up on being an adoptive parent? Do you seriously believe that she wants to conform this little one into a color-less, “westernized” and privledged girl with no sense of her heritage????? Do not be so blind to think that is the case. Mia and her husband can not imagine their life without their adopted child. They see her as a tremendous blessing and gift from God. They are the ones who feel privleged to love her. What has happened to you? really? Something must have wounded you deeply in order for you to actively pursue hurting another person. I will be praying tonight to forgive you for the horrible things you said about my family. With out Jesus Christ as my personal savior I’m not sure I could find the strength to forgive you, but he has changed my heart from wanting to hurt others. I hope this message is not deleted and that you truly take a look at your own heart. I am absolutely convinced there is nothing else greater than Jesus who can forgive all our wrong doings, including the hateful pursuit you have waged against a total stranger. I will be praying for you and the softening of your heart.

  5. I don’t understand. And I am being completely sincere. I don’t understand why you feel this way. You seem so angry about this.

    Right now, children in Africa are living with no family because of AIDS. Shame on us for not helping them before they died, but what now? Do we ignore these children and let them die of starvation or just send money so that they can grow up in orphanages without ever feeling cherished by a mother or a father. I get that we need to change things so that in the we don’t have these problems in the future, but what about the millions of kids who are literally dying, unloved and unfed right now?

    What about the kids who aren’t just sad stories to read on the internet, but the 12 year old girl who is old enough to tell her own story of the day her mother told her that her new step-father didn’t like her and the mom chose the husband. When she tells you face to face that she cries herself to sleep each night, because no one wants her. Should we look her in the face and say “Too bad, sorry about your luck. This is a pretty cozy orphanage you’re living in, I’ll send it some money to take of you. I’d adopt you, but then you’d be too much like a china doll I had when I was a kid.”

    Have you ever been there? Have you ever looked the children dead in the eyes and been close enough to touch their pain? These are real children who need love.

    Adoption is not the best case scenario, but we don’t live in a perfect world. Some of the parents who give their children up for adoption are so poor they just can’t feed another child and that is a tragedy. This is something everyone agrees needs to be prevented. But there is another reality that have to be addressed. Parents die, but in they best case scenario they’d live and raise their children. Some parents really do abandon their children by choice, just the way some parents drown their kids in bathtubs. Do we ignore ALL of the children because some of the parents were in bad circumstances?

    I am so sick of birth mothers ALWAYS being the victims, and families who choose to give a child a home ALWAYS being the “rich” villains. Sometimes birth mothers aren’t victims, and sometimes adoptive families are making 30K per year, mortgaging their homes to pay the 40K the bureaucracy makes them pay to have a child. I would love to know if you have have ever mortgaged your home to send 40K to help the poor.

    I would love it if there were no orphans, but since this is the real world, some are doing things to help homeless children, while others write hateful things about them on the internet.

    I dare you to not delete this comment, the way you deleted the others.

  6. PS My husband is adopted and had a wonderful experience. He believes he was given the most amazing gift he could have been given by a human being. A family where he was wanted, loved, cherished. I am sorry if your experiences with adoption have not been the same.

  7. I am a friend of the blogger and let me tell you all who believe that she is angry and sad, is far from it. She is VERY passionate about adoptees and the issues that they face. I think it’s very wrong of you all although you have the right (because this is America) to jump on her because of her “tweak” if you get to meet her, speak with her or even email her then you would understand her passion, her view, her life story. So before you go judge someone based on something you have just read remember there are always 2 sides to a story!

  8. I have posted one blog which I see you have not deleted and I wish to further comment. My original blog was my first reaction, which really hasn’t changed, but I wish to ask you a few questions that are truly from a rational mind and not out of emotion for my family. You have obviously experienced racism (which you quoted) and if what your friend Adeline said is true, you feel some compassion for adoptees, so why use this avenue to provoke change? Why make an analogy that adoptee parents “have had a DWI erased and have appeared on a Dateline’s Predator show”. You must know that adoptee parents put second mortgages on their homes for the privlege of welcoming a child with out parents to their life. What good could possibly come from making the mean spirited comments you have made. You can not argue that your comments were mean, angry, and hurtful.

