Assembling Self

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's "just" a name

The Sands of Time

Searching through the sands of time examining my past.
Watching life I call my own pass through the hour glass.
So much has been forgotten, so much has been left behind.
So much that has been buried I search for but can not find.
People who have come and gone and those still here today.
Faces I have never seen who long since went away.
Missing names and histories leave only gaping holes.
Oh how I'd love to hear all of those stories left untold.
Each has left their mark upon my soul and memory.
This life that was created, an everlasting legacy.

I was told "it's just a name" by a co-worker last week when discussing names.  These types of comments are made by people who have no idea the very foundation of their lives their names of origin give them.  This is the attitude of many people who are not adopted and don't have their original identities taken from them and sealed by the state. 

A few days later when this co-worker was asked why he went by initials instead of his first name he declared that people shortened his name and he was continually called by a partial of it.  He did not like the "nickname" and wanted to be called by his full first name and since people could not seem to do that, he now was using the initials of his first and middle name.  So, in fact a name DOES actually matter.

Loss in adoption is glossed over by the masses unaffected by it.  What so many take for granted becomes a life long quest to find for those of us it has been taken from.  It does matter, and a hell of a lot to so many of us.

The name I was given when I was adopted, and the family it comes from, does not describe or tell me who I am.  It is not my genetic or historical background.  It belongs to others who want to pin it to me and erase where I came from.

A name is only a name....until you lose it.

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.