Monthly Archives: October 2011

Link for Halloween

The Republican War on Trick-or-Treating

The right doesn’t want our kids to take handouts.

This week, Republicans in Congress have decided to take some time off from taking time off to announce a bold new jobs initiative: As part of the effort to reward the nation’s hardest working job creators, and punish the “growing mobs” of whining, entitled, spoiled youngsters who have taken to the streets with their irrational, socialist demands, House GOP Leader Eric Cantor this afternoon announced that America’s problems will be solved by a forward-thinking congressional initiative. Quoting himself in a speech that he almost gave last week, Rep. Cantor explained that “Republicans believe that what is fair is a hand up, not a hand out.” And that’s why Republicans today declared war on trick-or-treaters.

It’s become increasingly clear to the Republican leadership that growing mobs of masked youngsters, overrunning America’s pristine public thoroughfares with their unreasonable demands for free Skittles, are both frightening and disruptive. “If you give a kid a candy corn, he’ll eat for a day,” explained Cantor, in unveiling the new program. “But if you take away his candy corn and make him grow his own sugar cane, he’ll grow up to have a job you will eventually send overseas.”

Go read the whole thing – it’s pretty funny – but then I am so very liberal…

Have a safe Halloween and my dogs will be ever so happy when it is over because in Canada – Halloween without fireworks is not Halloween…poor puppies…


Posted by on October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized


I’m Sorry…

Some adoptees have had this said to them when they tell someone they are adopted.  I can’t say I remember anyone saying that to me, but it’s quite possible  someone could have.  Some adoptees don’t like it, but I have been thinking about it, and am not sure if it isn’t being said as a proper response to the reality of what it means if you are adopted. 

My thinking is that when anyone has lost someone, and in the case of adoption your entire family, isn’t it proper to show respect to the individual for their loss by saying I’m sorry?



Posted by on October 30, 2011 in Adoption


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Life goes on…

I had to take mom in for day-surgery this week and then make sure her post-op time at home went okay.  I was completely drained by the time I got home, and yesterday I was still tired and my thoughts weren’t translating into words and still aren’t the best, but I am glad I went and everything turned out okay.  Mom needs me more and more and that worries me, in case I let her down because of my health.

But getting back to taking her for surgery – she got checked in and organized and were told both the surgeon and anesthesiologist would stop by in a few minutes.  The anesthesiologist arrived first to talk about her health history and family health history asking a variety of questions.  She is forgetting some things so I was glad I was there to fill in the blanks, and others she just doesn’t see the importance of mentioning – things that are important – like the health of your lungs when you are going under anesthesia.  I don’t know if she has lost this knowledge, or never absorbed it from dad like I did, yet we all were at the dinner table when dad told us about his day and explained how things worked and answered questions.  I guess I am worrying that she is losing information she once had, but I also question if she ever really listened and learned.

Anyway, one of the questions was whether she had ever been under anesthesia, and if any of her relatives ever had a hard time waking up from anaesthesia.  That triggered me all over again, and made me realize that question must be asked by all anesthesiologists – that mine wasn’t just being overly careful – because he asked the question after finding out she had been put under before.

The whole experience triggered me that as adoptees – we aren’t entitled to that knowledge – knowledge that everyone else has and asked about.  I know this is harping on the subject of family health history, but when are people going to wake up and start talking about the very real risks to all adoptees? 

What do parents answer when they are asked that question when one of their children is going under anesthesia for surgery?  Are they really okay with not knowing an answer that could in reality have very serious implications?


Posted by on October 28, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents


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Ethiopian adoption story

Adoption Delays for Bay Area Family

A Bay Area family is among dozens struggling to bring home their baby from Ethiopia. They say the U.S. government is to blame.

How is it the government’s fault?  Where is the agencies responsibility to their clients to ensure the child actually IS an orphan, and that all investigations to confirm that fact are done? 

The USCIS did a huge presentation on this April 6, 2011, and clearly identified the process of adoption before immigration clearance was a HUGE problem.  The problems were going on LONG before that presentation. 

The government has Alerts and Notices on their website going back to April 2010 about issues in Ethiopia – more than enough time for agencies to change their process…

Where is the prospective parents responsibility to educate themselves about the process, the concerns, the country before they begin the process?  The information from the government is right there waiting for them to read it in black and white.


Posted by on October 25, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics


Questions to mull on for parents

Do you consider adoption to be a valid way to join a family?

If yes,

Then why does it bother so many parents when the adoption is noted in a newspaper, or magazine article, when referring to the child? 

Have you ever explored why it bothers so many, because I believe that attitude can impact children.  Parents may not realize they show it, but their children may pick up on it, and what will it tell them?   