    You do have a first hand experience as an adoptee that is your own and gives you a perspective that those who remained with their bio parents do not have. I do not wish to demean this unique experience. If you want to provoke change and help homeless and starving children around the world then I challenge you to take an approach that doesn’t attack those who share a passion to change the world for a child, longing to have a Mommy and a Daddy. Out of curiosity, have you ever spend any time in a 3rd world orphanage? Have you ever worked with the neglected and abused children here in the U.S.? Has a child, a stranger to you, ever called you Mommy and asked to come home with you? If you have experienced all of these things, I would be amazed that you would write your “tweaked” list. I’m honestly just trying to understand. I’m not mad at you. I forgive you for what you said and I’m just trying to understand?????

  9. Geez – I really resent this post. I did so have to be approved before adopting my dog & cat. I had to fill out 3 pages of required paperwork and wait 24 hours for approval before I had to drive 30 miles to pick up my new fluffys. Bwahahahahha.

  10. “Sometimes birth mothers aren’t victims, and sometimes adoptive families are making 30K per year, mortgaging their homes to pay the 40K the bureaucracy makes them pay to have a child. I would love to know if you have have ever mortgaged your home to send 40K to help the poor.”

    I’d say that statements such as this is what makes many INAs and INA sympathizers want to gag. It doesn’t matter if EM has ever mortgaged her home to help someone. No one said anyone has to mortgage their home to pay for an adoption. It shouldn’t be something to throw up in someone’s face as look at me I’m so grand because I’m doing all this to help some poor child half way around the world. Get over yourself. Instead of trying to boost your case, saying stuff like this just makes people like me want to roll my eyes. If you can’t see it, then there’s just no point to ever having dialogue.

  11. The above posts may be admirable for their protective loyalty to adoptive parents but they do little to want to engage with the underlying ideas the second tweaked list highlights. Why do they jump to interpret EM’s satirical list as an attack on Mia’s personal journey, rather than see it for what it is: a biting but important commentary about the downsides and big hard questions that are often avoided in INA circles.

    Wouldn’t it be much more productive to want to create a dialogue with EM instead of personally attacking her and making all kinds of presumptions about her life? Why are people proving her point by resorting again and again to simple one-dimensional pictures of Third World struggles? She’s made some very startlingly important headway into the full picture of poverty (i.e. she’s raised the issues of birth mothers), and that some of the APs who do go into adoption (perhaps with money, or perhaps loans) should have been screened more carefully because if you listen to adopted people, some will reveal their APs were abusive etc. Don’t be insecure, be braver for your child and for the community and stop attacking EM. Have a combined laugh and deep look at yourselves, and try to / keep thinking seriously about how you can more usefully address and work through the complexities she so cleverly raises.

  12. The original list is actually a very selfish list. It may not seem as such because most adopters look only at the good intentions. The intention to do good is not wrong. But the selfishness of a highly narrowed perspective and the justification of adopting because it is somehow good for the soul and good under God, is a scary notion. It is scary because throughout her list, she is not clearly stating what her true motivations are…which are her emotions. The adopter is obviously grappling with her strong emotions for orphans and in order to make herself feel better, she is adopting. That is very definitely a part of it. That’s what I see in her list. The selfish desire to make oneself feel better. To somehow bring something into her life that creates a sense of fulfillment and social justice and good under God. But just as you cannot force someone to love and marry you. You cannot force children into your lives and ignore their blood relations and rationalize that real parents can be shitty too. That is ignoring the importance and the place of birth parents even in the lives of children who have had shitty real parents. They are still your parents. A fundamental disagreement I have is that DNA has a lot to do with family. Love is your choice who you give your heart too. But it should never ask for replacement. It should never say, me over them. If you want to love your child unselfishly, you have to also love who they are, you have to love their real parents even if you never met, you have to love their country because it still IS their country, you have to be empathetic to the loss and to the inadequacy of adopting to really being able to fulfill an adopted child’s full identity. I’ve known kids that have shitty parents. And they have their own baggage to deal with, but in the end, they are still their parents and they must respect that. We should all respect birth parents, shitty or not. They are most definitely people too. We should never turn away from our DNA, our genetics, they are what brought us to life. There wouldn’t be any children anywhere, natural or adopted, if their weren’t real parents with real DNA having children. Relegating birth family to simple DNA is a mistake as well. That’s belittling birth families everywhere. That’s belittling her own blood family. Shared blood and heritage is absolutely respectable and should be treated as such by everyone. That’s not all there is to say, but that’s a start.

