I’ve struggled lately to put one cohesive theme into a post, anything more than a paragraph just isn’t working, I get off-track like I’ve done in this post, because, somehow, they are all inter-connected. And, I’ve come to the conclusion that even in my writing, I’m struggling with that old familiar feeling that waits in the shadow to pounce in a moment of weakness, or when you let your guard down for a minute, fear. Read the rest of this entry »
Tag Archives: fear
This is a completely different type of post and how I have written it, is based both on what I have read that made sense to me from adoptive parents who’ve been in the process a long time, and thoughts from my experience. Hope it gives others reading a few more things to think about.
So-called “adoption positive” language is really just about adoptive parents’ feelings. It has nothing at all to do with adoptees.”
Most strident response to the above comment on a forum I have seen in long time…
Insomnia struck again, so, I just watched the last two episodes of Generation Cryo. I didn’t watch the series, just the last two episodes. What I don’t know, is, if they realize that there could indeed be more than just the 15 who signed up on the donor sibling registry – and whether that was part of the discussion earlier in the series, because realistically, with the number of parents who tell vs don’t tell – the likelihood of more siblings is there, unless, the cryo bank knows those were the only families, and, know they were the only source. Read the rest of this entry »
I really enjoyed this post Free-Falling Into the Baby Rage Zone: Another Adoptee Epiphany by Rebecca at Lost Daughters, reading Christine Murphy’s memoir Taking Down the Wall and being triggered by the words written. Words or feelings that mirror in one way or another – what so many adoptees speak of – feelings of abandonment, betrayal, rejection, rage, anger, loss. It all relates back to the separation of mother and child, and, the belief that mothers are supposed to fight for, and, protect their children whatever the cost. Read the rest of this entry »
In Iceland, everybody is related. Okay, technically everybody everywhere is related, but in Iceland people are way more related than they are in, say, the United States. The population of Iceland today is about 320,000, and, accord to the genealogy website islendingabok.is, the whole population of native Icelanders derives from a single family tree. As the Icelandic news site News of Iceland says, that’s enough people that not everyone knows each other, but few enough to mean that two Icelanders who are dating might actually be cousins.
(go read the entire article)
In all seriousness, I know there isn’t an app for adoptees and donor conceived to know if they are dating one of their close relatives – but tell me it wasn’t one of your fears…
Very short talk compared to the very long title but worth every second…
From the Ted website:
Developmental disorders in children are typically diagnosed by observing behavior, but Aditi Shankardass suggests we should be looking directly at brains. She explains how one EEG technique has revealed mistaken diagnoses and transformed children’s lives.
Aditi Shankardass is pioneering the use of EEG technology to give children with developmental disorders their most accurate diagnosis.
Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
Pioneering online organizer Eli Pariser is the author of “The Filter Bubble,” about how personalized search might be narrowing our worldview.
For the last while I have wanted to talk about “Echo Chambers” in adoption, the different groups, thoughts, attitudes. When Eli Pariser talks about the internet doing that, without us realizing, may actually be part of the reason for it. When I hear someone say they have never heard about an adoptee who doesn’t love all things adoption, I automatically shake my head in amazement, thinking how could you not know adoptees want changes? I see adoptees everywhere – so how come you can’t see them too? You can apply that to every disagreement on adoption, both within positions, and between positions.
I do think it is very easy to self-select and stay within your own comfort zone. There is comfort in being within a group, that while having some minor difference of opinion, generally agrees. It is empowering and necessary to know you aren’t alone in your journey. It is also disempowering if you only converse with others of the same mindset. You aren’t challenged to prove your position, when everyone agrees with you. I fall into that trap of wanting only familiarity, but it also becomes self-limiting.
The bottom line though, if we want to continue to improve ourselves, and particularly how adoption is practiced, we have to talk to those we disagree with, whatever the degree. We have to exchange points of view, and honestly listen, absorb, understand. We need to have the conversations that will initially make everyone’s defenses go up, but eventually they will come back down, and just perhaps, we can all meet on a common middle ground.
The picture below was taken many decades ago when I was only a toddler…I cropped it to only show the pebbles on the beach, each one a different size, shape, color, texture. It reminds me that everyone is different, we have our own thoughts, and feelings, shaped by what we have experienced – but we are all human beings.
