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If only the adoption community could get this riled up over something important…

09 Aug

I get that people are upset over the comment by the commentator stating that Simone’s mom and dad might be her mom and dad but they weren’t her parents.  Numerous articles from the media, many threads on FB about it, even a petition to get him fired exists.  Perhaps he has no place being a commentator, I don’t know, don’t particularly care, and I do acknowledge I might be in the minority on this one…

But I do know two things…

One: An ignorant comment isn’t going to: “It threatens the legitimacy of Simone’s own self-identity.”  That statement is the very definition of a hyperbolic statement.  For me, that would not threaten my own self-identity, not at 10 or 50, doubtful it would to other adoptees either.  If you as an adoptive parent can’t grasp the concept that an adoptee actually sees their parents as their parents then you’ve missed the boat, a comment by a random person isn’t going to threaten a life-time of being.

But then Carrie, you doubled down with this statement: “His tweet brings back the pain that adoptees feel every time they are told that their mom and dad are not their real parents.”  Again, I never saw mom and dad as not real parents so a random comment telling me they weren’t real, wouldn’t cause me pain, and I’m sure that somewhere someone said it.  Perhaps mom and dad just did the parenting thing right and all other adoptive parents failed miserably?

Finally Carrie, you don’t get to speak for adoptees, you don’t get to explain how we feel, how fragile our identity as an adoptee is (?), and you certainly don’t get to lump all adoptees into one bucket.  You’re upset, own your anger based on your own adoptive parent feelings, not how you assume all adoptees feel, you don’t get to speak for adoptees on anything, we can speak for ourselves.

Two: If only the adoption community would have gotten this riled up over adoptees without citizenship, I wouldn’t be writing this post because it would be a non-issue years ago, but I’m angry over how many are upset over something so trivial in the grand scheme of things when…

Adoptees without citizenship have been deported…

Adoptive families have been separated by the deportations…

Adoptees without citizenship are being detained pending deportation and will be detained…

Adoptees living in the US afraid to admit they don’t have citizenship…

The adoption community’s representatives in Congress have, by and large, refused to stand up and be counted on fixing the flawed ACA of 2000 every time a fix has been presented over the years, this year’s reaction to the most recent fix is not an exception, rather it’s become the norm.

Where is the anger over lack of action by Congress for something far more serious, far more important to validity of adoption and adoptive families, than a commentator being ignorant about adoption? Where are the calls to your representatives in Congress about this tragic travesty?  Where are your calls to the adoption community to stand up and get this fixed once and for all?  Where is the adoption community’s response?

News article from last year: Bill Would Provide Retroactive Citizenship For All International Adoptees

Recent news article: These Korean Adoptees Grew Up Like Typical American Kids. Then They Learned They Weren’t Citizens.

Way to contact your representative in Congress, takes minutes to voice your support.

The actual bill.

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30 Comments

Posted by on August 9, 2016 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

Tags: , , , ,

30 responses to “If only the adoption community could get this riled up over something important…

  1. Paige Adams Strickland

    August 9, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    The commentator should have kept it simple and said “parents”. He should have kept the focus on Simone’s talents and accomplishments and not who is who on her family tree. Had he done that, there would not be such a fuss. Semantics get us into so much unintended trouble, and there are bigger issues to address, as you say.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. cb

    August 9, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    That article really irritated me. Although she acts as if she is concerned about “Simone’s feelings”, it is really all about her own feelings, as she says here near the end of the article:

    “To every adoptive mother or father out there, you ARE a parent. You are validated. You are real. Your love and devotion and time and sweat and unconditional love make you a parent. Don’t ask Al Trautwig. Go ask the sons and daughters who love you, who call out your name when they are scared or excited or lost or hopeful or sick or joyful.”

    Like you, I always saw mum and dad as just parents and I also never felt upset if anyone did make random comments. If a relationship is built on rock, then it should be able to withstand those little things. When I read things like the above quote, I sometimes wonder if the AP is trying to convince themselves.

    I have to admit that that insecurity is one of the things that surprised me most when I joined my first mixed adoption forum six years ago – I couldn’t understand why people felt so threatened by what other adoptees were doing or felt. Most adoptees on that forum weren’t even discussing their APs, it was often talk about reunion and OBCs. Perhaps that is why they felt threatened, because they felt that the lack of mention meant things no longer being centred around them? I don’t know.

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    • TAO

      August 9, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Yes, to all…

      Like

       
  3. cb

    August 9, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    “Two: If only the adoption community would have gotten this riled up over adoptees without citizenship.”

    Whenever it gets brought up on mixed adoption forums, it tends to get very little attention. Perhaps next time one posts an article about it on a forum, one should ask for people to “Like” it if they agree. Alternatively, one could put the heading as “Tax Credit” and then say “Oh sorry, not really about the tax credit – just wanted to get your attention” lol.

