According To Addie

Angry adoptee

A Call To Action

Again and again it has been pointed out that adoptees have nothing to say about access to adoption records or how we will be treated by our own government. Everyone else’s rights involved in adoption trump ours, the first parents, the adoptive parents, the agencies, the courts. We are effectively reduced to the status of children.

Equal treatment under the law is a cornerstone of our republic. So if we are treated as children in the matter of our adoptions, shouldn’t we be treated as children in every other aspect?

I’m thinking there could be some advantages.

First there are the child labor laws. We shouldn’t be allowed to work more than 15 hours a week, if at all. That would certainly free up some time in my life. It would put a bit of a pinch on my income, but considering that as a child I would also be eligible for all kinds of other programs, it might not be a problem.

I assume we would all be eligible for our state’s child health care program. So losing the benefits at our jobs won’t be much of a big deal. This will make up for it. We also should be able to receive AFDC and food stamps, since we are still dependent children. This will give us some dough for clothing, food, and all of the other little essentials. Our rent should probably be paid too.

We can forget about paying our own bills and taking care of all the little inconveniences of life too. I think we are going to have to have court appointed conservators to do that for us. Our APs shouldn’t be saddled with this, after all they did, in most cases, fulfill there obligation to raise us to what would in any other case be adulthood. In some cases, since a lot of adoptees aren’t exactly young anymore, our APs just aren’t around to do this. So they are just going to have to find someone to take care of these things for us, we are children, after all.

I have saved the best for last, I’m pretty sure they are going to have to continue to educate us too. Since the majority of us have at least completed the k-12 thing, and many of us have at least a BS or BA, I’m thinking we are going to have to be allowed to obtain advanced degrees, and additional undergraduate degrees. I’m sure I’m not the only one that looks forward to a life of learning.

I understand that all of this is not going to be cost effective. The amount of money this is going to take is staggering. But what choice do they have, we are still children.

I also understand that treating us as adults and allowing us access to our original birth certificates would be very cost effective in comparison. But knowing how our government works, I can see them implementing the plan I have outlined above without much problem.

Hey, it makes as much sense as anything else to do with adoption.

I urge you to write your legislators immediately.

Haven’t We Met Somewhere Before?

Haven’t we met somewhere before?

As a pick up line that an oldie, but goodie. As a feeling it’s something I experience way too often.

I’m feeling it now, in a big way.

Tell me do these words from this blog look familiar to you?

 

“There are privacy concerns that extend to family members. I am the father of a child, whose mother and I gave birth to in our hearts. My feelings and love for my child seem to be so easily dismissed by those who debate the issue of the rights of birth parents and adoptees. Adoptive parents seem to be tossed aside in most debates. As if we don’t exist or played only a marginal role in our child’s life. As if we “rented” the adoptee. You don’t know my child so please do not speak for them or assume their desires are the same as yours. And don’t discount the adopted parent and adopted family part in this triangle. We too have information to share, stories to tell, medical history to impart, cultural experiences to share. My child is wonderful and I can tell you about my child. Every person, regardless of their birth or status, has an inherent right to their personal privacy. And that includes the right to waive their personal privacy; and that right should not be legislated away. I do not want my child hurt. Therefore, if a child, adoptive parent, or birth parent wish to seek out one another I prefer the “contact choice” option so that sharing information (medical, family history, heritage, etc.) can be done so without names or personally identifiable information being disclosed if the birth parent, the adopted parent, or my child wish to remain annoymous. A confidential process can be in place that can correctly match the child, adopted parent, and birth parent. Breaking that confidentiality should be a joint decision; not a legislated decision. Just as I have no right to violate your personal privacy you have no right to violate my privacy or the privacy of my child against our will. I believe there is a moral right to choose to know information about your personal history, background, heritage, etc., but there is a right to personal privacy that all parties need to freely waive. Please do not advocate so strongly that you remove a child’s choice to know or release personally identifying information at any point in their life. As a parent, please do not intentionally or unintentionally harm my child. They will decide wisely.

Almost halfway through…

this torture that’s called National Adoption Awareness Month.

Notice it’s not National ADOPTEE Awareness Month.

It seems that some aren’t aware that we are even out here.  NPR, for example took up the subject of adoptee access to Birth Certificates, without speaking to a single adoptee. Then there was the pithy OP piece by ex-author and faded hipster/hanger-on Tama Janowitz.
There seems to be something welling up among adult adoptees who have finally become tired of either being ignored or not taken in consideration in the first place.  I’d say it’s about time.

We still have time to take this month back.  We need to point out to those who would say that this month isn’t about us, that if it weren’t for us, this month wouldn’t exist.  Make them understand the very children they are talking about will someday be adults too.  Let them know they are participating in a system that will ignore the rights and sensibilities of all adopted people.

