I Could Have Been A Kingpin

I hadn’t had a chance to amass much of a criminal record before I was adopted. Being only weeks old, I was still too green to score a gat on the street, it limited my scope of mayhem.  Good thing adoption got to me before the criminal element did, or I could be running a cocaine fueled, weapons dealing, legitimate government overthrowing, human trafficking racket.

Adoption saved me from all that, and I’m grateful. Instead of worrying about stuff like the price of hand held rocket launchers and social engineering, I can worry about my mortgage and if I need a new pair of shoes. It’s brilliant, I’m comfortable and complacent, instead of planning my next move, I’m writing a blog post that will be read by a bunch of comfortable, complacent, mortgage holders.

Adoption works. It wins the hearts and minds of adoptees, it turns us into members of society with something to lose. It’s successful nation building on a micro-scale. It makes us part of the thing that took our identities in the first place. They even give us a month to celebrate our status.

Having a month devoted to your social status is a real good way to determine that they did something really shitty to you at some point, and they still haven’t made up for it. So welcome to Adoption History Month , er National Adoption Month.

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If It Saves Just One Child

If it saves just one child, it will all be worth it. Nope, I’m not talking about adoption. I’m talking about an adoption ban.  Because this…

3-year-old Russian boy killed by American adoptive mother in Texas

After being brutally beaten by his American adoptive mother, who gave him psychotropic medication for an extended period of time, a 3-year-old Russian boy named Maksim has died in Texas, Russian diplomats have said.

This is not the first one. It probably won’t be the last. It’s not just Russian kids.

It’s time for a moratorium on all international adoptions. If American born children were being murdered by adopters from outside the U.S., you can bet your ass everything would stop.

This speaks to the real value that American society places on children, especially foreign born children, and adoptees in general. We aren’t worth much.

I talk a lot about adoptee rights, I don’t don’t talk a lot about basic human rights. Maybe I should.

If I can save just one child…

Adoption Doesn’t Feel Real (all the time)

A lot of adoptees pull back from adopt for periods of time. They head back to “real life” where they are like everybody else. I do it. It makes sense, being adopted can be exhausting. All the searching, activism, and thinking about hard stuff can wear you down.

Society, adopted family, our friends, our significant others, the government tells us our adoptions are something we don’t need to think about. It’s done, it’s over, it’s not relevant to our lives. It’s easy to believe, even comforting, but it’s also dangerous.

Adoption is real, it does matter, it is relevant to our lives. Every single adoptee could have truly been someone else. Think about it. More than just having a different name, we all so easily could have been someone else. Real life would be a different life. When we are engaged in being adopted, or ignoring our origins, we are always in real life. It just doesn’t feel that way.

I think that’s why when adoptees refer to their “real lives”, many times it’s a life they have built much more for themselves than most people. Most adoptees are very aware of the circumstances leading to where they are, be it for good or bad. We are much more aware  of the  conscious decisions that contribute to the way we live. We attribute less to luck, accident, or faith and for this we pay a price.

We think everything is our fault, and rarely take credit for the actions that lead to positive things. That makes it easy to return to “real life” where maybe it’s not all our fault. We can’t see things are no more our fault, in real or adopted life, than in anybody else’s life. We don’t have a real life. We just have a life.

So like, WTF?

Admittedly, I’ve been kinda out of the adoption reform loop for a while. I had some serious life and death stuff come up that just wouldn’t wait. But, seriously people, WTF? Why do I not have access to my OBC already?

Somehow this country has managed to re-elect a democratic president in nasty economic times, move forward with health care reform, and legalize weed in a couple of states, and your telling me, I still can’t get my birth certificate. Jim Fucking DeMint is quitting, and a guy that hosts a fake news program is the top pick to replace him, and folks still don’t trust me with a piece of paper? Seriously? You want me to believe that I’ll be able to buy health insurance through a state exchange and marry a girl before I can have my birth certificate? We have a major problem here.

Attitudes seem to be changing about a whole lot of things. Except adoption. Now why is that? All the adoptees I know are nice people, we aren’t threatening. We aren’t asking for anything that will effect other people, we just want to be treated like everybody else. Why the heck are we one of the last groups that it’s OK to discriminate against?