    The second list is pointing to and making obvious in an over-the-top manner that there ARE selfish attitudes and reasons that motivate people to adopt. That adoption is not a highly educated and understood process. There is so much not said or explained throughout the adoption process that, yes, in a way the second the list is a painful truth. Potential adopters don’t look into themselves and fully understand what adopting means. It is not a replacement family, it is not a cultural exchange program, it is not divine intervention. It is not so many things that adopters make it out to be in their heads. It is so very much a broader issue that encompasses more that just having a good heart and good intentions. Everyone says that adoption is not the best answer but it is one answer and the best one we might have. But really, if 7% of Christians, or if 1% of the general population were to work on the issues behind adoption, to uncover what really is producing “orphans” and to work towards creating social ideas that work toward keeping families together, wouldn’t that really be doing something? Wouldn’t that really be something that any god could appreciate? Or more importantly, that any PERSON could appreciate regardless of religion or country? But maybe that’s being too good-intended. That’s too much to do. So adoption is a much more manageable and viable option. But why is that, why don’t we want to really tackle the real problems? Why are band-aid solutions preferable and we feel good about them and expect everyone else to as well? Why do we just want to help babies that can’t negotiate and work with us on an equal level until they’re grown? Why is helping adults and compromise so difficult? Why do we always want the other person to take and accept our magic pill for the problem? I wonder this every day.

  13. Here’s my spin (a happy go lucky but aware of TRUTH adult adoptee) on this:
    You know you are an adoptive mother (or you should be!) if:
    1. The fact that there are 143 million children without a parent to
    kiss them goodnight has ever made you lose sleep. (THE FACT IS THESE 143 CHILDREN ARE TAKEN BY ADOPTION AGENCIES AND ADVERTISED AS ORPHANS. HOW MUCH DID HOLT MAKE IN REVENUES LAST YEAR? 20 MILLION DOLLARS? If the kids were really orphans, they come with their parents death certificates.)
    2. You realize DNA has nothing to do with love and family. (DNA serves to nurture and protect family. WIthout it, a-parents have to try harder)
    3. You can’t watch Adoption Stories on TLC without sobbing. (MAYBE YOU NEED TO WORK ON YOUR OWN LIFE INSTEAD OF GETTING INTO SOMEONE ELSE’S BUSINESS. AT LEAST IF YOU’RE GOING TO GET INVOLVED, SUPPORT THE FAMILY.)
    4. The fact that if 7% of Christians adopted 1 child, there would be no orphans in the world is convicting to you. (GOD, SAVE ME FROM YOUR SINNING FOLLOWERS!)
    5. You spend free time surfing blogs about families who have
    experienced the blessing of adoption. (MAYBE YOU SHOULD SPEND YOUR TIME ON BETTER THINGS, LIKE LEARNING THE TRUTH)
    6. It drives you crazy when people ask you about your adopted
    child’s “real” parents. (MAYBE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER YOUR CHILD’S REAL PARENTS)
    7. You have ever been “pregnant” with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth (2 years!) (POOR YOU. WHAT YOU WANT US TO DO? PLAY THE VIOLIN?)
    8. You had no idea how you would afford to adopt but stepped out in faith anyway knowing where God calls you He will provide. (GOD DIDN’T WANT YOU TO ADOPT. GOD WANTS YOU TO SUPPORT THE FAMILY HE CREATED. NOT THE ONE MAN BOUGHT.)
    9. You have ever taken a airplane ride half way around the world with a child you just met. (POOR YOU. START THOSE VIOLINS)
    10. You believe God’s heart is for adoption. (GOD’S HEART IS FOR THE DISPLACED FAMILY.)
    11. You realize that welcoming a child into your heart and family is one of the most important legacy’s you could ever leave on this earth. (BOY, DO YOU LOVE THAT EGO OF YOURS! WHY DON’T YOU THANK THE CHILD FOR SAVING YOUR FAMILY?)
    12. You shudder when people say your child is so lucky that you
    adopted them, knowing full well you are the blessed one to have them in your life. (DAMN RIGHT.)
    13. You know what the word Dossier means and you can actually pronounce it! (WOW. IMPRESSIVE.)
    14. You have welcomed a social worker into the most private parts of your life. (POOR YOU. SAD, ADOPTIVE PARENT.)
    15. You know full well that the journey of your child coming into
    your family is one of the most wonderful, miraculous things that has ever happened to you. (YOU, YOU, YOU. ADOPTION IS ALL ABOUT YOU, ISN’T IT?)

  14. okay, your list funnier than i expected. but I’m a fellow kad, and I think there’s that dark humor thing running thro our veins. Hope all’s well w/ you.

