I’d like to ask a question here that reflects a concept that has come up from time to time, but as is often the case, it is overshadowed by our focus on race and ethnicity in terms of transracial/transcultural/transnational adoption. That concept is one of the division of class.
I’ve been thinking about it more and more as we’ve been talking about thinks like “karma”, and “luck”, and “doom”; there seems to be a resignation that we are unable to cross the divides that separate us from our various families.
I have to say that a focus on class (as opposed to race in my adoptive context, and opposed to sect in my original/birth context) helps me get my head around divisions in society that are often (I think wrongly) ascribed to these differences in race or sect, for example.
I wonder how far this would take us if we were to truly concentrate on class difference which both explains our adoption in terms of inequality of social groups, as well as our perceived inability to “go home”, or “reunite”, or what have you, due to the “luxury” and “privilege” that our adoption gave us, or to fit in to an adoptive society due to our origins.
I say this just having been given some clues by my orphanage that for now lead me to perhaps the single most densely populated, most marginalized and impoverished square kilometer in all of Lebanon outside of the Palestinian refugee camps. Am I ready for a reunion that might come of this? Hardly. It frightens me to death.
I think of the documentaries I’ve watched about reunion, and the response of adoptees acculturated into a class far afield from their “origins”: Daughter From Da Nang; Children of the Cedars, etc. I watch these and can’t help but be embarrassed for the adoptees herein, as they are evidently startled by the reality of where they likely come from.
And even though I’ve been living most of these past eight years “class-wise” among those similar to those I most likely come from, the idea of reunion is deeply yearned for yet petrifies me at the same time, mostly because it will come perhaps with duties and responsibilities or, as Susan stated in another topic, a lot of grief and tenuous connections.
At the same time I feel more and more the “expulsion” of my adoptive culture, as I visit the States, having brought back with me the “taint” of my new acculturation.
So I’d like to throw this out in the open as another differential to consider. On top of the lines and divisions of race, ethnicity, and culture is that of class. Is it possible to cross this line? Does thinking about it and attempting to cross it bring us anywhere closer to a resolution of our condition?