Think about it.

Why? I dare anyone to come up with one single reason that doesn’t amount to some bullshit. All the arguments have been made and answered. I’m sick to shit of being treated like a second class citizen here.

So, I’m going to pout on my up-to-my-knees-in-bullshit boots and get back into it. I’m starting right here, right now.

It seems to me most arguments against adoption reform come down to, it’s always been this way. Secrecy makes adoption work because it’s always been this way. We have to protect those who relinquish, because it’s always been this way. We have to continue to prop up the “as if born to” myth for adoptive parents, because it’s always been this way. Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.

It hasn’t always been this way. Sealed birth certificates came into being, for the most part, in the mid 20th century. They’ve never really protected anyone. And even if it had always been this way, it’s a crap argument. You’ve got to be able to show it’s working, that can’t be done. There is absolutely no reason it should remain this way. We have to convince people of that. We need to let them know it doesn’t work.

It’s time to start bitching again over here.

 

 

Choice and Want

Sometimes I really want to write something great here. I have it all worked out, then it just doesn’t come out right. I just don’t have the strength to make it clear, to knock down the objections, close the holes that could put me in danger of being misunderstood, distill my thoughts into something someone would want to read, much less debate intelligently. I’m not 100%.

Today I was inspired by Amanda and Claudia, I wanted to write about choice, and want. But I just can’t. I can’t get my thoughts organized, I can’t get them down here, I can’t lead you to the place their thoughts took me. I don’t have the words right now, I can’t choose the ones I need.

I haven’t written down a decent thing for a year and a half. I’ve had a thought here and there, I haven’t chosen to write them down.  The prospect of doing it has been too daunting, I’ve settled for just existing. I’ve even felt good about that. Just existing. Maybe that’s the point, why thinking about choices, and the ability to make them struck me.

Hell, I don’t know. Just see this a link post and go read them. I’ll be over here, breathing.

The Adoptee Rights Demonstration

Something very special is going to happen soon. Adoptees, and those who support them, are going to gather in Chicago at the National Conference of State Legislators and fight for every one of us.  Not only will there be a demonstration, but they be on the convention floor, speaking to the people who can give every adoptee access to their identity, making our case, and, in a real way, changing the lives of US adoptees.

All of this is a huge effort, I know, I was part of it last year. It’s very much a labor of love and commitment to the cause, by organizers and attendees. They all deserve your admiration and support. Go here and learn more. Adoptee Rights Coalition.

Sometimes I Feel Like an Athiest

A FaceBook friend of mine posted the clip below. It’s from a public access TV show in Austin called Atheist Experience. This episode is hosted by Tracie Harris and Jen Peeples,both are calm, well-spoken,  and offer sound arguments for their position. The caller seems to be willfully ignorant. It wasn’t so much the subject of the exchange that struck me, but the tone, it all sounded much too familiar.

Te clip was like too many discussions many of us have had concerning adoptee rights. First, the caller assumed the host had had a bad experience, that they just hadn’t found the right church, because if they did, they would agree with him. Sound familiar? Ever been accused of having a bad experience with adoption? When Tracie Harris mentions that she actually had some good experiences in church and her atheism was the result of knowledge she had acquired, it was so much like an adoptee rights activist telling someone that they do love their adoptive parents.

Moving on to the “Why do you even have to have this show?” section, I got that one 100% too. How many times have we been asked the same thing. Just like the hosts, when we point out all the wealthy, well-established institutions (many of the same institutions the atheists are pointing out, in this case) who promote adoption, and justify our right to express our own differing position, it doesn’t matter. We still should just shut up and go with conventional wisdom, because they say so.

Then there’s the whole “it’s a miracle that Gabby Giffords is going to live and recover” thing. To my ear this sounds so much like the “if we can just save one child” argument. I agree with the hosts, it’s great Mrs. Giffords is going to be OK, but it’s no miracle, it’s a tragedy. Many people aren’t OK because of that act, they matter too. The caller just can’t see that. Much like many adopters can’t see that they participated in a system that hurts many, that their little miracle doesn’t make that OK.

Anyway, here’s the clip…

So, anybody else feeling like they’ve been there, done that?