  15. I think people don’t see her post as “important headway” is because she is throwing generic insults to AP. On one hand, she shows anger at herself for being adopted … “Your adoptee grows up with a mental illness or anger issues, and it didn’t come from either you or your husband’s side of the family.” … people who were adopted resent being told they have a mental illness or anger about their adoption, and AP use this like a badge to flash in their faces. But slinging back angry words is counterproductive. Just because someone calls you a mean word, doesn’t mean that you calling them a mean word makes up for it.

    “Clever” isn’t the exact word I would use. “Prejudice” and “racist” are more appropriate.

  16. LOL. Prejudiced and racist are not very appropriate, because that would mean that I would have to disengage myself from my parents and friends.

    If you don’t get the humor, walk on my sistah–walk on.

  17. I have a series of questions for the first five posters. 1. Did any of you read Daniel Drennan’s article which is posted on this blog? 2. If you did, did you think his article was valid and that it discussed, in a serious way, what this post summarized? 3. If you did not think his article had validity why not? 4. Do you understand the concept of “white privilege”? 5. Have you analyzed why you responded to a generalized parody by a person of color with personal attacks and scurrilous speculation about her life experiences (that you also admit you know nothing about)?

  18. wow. another attack against an adoptee who tries to voice her experience.

  19. I’m new to the blogosphere.. as of late 2007. I’m a TRA myself and just came on here by accident. And wow.. I must say that I’m truly horrified by all the comments.

  20. LOL, I’m laughing through gritted teeth, Eunmi. The truth can definitely hurt, but the fact is that your tweaks are sadly, sadly true in some a-paret circles. I cannot count myself among them, however, because #5 does not apply to me.

    Seriously, this says it all: “1. You sleep well, at night, knowing that you, an upper-class westerner, had the means to buy a poor woman’s baby.” Adoption isn’t always a simple matter of economics – there are certainly women who would relinquish their child even if they had the means to parent. But the number of transnational adoptions that take place for no other reason than a woman’s poverty is something every adoptive parent should take very, very seriously – and do something about.

    I count myself as both an a-parent who didn’t and may still not get it, and who also needs to do more.

    Thanks, as always, for your candor.

  21. Sorry, I have to add that this “7. You have ever been “pregnant” with your adoptive child longer than it takes an elephant to give birth (2 years!)” makes me want to barf.

  22. This was not a good site to happen upon a week before going to meet my new son in Vietnam.

    >>>LOL. Maybe you really shouldn’t be adopting”<<<

  23. To all you adoptive mothers: it’s okay to adopted, you’re instincts to love and help a child are good. I am slightly weary of the over the top Christian types, but in general, you have love, and money, and someone is looking to dump their kid, and that’s okay if you choose to adopt. Don’t let these complainer types sway you from what you know is a good thing. Mostly these are just kids and washed up birth mothers who need attention, and then you have all these loving adoptive moms giving them attention, attention their own mothers should have given them, so then they bitch more because they get our attention. God I would just love to see ONE birth-mother adopt a child, ONE adult-adoptee adopt a child. Adoptive mothers give birth all the time, and time and time again, they try to explain the deep love they have for ALL of their children. Many of us adoptive Mothers know what it’s like to have a baby grow in our belly and give birth to it. DO any of you “birth-mothers” or angry adult adoptees know what it’s like to adopt a child? Why is that so many of us adopted mothers can experience the joys of birth, but none of you can get off your ass and help these children, and experience the joys of adoption? You don’t have to be a jesus lover type to help these kids. Mostly I think negative people just want attention. You don’t even care about any of this shit, so quite condemning people who actually do.

    There, there is your attention. Do you feel better now?

    • Seriously, as an AP, you REALLY should be listening to adoptees; angry or not so that you learn how to have open honest conversations with your child. Get past your own defense mechanisms and LISTEN LISTEN LISTEN.

      And that’s from the heart.

  24. This to Dee, you say you’d “love to see … ONE adult-adoptee adopt a child.” I am (an adult adoptee) and I have (adopted a child). And I am, I believe, what you’d think of as an “angry adoptee.” I’ve also personally met other adult adoptees and birth parents who have adopted. So, now you know. It just isn’t as simple as you seem to want it to be.