I’m willing to listen and try to find the common ground – are you?
This link is so touching and has nothing to do with the post above, but I wanted to share it anyway. I love animals, and believe they make the world a much better place, and while babies are cute whatever species, I tend to migrate to the animals that aren’t the babies….Out with the old…
Lorraine at First Mother Forum has a great post up on semi-open adoptions and the real risk to both parties to adoption. That the risk of semi-open can abruptly be closed due to agency closures. It’s a topic that does not get talked about enough – what happens if an agency closes its doors and the communication between parties is facilitated by the agency only.
Please read the post and then start a conversation within your circle – both sides are affected and at the end of the day the child also loses. The post also highlights how one small agency Abrazio stepped up to the plate to do whatever they could to keep those communications happening when ASA closed the doors in Texas, and has details and quotes from a conversation between Lorraine and that agencies director. Please go read that post now.
Agencies have closed all over the states in the last few years. I can’t find statistics, because like any statistics in adoption, they are limited and scarce. The problem is further complicated by each state licensing adoption agencies – instead of federal. Even the biggest adoption agencies that have been around for decades are in trouble, and just last summer Children’s Home Society and Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota merged. Included in that article is this mention that should make everyone take notice “The merger is among dozens occurring across Minnesota as nonprofits struggle with the economic downturn”.
My hope is that the adoptive parent community starts challenging the industry to set up some protections and rules, and that each parent asks their agency what happens if they close the door. Your child’s records are held there. Agencies have set themselves up as the middle man/conduit and if that is broken, like it has for so many others – how will it affect your child and you.
Did you read Lorraine’s post? I hope so.
For further info on the ASA closure this article may help make you even madder that no thought has been put into safe-guarding all the parties to adoption. Lawsuits claim adoption agency did not intend to deliver.
Update 16 Sep 2012: Amanda at The Declassified Adoptee and Claud at Musings of the Lame have each posted about this situation. Go read these posts to and consider speaking up
I have thought about the “choice” aspect of choosing adoption many times over the years, and wondered about how the current generation of adoptees will feel now or when they grow up. Specifically, about the choice to make an adoption plan, choosing adoption over parenting.
Of course there will be many mothers who didn’t really have a choice. Whether they were coerced by family, or the counselling, or both, or even just complete utter lack of resources. I do believe the lack of resources for mothers in the US vs say Canada shows why mothers may feel they have no choice in the US. In Canada, if you are employed you get a combination of a years maternity leave through unemployment insurance, and you have a job to go back to. Plus many other benefits including a baby bonus (not sure of the correct term), and depending on the province, day-care subsidy. You also have health insurance at little to no cost – depending on the province you live in.
But specifically, those who had choices and yet chose not to parent. Those who could have tried and chose not too. How is that decision going to affect the feelings of worthiness, rejection, abandonment that are real risk factors for adoptees.
I ask this because even though I knew realistically my mother did not have a choice – I still felt rejected, not good enough, that something was flawed in me others could see but I couldn’t. Knowing my mother did not have a choice kept me from being angry at her, or blaming her, despite the feelings I had.
What do you think?
Will it be better or worse if the parents had a real choice to parent?
Will open adoption be enough to overcome that risk for feelings of low self-esteem, rejection, something wrong with me feelings?
If it will be enough, what happens if the adoption closes – either by the mother or father who made the choice, or by the parents who adopted?
I did not write this post to make anyone feel bad – this is about how the adoptee may feel and something I think needs discussing…
I admit I don’t like conflict and prefer to not step out of my comfort zone. Talking about the hard parts of adoption is tough. I go over my words countless times before I hit publish, trying to ensure I don’t paint everyone within a group with the same brush, or come off totally angry. And I am deeply angry at times and have failed more often than I have succeeded, but those successes – in getting people to think and step outside of their comfort zone means I have made a difference, even if it is only one or two people. It means I have done what I set out to do.
I would like you to listen to this TED Talk by “Margaret Heffernan [as she] explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead managers and organizations astray.” It is a very short talk and starts off with a story about the doctor who figured out what was causing so many children to have cancer, she found the answer but it took 25 years of disagreeing with the mainstream medical community to make the change.
