According To Addie

Angry adoptee

Carolyn Pooler Come Out And Play..

I’m still waiting here.  See this post The Missouri Compromise.  So far absolutely no explanation. And I’m not the only one who wants one.

Amy wants to know.

Gershom wants to know.

And Marley really wants to know.

Oh and these folks are curious too Nullius Filius.

Along with a lot of other people.

Exactly who do you claim to represent? Are they all Missouri adoptees? Were they all on board when you refused to support Representative Connie Johnson’s bill?

Oh and is it MO CARE that you represent, like you signed your letters with, or is it more like mocoare? Because through a typo I did find that group, with 5 whole people in it. Which is it?

Or are you speaking for the American Adoption Congress? Or Adoption and Triad Support Network? Or The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks? I can’t tell. And you don’t seem to have any friends that are forthcoming.

C’mon set me straight here. Educate me. And everybody else.

BTW, I see you’re having a meeting Thursday evening. Would you be more comfortable explaining this to me in person? I promise to listen very slowly.
Again comments section is below.

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.

Go To the Light, Boy

There are many things in this world that make an adoptee feel short changed.  Closed records, denial of ethnicity, the list goes on.  I wonder if these things ever end, even in the afterlife.

We’ve all heard the stories from those who have been clinically dead and revived.  The white light, the feelings of complete peace, grandma standing there with a plate of cookies.  It all sounds very nice and reassuring.

I’m not sure if I believe any of it, I am unaffiliated as faith goes.  In fact I am much more likely to believe that death is just that, death.  We don’t go on.  No part of us remains after the synapses quit firing.

But what if I’m wrong?  What if we do go on?  Is the adoptee experience unique even into our leaving this plane of existence?

I’m sure everybody gets the white light, but who’s waiting?  Do I get my dear a-grandmother or the b-grandmother I never knew?  If they didn’t know me or know about me, will they show up?  What the heck would they have to say to me if they did? Do they have to show up if they want to or not?

Will my a-relatives be able to get in to my premere in the after world?  If not, will they even be notified?  Is there a list they can sign up for?

What if I don’t want to see them?  Will I have to put up with their presence like someone that you feel obligated to invite to events in life?  Can I have them escorted out? Is there the possibility of a free for all, knock down drag out fight?  If so, would anyone get hurt?

Guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Fairy Tales

Cinderella has got nothing on me. Evil step sisters…Pfffft……….right.

If evil step sisters were all I had to deal with, my life would be a fairy tale. Somehow I’ve drawn the evilest set of a and b sisters imaginable.

The a-sisters aren’t actually dangerous or evil, they are only rude, dismissive, and shallow. My B-sisters, that’s where the true evil lies. And lies. And lies.

In the past I had been prone to trying to explain away all the lies my b-sister told me as a defense she used to deal with what she may have been through, or a way to overcome societal pressures that still seemed so predominate in her mind. After this last episode, I will no longer give her this consideration. I will make myself see her as she is. An evil and uncaring woman who will do anything to protect the lies that she has based her life on.

I care for her reasons for doing what she did no more than she cares for me.

There was a time, before I started my search, that I thought of myself as unique, as not being tied to any other person on the Earth in any kind of biological way. Then I found people who looked like me, talked like me, and all this changed. I felt that at least in a distant way I was part of something.

I think that I’ll go back to thinking of myself as unique. They may look like me, talk like me, but they cannot be like me. I am made of better stuff than that. I do not have it in myself to do to anyone what that woman did to me.

So I will go on as I did for many years before, an orphan, unique, and without ties. Maybe thinking of myself that way for so many years made me into a better person. Maybe only having to answer to the mirror, not some past that I had no responsibility in, made me stronger. I don’t know.

I do know that I am not evil.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Hold up on the wake, folks.

When you die your your identity ceases to exist, in more than the obvious ways.   The fact of your death becomes a matter of public notice.  Your social security number is no longer a not really so closely held secret to be hidden from all but those who would extend you credit.  Your name no longer belongs to anyone, it’s published in the newspaper, no matter if anyone cares enough about you to have a service, or even pay to have an obituary written.  In short, you are immediately outed as a non-person.

No matter if your remains end up in a great marble tomb in one of the better cemeteries, or in an unmarked hole surrounded by the bones of hobos, your name ends up on a list that anyone can see.  There really is no way to hide this.  It’s all very democratic.

If you don’t make the list, you are not dead.

I’m not on the list.  Neither is my mother.

It’s a great day to be alive.

The Big Sleep

Much has been made of faking one’s own death in fiction and film. It seems to be a subject that fascinates. Something about being able to start over with a completely clean slate, being able to leave past transgressions behind.

As an adoptee I’ve never found the concept that appealing. Maybe because something very much like this was done to me. I was innocent, I didn’t have anything I wanted to leave behind. My death was faked, in a way, in order to allow others to leave things behind.

On some level I can see where this could be satisfying. With one action, the problem just disappears. I can even see how this could become addictive.

The thing is, like everything that seems to solve all problems, you have to be very careful with it. If you use it too much, it will come back to bite you. The use of this clings to you, like the smell of bourbon, like the acrid woodsy smell of weed. Somebody is eventually going to know your using.

They say an addict can always spot an addict. I think that those who have had death, even in this guise, forced upon them can also always spot an addict. A little bit of that smell always clings to them too. It’s familiar.

How many times can someone expect to be able to get away with something like this, killing people for convenience? Once, twice, even three times?

I think that just once. With every use this power becomes weaker, the high less satisfying, the risk for exposure greater.

Yep, it will turn around on you, but fast.