We are adopted.  It isn’t a one-time event – we will always be adopted, and if it bothers parents, then in reality you must feel it isn’t a valid way to join a family, or that we are less than. 

Giving the excuse that bio is not noted – that is, and will always be, at least in our lifetime the standard way to form a family and is the default assumption for the reader.

Either being adopted is fine or it isn’t.

I see this come up time and time again.  This time it was done intentionally to show a similarity between the child and mother that readers may not expect to be there, because they already know the child is adopted.

P.s. I don’t think it is always needed, but I don’t see any reason to get upset over it being noted.


Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents



To me this does not work

I have seen this article linked many times recently and to me the article tries to combine two things that don’t necessarily work together.

Top 10 Keys to using Positive Adoption Language

The article starts off with this:

Every year, our country dedicates the month of November as National Adoption Month. The goal is to raise awareness about the adoption of children from foster care and facilitate the creation of forever families for the 115,000 children in foster care nationwide. Worldwide, the number of children in need of adoptive parents climbs into the millions.

It goes on talking about foster care adoption which I support for children who are legally free for adoption.  I take no exception to what they write until it comes to this:

Positive Adoption Language:

Words are very powerful. Positive adoption language aims to end the negative stereotypes and misconceptions regarding adoption, while educating others that all families look different and form in different ways. Here are some keys to positive adoption language.

And specifically this:

5. When speaking about adoption, it is important to note that birth parents make an adoption plan to place the child in a home to be cared for and raised. The child who was adopted was not “given away” or “unwanted.” The child should know he or she is loved and an adoption plan was created for them to live in a forever family.

And how exactly did parents who had their rights terminated by the state for cause come up with that plan, and exactly what was included in that plan to get their rights terminated.  Think about that for a minute – the full implications of it – because if you want to use PAL with foster care adoptions then it has to work.

So many other 10 PAL statements do not work in conjunction with adoption from foster care that it makes no sense to link the two together.

Neither does PAL work for step parent adoption – go ahead and see how it fails at each statement.  I  would hesitate to apply it to most international adoptions either, and certainly not to all domestic adoptions.

I’m not a fan of PAL as I find it dishonest and tries to sugar-coat something that comes with a whole lot of loss and pain, and seeks to elevate one side over the other instead of simply recognising both sides are important.

Linking the two parts of this article together does not work for me at all.


Posted by on October 23, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, biological child


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How could anyone not realize there are two adoptees on this site?

When I had to come up with the name of this blog, the only name I could come up with was “the adopted ones” – not terribly original, but one that I thought really described TWO things. One: the authors of the blog were adopted; and Two: that the “S” on the end of “ones” would indicate more than one author.

I could have called it two adoptees but I didn’t want to limit the number, as perhaps, we would want to invite others to join us in the future. It worked for me and made sense to call it “the adopted ones” further clarified by the tag line “Grumpy Old Adoptees’ Club”… you know more than one.

Apparently I was wrong.

Despite the above and choosing a design that has a box at the end of each post noting who the author of the post is.

Despite having a highly visible “Who’s Who” box on the right showing TWO different authors.

Despite my description on my Gravatar in the Who’s Who box stating “I was one of two adult adoptees on this blog”.

Despite the About section starting off with this: “ We are adoptees from the Baby Scoop Era. We each have our own story and views on adoption. Sometimes those views are the same, sometimes they differ but that is life.”

TODAY, someone who linked to this blog today assumes this.

I read a post not long ago written by an adult adoptee criticizing adoption fundraising, criticizing adoption itself in a lot of ways.”

The post she linked to was written by Shadow the Adoptee – not me and did one of those selective editing jobs – you know taking things out of context to make it sound the way they want it to sound. 

That post from Shadow was in response to my post on fundraising which was a whole lot more critical of fundraising than Shadows post – her post was gentle and delved into deeper thoughts, raising valid questions to discuss and consider.

For the record, I am the adoptee on this site who is the vocal critic ofadoption itself in a lot of ways”. ME – not Shadow. Shadow typically writes about her story – don’t believe me? – click on her in the “Who’s Who” box to the right and read her posts. Shadow is the one who tempers my voice and provides a different voice. The one who is the peacemaker and can see other sides better than I ever will.

If you want to bash one of us – I am your target – not Shadow.

Me, yes I am critical of unethical adoptions.

I am critical about how adoptees are being failed by the adoption industry.

I am critical that the adoptive parents are not standing up and actively supporting and talking to their legislators about reversing the laws that deny an adult adoptee their original birth certificate.