    • Kris,
      I’m an AP of a 5 year old son from Korea. Could you please tell me how you are raising the child you adopted in light of your experiences as an adoptee yourself? I really mean this as a sincere question. I’m not an adoptee, but my “bio” parents did a pretty good job of messing with my head when I was growing up. So there are plenty of mistakes I’ve vowed not to make as a result of my upbringing, but I really want to know the opions or have advice from the adult adoptee community. (I have to confess that I browse quite a few adoptee blogs because I really want to know how people feel about their experiences.) I also have another confession: We didn’t adopt our son out of some noble act of charity; we adopted him because we wanted to parent a child. We send money to a charity that helps support orphans (defined by that agency as having lost their fathers since their mothers usually have no means of support without their husband) so that they can have adequate food, education, and medical care; that’s our act of charity.
      But really, I welcome advice/opinions, etc. from adult adoptees—even if I find it tough to read.

  25. Well, I guess as an AP, I fell like birth mothers and adult adoptees talk about their loss all the time, and adoptive parents are suppose to just act like EVERYBODY’S momma, and just listen sympathetically. ANd we should be sympathetic, not out of fear that if we don’t listen then our adopted children will grow into maimed adults, but I agree that we should listen out of compassion, because loss is loss, and it always hurts, and it feels better when your hurt is recognized.

    But the truth is my daughter being adopted isn’t just about her and the women who gave birth to her, and I don’t want to be excluded, ever, ever, ever from her life, because that would kill me. She can be mad, she can cry, complain, yell, search, whatever, but I want tot be part of her life as she does that. As she is older I want her to eventually become adult enough to recognize that her adoption is really about everyone who was involved in it. I know she will eventually go through a me, me, me stage, but I will be disappointed if she lets this stage dictate her life. I’m not going to raise her to feel sorry for herself, I simply will not. And i don’t diminish her loss… I’m her mother, I know my child’s loss and let me tell you, adopted mothers who are deeply connected to their children could experience thier child’s loss on a greater scale and magitude than the child himself. Something hurtful and unnatural happened to our babies. Do you think we don’t know this? You ask any adoptive mother what it feels like to have someone hand you a child who someone else gave birth to, and let me tell you, the first thing they want to do is run straight to the GD border! We know we did not give birth to these children, and we know these babies are hurting, but if we run too, and everyone keeps dumping this child, then who becomes the mom? You ask yourself, well, if no one else, why not me? Why am I not this child’s mother? So we don’t run away and we become mothers. My daughter’s history is my own now. Her pain is my pain, her loss is my loss, her fears, her hopes her dreams, mine. They are mine because she is mine. And i know one day she will grow up to be a big girl, and she will want to take ownership of her loss, but she can never exclude me from it, because I am her mother and I won’t let her dammit! I’m not going to back off and direct my child to a handful of confused adoptees when she is confused herself. I’m her mother for crying out loud and I need to be her mother, not other people’s child. Why are all these AP’s so insecure about raising the children they adopted? You should want to know all the same things your child will want to know. They will have so may questions, and I know it’s up to her to ask the questions, but I want the answers she wants! I want what she wants! I crave her history too, I want to know why this happen to her! Her loss was her father’s and my loss just the same, because now that she is mine, I tell you, she is absolutely mine and I have always felt that good mothers feel any pain, happiness or sadness their children feel. I would have done anything in the world to have given birth to her, and I can’t believe the women who gave birth to her didn’t fight until her last living breath to keep her. Why would anyone ever abandon my baby?

  26. Dee, you can sympathize, but not empathize. You are not your child. You can never be your child. Her loss is not yours. You cannot undo it and make it yours. I know you love your child more than life inself; but please try to understand this.

    As to your last comment – have you ever imagined being in a situation where you had to relinquish a child because you were so desperate?

  27. http://adoptionsurvivor.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/its-all-about-me/

