The urge to get one.

Reading Daniel’s adoptee roundtable question, Un-adoption; anti-adoption; counter-adoption made me think about back when I was looking through my adoption agency’s newsletter, HI families and how I was going to save some poor waif from A child waits like me (who was never a waif).  Well, to be more specific, I wasn’t lobbying for adoption or promoting it or anything – I just felt like part of a system I was compelled to replicate at some point, because I had been told I was saved…

Adoptees, did you also want to *”get one?”  And if so, why, are your views different today, and if so what changed?

*this comes from hearing a white elementary school English teacher in Korea, upon hearing me say I was an adopted Korean squeal about how cute Korean babies were and exclaim, “I just hafta get one!”

4 thoughts on “The urge to get one.

  1. I can’t recall ever wanting to adopt a child. But this goes further and deeper. Because of the trauma of being told “we don’t know where you come from”, I can’t imagine facing a hypothetical child of mine and saying this to them; repeating the injury; passing that down. Now that things are moving in a direction where I might (inch’allah) find family here (that infinitessimal chance of chances) I have started thinking about it again–having children, that is–but I still think the answer is no.

    I was once visiting my orphanage a long time ago, and there was a baby there born to a domestic worker who had been sexually abused by her employer. There was also a Spanish couple there thinking about adopting the child, and the nuns wanted me to talk to them; convince them. I was stunned and horrified a) to see the orphanage personnel “in action” and b) to think that they imagine me only capable of positive feedback concerning the topic at hand.

    The worst thing was that they insinuated that I should consider it if the couple didn’t want the child. I was stupefied; completely stunned and speechless. Since then I am always appalled when people say things to me such as, “You should adopt–you would be a natural”. I find this offensive on many levels. It’s basically demanding of us that we accept our condition, that we justify what was done to us, and that we understand there is no dissent.

    I find it repugnant. It’s like asking a beef cow hanging in a slaughterhouse line to eat a hamburger.

  2. “Since then I am always appalled when people say things to me such as, “You should adopt–you would be a natural”.

    I have to agree with this sentiment (of feeling uncomfortable about being a “natural” at adopting just because one is an adult adoptee).

    I can’t imagine looking at a hypothetical child and trying to beat psychological and emotions issues with plain intellect (your mother loved you so much she gave you up) knowing that it’s not gonna do any good because the child will still *feel* differently.

    Or having the child say “*why* did my mother give me up if she didn’t have the resource?” because then that goes into the grey area of “Why couldn’t I figure out the resources to help my child’s mother.”

    As an adult adoptee I could imagine trying to find the black & white solutions to a child’s questions, but still knowing it could quite possibly never be enough. Can’t place that burden on a child.

  3. Never? Not even as a child?

    I wanted to be a good person, and the ultimate in goodness was to save a child from a terrible fate.

    I know better now, especially after having lived in my birth country, that “terrible fate” is an exaggeration, that “save” is a euphemism, and that the ultimate in “goodness” would be doing something for someone when there is no benefit for oneself, such as preserving family.

    But I was a catalog shopper/dreamer. I gave my dimes to March of dimes. I went to church. I wanted to be a good person. I wanted to save someone AND have them as my very own to hug and squeeze.

    Today I’m disturbed at how I was lead to think. And why was I lead to think this way? Because it validated what my parents did, and because the adoption agencies validated what my parents did in order to get more donations, more recommendations, and possibly get a return customer. That monthly newsletter then glossy magazine and now emails, youtube videos, t.v. advertisements, and touring rock band – it’s effective.

    I think/fear that this is a propagation of thought that is being visited upon all adopted children, and especially those children adopted from marginalized countries where the children “need” to be “saved” from is greater. We were poster children, and then we were assimilated and found our eye on the other side of the lens.

    Adoptive parents, adoptees, can you not see the adoption industry propaganda for what it is???

  4. My sister and I were also used in the propaganda system that the white religious people were ‘saviors’ to the other poor countries. We were lead to believe that the asian birth mothers could not raise their own child and needed the white man to raise the children for them. This was evident to us when we were 6 years old or so. Our white adoptive mother dressed us in rags and made us walk up to the front of the church to pass a note to the Pastor while everyone stared in silent. (One of us had to crawl and the other had to wear my dad’s undershirt as a dress).(The note read that these countries need ‘our’ help to adopt children). I remember questioning why WE had to do this and not my (white) brothers. My mom loved to tell everyone that she adopted us girls…I don’t think their was a day she didn’t share this information! But behind closed doors it was a whole different story…She basically had 2 personalities…one for the church and in front of strangers and the other personality especially for us…..

Adoptees, what do you think? We welcome your replies!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s