There are two adoptees who’s writing I follow. Actually, there are a few more as well. But this morning I read from two that I thought enough of to keep open and quote from and link to today.
From Tony Corsentino, a thoughtful essay titled LINK>Unattached. It is so very difficult to express how adoption makes a person feel. I rush in to acknowledge – I am NOT an adoptee – but as the child of two adoptees who are now deceased, such perspectives matter to me. “Different adopted people . . . hold different views about their own adoptions. Some believe they should have not been born, i.e., that their parents should have had the option to terminate their pregnancies or, if they had the option, should have taken it. Others believe that their parents should not have relinquished them—either that they should have had the support necessary to keep their child, or that (assuming they actually did have the necessary support) they should have used it. Still others believe that the people who ultimately, by legal sanction, started calling themselves their parents should never have done so. These are all reasonable views to take, and every adopted person’s life is different. I oppose the dominant idea of adoption without opposing my own adoption.”
Tony goes on to say – “Taking a baby from its parent and legally decreeing that strangers will now be known as “mother” and “father” does not rate any special mention among all the ways reality is constantly going topsy-turvy. It is adoption’s opposition to the truth that I oppose.” He ends with the thought – “as adopted people, we belong to no one.” Wow, somehow that one strikes right into my heart. While I am grateful to be “whole” now in my late 60s (as regards knowing what adoption robbed my parents of in life, and myself – for most of my own life – from knowing), at the end of all that – I feel that way too. In a harsh reality, adoptees belong to no one – but themselves. Now that my parents are both dead and their original and adoptive parents all dead, sigh. I guess, at some point, we all are alone as our own self.
From my friend, Ande Stanley, LINK>Grappling with Guilt. She writes, “After learning in my thirties that i am adopted, the mortal sin of criticizing adoption can be added to my ever expanding list of offenses.” In very real ways, Tony’s and Ande’s perspectives are very similar. She writes, “avoidance is not a realistic option when dealing with adoption trauma.” And I get this part too – it can’t be avoided when – “you live in a culture that glorifies family severance as a moral good. This shit is everywhere.” Ande confesses “I don’t know what the eventual outcome will be related to speaking up the way we have in recent podcasts.” And describes her hopes – “The hope is that people are provoked, yes. Provoked to think, not that this whole Christianity thing should be thrown out, but that the adoption narrative sure as hell should be. Provoked to think that modern therapy needs to address the trauma inherent in adoption in an honest, critical way. Provoked to re-examine beliefs about children as an entitlement and as a commodity to be exchanged.”
I think in highlighting the various stories I come across – here in my own blog – Ande’s hope is my hope too. The rainbows and unicorns adoption narrative SHOULD get thrown out. The reality is complicated and problematic, even when the adoptee accepts their own reality of having been adopted.