I am critical of anyone in the adoption world who denies there are real ethical issues that need to be dealt with in adoption and prefer to use excuses or God words to justify their actions.

Have I linked to posts where I have not read other posts on the blog?  Absolutely, but I do not presume to know anything about the blog I linked to, and clearly identify my lack of knowledge about that blog.  I don’t make an assumption about the blog, I just note about that specific post and my feelings like I did the other day where I said something like “this post gives me hope and asks a lot of hard questions with no easy answers”. 

My question is: if you cannot see that there are two adoptees on this site, then how clearly could you identify if there were ethical problems in an adoption or with anything related to adoption?

This post was written by the one who is actually vocally critical of unethical adoptions – just in case you can’t notice the author box below this sentence.


Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Uncategorized


One link – the picture and quote really says it all…

From “I Will Pull This Blog Over!”  Wordless Wednesday.

The picture combined with the quote should be shown to the world to show how out of touch some people really are.  Denial is not just for adoption land my friends.



Posted by on October 21, 2011 in Uncategorized


I Wish I had Known Then

Continuing my story, you can read my last post here title Just Simple Curiosity.  Hope you enjoy, Shadow Adoptee.

I sat there holding the phone to my ear, listening, as Carol excitedly, explained to me the steps she had gone through, which led her to my birthmother, with little interest. I hadn’t contacted Carol because I wanted to search for my family of origin. I had simply done what the doctors had asked me to do, request medical information. I hadn’t even known I could do such a thing, much less, get it. A search for my birth family hadn’t even crossed my mind. I didn’t care how she had found my birthmother. I was still trying to absorb what was happening. How I had gone from a diagnosis of Retinitus Pigmentosa, to a possible reunion with my birthmother, was a bit more than my brain was willing to process, especially in such a short time. I was, simply, not emotionally mature enough to understand the dynamics of what this all would mean, had meant, to me.

Carol had reached my birthmother, via phone, they had talked, and, my birthmother had agreed to exchange letters for now. The letters were to contain no identifying information, such as last names, addresses, etc., and would be exchanged through the agency, or more aptly, Carol was going to be our intermediary. I was to write the first letter, send it to Carol, and she would forward it to E.

As an adoptee, who had never really asked questions about my biological parents, believed I’d never know anything about them because my records were sealed, and had never really given much thought to the situation, I felt I should maybe, listen to Carol’s advice as she told me there was no rush, to take my time, and give it some thought. O.k., I could do that, because, after all, it was just simple curiosity, and, certainly, not important enough for me to share what was going on with anyone else in my life.

When I thought about it, I had to admit, this was kind of exciting. I don’t recall ever fantasizing about finding my family of origin, like some adoptees do. I don’t recall ever, even, wondering where they were, or what they were like. There was that one time, when I was young and found the brief descriptions on a piece of paper my parents had, but, no, not really wondered, at least, not consciously? Searching, reuniting, or even knowing anymore was not possible, would never be possible, at least in my mind. Maybe, thinking about it, thinking about them, wasn’t something I could afford to do emotionally, so I just didn’t. As a child, with the emotional maturity of a child, and capability, why would anyone expect me to react differently, or why would some excuse my lack of outward expression of grief, or interest in my birth family, while a child and teen, as proof that being adopted had no effect on me? Why did I tell myself that for all those years? Why does it surprise people now, when I say that it all did? Why am I still surprised at just how deeply it does affect me?

Now here I was, about to write a letter to the woman, who had carried me for 9 months, and given birth to me. Her name was E. What would I say to her? What should I write? Giving it some thought was good advice, and something I should have done had I known then, what I know now, 20 years later, I suppose, I gave it as much thought as I could at that age, under those circumstances, considering my simple, natural curiosity of an adoptee. I had the letter written and off to Carol within a couple of days.

Yes, it was just the normal, simple curiosity of an adoptee, nothing more. Were it more than that, I’m sure I would have taken a bit more time, agonized over what to say to her, and, possibly, remembered what I had written in that letter. I don’t remember, not one single thing. Maybe it is because it was so long ago, but I remember so many other things about that time. It surprises me that I can’t think of anything I wrote to her in that letter and I wonder, now, what I might have said to her. I can imagine how different that letter would be were I writing it now, in my mid-forties, as compared to my mid-twenties.