  28. Okay, long story about myself Mei-Ling, and normally I absolutely cannot not stand telling people this (because I assume they think I am damaged goods when I am not), but my mother relinquished me when I was twelve, my brother was ten, my little sister was five. The courts were already going to take us away for abuse and neglect but she beat them to the punch, so to speak. I don’t want to go into that part of my life, but I will tell you this, from the sounds of your experiences, I might be better off explaining to you about watching a sorrowful desperate weak and cruel mother relinquish your child. I’m not saying your birth mother would have been this kind of mother had she kept you, but I am saying that I am one of the children of those “rare” (though I don’t think it is so rare and all) children whose mother decided to keep us, when god only knows she shouldn’t have. My guess is you probably feel embarrassed like people are judging you when you say you were adopted, well what if you had to tell them your mother was/is a crack addict? It mortifies me to think the woman who gave birth to me is out there selling herself for drugs. But what can I do? It’s not who I am, it was something that she did to me, something that happen to me, and I am just so so so happy there were people who came into my life who loved me enough to help me heal from those things. Do I give a crap that those people were strangers to me at first? I sure don’t now, it was weird and traumatizing. Having a kind old lady tell you to but a oversized comfy t=shirt on so she can wash the only outfit that you owned because you were just relinquished by your mother and now your standing in a strangers house, is odd, to say the least. But there are good people in the world, who can empathize without ever having gone through something, and I am not ashamed to be grateful and to love these people. Obviously, you have not gone through any of this kind of trauma, and even if your mother would have kept you it probably never would have been that way, obviously because she is the type of women who would never let her life become something like that–maybe your lucky, maybe not. I knew my mother, I know what she looks like, I know what she sounds like, I even understand some of her language (she is blackfeet indian, which is another embarrassing thing because i feel like a lot of people think that explains everything), but these memories hurt me deeply, and I wish I didn’t have about 90% of them.

    My concern is to raise my daughter with an understanding that what happened to her was not her fault, but that the ultimate goal in life is not to dwell on the bad things that happened to you, but to become stronger because of them. Life can always be worse and that the goal is to survive and be happy. My daughter and my legacy is not a legacy of genetics, but it is indeed a legacy of lost mothers, but it doesn’t not mean I am not her mother. We have not found each other, and we belong together.

    You call adoption an industry, and actually, i agree, but it is an industry that has emerged from a need that maybe you cannot fathom because you can’t understand the relinquishment process. Most of these women give up. They hand there children away, and they cry, and they blame life and circumstances, and later, they get hip on jargon, and then blame an “industry”. But don’t you see that they could have never been part of this industry unless they choose to be part of it. And I am not saying at all that they fully comprehended the immensity of thier situations, when tramatic things happen you can never fully comprehend it at the time. But mothers know when someone comes to take a baby from there arms. We imagine so many of them screaming, ripping there hair out, demanding their babies back, but deep down we know so many of them continue to blankly stare out the window, because they gave up, even before the child was born.

    Years later I looked my mother up, here I was in college, happy and secure in the life i was choosing, but I had to know about her, what she was doing, and honestly, I wanted her to be suffering for us, I wanted her to be crying her cry for us, and guess what, I found out she was still suffering, her eyes were still swollen the way they always had been. But you know what I realized later Mei-Ling, it wasn’t for us., the suffering, the pity cries, the self abuse, none of it was about us. It was for her, it was always just about her, and I can’t tell you how relived i was on the day I realized that I didn’t have to feel sorry for her anymore because she choose her life all on her own. Her heritage, her family, my father, nothing, nothing in the world can excuse a women from a choice she herself decides to make. I still love my mother, I just understand that she was not able to love me. That hurts and it took me a long time to realize that it wasn’t about me at all, it was about her and the choices she made, and I’m not going to blame the industry of alcohol, I’m not going to blame the industry of drugs, I’m not going to blame the industry of men beating women. We choose our fates, and we must answer to the consequences of these fates. It must be a terrible thing to feel like you have to relinquish a child, I can still hear my mothers wails, but why wasn’t she grabbing us? We weren’t ripped away from her, and I’m sure you weren’t ripped from your mothers arms either. Of course there is that chance, that you were stolen, or that some women change their minds. But at what cost do we give these children back to Mothers who change thier minds after a year, two three. After these children are hapy and secure, and they are finally in the arms of thier real mothers. I tell you straight out I think if someone where to take my daughter away from me I would jump off a bridge. On the third day of her in my arms I knew i could not live my life without her. Motherhood happens in a single moment. And if that moment doesn’t happen for a women before a baby needs it’s needs met to survive, then, what do you do, watch the baby die?
    Mothers walk away from there babies everyday all the time, and just because there are opened arms to receive these babies doesn’t mean these mothers wouldn’t give up there children if there were not opened arms. My daughter is from Ethiopia. When you are walking around, you don’t doubt for a second that babies are found in the woods, dead, everyday.

    I think once it’s in your head to abandon a child, YOU are the one looking for the reasons to relinquish your child, you are the one looking for the adoption industry, and if the “industry” wasn’t there, well than maybe society would force you to keep your child. But to not be wanted? To be raised in a household with a mother who, if was only slightly poorer, slightly more stressed or upset, would then give you away? Don’t you see the only issue that really is “black and white” is the relinquishment itself. Everything else is a byproduct of women relinquishing their children. I know some babies are literally stolen and this is why I hate the industry part of adoption, because with any “industry” there are innocent victims who slip through the cracks. You see the same thing in almost every “industry of need” mental hospitals, prison, orphanages, people who are there who aren’t suppose to be there. Does that mean we should shut it all down, or instead find a way to make sure that these certain people don’t slip through the cracks?

