Assembling Self

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Judging Adoptees

Recently I was judged and attacked by another adoptee (more than one actually) over my lack of understanding about the positive side of adoption.  I guess my views are warped to them and if I would only be around "happy adoptees" I would get a different side of adoption.  I was accused of "coming after" said happy adoptee.

If you knew me in the "real" world I'm the office clown, the loyal friend, the nonjudgemental shoulder to lean on and confide in.  But, I would never "go after" anyone and anyone who really "knows" me "knows" that.  I stand up for myself and my experience.  I will debate I don't deny that.  I do get out my adoption soap box often and educate when and where I can.  I am proud to have made many many people rethink their views of adoption and what it really means to those it affects.  I have, and continue to work in adoption reform with adoptees who are happy with their adoptive families.  You can be happy with your adoptive family but NOT agree with the way the system of adoption functions.  AND as I state over and over and over again I am GLAD for them, and I don't deny and dispute their feelings and emotions.  I would never want anyone or any child to have to endure what so many of us "unhappy" adoptees have.  It's why I work as hard as I can, when I can, for the much needed overhaul to adoption.

I am used to being judged but not usually by other adoptees.  Most "get it" or at least can empathize some.  Adoption may define much of my life but it does not define ME in totality.  You do not know "me" so do not label and condemn my life choice in expressing how I feel on an adoptee SUPPORT group.  Do NOT access my mental health state with your amateur diagnosis and skills.  Do NOT leave hate mail in my inbox.  And seriously, if you don't like what you are hearing and don't agree then simply state your peace and leave!

I don't go to pro-adoption sites.  I don't agree with what is being said and will never support the system of adoption as it functions with closed records and huge profits.  SO I don't join in on discussions which want to make me pull my hair out and bang my head against the wall.  See, I'm old and wise like that.

Sometimes I think these "happy" adoptees doth protest too much.  Why do they have such a huge problem with those of us who have had terrible experiences with adoption?  I think it threatens them and makes them question their own lives as adoptees.  But, that is my personal opinion and I don't claim to be a counselor or therapist.

There are not many places in the world us adoptees have to feel safe to discuss our adoption experiences.  Many of us simply do not allow anyone to see how adoption affects us because we are all too familiar with the judgement, criticism, and the never ending advice we get from those who have no idea what they are talking about.  Adoption is not something you "get over".  Adoption is not a one time transaction it is a life time event.  If only these self proclaimed "happy" adoptees would instead place their time and energy into helping change the system of adoption and open records we wouldn't have the need for search and support groups.  If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem.  'Nuff said.

5 comments:

  1. Karen what these critical adoptees do not seem to realise is that you can be a happy adoptee for 60+ years like I was and then see the light. Just as victims of abuse take time to process their experiences and speak out, so it is for adoptees.Some never do.The one things we all have in common is the loss of our mother, father and family.No-one despite what some 'experts' tell us can remain unaffected by that.
    Adoption if for life and it has stages, you can't see the last stage until you get there!
    Take care, have a good week! x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Von you always have such excellent insightful comments. I look forward to them always. :) At least now I am self aware and I wouldn't go back for anything. You have a great week too...hope to see you in San Antonio?? :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Love reading this post because of getting irritating comments from someone who called herself "joyful adoptee" at firstmotherforum.

    I come at this from the perspective of a first mom who has done a lot of reading and talked to a lot of adoptees, and know the emotions of being adopted come in all shades of gray. But what belies the true feelings is that adoptees who claim they are so "joyful" they were adopted--and btw thank god they were rescued from the awful women who bore them--is that they typically protest too much, just as you said.

    Thanks again for such a reasonable post today. Now I better go write a new post myself!
    lorraine from First Mother Forum

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks again Lorraine. I have called some of these adoptees "Stepford Adoptees". And, I hate labeling anyone because I don't want to be labeled either as angry, bitter, and ungrateful. But really, if you acknowledge the issues adoption brings to your life table it doesn't mean the end of the world. Sometimes, it can prepare a path to a better one. Self discovery is a never ending process in life and as adoptees I think so many of us are finally emerging from the cacoon and preparing our wings not only for flight, but to carry others with us as well.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautifully said, Karen. We can all have our experiences and support one another, not judge. It's so painful to be told that if only we tried harder, we'd be happy. We do try!

    You are a kind and generous person. I stand with you all the way.

    ReplyDelete