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    • TAO

      August 9, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      That might work – but whether they would actually do something productive – who knows. The apathy surrounding it boggles me, how does this not scream that adoptive families aren’t real families…

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      • beth62

        August 10, 2016 at 5:22 pm

        It screams it to me, it’s all I can hear…… but I am listening for such things, not hiding from it.
        It could be me.
        Not getting a real feeling of family security as an Adoptee with this, nope, not at all.

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    • beth62

      August 10, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      It does look like it needs a better campaign and marketing……
      It’s all about headlines….

      Make Adoption Great Again!!!!! hahaha

      Adopted Children Deported from USA – Thousands More Targeted for Deportation – Nothing Their American Parents Can Do to Save Them!!!!!!

      ugh

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  4. eagoodlife

    August 9, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    Reblogged this on The Life Of Von and commented:
    Adoptees speak for themselves – how long will it take for others to stop telling us how we feel, how to live and what to do? For those in America who feel strongly about adoption there are plenty of major tasks long overdue that need working on.

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  5. c

    August 10, 2016 at 12:51 am

    He has now apologised:

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-88066504/

    ““When I was younger, I was adopted by my grandparents, which are now my parents,” Biles told USA Today in December. “I call them Mom and Dad.”

    That’s not what gymnastics announcer Al Trautwig called them during the NBC’s Olympic broadcast on Sunday night.

    After the network aired a segment about Biles’ family that referred to Ron and Nellie as the three-time defending all-around world champion’s mother and father, Trautwig told viewers that Simone “was raised by her grandfather and his wife and she calls them mom and dad.”

    When someone corrected him on Twitter, Trautwig made matters worse by responding, “They may be mom and dad but they are NOT her parents.”

    That tweet has since been deleted from Trautwig’s account but lives on via screensaves.

    The Associated Press said NBC ordered Trautwig to apologize. He issued a statement Monday:

    “I regret that I wasn’t more clear in my wording on the air,” he stated. “I compounded the error on Twitter, which I quickly corrected. To set the record straight, Ron and Nellie are Simone’s parents.”

    My take on the actual above is that the first comment was mainly a comment on the family dynamics, not necessarily that bad in itself. I do agree that his reply was thoughtless because he was defining Simone’s relationships FOR her.

    I want to make it clear that my issue with Carrie’s article is that she took the issue away from being centred around Simone and instead centred it around herself.

    In the end, it is ABOUT SIMONE. Any apology by Al Trautwig should be to SIMONE. He was wrong to define Simone’s relationships for her.

    Btw here is an article that gives more insight re Simone and her family (all of them):

    https://theundefeated.com/features/the-difficulty-of-being-simone-biles/

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  6. cb

    August 10, 2016 at 1:26 am

    I note that the commentator has apologised.

    http://touch.latimes.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-88066504/

    Look, I did think his comment was thoughtless because it defined Simone’s relationship for her. It was not up to him to tell her who her parents were.

    However, as evidenced by the above article, the focus seems to have been taken away from Simone. The whole issue has become centred around APs rather than the right of an adoptee to decide who their parents are.

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    • cb

      August 10, 2016 at 1:27 am

      Sorry about the double post, I thought my original comment hadn’t come through!!!!!!!

      Like

       
  7. beth62

    August 10, 2016 at 4:47 pm

    It does boggle the mind. It doesn’t seem to be newsworthy either.
    But saying an adopted parent might not be “real” in some way seems to be VERY newsworthy, and important enough to talk about, at length.
    Priorities…..

    Liked by 2 people

     
    • TAO

      August 10, 2016 at 5:12 pm

      *I am not saying all adoptive parents – insert that in the comment so you don’t get offended*

      Beth – thinking about it this morning, and you know what angers me the most? The adoption community’s response obliterated HER moment to shine. If that isn’t indicative of fragility I don’t know what is. An adoptee competing at the top of the top events…and the adoptive parent community is concerned that they weren’t seen as real, not about rallying around her, promoting her, celebrating her, they had their feelings hurt and deserved an apology….listen to them roar.

      Why I was so pissed off – it doesn’t matter what the subject – adoptee winning gold, adoptee being deported – it gets centered back to them, for adoptees deported – I made sure my adoptees had citizenship…unless it is AP to AP – one for all and all for one does not exist in adoption.

      Have been disappointed lately…

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      • beth62

        August 10, 2016 at 5:39 pm

        Very disappointed, so many media opportunities to mention very important things for and about Adopted people.

