I Agree…

11 Dec

Some days I have hope for the next generation of adoptees, that their parents will have listened and been aware of potential pitfalls both pre-adoption and parenting.  Other days that hope is slammed into the ground and stomped on, crushed beyond recognition, into dust.  The latter was yesterday.

The entitlement factor felt by some people chills me.  That level of entitlement engendered by a faux feeling of superiority that allows them to not listen, but rather, vocally dismiss anything said, by a mere adoptee.  Even when there is nothing but truth being provided.  Being provided to the individuals who willingly chose to go there, to read it, (or not actually read it and listen to the words).  The defensive reaction we all get from time to time, yet some of us try to figure out where that reaction is coming from, learn from it, study it, change it, if needed.  Yes, sometimes we all fail, but the bigger person learns from those times and makes amends for their behavior.

Following is the disclaimer at the top of the guest post on iAdoptees blog for all to read, absorb, and chose, without coercion, to read the rest of the guest post. 

What you are about to read may shock you. It may challenge you. And, hopefully, it may inspire you to educate yourself further on the realities of adoption. Please read the following with an open mind, and try not to take anything said here personally. Because this is not meant to be an attack or a judgment; it is meant to be an honest and heartfelt expression of one adoptee’s experience that would hopefully bring understanding and respect for the often ignored portion of the adoption equation.

People reacted in an unseemly manner, very unseemly.  In a manner that most parents would be horrified to know was written by their child, who is now an adult and most likely either hoping to be, or is a parent.  In a manner they would have taught their child, was the wrong approach to take, especially with the highly specific message above regarding reading the entry.

I agree wholeheartedly with what is said in the post.  I cannot imagine having any friends who would disagree with that post.  Another friend has also felt the fall-out from recommending her friends read it.  That fallout is beyond my ability to comprehend either, from the very people who should have been true, staunch, have your back whatever may happen, friends.  Their response is also incredibly unseemly and very, very sad.  

To those who are reading this, each of us in our own ways and based on our own truth, are talking about things that matter.  If we weren’t, we wouldn’t being doing this.  I only wish I had the ability to write a letter, like this letter.  Please read this.  It really says it all, and no one should feel defensive, or threatened by it, because there is no intent to inflame, only to provide her truth in as gentle a manner as possible.  If you do become defensive reading it, then you need to look deep inside yourself to understand why.


Posted by on December 11, 2011 in Adoption, adoptive parents, Ethics


Tags: , , , , , ,

15 responses to “I Agree…

  1. Rebecca Hawkes

    December 11, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I just read the original letter. Beautiful! I’m an adoptee and adoptive mom, and it spoke to me on so many levels. Also, Lillie’s final comments hit the nail on the head for me, too. “It’s the losses that I CAN’T grieve, at least not openly, that really inhibit my ability to heal. And therein lies the difference…adoptees are not allowed to grieve their original losses.” This was such a crucial piece of my own healing around adoption loss — finally allowing myself to grieve — and I just wrote on my own blog about the importance of allowing my daughter space to grieve. Thank you for posting this response. I follow iAdoptee but somehow missed the original post. I’m so glad I read it.


  2. The adopted ones

    December 11, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Thanks Rebecca, because I honestly could not understand the responses. I read it again this morning with fresh eyes and still failed to see what triggered some. Thanks for commenting.


  3. Dannie

    December 12, 2011 at 7:29 am

    I thought the letter was well written. I don’t know what some of the comments were about though. Nasty defensiveness in some.


  4. shadowtheadoptee

    December 12, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I agree too. How many times, and how many different ways, do we have to say it, or can we say it, before people get it?

    I wonder if people realize just how much their comments really reveal about them, and their own issues?


  5. momsomniac

    December 12, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    I didn’t get very far in the comments; it seemed to me that some parents got caught up in the details and missed the point. And of course, in some comments, there was a good bit of non-adoptive priviledge speaking. Priviledge can very such a tough & touchy thing to see when it’s one’s own….I guess. I don’t get it, but I see it quite a bit in SO many realms. Obviously, many people fail to realize that those of us who were NOT adopted DO have “priviledge” in this arena (I am using the word priviledge here as it is used in the terms “white/male/Christian/hetero-normative priviledge”).

    While I don’t agree that there is *nothing* to be joyful about when you bring a child (any child) home, that doesn’t negate the overall point that TRAGEDY was involved when that home-coming involves adoption and that the tragedy should NOT be ignored. Nor does it negate the overall point that many adoptions are unneccesary.

    While my (adopted) husband (aka Mr. Coffee) would disagree with some of the points in the letter, he would NOT disagree with the overall points: that adoption starts with tragedy and that many birth-parents can and should GET TO parent their babies – and that poverty and/or youth should NOT be considered direct paths to surrendering one’s child for adoption.

