A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
Clashing world views and apologia
Soooo. We will get back to mathematics soon, soon!, I promise. This weekend. Yah, you betcha! But after having a dearth of posting ideas, suddenly the world comes crashing in, and I have three posts noodling around in my head (Firestorms in the Blogoverse, related to the way cool concept that Chief Cecilia Fire Thunder, of the Oglala Sioux, proclaimed that she would start a South Dakota abortion clinic on the reservation and sidestep the state laws due to sovereignty; Bemidji, MN, which may be more than a blip on the OmegaFamily front Real Soon Now and is the Curling Capital of the USA; and various commentary on the story linked in the previous post). The third topic is suddenly in the forefront, because I have RSS feeds from a few adult Korean adoptees in my blogroll, and it illustrates that the same statement can be viewed in polarly opposing fashion. A parent in the article said this: "With an African-American child we had no guarantee that the mother or a social worker wouldn't come and take the child away," McKenzie's mother, Maree Forbes, said. "With the children from China, we felt safe that there wouldn't be anyone to come back to get them." The two adult adoptees who commented on this statement say they were filled with rage, that it reflects "white privilege", that it discounts any connection between adoptees and birthparents, and more. Gulp. Look, fellas and gals. That kind of statement isn't white privilege speaking. It's fear, plain, simple, stark, unadorned fear. Fear that you will bring a baby into your house and lose your heart to it, only to have someone yank that baby away from you in the first few months or years. In my Why post, I discuss some of the issues that the Omegas delved into when turning to adoption. That fear of losing your heart to an innocent child, then having to relinquish, is very strong. I don't know about the majority of other adoptive parents out there...there are certainly plenty who actively blank out any thought of the birthparents, who deny any possibility that their children will, at adulthood, seek out the birthparents or feel any connection. But there are plenty who don't feel like that, who realize that there are great losses connected to adoption, that their children are losing any connection with their birth culture (and are, therefore, accused of "doom and gloom" when posting about grief and hard questions from their kiddos on The Big List..."be prepared" equates to "doom and gloom" for a bunch of folks, which is why I am constantly putting in disclaimers about how the Omega Family, at least, isn't constantly marching around with a black cloud over their heads...but I digress). The thing is, these adult adoptees are viewing that comment from a perspective of the adoptive parents thinking they will NEVER have to worry about these things. Adoptive parents, however, are viewing it with the perspective of having a baby yanked from their arms by judicial process. So I'm thrown for a loop. What does one say? Yes. This is a very big reason why many adoptive parents choose China. Because, if a child is in an orphanage, the odds are great that no-one is going to come knocking on your door and demand you rip your heart out. Yes, yes, yes, the children have embedded losses. Yes, yes, yes, they had no say-so in the whole process. Yes, yes, yes, the birthparents are very likely still alive, still thinking of those children with broken hearts. Yes, yes, yes, it's "selfish" of the adoptive parents to barrel on, with those huge aspects in the background--but, goddamn it, no-one tells bioparents that they are "selfish" for having kids. That biological pull to have children in the house is HUGE. Huge, I tell you. You have no idea how strong it is until you are in the process, and suddenly your life is revolving around procreation, and it is at all levels of your consciousness. I'm still processing the thought that simply telling OmegaDotter why we chose China over other possible adoption paths may end up with her throwing "white privilege" in our faces, when we thought we were following the most ethical, clean adoption process we could come up with.
posted by Kate @ 3/24/2006 07:23:00 AM  
  • At 3/24/2006 08:45:00 AM, Blogger Johnny said…

    As many adoptive kids who say their hearts ache to find their birth Mom (hmmm, never a mention of a birth Dad is there), I've seen, read, heard of adoptive kids who say they have absolutely no desire to find their birth parents.

    I take issue with those who believe: "If I ache for this, then ALL must ache for this."

  • At 3/24/2006 09:22:00 AM, Blogger Kate said…

    Yeah, the birthdad gap is very interesting; it tends to be glossed over everywhere. That's one reason why I try to be sure I use "birth family" a lot!

  • At 3/24/2006 05:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It really was a huge factor in our decision to adopt from China...But that being said; we are well aware that it is most definitely a double edged sword.
    Jason Stellasddad

  • At 3/24/2006 07:32:00 PM, Anonymous kate said…

    OM, I've loved knowing you all these years. You've always managed to pull me down off my hot-headed adoptee ledge. You could say I'm a kinder, gentler Bastard these days because of you.

    I don't know about white privilege, but that statement -- always that statement -- it evokes something deep down in me. I'm sitting here trying to figure out why and the only thing I can dredge up at the moment is the reactionary, "Yeah? So? You'd keep me from my biological parents, would you?" There's more to it, of course, although difficult to find the words.

    And. Um. It's not about me.

    I know that it's not a rational reaction, but it's a rather visceral outrage. But, again, the lovely thing about knowing you and other adoptive parents is being able to hear about the "whys".


    Johnny, I'd like to know my biological father, but, well, he wasn't exactly a part of the process. Unnamed, as it were. (Interestingly, I typed "adoptive father" just now. That was quite the slip.)

    I take issue with those who believe that "if I DON'T have curiosity about this, then NO ONE should have curiosity about this". Ah, we are a circular bunch.

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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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