        Did LeeAnn Toomey, Blindside, legally adopt or not?
        I saw her on some entertainment news show, she talked as if, but never said the word…. I don’t know of course, for certain, but have always heard guardianship.
        and then the Adult Adoptee on the same show referred to herself as an Adopted Child…..
        Arrgg

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        • TAO

          August 10, 2016 at 6:02 pm

          I did a post on fact checking Famous Adoptees Lists as to whether they were actual adoptees…he was #23 on that list. I took the info from: http://www.biography.com/people/michael-oher-547478

          “23. Michael Oher: Not adopted but guardianship at age 17. His foster parents who he went to live with (parents of a schoolmate) when he was 16, became his guardians when he was 17. The majority of his life when not with his mother was spent bouncing from foster home to foster home (11 different schools in nine years).”

          And you’ve shown yet another perfect example of centering on the AP’s – NO celebrating the fact that he survived and was still in school at 16…no, it was all because he was adopted (false). The biggest clue that he wasn’t adopted is because he’s an Oher…

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          • beth62

            August 10, 2016 at 6:51 pm

            It sent this message to me more than anything…… can’t do much with out money/rich people.
            Good thing he won the, possible temporary, lottery.
            Some of us know all too well how “real” can quickly disappear when it comes time to split up any inheritances from the family…

            Liked by 1 person

             
            • TAO

              August 10, 2016 at 6:56 pm

              yeah – money seems to bring out the worst in some.

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      • beth62

        August 10, 2016 at 5:50 pm

        I get it LOL
        To me the things said made it feel like we should give her parents/grandparents the medal. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

         
  8. beth62

    August 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    It irked me that another amazing person, who is Adopted, was being used to make Adoption look good to begin with.
    I guess they use whatever they can to get us to connect…. or feel sorry for, or cheer for each Olimpian

    Liked by 1 person

     
  9. beth62

    August 10, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Once again, no one listens to the Adopted One. She said everything that needed to be said about her parents. Did not need backup from any one else’s parents.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  10. TAO

    August 10, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    This explains how adoptees post CCA 2000 can still be at risk – depends on the visa.
    https://www.adoptioncouncil.org/images/stories/documents/adoptee%20citizenship%20factsheet.pdf

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  11. Tiffany

    August 11, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    I actually posted about this on my Facebook, after seeing numerous friends posting it, and this is what I said:

    It’s easy to say “adoption made them her parents” in response to this announcer’s unacceptable tweet. That’s not it. That isn’t the issue, and it also may not be a universally true statement for every adoptee. What angers me is how Simone Biles, the actual adoptee being talked about, is being ignored and a commenter is deciding FOR her who her parents are or are not. This is not his decision, and it’s a classic example of how adoptees are treated as eternal children where even complete strangers are able to decide for them how they will define the adoptees relationships. Simone calls them mom and dad. Therefore, they are her mom and dad. Period. Not up for discussion. (As a point of note, I would be defending her just as passionately if she said that adoption does not make them her mom and dad, and that she calls them grandparents. Adoptee gets to decide. Always.)

    When a friend posted that she wondered why they even brought it up, I said this: They love these “feel good” back stories though. It can get annoying and frustrating. To me, it decreases the value of the athlete and tries to package their entire life experiences into a two minute sound bite.

    And finally, when someone mentioned the commentator had apologized, I said this:

    I did see that. What I didn’t see was an understanding of why what he did was wrong. It was more anger from people that her adoptive parents are her “real parents.” That isn’t it. It’s that Simone, the adoptee, is in charge of the narrative of her life. She defines her relationships. If she called them “grandma and grandpa” (not sure as I know the woman is a step, but just saying) and stated that her mom is her mom, that should be equally respected. That’s not what I was reading from anyone. What I read everywhere was that adoption makes a family, and that her adoptive parents are her real parents. Simone gets to decide that for herself- no one else gets a vote. And once she states it (she calls them mom and dad) then that should be respected. I’m glad he apologized, but I think the vast majority of people didn’t get what the real issue is.

    Sorry for the copy-paste, but it gets at what I’m still feeling about all this. Frustration with as you say, the fragility of adoptive parents, and anger at taking over the adoptees narrative of her own life. None of this should have ever been an issue. Her adoption is not really that related to her journey to the Olympics, and it absolutely shouldn’t have become the focus. She’s an amazing athlete. Period.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • TAO

      August 11, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      Agree with everything you’ve said Tiffany. I’m trying to write a post on the ‘real’ issue – I’m sure it will go over ‘real’ well – but I’m saying my piece about this one more time.

      You go girl…

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  12. L4R

    August 11, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I think the commentator went beyond ignorance when he doubled down. If he had just made the initial comment and then retracted it, okay.

