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.

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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.

 

 

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?

 

 

Celebrity Pig Adoption comes with Warnings-Celeb Child Adoption, Not So Much

Just mentally replace the words ‘pig’ and ‘swine’ with ‘child’…

Celebrity swine wars: Why experts are cautioning stars against rushing into pig adoption

“LeAnne Rimes wants to go hog wild in the worst way.The country cutie recently made a porcine plea directed towards her hubby on Twitter.”Quote of the day…. ‘pigs are not stupid’ Trying to convince Eddie to get a mini pig. I want one,” Rimes tweeted on May 7.

Fellow animal lover Tori Spelling chimed in with a very cute picture of her pig, Hank – and a pointed warning, “Heres R’s but didn’t stay mini”

“[A]dorable!!!!!” replied an undeterred Rimes. “How much does he/she weigh [?]”

Spelling never answered–at least not on Twitter — but Adria Johnson of Best Friends Animal Society’s Piggy Paradise in Kanab, Utah told FoxNews.com that “mini” pigs can grow as large as 200 lbs.

“People go to breeders and are told that the baby pigs will grow up to weigh about 20 lbs.,” explained Johnson. “Well, pigs don’t reach their full size until they’re close to four years old.”

FACT: Human children can eventually reach well over 200 lbs. too.
FACT: You also must also feed human children several times a day.
Now think about how differently the article would read if LeAnne Rimes was thinking of adopting a human baby.
Just sayin’.

Still here, Still Adopted.

There is nothing like an adoptive family crisis to make you feel all the more adopted. My a-dad had a bit of a health scare recently. He was diagnosed with cancer, luckily, it looks like it’s treatable. This is good, really good, but waiting to hear that was an awful experience. It’s a feeling of just waiting to panic, or not.

We didn’t have to panic. Big sigh of relief there. But not panicking and getting my a-dad through cancer treatments is going to be challenging enough. Long time readers of this blog have got to know my a-dad a bit, so you can imagine the challenges ahead. For those who don’t know, let’s just say a-dad is very outspoken (that’s a nice way of saying he’s a bitchy old man).

Then there is the whole adoptee thing. My a-famiily once had a family dinner, complete with relatives from out of town, on my birthday, and “forgot” to invite me. But who is the first one they call when they need a ride to the hospital for surgery, or wreck their car, or can’t figure out the cell phone? You guessed it, the adoptee. I know they do it because they see me as being the one who can handle it (or possibly because I’m alone right now and might not have anything better to do. Ha.), but it’s still hard. Sometimes it feels like you get all the responsibility and none of the good stuff.

There is nothing to do but deal. And deal I will. I always do. Adoptees are like that.

It’s an Adoptee Thing

I haven’t been adopted much lately. I’m blowing off more Adoptee Rights Demonstration meetings than I attending, I haven’t blogged, honestly I haven’t given adoption much thought. It will always be there.

Adoption is always there, it runs like a current below everything thing else. Below the big losses that everyone experiences, below the day-to-day bullshit, even below the happy. Adoption is just there and I know it’s not going anywhere. I’ve dealt with it long enough I can ignore it, for a while.

There are, however, some things I cannot let go. I can’t sit back and see the work adoptees, and their supporters, have done collectively be co-opted, corrupted, or used to leverage an unrelated goal. So many have worked so hard, so tirelessly, so long, and that work is really beginning to pay off.

The right to identity is a civil right, an adoptee’s civil right. It really is all about us. Don’t forget it. Don’t make me get all adopted again.