As I was writing this post, it began to bother me that I didn’t remember what I had written in that letter. I had considered asking E, if I could see it. I am fairly certain she still has it. It would be interesting to read it after over 20 years. The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to know. Reading that letter now, could give me so much insight to not only myself, but E, and her reaction to it. Maybe it could help explain so much about both of us, and why we have struggled so in our relationship. Maybe it could make it not hurt so much if I am honest, is what I really want it to do. I just cannot bring myself to ask, not willing to stir up those old memories, feelings, and thinking; I’d rather wonder and let sleeping dogs lie. Once again, just as I did back then, I find that I am telling myself it doesn’t really matter, and I am just curious, as I sit here wondering what I would have written to her 20 years ago. The truth is that there are just things about being adopted that hurt, and changing that is not possible. I know that now, and telling myself it doesn’t matter only helps ease the hurt until I can once again accept it for what it is, grieve it, and let it go until the next time something triggers those feelings.

It makes me sad to think that all I have to do is just ask E for it. I could just pick up the phone. It’s really that simple. All I have to do is just ask. It makes me sad to know that I won’t ask her; will never ask her. I’m not willing to risk the emotions it might dredge up for her, and me. It makes me sad that I’m just too afraid of those emotions to ask for one simple little letter. Wen I look back and see just what it had all meant to me, how important it was, how I denied what it meant, and what I was feeling, I’m still surprised. I suppose, I just didn’t know how to cope, and there was no internet to turn to. I was on my own, as was E. It makes me sad to think of how it all hurt, not just me, but E, too. I wish I had known then, what I know now.

Once again, I’ve started a post, trying to tell my story, headed in a specific direction, and ending up somewhere I never intended to go. I followed my emotions because it is not my story I want to tell, so much as, what it feels like to be an adoptee. I followed my emotions, because, after over 20 years of having my birthmother in my life, it surprises me that it can still hurt like it sometimes does. I hope by sharing, others will see they are not alone, and parents will take a closer look at their own children, will understand, we don’t always talk about it. Sometimes we don’t know how, and sometimes, we just can’t.


Posted by on October 20, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents


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Lots of Links…

A Framework for Thinking Ethically an excellent article that describes the many different types of ethics and well worth reading and then thinking about which of the 5 Sources of Ethical Standards you most often apply in your life.  A teaser to the article below.

What is Ethics

Simply stated, ethics refers to standards of behavior that tell us how human beings ought to act in the many situations in which they find themselves-as friends, parents, children, citizens, businesspeople, teachers, professionals, and so on.

It is helpful to identify what ethics is NOT:

It then discusses what ethics isn’t and then goes to the 5 different thought processes or approaches to Ethics.  Fascinating read – I hope you enjoy it.  Something all prospective parents should read, understand, and apply to the adoption process instead of naively believing there is no corruption in adoption because their agency told them so.

PEAR posted a DOS Adoption Notice: Ethiopia – More Orphanage Closures Announced which is an updated list that now has more than 2 dozen closures. 

My question to anyone who knows – are these orphanages true orphanages based on our western understanding, or are they simply part of fulfilling the requirements for adoption referrals for international adoptions under Ethiopian Law and as such simply part of the pipeline?

Thanks Henry for commenting and reminding me to post a link to Nepal — Paper Orphans documentary posted on the web: Terrific documentary on the Bal Mandir kidnappings.  By the Swiss INGO — Terre des Hommes.

Amanda at Declassified Adoptee has a thoughtful post her recent Adoptee Rights Presentation and then on the different responses she got to her photo post that came out of seeing the Occupy Pittsburg protest on her way home.  Yesterday’s Photo: a Response to Some Responses  It made me sad to realize that most likely the negative responses came from those who should be standing alongside fighting for our rights.

Another thoughtful post from Insert Bad Movie Title Here on how words impact us.  The B Word

Malinda at Adoption Talk has posted about an article that reminds me that self-deception is alive and well in adoption land.  “Children choose their parents”

And finally Sunday posted a link to this blog on twitter that gave me hope.  I don’t know the blog and haven’t read any other posts but it was filled with a lot of hard questions that had no easy answers and everyone should read it.  Orphan Sunday: November 6 Preventing Orphans   

Posted by on October 18, 2011 in Adoption, Ethics


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Seems like a timely TED talk

Why you should listen to him:

From the website of Transparency International comes this elegant definition: What is corruption? Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.

Peter Eigen knows this. He worked in economic development for 25 years, mainly as a World Bank manager of programs in Africa and Latin America. Among his assignments, he served as director of the regional mission for Eastern Africa from 1988 to 1991. Stunned by the depth and pervasiveness — and sheer destructiveness — of the corruption he encountered, he formed the group Transparency International to take on some of the main players in deals with corrupt officials: multinational corporations.

Eigen believes that the best way to root out corruption is to make it known. Thus, Transparency International works to raises awareness of corruption, and takes practical action to address it, including public hearings.