    I could have made excuses for my mother, but I choose not to, maybe it was easier for me, in a way because i saw her consistently make poor choices before she ultimately made the one that hurt me the most, my relinquishment. I pity her deeply, I honor her for my life, and I know her life must have been a kind of hell to think she had to relinquish us. But SHE did it. SHE signed papers, and she knew what those papers were. I can go on and on with excuses for her, the way some adoptees do about their poor mother’s hormones after birth. My mother was on drugs, she was an alcoholic, a poor battered women, and on and on, but don’t you see in the end she still decided. To us that was all that mattered.

  29. “You call adoption an industry, and actually, i agree, but it is an industry that has emerged from a need that maybe you cannot fathom because you can’t understand the relinquishment process. Most of these women give up. They hand there children away, and they cry, and they blame life and circumstances, and later, they get hip on jargon, and then blame an “industry”. But don’t you see that they could have never been part of this industry unless they choose to be part of it. ”

    You should have just stopped there and held up a big sign saying “corruption does not exist in adoption.”

  30. >>>”My concern is to raise my daughter with an understanding that what happened to her was not her fault, but that the ultimate goal in life is not to dwell on the bad things that happened to you, but to become stronger because of them. Life can always be worse and that the goal is to survive and be happy. My daughter and my legacy is not a legacy of genetics, but it is indeed a legacy of lost mothers, but it doesn’t not mean I am not her mother. We have not found each other, and we belong together.”<<<

    Your comment that your child shouldn’t “dwell” on the bad things is a bit worrisome, because your child WILL dwell on the bad things, at some point in her life….the same way that you have actually dwelled on your relationship with your mother. In your post, I sense that despite your insisting that you have moved on from your unhappiness, you are actually still very much connected to this mother that abandoned you; still angry with her. That’s completely understandable, and I hope that you will work through it all at some point.

    And that’s what adult adoptees are doing as well. Sometimes, we’re angry or sad, but we’re also happy and content. One can acknowledge the pain and losses without being labeled as “angry”. We can, and do, acknowledge the gains as well as the losses. The fact that you can’t see that tells me that you are not where you need to be in raising a TRA yet, and you need to be there before your child starts asking a lot of questions.

  31. But why are you telling me how to be a parent eunmi38? Constantly i see adult adoptees telling AP’s how to raise their children. I can’t help but think some of these Adult adoptees really got stiffed with some one dimensional AP’s. How can I not assume this with what so many of you seem to expect from us? What makes you think I wouldn’t empathize with my daughter’s confusion, or that she wouldn’t come to me when she is confused? There’s a good chance it will be hard for her to accept that she was relinquished, it will take her time, and of course she will take exactly as much time as she needs to take, and I may not always be the person she wants to talk to about these things, but she will know that she is allowed to feel absolutely anything she want to feel as long as she wants to feel it, and that I will be there for her always.

    “Sometimes, we’re angry or sad, but we’re also happy and content. One can acknowledge the pain and losses without being labeled as “angry”. ”

    I mean really eunmi38, have you ever met anyone in your life who wasn’t all these things at once. Humans are a complicated species, and all of us at all times have multiple feelings. I recognize this in all people, and of course I will in my daughter as well.

  32. Because you are a parent of a TRA and some of your comments lead me to believe that you will not be as empathetic as you should be as your child is growing up. Some adoptees are not parents, but all adoptees have experienced universal events in their lives (loss of biological parents, abandonment). Your comment, “I can’t help but think that some of these adult adoptees really got stiffed with some one-dimensional APs” is yet another indicator that you truly don’t get it. Many of us have great parents, and they went with what they were taught during that time period. But we see the same thing happening, regardless of what era we are looking at. Even today, we see so many APs with that “MY child won’t be like THEM” attitude. Months, or even years later, we see them come back to an online group, tail between their legs, telling us that their once perfect child is now crying or raging etc. One thing that adoptees have learned, through experience, is that most of us have wisdom that APs don’t have. Your child is young, and your parenting is young. I’m not saying that your parenting is bad; but you are uninformed because you haven’t been doing it for very long.