We need to make ourselves seen as an united cultural group.  If we can be seen in that way, we can better speak to the injustices that we still endure.  No one would deny other cultural groups the right to speak of injustices they have, or are still enduring, but it still somehow alright to ignore us.  To tell us we should be grateful for our situation.

We need to let people know that we do not want pity, or a pat on the head, we simply want the same rights to our heritage as on-adopted people enjoy.  We need to let them know that cooing over how wonderful it is to be adopted is at best patronizing, that this degrades us, denies us true adulthood.  We need to let them know that we are in a situation that they really cannot understand.  That even though we know we can’t be fully understood, that we can be respected.  That that respect will come when we are truly treated as adults and full citizens.

We need to let them know that this is about us.  It has to be.  We are the results of Adoption.

Tama Janowitz, My Canidate for Mother of the Year

Can you believe this wonderful woman has been blocking comments from adoptees?

I can’t either. It must be a mistake, so I’m going to allow adoptees to comment here.

The Real Thing

My husband Tim and I adopted our daughter Willow, who is now 12, from China when she was 9 months old. We were told by the adoption agency that once the process was complete and the three of us were back home, many people would stop to inquire about our daughter’s Mongolian features or why she did not look like us.

It may be that having a child of a different ethnic background from yourself is more difficult in other parts of the country. And certainly that may lead to problems. But In my neighborhood in Brooklyn I see black women with half-Asian, half-black kids and I see kids with dark skin and blond hair — the mother is white, the father is not. There are Indian fathers and Caucasian mothers with their offspring. There are families with two dads. There are also Hasidic families with ten kids and Muslim women dressed in full burkas who have dressed their daughters the same way.

So here in New York City, we haven’t attracted too much attention.

Well, O.K., sometimes.

It is true when she was a baby, if I took her out on my own, sometimes people did ask me, “Is the father Chinese?” If I said “yes” the usual response was “Good for you!” This puzzled me, so then I just said, “Either Chinese, or some black dude – who can remember?”

But as always, if you don’t have one kind of problem, you will automatically be given another.

There are more than enough for seconds! Even fifths!

One thing I figure, whether adopted, mixed race, religious, non-religious, whether your child is biological, whether you send her to Hebrew school or piano lessons – there is no one who does not resent his or her parents, We all have this in common. Indeed, it may be what makes us human.

Everyone feels they are doing the best possible job as a parent. But apart from the most obvious types of abuse, there is little that is clear-cut in regard to child rearing. Some discipline their kids and refuse to allow them to go to school dressed in a tutu. Others allow them to eat McDonald’s. Even if your house is tidy, this could be a mistake in child-rearing! So could being a vegetarian! Or serving meat!

A girlfriend who is now on the waiting list for a child from Ethiopia says that the talk of her adoption group is a recently published book in which many Midwestern Asian adoptees now entering their 30s and 40s complain bitterly about being treated as if they did not come from a different cultural background. They feel that this treatment was an attempt to blot out their differences, and because of this, they resent their adoptive parents.

So in a way it is kind of nice to know as a parent of a child, biological or otherwise – whatever you do is going to be wrong. Like I say to Willow: “Well, you know, if you were still in China you would be working in a factory for 14 hours a day with only limited bathroom breaks!”

And she says — as has been said by children since time immemorial — “So what, I don’t care. I would rather do that than be here anyway.”

My friend has a biological kid who said one day, “I hate you.” She cried and cried and told the child how deeply hurt she was.

I have heard those words, too, and my child is not biological. Like, I care? Hate me or love me, I am her mother and she knows it and since she is not getting a reaction out of me she almost immediately revises her opinion.

Is it my fault she is still angry because I kept coming home with another dog? I would have been thrilled, if I was a kid, to have six poodles! How was I supposed to know she would turn out to be the type who didn’t like dogs? And she says even if she did like dogs, she only likes mixed breeds!

“You should keep a list of everything I’ve done to you,” I have often suggested, “That way, later, you can read it to your therapist. Otherwise you might forget.”

Sometimes I think, Well, maybe I should be more of a disciplinarian. But what am I going to do, lock her in her room? She has an ensuite bath, a computer, cell phone and a Game Boy and if I say, I will take those away she says, “So what, who cares?”

Same with TV privileges. “Go watch TV!” I tell her.

“No, I don’t want to.”

“You will watch TV, young lady.” It’s no use.

I know that there are some women who have given birth who believe that the type of love they have for their child is more intense, more real, than the love I have for my kid, because they hatched it themselves. This argument makes no sense to me. After all, the fathers (until recently) never could be sure that it was their sperm that made them the dad.

You might as well say, “Listen, Daddy-O, you had ten minutes max of involvement in the creation biz, and you didn’t even get to pre-approve the winning sperm, And if your kid is the product of the fastest sperm in the bunch, that is just plain pitiful. How could you care about the child?”