“A fantastic model of collaboration: thinking partners who aren’t echo chambers.” (Margaret Heffernan)
To me that is what happens in adoption today. People jump on the bandwagon whether it is the current Christian dogma they listen too, or because of their journey of infertility that leads them to adoption, or other personal reasons. They self-select to only hear those who believe the same thing. They choose to believe the sound-bytes without researching to confirm the reality and truthfulness of the statements. They choose to not hear those who say something isn’t right.
We all have to talk to those we disagree with, and keep talking and thinking critically, to make sure we do better. The current and future generations deserve it.
I try to listen and think hard about what has been said, and search for more information to broaden my mind and understanding – do you?
Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree
Have you ever considered that? That thought runs through my mind each and every time I see an adult adoptee called names and treated badly on any forum, facebook page, or blog. Even those adult adoptees who are using all the required disclaimers and couching all statements with a “I feel” or “some” or “may or may not feel” or “it could make them”…
I started this post after reading a very disappointing exchange on a forum. I first wrote here “Deep breath required because I am angry right now…counting to ten and beyond”. For once, I followed my advice and waited a few days, and yet I still wish to offer some thoughts, or perhaps understanding, on how normal it is to want to make things better.
The topic that got me angry: “it isn’t because you are adopted”
Followed by that being adopted and adoption does not cause any issues or challenges. That people need to stop blaming their problems on adoption and hurting “adoption” and then followed with – that the adoptees speaking had “botched” adoptions.
For those who still believe their parenting and love will ensure a seamless fit into your family, and their child will not grieve the loss of their first family, or have any issues, challenges, or feelings at all on their adoption thoughout their life – have you ever considered how your child will feel when they find out you should have known and been aware to help them? That not only was research and knowledge available, that adult adoptees were willingly on those forums to help you understand? To find just the right words to make the penny drop?
Anyway, how can we ever hope to understand each other when any concerns that are raised by the adoptee who lived the experience, are summarily dismissed, mocked, and are told they are adults and can fix the issues in their life, and are hurting adoption by speaking about it. For shame – how dare you speak about any negative in adoption – adoption is always good and always a positive.
I was your typical adopted person that everyone points to as not having problems. Many, most likely forgot I was adopted – even those who have known me my entire life. Heck – a childhood friend and a cousin adopted their children, because, I showed them that adoption wasn’t scary. The problem is, they never asked me if I had challenges, or concerns about adoption, because they saw me as a typical child, and later, a typical adult – just like they were. Just like everyone else – who may also at the same time, have challenges and issues brought on from something – be it infertility, divorce, victim of a crime, miscarriages, domestic abuse, infant death, abuse as a child, bullying – honestly the list is endless and some people will have multiple impacts – but I would state that the pain someone feels, or the ongoing challenges, and wishing to see change can be directly linked to the cause in each of those challenges.
Sometimes, any of those challenges, issues, and pain can be lifelong, and you still wish to talk about it, push for better understanding – change it for the next generation. I see this in the counterpoint often discussed with adoption – infertility – the need for research, and solutions, and the ongoing pain felt, mom has even talked about it resurfacing now, at her point in life. Do I tell her that her feelings have nothing to do with infertility? Pretty sure it does, she is sad as she would have liked to have had a child with their genes. Do I take offense? Not one bit – because it takes nothing away from me, or my role in the family, rather, it provides me with empathy for her, and those currently going through it. Would I tell mom as an adult she has the ability to fix this issue she has? Of course not! Do I tell her that people going through infertility today don’t face these struggles or pain, because they have new, and improved infertility treatments, so it isn’t like it was when she first went through it? Absolutely not – I am sure that pain is still very much there, and like her, will always be there and come in waves, and perhaps the frustration level they have is more now, because of all the treatments available and hope given by the treatments.
But yet, there are still some that feel that when an adoptee speaks about adoption challenges, and what needs to change, and wants people to understand and do better for the next generation – those challenges cannot be because of being adopted…
Stop and ask yourself of all the different things people are challenged by, you are challenged by – should they (and you) just wipe the slate clean – never speak of it again – allow it to continue as is – without speaking about it to make it better for the future? This lack of willingness, by some, to accept adoption does impact the adoptee in some way, shape, form, or time, in the adoptees life – regardless of the type of adoption, or when it took place, or whether they ever speak about it to you.
Striving to make it better for the next generation is really not something to bitch about, mock, and put the adoptee down.