Goodbye to Two Sisters, One Known and One Unknown

•June 2, 2008 • 4 Comments

I recently lost two “sisters”.  Not biological siblings.  One of them was a friend of 20 years.  The other, I hardly knew.  I mourn their loss equally.

 

Julia was a fellow KAD (see http://juliasworld.wordpress.com/2008/05/31/i-cry-for-you/).  After a long battle with leukemia, this young, wonderful woman passed away on 5/31/08.  She left behind people who really knew her and people who only knew her through the KAD group and her blog.  She is mourned by all.  Her story of her struggle with adoption is one that most adoptees know all too well.  She handled it all with grace, compassion, and love.

 

My other “sister” was a dear friend.  We’ve been through a lot together.  We’ve laughed, fought, and shared each other’s secrets.  Even when we came at issues from opposite sides, we remained sisters.  I cannot call her sister any longer.  She has become an anti-semite and a racist.  Her words are rabid and destructive.  Fear consumes her.  I wonder if she would have hated Julia too, simply because she was a Jew?

 

How twisted life is.  One woman died, loving.  The other lives, hating.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heroes

•March 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

For some reason this morning, as I was getting ready for work, the word “hero” came to mind.  Musta been something I read recently.   

Anywho, I always find it amusing when people name actors as heroes.  Actors?  Musicians?  These aren’t heroes.  They’re just normal people, like you and I, who have a job that they go to on a regular basis, and make tons of money doing it.  Sometimes they give to charities.  Most of the time, they’re just dysfunctional human beings, trying to be as happy as they can—just like the rest of us. 

Heroes are people who have gone above and beyond, who sacrifice worldly goods, or go to extremes to save someone, or give their lives for others. 

Heroes are also us…..the adoptees of the world.  Who else is disconnected from their primal bond, handed over to a complete stranger, and for transracial adoptees, plunked down into a community that doesn’t look like them at all?  And we SURVIVE, or at least most of us do.   Some of us don’t; some of us make the ultimate sacrifice and end up in a family that is abusive or worse, like the family of 4 who were killed by their adoptive father recently. 

To all of my adoptee heroes, I wish you well, I wish you love.

Responses to my most recent post

•January 31, 2008 • 8 Comments

1.      Mia | servinchrist@yahoo.com | lightbright02.blogspot.com | IP: 24.21.114.244 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?1.     

 kelley | kelley1975@lycos.com | IP: 70.59.155.184 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…. 

**Someone found my blogggg!**

 I’ve received two replies from two very angry, sad people.  They are hurt that I picked on someone’s blog, and have taken it very personally; as though I was attacking the author herself. 

So, let me clear up their misconceptions: 

* “Mia” is a representation of every new parent out there, who adopts trans-racially and then just gushes about forever families and red threads, etc. etc   I suggest that you new APs and PAPs stop talking about that kind of crap and start looking at the complexities of adoption.  Read some books by adoptees.  Join groups that talk about the “hard” stuff.  Get ready for that time that your children start asking the hard questions.   

BTW, there are other options besides “would you rather she were sleeping in an orphanage or on the streets”.  Please expand your knowledge base or don’t ask those questions. 

*  Sigh…..again with the “you must have had a terrible family life”  Not really true.  Of course, as a minority in a predominantly white community, I most definitely had to deal with the racism, the stereotypes, and not having anyone around that looked like me.  But my parents were as cool as they could be back then.  So again, let me say for the millionth time to people who can only think that I had a terrible childhood…..I did not.  I love my parents and have a very good relationship with them.

 * We, adoptees, tend to have a very warped sense of humor.  When I see something that amuses me, I run with it.  The “you know you’re an adoptive mother if….” was very very funny.  It incorporated God, saving third-world children, and a complete dismissal of someone’s first mother all in one nicely packaged post.  I couldn’t help myself—the DNA that God gave me while I sat in a third-world orphanage REQUIRED a response. 

* Am I angry?  Yeah, I am.  I’m angry at adoption agencies that don’t require that PAPs understand the complexities of adoption.  I’m angry at people who don’t take the time to LEARN what it takes to raise a transracial child in a western culture before they adopt, leaving their child to navigate a very confusing world.  But I’m NOT angry at APs who do read adoptee books, who ask the hard questions, who do their best to raise their child.  I have the utmost respect for them. 

So, Mia, if you ever decide that you actually want to sincerely talk with an adult adoptee, or other APs who have walked before you, please contact me.  I will give you my respect and my advice.  You may not be ready yet, but you’d better start preparing before your adoptee starts asking.

You know you’re an adoptive mom if….

•January 26, 2008 • 40 Comments

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.   

‘Replacement’ adoptees

•December 15, 2007 • 2 Comments

In light of the recent ‘disruption’ of a korean adoptee that had been adopted by a diplomat family, a fellow KAD found this on an adoption agency’s website.  I thought it deserved a second look (my thoughts are in parantheses):

When Adoption Can’t Be Forever

Adoption Disruption is an Option

(Also see Indicators of Adoption Disruption” and “A Story of Adoption Disruption“)Contact us regarding Adoption Disruption

When adoptive families start the process of adoption with an agency, they have the good intention of bringing a child into the family permanently. There are times, even with overwhelming love and intervention for the child and family, when the adoption just can’t survive – an adoption dissolution is an option….. (A “forever” family is not necessarily forever in the adoption world!)

