April | 2011 | A portrait of one Korean Adoptee–Kim Yunmi Dot Com

Archive for April, 2011

3 Year Campaign Results in the 1st Group of Overseas Korean Adoptees Restoring Citizenship


I feel proud that I contributed to this effort, even in a small way. Also, I tried to help with getting Adoptive parent support. So I’m happy about that too. And I’m happy for the adoptees that got the citizenship and will continue to in the future.

Where are the Happy Adoptees?

I’m sure the other adoptees will chime in but I will say this up front: Try not to categorize a human experience into angry or happy. That’s something that this industry tries to sell to you and is so dismissive of what it means to be an adoptee let alone a human being.

I’ll go into the range of adoptees that people seem to expect.

At one end there are adoptees that are angry about everything and have no good relationships with anyone. I have heard this as a rumored being, but honestly, I haven’t met one adoptee at this extreme. Usually this is the accusation that frightened APs/PAPs throw at an adoptee in order to not be able to listen to them. This especially comes up when the adoptee says that they want to end adoption. I have yet to find an adoptee that was never happy about anything.

Above that are the adoptees that have broken relationships with their parents and are angry about it–but here you should ask why and analyze–only if the adoptee is willing to divulge it. Is it really about adoption? Or did adoption exacerbate an existing condition?

Then you have the adoptees that survived a horrible childhood overall. There are adoptees that don’t get to have good parents who are sensitive to their needs–the adoption agencies simply didn’t care enough to place them with the proper family. This is often the case with the 1950′s crowd. But survived doesn’t mean angry– think about that too. Did they get past that incredible hurt? How did they get back from it?

Then you have the mixed bag–by far this is where you will get the majority of adoptees. There are issues that a lot of adoptees share views on.

Then you have the “level up” where the adoptee hasn’t explored what it means to be adopted. Some adoptive parents prefer this. (Personally, I think this is unhealthy–it often leads to a severe backlash for the older adoptee. Adoption is for life.)

Then you have the adoptee that managed to conquer it all and had good reunion, home life, etc. Frankly, many of these adoptees never do the search because they are afraid of the repercussions or are just content. (Not all.)

Then you have the mythical “happy” adoptee, which the nervous PAP defines as the person that got through all of the hurt of adoption, learned the language, stayed in their home country, assimilated into both countries with equal force where the adoptive parent didn’t have to learn anything (in some cases this is the belief) and healed by adopting a child of their own, so are now allowed to talk about adoption and loves adoption to death and doesn’t think it has any problems. (But they still get to be infantilized.) I haven’t met an adoptee like this anywhere.

You, of course, have the gray areas in between, but this is the general range that is viewed by the starter. The truth runs deeper than this. Life is messy! Life is never 100% happy or sad or angry! Adoption becomes part of the adoptee’s every day life especially when they are called out for not looking like their family, for their race, and being tugged into a million directions.

Adoption leaks into every corner of life, so when it mixes with issues it can make them seem bigger or even smaller. It depends.

Mostly what I’ve learned from talking to this group for a number of years is that you have to communicate and try to get rid of labels like “angry adoptee” and “happy adoptee” Life is life… it has its ups and downs, some of it really does suck and you have no control over it, no matter how much you try.

It’s good communication and understanding boundaries that has come up over and over again as the bigger issue. Take cues from your child.

Take it this way–read the accounts where it went wrong and examine what the adoptees wanted out of their adoption. If you look at the last conversation–you’ll see that though two adopted people may have entirely different backgrounds or wants, we wanted pretty much the same thing–communication. Find that common ground.

And be open to whatever opinions your child has. I believe someone said that if their child was against adoption, they’d support them.

You shouldn’t be looking for the rainbows only in adoption. Look at the full range of adoption. Because reality is neither heaven or hell, it’s the in between, it’s the messy. Revel in it. There is much to learn from both.

Worst comes to worst ask an adoptee when confused. There are plenty out there. Ask those you view as angry about other experiences. Ask first before judging so you don’t get it wrong and stereotype before they get to really speak for themselves. There is nothing more infuriating–adopted or not–to have someone draw your opinions for you without really asking.

All Adoptees have attachment disorders?!

I’m watching this and my comments are in this order:

1. Attachment disorders exist. Oooh! Let’s learn more.

2. WTH are they talking about adoptees exclusively having Attachment disorder and talking like it’s all adoptees ever?

3. OK, I get it, it’s the angelic white (US) parents that are rescuing these children that are free of selfishness that don’t have the issues. But maybe they’ll move away from that.

4. Oh, yeah, I forgot most psychological studies done and formed are US and Western White Middle Class based. ’cause you know that a baby’s smile means that baby is attached which is why those scientists must think that Samoan Babies are Fed up. 1

5. The baby’s oxitocin levels are supposed to go up and those white Russian ADOPTED children are the ones messed up here. It’s not the care taker’s faults at all, nope, it’s the children. Let’s sympathize with the perfect adults.

6. Oh man, I got issues from my parents being f-ed up pot smoking hippies that gave more care to smoking a joint than dealing with saaayyy my College education or the emotional rock bottom of breaking up with a boyfriend of 10 years and crawling across the country for help. Yup. Angelic parents that deal with THEIR child’s attachment disorders.

7. WTH are they still concentrating on friggin’ adopted kids as the poster children and not the, you know, caregivers that fed up the children’s heads in the first place that created the situation.

8. Way to go–Adopted Children still made of as experiments and the parents that let their children be that object after the very thing that got them there. Let’s restamp a number on that adopted child and all children like them and put them through another social experiment.

Adoptism sucks.

Let’s get this straight–Not all adopted children have angelic parents. Not all adopted children have sucky parents. Not all adopted Kids have attachment disorders. Some adopted children do. Some children go through such horrid treatment and still come out whole on the other side. Some children are adopted older. Some are adopted younger. Not all adopted children came from Russia. Adoption is forever. There is no ranking to love nor rhyme or reason what makes one individual under the same circumstances work better than another. Not all adoptees are permanently angry 24-7.

And finally, adoptism sucks. Attachment disorders suck. And the white-driven attachment psychology of the West sucks. Eye contact is not everything. 24-7 contact with a child is not everything. What matters is that the child is given the correct tools for the society they live in–and perhaps the disparity can be elsewhere FIRST.


  1. It’s like my rant on ADD. I think one should test the child for boredom–are they falling behind in class, do they need glasses, are they hearing right, are they being bullied are they gifted, are they feeling left out socially, do they have an art talent that our three R system is not honoring? Can they function with this ADD currently and mitigate it in their strengths? Is there diet being regulated for allergies that might cause ADD? After all of that is exhausted, then you choose drugs. Drugs should come last, not first. Drugs is the last line of attack after everything else. Because then you have a list of horrid side effects to deal with. I see attachment disorder in the same way–exhaust everything before you pop drugs or come to the conclusion of such a diagnosis. Labels are hard to get rid of. So you may as well find out if your child has hidden creativity or a social issue before you leap ahead.