    Learn from those who have walked the path already. Be open to what we are saying, whether it’s said in seriousness or black humor. One thing that you said, regarding your growing up in your family, was that it wasn’t about you; it was about your mother. That’s what you need to be saying now, with regards to your own child….it’s not about you.

  33. Yes, Dee thinks I am “indignant” about claiming my birthrights.

    Sigh.

    http://adoptionsurvivor.wordpress.com/2008/10/19/its-all-about-me/

    It’s the 2nd last comment from the bottom.

  34. “I may not always be the person she wants to talk to about these things, but she will know that she is allowed to feel absolutely anything she want to feel as long as she wants to feel it, and that I will be there for her always.”

    Not empathetic? My god sister, my empathy has almost down right killed me in this life. I know how to put myself in someone else’s shoes, maybe a little too well. I think you’re giving the the wrong person the wrong kind of advise. Who do you think raised the brother and sister my mother left behind? Have you ever become the legal parent of your sibling? I know how to make it not about me.

    My daughter being black is another issue entirely. I am half native and I have been confused for mexican my entire life. My sister has two biological children’s whose father is black, and let me tell you, she looks NOTHING like her children and she gave birth to them. My daughter will go through all kinds of crap, I’m sure, when it comes to her race, and we will deal with it as it’s thrown at us. Stereotypes suck.

    But I don’t know what you mean about if you think I don’t know my kid won’t go through issue, or be pissed about things. Is she going to react exactly like YOU? Probably not. But there could be similarities, sure. Maybe you don’t get what I’m really trying to say. I DON’T CARE IF MY DAUGHTER DECIDED SHE HATES ADOPTION. I don’t care if she hates me and her father, I don’t care if she ends up despising our old dog ,Lucky. She will still be our daughter, and we will love her unconditionally.

    You don’t scare me with warnings that my child will hate me because I don’t believe she’s going to turn out to be your clone. Haven’t you had children? Like about 95% end of hating you for a while. I’m not worried about my daughter rebelling against me and using adoption to throw in my face. Teenagers ALWAYS find something wrong with you, but that’s not the parents concern, the parents concern is that their children get every opportunity and every bit of love they deserve. Period. But she could have other concerns later, when she’s older having children herself. I wan tot be a part of that life too, and I know the way to do that is to let her do her thing. I know that.

    “Learn from those who have walked the path already” Okay, I’m starting to laugh, this sound like a creepy jesus person statement. What “path” are you talking about. The path of being relinquished. I just told you my story, haven’t we both walked paths of loss? Is yours somehow just a wee bit better than mine? If my daughter wants to think that adoption is negative and jaded, I’m sure she’ll know where to find the cult. What do you think I’m suppose to say to my daughter, okay daughter, I am going to abandon my instincts to be your mother and give you to the wise adult adoptees who really are just a teeny tiny fraction of all adoptees in the world, but they are riotous and claim to know an almighty higher truth?

    Why wouldn’t I just send her to catechism?

  35. ” I’m sure she’ll know where to find the cult.”

    We are not a cult.

  36. Very angry lady. Seriously, I’m done with you.

  37. The “angry” labeling helps no one.

  38. Your “tweaked” version made me laugh!! I know there are good loving adoptive parents out there, but not all adoptive parents are good parents.
    My mother felt very good about herself for having adopted my sister. She had been part of a Ladies’s social group that was sponsoring a child…It made her feel like a better person. Unfortunately, when the audience was gone my poor sister was still hanging around.
    My mother was quick to remind my sister whenever she could, that she was unwanted by her birth parents . She told her that she ” would have become a prostitute living on the street” if not for her generousity and kindness. She called my sister ungrateful and threatened to send her back if she was really mad. She was racist and said terrible things about my sister. She was “too dark” and probably part “negro”- surely biracial…-hinting that that was probably the reason she had been rejected in the first place.etc.
    I remember her beating my sister as a child and once tried to stop her. My sister always got treated worse than the rest of us. She could take the cold because “she was used to it”, so she got the coldest rooms, the thinest coats. My mother complained that she could “eat like a man” begrudging her even the food she ate.
    We kids had it rough. My sister had it worse. Our father sexually abused her in her teens. In his mind she was not his “real” daughter so somehow that made it ok. We have both disowned our parents and are doing fine as adults despite the scars. My sister is a survivor. I adore her. Not everyone should be allowed to adopt. So if the author sounds cynical, I’m sure she has her reasons too.. I’m happy to have read your post Eunmi38.

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