Adoption Communication

19 Feb

I use the Internet a lot. It was my only source of sanity when I was in college–that and anime. It was the only way I could hang onto my identity as an Asian in a lot of ways.

I began to fall into Newsgroups. In some way I wanted to know what people thought of adoption. But the problem was that all I could see was Adoptees angry and Adoptive parents not in touch with adoptees at all.

This frustrated me. Adoptees just talked about their stories of how they were adopted, but not their every day experiences with being an adoptee. They wouldn’t face that they were teased or talkabout the million other issues that come with adoption. They said they were teased and talked in segments about how they were teased, but they didn’t get into how they felt. What they wrote was for other adoptees, not adoptive parents. They talked about the shock of going back to Korea and meeting their birth parents, but then the stories always told about how they broke it off with their adoptive parents or their birth parents without all of the emotion and roller coaster in between. This disconnect left me feeling like I really didn’t belong to this community. Inside of me, I had love for both set of parents. In different ways.

Adoptive parents in the same way didn’t sem to want to face the pain of adoption. I once talked to an adoptive mother about teasing and she acted like her son was ambivalent and it really didn’t matter that he got teased–that a thick skin would help.

The lawyers that posted in the group about how you could get children cheap even if you’re from a low income family resulted in me mailing him repeatedly. He agreed and then posted the same ad. This made me feel really disconnected here as well. I had gone to the trouble of telling him why it was offensive and he ignored me.

I lost faith for a long, long time that I even belonged to this thing called adoption. I had a need to express what I was feeling and the balance I was trying to strike so hard inside of myself. But there were all these holes in the community which didn’t give me hope.

The lack of communication between adoptive parents and adoptees I found scary. What was scarier was that there were no birth parents speaking out at all at the time. This is scary. How are we supposed to improve the adoptions that are happening now if there is no communication? Even if you hate adoption for everything it has done to you, I think we have a responsibility to talk to each other and prevent the hurt to the next generation at the same time as improving practices overall.

And this exact lack of responsibility in the adoption community made my heart ache.

So I began to take this responsibility over years. I began to do it to face my own adoption hurt and also to help adoptive parents understand their children. It took years of practice to get good at it and explain things from my point of view without losing the adoptive parent.

I also every few months search for the birth parent memoir I have always wanted to see. What it is like for a birth parent after the surrender. Not before. A memoir of the full thoughts and pain of the event. It’s not that I would relish in that pain, but I think knowing that there is a voice for birth parents too, helps out. It will help us as a community to unite our voice just that little bit more and accept more points of view.

I can’t say I moved the world, like Jane Jeong Trenka. I could only effect one person at a time, but somehow, I think that is enough. I am not here to change minds. I am here to put my voice out there and answer questions from one adoptees’ point of view.

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Posted in Adoption Philosophy, Adoption Politics


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