    But, he didn’t. He stuck with his “rightness” and told people on Twitter that Simone’s mother and father aren’t her parents.

    I honestly can see why that would bother a lot of people. This wasn’t just an innocent comment. I’ve heard the term “real” many times. Sometimes I choose to educate people. Sometimes I don’t. No big deal. I understand those speakers mean no harm. But, A.T.? There did seem to be an agenda there. He just had to stress his point. That’s where he crossed the line.

    But, yes, I think the protesters should stop protesting on Simone’s behalf. It seems a bit disingenuous. They probably aren’t worried about Simone’s feelings as much as their own.

    I don’t see how this uproar has dampened Simone’s moment in any way. She’s a winner. The best I’ve ever seen and may ever see. I don’t think Simone is thin skinned. I think this is just a gnat to her, and he’ll brush it aside and glory in her success.

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    • TAO

      August 11, 2016 at 7:24 pm

      I’m sure it bothered lots of people – I didn’t see it. I’ve only witnessed the aftermath from the voices in adoption. “He owes every adoptive parent an apology” kind of stuff. He owes Simone an apology, not anyone else.

      I think the reaction removed the focus from her greatness in the adoption community. Instead of one of our own – lets cheer her on (and lots of other adoptees in the Olympics), it turned into this, the real thing, and more of the usual rhetoric that circles in adoption, like Michael Oher story – they succeeded only because of adoption, denying the hard work, grit, determination, personality and natural talent that plays a huge role in achieving great success in your chosen field. She’s a champion and you have to have that drive inside to get there, plus the opportunity to show it but that is secondary to what’s inside.

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      • L4R

        August 11, 2016 at 8:00 pm

        Okay, but that issue was present before the the whole A.T. commentary…. The powers that be always try to find a hook to reel us into caring about the athletes. The hook can be anything (e.g., being a cancer survivor, car accident victim, having a death in the family.)

        For Simone, they’ve chosen to use the adoptee hook. Born to a drug-and-alcohol-addicted mother, put in foster care, and eventually saved by her grandfather turned father. That story arc was there well before all of this.

        Yes, I’m sure her story will be used to promote the goodness of adoption. But, the truth is that for any of us adoptees who succeed, whether it’s voiced or not, there is the omnipresent belief that we wouldn’t be where we are without adoption. This isn’t unique to Simone.

        I don’t think opportunity is secondary to what’s inside. I think they are equal. As a child, I knew I was gifted athletically. But, my parents didn’t see it nor did they provide many opportunities for me to work on or improve my talents. All those internal traits should not be discounted, and they should be celebrated and given proper respect. But, without opportunity, many athletes, musicians, lawyers, doctors, etc., would not be in their chosen fields.

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        • TAO

          August 11, 2016 at 8:08 pm

          You are correct – she probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to even take gymnastics. I just get tired of the only because…give it equal standing, just don’t make it the only.

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        • cb

          August 11, 2016 at 9:54 pm

          “Yes, I’m sure her story will be used to promote the goodness of adoption. But, the truth is that for any of us adoptees who succeed, whether it’s voiced or not, there is the omnipresent belief that we wouldn’t be where we are without adoption. This isn’t unique to Simone.”

          That is true. The way some articles are written, they come across as sounding as if many adoptees would have been “nothing” without adoption. These stories are invariable written to “promote” adoption and the adoptee ends up taking the “back seat” in an article written about them.

          Again that is also part of the mixed messages adoptees receive – APs say that their children aren’t “defined by their adoption” but then often *like* articles which talk about adoptees in such a away that makes it sound as if their adoption was the cause of the adoptee’s greatness.

          That’s not to say that I can’t acknowledge that specific people or families may have provided specific opportunities that lead them to a particular future and that things may not have happened the particular way they did if it hadn’t been for particular acts happening in the past which, for some people, may mean that being adopted into their particular family provided particular opportunities. However, that doesn’t mean adoption made the person they were today.

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          • cb

            August 11, 2016 at 10:01 pm

            “You are correct – she probably wouldn’t have had the opportunity to even take gymnastics. I just get tired of the only because…give it equal standing, just don’t make it the only.”

            This isn’t related to Simone but more the talk about how “adoption provides opportunities” (one popular DIA adoption agency uses the hook “adoption=opportunity”. When one thinks about it, if people are relinquishing their children to given them “more opportunities”, isn’t it sad that they feel that the only way that opportunities will come for their children is if they relinquish them to others with “more”? I would much prefer putting resources that provide opportunities for children INTO communities rather having children REMOVED FROM communities in order for them to have opportunities.

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  13. L4R

    August 11, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    There is a reason that even in the U.S.A most of us stay in our socioeconomic lanes for our lifetimes.

    Liked by 1 person

     

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