    While I understand our transition period with son 2, C, isn’t what ALL adoptive parents experience, I have ALSO learned that it is not uncommon either. So – how could one stay in denial? He let us know in every way possible that he was NOT joyful about coming to live with us and that he was feeling the loss of his foster family keenly. He was only 11 months old and we KNEW how he felt. My Lord, how I cried during that time – not for me, but for him. He is doing well now, but it’s amazing to me how many people say to me “Well, he’s FINE now. He’s OVER it.” I’ll say “He’s doing GREAT, but he may *never* be OVER it.” As his parents, we’ll try to help him navigate a healthy way to deal with these emotions, but we’d be making a mistake if we expected them to just go away.

    Two things make it very raw and very obvious to me:
    Sometimes Mr. Coffee CANNOT be the person to deal with the difficult expressions of C’s emotions – it is too personal to him.
    And having C’s birth story – well, I *really* empathize with his birth mother. Her story is complicated and so easily could have been mine.

    Some things we have to navigate a bit differently than we might if we only had one child or only had adopted children, but the one thing I can never ever deny learning from Mr. Coffee and my little C:
    Just like with ANY OTHER underpriviledged/marginalized group, there are shared experiences, but there is no HIVE MIND. Just LISTEN to the person in front of you and let them tell you what they are feeling. And don’t you dare tell them that they are wrong. That doesn’t make you right. It makes you an ass.


  6. dpen

    December 12, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    Mom, thats what i was trying to tell them…just SHUT UP AND LISTEN!! But no, they have to interject there own stuff to protect themselves.

    In terms of your son being OVER it, ask those same peole if a baby that has lost a mother or father to cancer, childbirth, or accident if they EVER get over it. No, they learn to cope, they learn to cope with family support, they are allowed to grieve it…adoptees are not.


    • momsomniac

      December 12, 2011 at 11:01 pm

      Hi dpen – I always tells them that even if he cannot access it in VERBAL memory, it is there. Depending on who it is and how adamant they are, I may also tell them that my husband was adopted when he was only 6 weeks old and he does not think you ever “get over” it. And Son 2 was eleven months old, so…yeh….

      I am grateful that I get to be “Mommy” to my 3 of my boys; I do NOT expect ANY of them to be grateful to ME. Seriously…I am the PARENT; I am the one who get to have unconditional, infinite love in my heart. They gave me that.

      I am sorry that people were insensitive to what you shared. I do not think these are usually the same people who are insensitive to racial or sexist commentary, but I could be wrong. One of my sons is technically an LP (Little Person) and some people seem to think it’s hilarious to be insensitive to that. I don’t know what to say about such folks. The hardest part in sharing the things you did as an adoptee, I would think, is that the insensitivity so often comes from people like me – adoptive parents.


  7. Jennifer

    December 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Wow. I am an AP and I found nothing to disagree with in the letter. It was not offensive in any way. I am sad that Lillie felt the need to defend herself so vigorously in her last comment. IMO she did not need to do that.

    I can’t say I liked being called an “adoptoraptor” in the comments section but that has nothing to do with Lillie’s letter either. Too bad many of the commenters did not understand.


    • The adopted ones

      December 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      Welcome Jennifer,

      Sadly this happens far too often when an adoptee speaks. The reason why I needed to talk about it. Such a non-inflamatory post sparked a furor that was so over the top. The only reason I can find for it is the assumed power structure of AP above Adoptee and don’t you dare say anything I may feel is not acceptable.


      • The adopted ones

        December 16, 2011 at 7:24 pm

        Jennifer – I just went and read Lillies last comment and sadly after being challenged the adoptee feels the need to quantify their experience. Sad but again reality in this world.

        P.s. I think the title “adoptoraptors” is only applied to a few very poor parents, so I would not lump yourself in. I would bet you will come across at some point one who actually fits the description.


  8. 曉安

    December 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    I just read that post. I thought it was a fantastic letter, well written and well thought out. I couldn’t get far into the comments; once I saw the negative ones I had to stop reading.

    “I don’t think there’s a soul alive who would actually choose to be born into a situation where being relinquished for adoption, voluntarily or otherwise, was necessary.” I have never thought about it from this angle, but it is a good point and I completely agree.


    • The adopted ones

      December 16, 2011 at 7:25 pm

      Hey – I have missed your comments! Yes, it is a really good point when you stop and think about it.


  9. Jennifer

    December 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Unfortunately I have met adoptoraptors….. There is a divide in the AP world believe it or not and its a pretty deep divide. Some support UNICEF, some do not. Some want to be informed and understand that there are problems with adoption that need to be addressed, some do not. You get the idea. I’ve actually become much more informed since I originally adopted and some of the folks I considered friends at that time – have become, less palatable….


    • The adopted ones

      December 16, 2011 at 8:41 pm

      Jennifer – I think it is quite common to not understand all that is adoption until you have been through the process. Some are given a hard time for already adopting before they get the entire picture, which I think is unfair as it would be a hard process to even know where to begin learning and who to believe. Yes, those who bury their heads in the sand can be hard to deal with but there is always hope that with reality comes realization. Nothing is all bad or all good.

      I agree there is a very wide line between AP’s.


  10. Jennifer

    December 19, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    “Some are given a hard time for already adopting before they get the entire picture, which I think is unfair as it would be a hard process to even know where to begin learning and who to believe.”

    Thank you so much for saying this.



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