Adoption: Abide or die.

Over the years I’ve received much in the way of hateful missives, personal attacks, threats, libelous statements, etc. Some I reply to, some I ignore, some I seek legal counsel concerning.

After a recent uptick in such communication, I realized something about the nature and sublimated message of them, which perhaps serves as a “message” to other adoptees who might likewise stand up for their rights: “Abide or die”.

It is interesting that most of the messages focus on ingratitude. They assume a rupture with my adoptive parents. They express “good riddance” that I’ve returned, rematriated.

And so a few things become clear: “Salvation” comes with the expectation that it will not be critiqued. Our “rescue” obviates calling into question the motive of our “rescuers”.

I’m stating the obvious, I know. We’ve discussed it at great length, and obviously without reaching the audience that most needs to hear and understand.

But I’m disturbed by the “abide” side of the above-stated binary. Meaning, even when we do “abide” by the rules of the “salvational”, we are slowly killed by the experience all the same, and this whether we acknowledge it or not.

I’m especially struck by the assumption that by virtue of critiquing adoption, or rematriating, or converting religions, or what have you, that we are obligatorily ruptured from our adoptive parents.

This starts to smack of exile, excommunication, scarlet letters, witch hunts. What’s left: Stoning? Burning at the stake?

How can we actively disengage from such a Calvinist enterprise? From such a Victorian condemnation?

5 thoughts on “Adoption: Abide or die.

  1. I could not agree more. I too have personal experience of this both from a member(s) of the family that adopted me and also from some transracial adoptees. The latter stemming I believe from deep rooted insecurities as a result of being transracially adopted. My life all that I have managed to achieve of note has been through my own personal efforts and has nothing to do with the family that adopted me. Yes I readily accept that had I not been adopted I probably, no most definitely wouldn’t be here doing what I do. I would more than likely have died in the orphanage that I was taken to. But that is no reason to hold me to ransom. For that’s what it amounts to. Like charity, we will give you this – but only if you give us back, this. That’s not charity, that’s not unconditional help and philanthropy. That’s giving in order to gain.
    The thing is until the overall percepts of adoption change, until the position of white/western privilege, dominance and the almost default assumption of entitlement to have a child , any child that they wish this subversion, perversion of what adoption is will, in my opinion continue

  2. My computer is in the shop so l’m stuck with a short reply via kindle. I have a 1-word response: Moses. Is there any more ungrateful adoptee than he.? Yet he gets tossed round constantly in Christian adoption theology.

  3. I too thank no one for the things I achieved in my life. I did it all myself. Adoption enables those who want to impose a different life story on small children the opportunity to do so, mostly legally, usually unethically and often at huge expense. We adoptees are expected to be grateful and to continue to be grateful for our whole lives, for something we did not chose and which for many of us, steals our identity, our country, our language and our culture. How can we be ‘ruptured’ from a relationship with our adopters which was never ‘bonded’?

  4. –How can we actively disengage from such a Calvinist enterprise? From such a Victorian condemnation?–

    I think that the structure of the A-word discourse is flawed. There are more than two diametrically opposed “right answers” – there are as many right answers as there are biological parents, A-parents, those who comprise the collective ‘us’, etc.

    Agency is available for the taking – do we, individually or collectively have the “will to power” vis-a-vis internal or external mastery?

    Having been subjected and or exposed to the false ‘truths’ of the A-word, we may, relative to internal mastery, be well suited to remove ourself/selves from the constrictive confines of the predefined parameters of the A-word discourse. In this manner there need not be a rupture; instead, we can choose to walk away from error since no one is owned by anyone else (as in existing as “their child”, A-worded or otherwise).

    Regarding external mastery, approaching the “subject” of the A-word as something other than factual may have great utility. Let us be up front about false premises such as “slut mommies”, and focus instead on “slut daddies”. Similarly, we might drive home the violence surrounding the economic inequity that entitles some to “acquire by purchase” the children of others. Most assuredly, I think, we would do well to disabuse ourselves of the notion that we are in any way to ignorant, misinformed, mistaken, defective or to be pitied in any way for these are certain to be placed in our way as landmines to dissuade us from penetrating the soft underbelly of the beast.

    For so long as one “plays by the rules” and confines them self to the prison of predefined parameters of the A-word discourse, they are certain to maintain or strengthen the A-word institution… If one cares to disengage from a Calvanistic enterprise or Victorian condemnation, consider the source, and then consider whether you wish to “convert” the source or to effect changes regarding circumstances that lead to occurrences of the A-word.

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

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