Leave a comment

Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Ethics


The “real” search queries never end…

Kind of feeling grumpy today and then I looked at the search queries that landed people on this blog…

I have to question why prospective parents and parents aren’t searching more often for important things in adoption like ethics, the impact of living without family health history, adoptee rights, or even what is the impact of losing your entire family when you become an adoptee.  I seldom see queries about real hard topics in adoption – instead the search queries that show up most frequently show they are worried about themselves, not how their child will feel.

adoptees “slap in the face” “real mother”

Must be those adoptees who aren’t grateful for everything their parents have done for them and “gasp” are searching or have reunited.  How dare they be so ungrateful.  It is not a slap in the face, and quite likely you have ensured your child feels that it is, solely because of your attitude.  You are wrong, searching and reuniting is completely natural and takes NOTHING away from your relationship, unless YOU choose to be the one to ruin your relationship.

adoptive parents are real parents

By definition if you are an adoptee you have two mothers and two fathers so just get over the “real” thing – all 4 of you are “real”. 

real parents term

Mom and Dad – Mother and Father?  Just guessing here…

did s**** j***’ adoptive parents have connections with him

Whether or not they did is irrelevant to everyone but them.  What it sounds like to me is yet another adoptive parent feeling like they (the media) did not focus enough on his “real” parents.  Get over yourself – you do realize there are millions of adoptees and we are all unique, and that our relationships with our parents are dependent on our actual families.

positive and negative views of adoptive parents

I have very negative views of adoptive parents who abuse or murder their children, those who put their desires ahead of making sure ethics and morals are the main factors in adopting…

example of prospective adoptee

Not sure what they were looking for here.  Newspaper ads?  PIctures?  Seeing if they meet your standards?     

adoption is redemption

No – adoption happens after you have legally been stripped of your biological connection to your family and identity, and then adopted by another family.  It is a legal process that makes you somebody else.  Nothing more – nothing less.

So many different versions of “wheres my adoption refund“, “10-01-11 still no adoption tax refund“, “is the government doing away with the adoption tax credit

I don’t care about the adoption tax credit refund.  It was a stupid idea to begin with and makes it seem like adoptees come with mail-in rebates, we don’t, and neither are we lined up on shelves in a big box store.  Personally, I hope the adoption tax credit is not extended.  If you cannot afford to adopt then you can’t adopt – deal with it.  When mothers and fathers stop surrendering their babies solely because of financial reasons, then we can talk. 

ethics + birth moms who change minds about relinquishing in the hospital

Absolutely completely ethical.  NO question in my mind whatsoever.  You do realize that it is natural to want to parent your child?  And even if you consider adoption as an alternative (Plan B) to parenting (Plan A), you have every single right to choose to parent (Plan A) after your baby is born.  Oh and she isn’t a birthmom – see below.   

do birthmothers really read ads?

How about not calling an expectant mother, who may be considering adoption, a birthmother.  That is coercive, manipulative and speaks to your lack of understanding of adoption and disrespectful.  Just because adoption agencies use those tactics does not mean you need to.

what to say to parents that don’t fundraise


how do adoptee’s feel about fundraisers

Well thank you for asking – you can see both our views here and here.

adoptee sick of society view

Yah – can totally relate – I was thinking about this yesterday.  How society can view adoption as the best thing ever despite the life-long pain for mothers who surrender, and the adoptees having to live with the fact they are adopted, society still views it as a win-win-win.  I don’t know why society is so shallow that they can only view one side instead of the mult-faceted view, and believe only sound-bites from the industry that makes money off adoption.

is it harder to grow up being adopted

Apparently you don’t understand what adoption means if you have to ask that question.  Until you do please don’t even consider adopting – losing your entire family and identity and sometimes your country and language is pretty darn hard. 

adoptee shame illegitimacy

Why would an adoptee feel shame about being illegitimate?  It’s not like we had anything to do with whether or not our parents were married.  Pretty hard to control what happened before we were born and it’s certainly not like “adoptees” are the only ones born to single parents.  

who do you think you are adopted

People?  Just guessing.  What, did an adoptee say something you did not want to hear?

i love my adoptive family

So do millions of adoptees and your point is?

i’m glad i was adopted

Not to be mean, but what a simplistic statement that is.  One day you might start digging a bit deeper on the paradox of being an adoptee, and then that statement won’t be quite that simple when you factor in what you lost to the equation, or even think about the what your life would have been like if you hadn’t been adopted.

good adoptee bad adoptee

Yah – cuz we are just shallow cardboard cut-outs and not capable of having contradictory feelings like “real” human beings.


And finally the WTH search query of the week…3 year old sperm donor wants to start family


Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents


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