However I would no more say this than ask someone with a baby if they were certain the father was human.

I also know women who never really bonded with their kid – biological, or adopted.

I figure, Willow, she’s my kid, she just got here differently. I don’t remember floating around in my mother’s womb, or coming out of the vaginal canal – but I still know that person is my mother, even if she is a little off.

And my kid knows I’m her real mother.

Not biological, but real. It doesn’t get any realer than this.

http://relativechoices.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/the-real-thing/

Have at it folks.

Guess What?

Not only is this National Adoption Awareness Month it’s also…..

National Writing Month

National Diabetes Awareness Month

National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month

National Lung Cancer Awareness Month

National Pomegranate Month

National Health Food Month

National Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

National Hospice/Palliative Care Month

National Career Development Month

National Marrow Awareness month

National 4-H Month

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

National Family Caregiving Month

National Homeless Youth Awareness Month

National Youth Involvement month

National Healthy Skin Month

National Epilepsy Awareness Month

National Blog Posting Month.

These are the results of a quick Google search. From what I can tell, writing has a slight edge on adoption in the Google hits, but both are leading all major diseases and conditions by about four to one. Pomegranates and the good old 4-H aren’t showing enough to even stay in the race.

Take it for what it’s worth.

Be Aware

National Adoption Awareness Month.

I’m familiar with adoptee awareness. I have always felt like I needed to be very aware of what was going on around me. It was too easy to get blind sided by someone’s reaction to what I thought was an innocent remark or movement.

I wonder about that.

You know the feeling when you meet someone and you instantly have a connection? Maybe it’s something about their voice, their movements, just something that you can’t quite put your finger on? There is just something compatible between you. There’s no way to predict this, it just is. Compatibility, attraction, chemistry.

Or maybe you meet someone you instantly dislike. It’s not something they have said, what they are wearing, it’s just a feeling. Somehow you are put off. Sometimes no amount of trying to set these feelings aside can make you feel comfortable around them. Incompatibility, unease, chemistry.

These things just happen. There is something buried deep within us that makes us feel this way. Exposure to one you are compatible with can lead to great friendship or even love. In my experience, many of my dearest relationships were formed almost instantly. It just felt right from the very beginning. The same thing can be said of those who I instantly disliked. I have either struggled to maintain a relationship, usually because my well being or income depended on it, or just avoided them all together in order not to make an enemy.

The relationships that I have struggled with the most are those with my adoptive family. That feeling of instant connection just was never there. No real connection grew with time. We were all forced into a very strange relationship where we had to try to care for each other. It reminds me of when I was a child, other children would talk about not really liking their cousins, but they had to love them because they were cousins. That’s not quite the feeling but it’s close.

With so much pressure from within both my adoptive family members, and myself, to make things work, it just never did. I don’t think it was anyone’s fault, it was just, and still is, very uncomfortable for us all. I should love them, they should love me. It should work.

It just doesn’t.

We find each other maddening.

I can recognize this for what it is now. When I was a child, I could not. I don’t think that my adoptive family really ever will recognize what’s going on. They won’t recognize that the chemistry just isn’t there.

I’m no longer careful about my movements or words around them. If they don’t like me, it’s their turn to struggle with it. I’m not bad, I’m not mean, I’m just not compatible.

It’s National Adoption Awareness Month!

Or what the fuck ever they call it.

I call it a load of crap.   All month long I’m going to be assaulted with stories  how wonderful adoption is.  I won’t be able to watch the news without be subjected to some not-so-hot-shot reporter bringing me a human interest story about some sainted adoptive parents who offered a whole new life to some little waif.  Great.  Go after the hard story there scoop.  Here’s a hint, puppies are cuter, do a story about puppies next time.

I’m so looking forward to it.

It gets even better when one of my co-workers or any member of the general rabble that comes into the store, sees one of these tear jerker stories.  They are going to want to tell me all about it.  I can’t fucking wait.  I haven’t had this much fun since the 90’s when everybody who had three drinks in them thought it was their duty to tell me the latest blond joke.

They recall the feel good news story in great detail, expecting me to hang on every word.  They will invariably end up with a “Isn’t that just wonderful?” and give a sigh.   they will be very confused when I just look at them for a moment and walk away.  I just don’t have the strength this year.

So in order to just get all out of the way, for the whole bloody month, if you are one of the dolts that wants to relate their beautiful vicarious just-saw-a-thing-on-the-news extremely intimate adoption experience to me:

Screw off

Eat Me

Are you really that simple minded?

Get a clue.

Go away.

Fuck you.

Find another victim.

Get a life.

Think before you speak.

Lick me.

and finally,

imagine being made into an orphan and being expected to be grateful for it.

National Adoption Awareness Month has been sucessful in making me very aware thatI am adopted.   I’ll give whoever the evil organization that came up with this travesty that.