Identity Theft

In some recent posts, I’ve explored some of the lamer attempts of adoptive parents, and others involved in the adoption community, to identify with adoptees.  These have ranged from evoking the Gods to symbolically killing off their own parents.  Not one of them made a bit of sense.

The astute Coco commented that this was an attempt to roll us all into The One Big Happy.  This is true.  But why do they feel the need to do this?  What is it within them that wants to make us like them, or them like us, to identify with us?  And why aren’t they willing to give up anything to get this?

Everybody else sacrifices.  Our natural families sacrificed their own flesh and blood.  And so much more, they many times sacrificed peace of mind, confidence, and security.  Even if they went into his arrangement knowing full well what they might be giving up, I doubt any of them guessed the extent that this would continue to effect them.

We, the adoptees, sacrificed.  We were taken from the life that we were destined for and given something else.  No matter how well, or how poorly, things went for us, we will never know what could have been.  Who we would be.  At the very least, adoptees have more “What if?” questions than anyone raised in a natural family could imagine.

I can’t go into everything we gave up, it’s all really bee covered .  But I do think we can agree that adoptees give up a lot, and no one even asks us if it’s OK before they take it away.

Even if this need by adoptive parents to find wht that they have given up, something that makes them the same as the adoptees, comes from acknowledgment of our losses,  it’s still lame and unnecessary and comes off as patronizing.

Just face it, being adopted is not something you can identify with unless you have been through it.  Because you may understand some of it does not ean you understand all of it.  You are not like us.  You never can be.  This doesn’t mean that you cannot love us, raise us well, or come to know us deeply.  But please do not claim to understand.  It lessens you.

Adoption isn’t like anything else.  It is a unique experience.  Saying that it is like something, especially something that isn’t absolute, or even real, does not make sense to us.  It might be fine for you to discuss with your monthly adoptive mommies playgroup, but don’t expect us to swallow it whole.  Adoption is a life long situation, we’ve had much more time and motivation to think about it.

Like the man says, “They’re quite aware of what they’re going through.”

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6 thoughts on “Identity Theft

  1. To tell the truth I couldn’t bring myself to read that idiotic article properly until today. Put it down to disgust, boredom, ADDness or whatev.
    But also whatev, now that I *have* read it, I’m considerably annoyed – almost as much at Salon for publishing such whimsical-whamsical witterings as at the contents of the article itself. I mean, Salon must be desperate for content – of any sort.

    The woman’s an idiot. That much is clear. What isn’t clear is what her idiocy represents as a reflection of the greater whole. I have been pondering this, to little avail.

    All I can come up – and it’s not much – is this. if Salon’s desperate, this bint is even more so. The question is whether she’s desperate in order to minimize other peoples’ experience, or whether it’s because she’s desperate to convince herself that she’s an empathic person. I’m inclined to the former, but then charitableness was never one of my qualities.

    Furthermore, Snow White wasn’t an orphan. She was a step child.
    Neither was E.T an orphan.
    E.T phoned home.

    Bah.

  2. [We were taken from the life that we were destined for and given something else.]

    No one wants to understand that. No one wants to admit the “meant-to-be” just may not have BEEN “meant-to-be.” (In other words, no one wants to admit that the babies in Korea were NOT meant for adoption, EVERY adoptive parent, with the exception of a FEW, believes completely and utterly that that child was meant FOR THEM)

    That comes across as a slap in the face, and on the behalf of my Taiwanese parents, I refuse to believe that. You (generic) may as well say, “Well, I think it’s MEANT TO BE that you didn’t have a good financial situation or that you had sex against your will so *I* could be the mother of this child!”

    And I know some PAPs may stumble across this comment and want to track down my blog to copy-paste what I just said to prove how “insulting” and “angry” I am… and to that, I say, look into the perspective of a first mother. But that’s a rant for another day.

    [This doesn’t mean that you cannot love us, raise us well, or come to know us deeply.]

    True, very true.

  3. OMG, commented on wrong blog post. Sorry, Addie :(
    I was still rollingl with your previous one

    Anyway, yes. Comparisons are odious.
    And presuming to appropriate someone else’s very particular experience is particularly odious – as well as delusional.

  4. Just face it, being adopted is not something you can identify with unless you have been through it.

    It’s taken me a long time to understand that, Addie. A long time to realize, painfully, that I cannot ever fully know how my daughter feels, as an adoptee, because I am not living that.

    I have my own experience, and I have had pain, but it is not the same as what I foisted upon her. Not even close.

    People need to read this and really HEAR it. Don’t defend, don’t talk about orphanage conditions or mother was too young or God called us to this child…any of it. Love and care can mitigate the loss. It cannot erase it. And removing a child from an institution or another less than ideal situation doesn’t erase that first loss, either.

    Bah. Now I’m rambling. But I’m trying, trying to accept and honor my daughter’s own experience, not compare or make it mine or pretend I know.

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  6. I think that society’s view of adoption as a charitable act is a big part of the problem. This gives the mainstream the impression that it’s all good, and that anyone who disagrees with the way it’s practiced nowadays is wrong.

    That makes it way too convenient to disregard the experiences of adoptees and first parents, and way too easy for adoptive parents to close their eyes and minds to the truth.

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