…Through a replacement, (WTF????  Replacement?  Lessee…we replace THINGS, not children!) your child may be able to go to a family that can better meet his or her special needs. The new adoptive family may be a better match. There are numerous factors that lead to adoption disruption:

  • The child is an inappropriate match to your family (In other words, you were so fucking impatient in buying a child, you didn’t really do any research regarding the child itself)
  • The adoption agency failed to prepare you for the special needs of the child (B ecause the agency was only interested in the amount of money you could conjure up, they failed to mention that adoption can be extremely traumatic to children!)
  • The child had poor preparation for the adoption process (Yeah, no one told the child that they were going to be taken away from people who looked like them, thrown into an all-white family in an all-white town, and thrust into an entirely different culture.)
  • There are unrealistic expectations of the child or the adoptive parents experience (“Well, we buy stuff on ebay all of the time, and we’re always satisfied with our purchase!”)
  • Your parenting style conflicts with techniques the child responds to the best (He/should have just fit right in.  It’s his/her fault that I lost my temper and banged their head against a wall.  I mean, what kid doesn’t like mac & cheese?”)
  • Lack of a strong support system for your family or you have relatives that disagree with your adoption (It is very stressful when your mother doesn’t understand why you had to buy a china doll when there’s perfectly good white babies out there)
  • Lack of support from your adoption agency (HAHAHA)
  • Failure to assess services for the child that may be needed
  • The child has emotional or attachment issues or past abuse that were unknown to you or were not disclosed at the time of placement by the adoption agency (Sheesh, no one thought that a child dumped by their biological mother would NOT have attachment issues?)

What to tell the child

Honesty is always the best way to handle to emotional process of telling the child about the replacement. It is not the child’s fault but rather factors that have occurred in the family system up to this point. The child must come to understand that just because they are being replaced, that they are still a lovable person. You, as the adult, must accept the responsibility for the replacement, regardless of the perceived situation that precipitated the replacement. In order to help your child transit, you must give them permission to be happy somewhere else. You must not blame the child for the disruption or they will carry it with them into the next placement making the adjustment even more difficult.

A few phrases that maybe appropriate are listed below:

  • “It’s not your fault”
  • “Maybe we weren’t the family that was meant to be your forever family. Maybe we were meant to get you out of (foster care/ the orphanage) and help you get to your forever family”
  • “Our family isn’t the best family for you, you deserve a family who can take care of you the way you need to be able to be taken care of”.
  • “I/We love you and we want what is best for you. We can not meet your needs”.
  • “We have found a counselor who has looked the world over and he/she found a family that is right for you”

Time to grieve and heal

Your family will need time to deal with the replacement emotionally. The loss of the child can be devastating. You may need to start individual, couple, or family counseling to deal with the child’s removal as well as tackle other issues that may have arisen during the crisis. It is important to remember, it’s no one fault.

 This last statement is just so funny.  No one’s fault?  The only one not at fault is the child.  The agency is at fault for not doing the right thing by telling a PAP that raising an adopted child is different than raising a biological child.  Adopted children come with baggage that occurred the moment they were given up.  But agencies don’t really care about the children they are selling; only about the money.

 

Maybe we should cut off a finger of the agency rep for each disruption.  Hm….they’d either start doing a better job or go out of business.  Either way, it’s win/win for everyone involved.

 

It’s the PAPs fault too.  Who goes into a planned, supposedly lifetime commitment without doing some research?  Instead of believing that god wants them to have an adopted child, instead of planning yard sales, instead of asking for money on ebay or craig’s list, how about PAPs actually talking with adoptees, reading books, and demanding pre- and post-training?  Nah….too hard for those who only want what they want.

 

The whole thing sickens me.  I hope it does you too.

The Grocery List

•July 22, 2007 • 1 Comment

Grocery List:
Butter
Eggs
Milk
Pasta

Sitting, looking at this list
things I need
but can do without

One more thing needs to be added
thing I need
but can’t do without

Are they really selfless
these mothers that never were?

I have another new dog
passed around too many times
in her young life

Jumps at every sound
wary but wanting
the love I can give

Meanwhile,
Loki snuggles on my lap
has he forgotten his former life?

I want to be him
I want to forget

A show was on tonight
a fictional, happy-ever-after plot
adopted daughter finds father and grandmother

A momentary lapse into fantasy
but then reality sets in
of something I need, but will never find

Grocery List:
Butter
Eggs
Milk
Pasta


Mother

Something I can’t live without

Dogs and Adoption

•June 9, 2007 • 3 Comments

I lost my little dobergirl today.  When I came home yesterday, her leg was really swollen and she just couldn’t get comfortable.   She was still eating well; she’s always been food driven, but her quality of life was going downhill fast.  I took her to the vet and gave her lots of kisses while the vet slipped the needle in.

I think it’s harder, as an adoptee, to let go of those we love.   I’ve always been an animal advocate; had my own rescue group for 6 years.   Nothing hits me harder than to see a dog or cat out there on the streets, scared-hungry-alone.   In some way, conscious or not, we know what it’s like to be left.   Animals generally tend to be the safest relationship; they love without hesitation and won’t leave you willingly.

She was a great girl.  She was hypersensitive to my moods.   She never complained, even when she was in pain.  She was smart and loving.  I’ll miss her so.