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.

 

 

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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?

 

 

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.

Post Racial Adoption Society

This post is part of the Grown In My Heart Adoption Carnival. Anyone can join in.  If you’ve got something, anything to say about Adoption and Racism, get over there and participate.  Just click on Mr. Linky near the bottom of the page.

Like Claudia, I have some reservations about writing about racism in adoption.  I’m at least as white as she is, maybe more.  Try to keep that in mind.

Beyond the obvious, you know, white babies cost more than black babies.  That whole stupid thing that doesn’t make a bit of sense.  Especially since most perspective adoptive parents declare they don’t care what the baby looks like, they just want to raise one.  If that were true, folks would never pay the premium for white kids.  Oh but they do.

I’m not going to get into that.  It makes my head hurt.

I’m not going to cite instances of racism in adoption that I’m all too familiar with.  Other folks can address this better than I can.

I will say that there is a subtle feeling of racism with all things adoption.  I’m not saying that all adoptive parents are racist, or even that most adoption agencies have any kind of overtly racist agenda, I’m just saying it’s out there, and I think it’s something many of us feel. It’s that insidious non-specific kind of racism that comes all mixed up with privilege and money.

You hear a lot about how we are living in a larger post racial society.  I think that fact is, as best, debatable and more likely total bullshit, at least for a good portion of the population.  I know we aren’t in a post racial adoption society. In adoption race issues are obvious, and discussed frequently.  We know color blind doesn’t exist, we know everybody doesn’t come into the game on equal footing, we know it’s more complicated than that.

I think we know this because we have to deal with it.  We can’t just declare that we are done with all that stuff.  Maybe that’s good, we are at least not BSing ourselves.

Do we have any kind of understanding?  I’m not sure. But at least I think we are trying.

We should try harder.

Lions and Tigers and Baptists, Oh My!

Seems I’m not the only one who has been bothered by Baptist bent on burglering babies.  Haiti is having it’s own problems with that plague.  For those who have been under a rock, a bunch of Baptists on a mission decided they could just load up some kids off the street and whisk them away to a better life.  God knows if they were allowed to stay with their parents they might take up dancing.

While the dunkers don’t seem too good at this whole child trafficking thing, I wonder about what’s happening with folks who a little better at it.  The disciples of John seem to think that Jesus will provide some type of spiritual-diplomatic immunity, others know better.  They are craftier, sneakier, smarter.  Child snatching isn’t just something they do with their vacation time, it’s their profession.

Make no mistake, they are in Haiti.  They are looking, taking, profiting.

Right now everybody seems to be focused on the folks that got caught.  Maybe we should think about the others that are surely still out there.

In happier places, the weather relented a bit this weekend and I was able to go outside without risking my exposed skin freezing in a matter of minutes.  That was something.

Sacred Cow Tipping and True Crime

I made the mistake of discussing adoption with one of the uninitiated recently.  I always do that, you’d think that I would have learned by now.  Anyway, after I related some of my experiences she remarked that it sounds something more like  a true crime story than the fuzzy wuzzy experience of adoption.

No shit, Sherlock.

She seemed to think that instead of bringing up all of the things that are wrong with adoption, and how adoptees are perceived we should be looking for answers and comfort.

Again, no shit.

Answers and comfort would be wonderful.  Folks having a complete understanding of the whole adoption thing would be great, no argument here.  But I guess that it is all too shocking for the non-adopted to wrap their head around.

Guess what?  It’s pretty hard for us to wrap our heads around too.

Exactly how are we to be comforted when we talk about lack of medical history?  Patting us on the hand and assuring us we probably won’t die of some cancer that could have been easily found and treated if we had known to test for it, doesn’t really cut it.

Just exactly what are we supposed to be told when somebody assumes that we were so much better off because our adoptive folks could afford a pool in the backyard?   Can you imagine anyone casually debating what a non-adopted person’s childhood might have been like if they had been raised in lesser circumstances?

How do you make it OK to be abandoned?

Should the fact that we turned out to be attractive people make up for not growing up with anyone that looked like us?

Is there a greeting card for those that are denied basic human rights by the states we pay taxes too?

Yes, it’s shocking, a little unsettling, and smacks of true crime.  To hear adoptees speak can sound like way too much information, but that’s what we’ve got.

I do find it very interesting that this woman chose the phrase “true crime”.  As if we the adoptees, the innocent little babies, are the criminals.   Are we vandals for tipping the sacred cow of adoption?

Should we charged with a misdemeanor or a felony?  Does one generally serve time for tipping sacred cows?  Would sacred cow tipping be considered a property crime?  If more than one person is involved, does it become a conspiracy?

 

Some folks are getting it, The Donaldson Institute has a very interesting report out.  It’s focused on international adoptees, but makes very good points for all of us.

 

Ten Things I Wish I Knew Before I Was Touched By Adoption

This is my contribution to the Grown In My Heart Adoption Carnival.  Get in on it too, right here.  Use the Mr. Linky thing.

Go on, you know you want to.

First, I wasn’t touched by adoption.  The only folks ‘touched by adoption’ are random viewers of Adoption Stories or some other heart-tugging-ain’t-adoption- great TV show.  People are touched by the stories of others, or possibly an uncle, but not adoption.  Adoption consumes, completely immerses, one drowns in adoption.

Since I did not have the ability to speak before I was touched, threw into, drown by, adoption, I am going to take on the persona of an annoying talking babies in those god awful John Travolta-Kristie Alley movies.  I’m sure some folks found those touching too.

1. Mom, I’ll never see you again.  Once you let go of me, I’ll be gone forever.  When you sign those papers I’ll be an orphan.  You certainly have more faith in this world than I do.

2. Mom, I’m going to look a bit like you.  It would be really nice to have that reference point as I’m growing up.  I’m never going to see anyone in real life that looks remotely like me until I’m almost 40 years old.  My confidence is going to be effected by this.

3. Mom, I’m never going to know who my dad is.  It’s  kind of  a  big deal for me.  You said you wanted to give me up to save me from “the stain of illegitimacy”, that doesn’t bother me as much as not even knowing who’s bastard I am.  BTW, everybody is going to assume I’m stained by illegitimacy as soon as they know I’m adopted for the rest of my life.  You aren’t saving me from anything.

4. Mom, I’m going to be spending ever summer Sunday for a couple of years about a mile from where you live, in about 33 years.  I wonder if you’ll see my picture in the local paper with my racing trophies?

5. New Mom and Dad, I’m not a blank slate.  Sorry.  Just wanting me to be like you won’t change a thing.  I am what I am.

6. New Mom and Dad, I do not have colic.  I just want to go home, where ever that is.

7. New Mom and Dad, You are going to have other children in a few years.  Children of your own.  Children that will be like you.  Do you still want to go through with this?  There is a whole list of other folks who will take me.  I won’t be hurt.

8. Lawyer, You might want to put a note in my file that this stuff will be “of use” to me in the future.  Your son, who will be the judge in this district someday, is going to tell me that there is “nothing of use to me in this file”.  He is going to be wrong.  Besides, I’ll find out anyway.

9. Governor, make my records available to me.  I am in the care of your state now.  You are going to see that I’m given to people to raise me to adulthood.  I’m going to pay taxes and vote for your successors.  I deserve to know what is going on now.

10. Mom, New Mom and Dad, Lawyer, Governor, Everybody Else, I am going to be alright.  A bit worse for the wear of all this, but alright.  It would have been a lot easier on me if you had listened to me now.


I’m Horrifying Adoptive Parents Again..

..over at Grown In My Heart.

It’s Sex and Drugs and Dear Birthmother letters for me this time.

see-adoption-blog-post