Misplaced.

The transracial adoptee who made this comment must have misunderstood the subject matter, as the title was, “Adoptee repatriation: Would you go back?” Because it is typical of attacks adoptees who question and/or don’t 100% agree with the status quo encounter, we thought it would be appropriate to open it up to thorough examination…

Submitted on 2011/09/09 at 3:22 pm by Rachel
This is my first and last time in your blog. I was forwarded this website via an adoptee support group I am part of. I was adopted and am very grateful for the opportunities being adopted has allowed me. It hasn’t always been an easy road but I have a loving and supportive family. It disheartens me to see the negativity on your blog relating to adoption. I was adopted from a third world country with very humble beginnings and deprivation. I carry an attitude of gratitude for the love, support, kindness and educational opportunities I have been granted since being adopted. I have in turn, devoted my life to helping others. I hope that you, Daniel, and other contributors to this blog can find peace with your life and situation. Adoption is not a perfect system, but it has allowed many, adopters and adoptees opportunities to love and be part of a family that may not have happened without adoption. Life is what you make it, and if you are only looking for the negativity in a situation that is all you will find.

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8 thoughts on “Misplaced.

  1. Adoption is not a perfect system and we all have different stories.When we can all appreciate that, not criticise and see the truth of adoption is not the same for all we will have progress.Many of us are survivors, succesful in our lives,active in our communities, but see that adoption harmed us. That is not being negative, it is facing our own truth, our history and being realistic.Life is indeed what you make it and the majority of us are living proof of that.

  2. Apologies dear readers for my coming snarky comments. I rarely ever, ever adopt this tone, but being attacked by fellow adoptees is really the worst, and this is the first time I’ve really addressed one of these attacks.

    This is my first and last time in your blog.

    I can’t decide if I should condemn that statement for its cowardice, or rejoice being spared your voice…

    I was adopted and am very grateful for the opportunities being adopted has allowed me.

    Oh me too! I’m really, truly, grateful for plenty of food and nice clothes and the American education system, a system which encouraged me to think critically about problems and how to solve them. But every. single. opportunity. came at a huge cost because I was different. And nobody in my family had to bear that cost but me. So I don’t OWE anybody gratitude for something that is just part of responsible parenting. I’ve been paying incrementally my entire life.

    It hasn’t always been an easy road but I have a loving and supportive family. It disheartens me to see the negativity on your blog relating to adoption.

    The negativity is usually about flawed systems or people who profit by those systems. Many of us had loving and supportive family (well, most of the time) who also profited by those systems. I think I can characterize all of us as humanists, so your reductionist conclusions are what’s disheartening.

    I was adopted from a third world country with very humble beginnings and deprivation. I carry an attitude of gratitude for the love, support, kindness and educational opportunities I have been granted since being adopted.

    So what you’re saying here sounds like your third world beginnings give you more license to beatify your gratitude. Your parents sure were lucky they got you instead of us losers here. But wait, maybe we would have been more pious if we’d drawn YOUR parents…But wait, what if you’d drawn MY parents? Or one of the parents of the many adoptees who are no longer with us?

    So what you’re saying here sounds like a huge pat on the back to yourself for surviving the best possible scenario, and dismissive about everyone else who hasn’t.

    That’s mighty big of you.

    Oh! I just remembered – we all came from third world countries too.

    I have in turn, devoted my life to helping others.

    That’s exactly what we’re doing here, helping others. So they don’t have to feel bad for having a normal response to an abnormal situation. So they can have some deep exploration of their experience so they can get closer to the resolution that portraying questioning or reasoned criticisms like ours as the work of misfit malcontents or dismissive shaming like yours curtails, silences, diminishes, stomps on adoptee’s spirits and decimates them.

    We actually have a pretty impressive list of contributors here, Rachel. (Oh yeah, I forgot, you’re not here to continue a dialogue…) Many of the contributors here have dedicated their lives to helping adoptees. Many of us volunteer all our free time helping adoptees. We run organizations, write books, run seminars, teach classes, and engage politicians. What are YOU doing to help adoptees? Besides helping divide them? Or trying to shut them up?

    I hope that you, Daniel, and other contributors to this blog can find peace with your life and situation.

    And you’re at an adoptee support group why?

    Adoption is not a perfect system, but it has allowed many, adopters and adoptees opportunities to love and be part of a family that may not have happened without adoption.

    That would not have happened had people really been humanitarians and selfless.

    Life is what you make it, and if you are only looking for the negativity in a situation that is all you will find.

    I agree. A lot of adoptees get stuck in a negative rut. But you also can’t improve things until you recognize what the problems are. There must be balance.

    For me, personally, four years of being stuck in a dark place has helped me explore spaces I’d never acknowledged before. And ONLY through that process am I now free.

    I hope you can feel this kind of peace one day. Maybe then you won’t need a support group anymore.

    • girl4708, completely relate to what you wrote, and especially this:

      “I agree. A lot of adoptees get stuck in a negative rut. But you also can’t improve things until you recognize what the problems are. There must be balance.

      For me, personally, four years of being stuck in a dark place has helped me explore spaces I’d never acknowledged before. And ONLY through that process am I now free.”

    • Regarding girl4708’s reply,

      I completely agree with you. I’ve had a similar argument with a friend who was an adoptee as well, however, she is a white Caucasian girl who is American born and even knows her biological family as well.

      Out of all of my viewers from my “Pathos of Asian Adoptees” blog, I’ve never had any complaints except for my friend’s ignorant comment saying that my blog “turns people off to international adoption”.

      After seeing this comment by Rachel it reminds me of my similar situation of being silenced. Especially the fact that this blog is considered as a support group as well, and the fact that it’s accessible on the internet helps builds bridges to other people as means of helping people understand, learn and build from it.

      Building off from the quote of “being in the dark”, it reminds me of a dialogue from Plato where prisoners were “in the dark” in a cave and one man learned about “truths” when approaching the light. He returned and tried to teach the prisoners about these truths and they revolted by killing him.

      As a side quote, “Truths are never dark, only secrets are because they are suppressed and hidden”.

      I’ve found my peace in many ways by acknowledging these so-called “negatives” (Hey isn’t this what this blog helps do?! – crazy right!?) and find a critical to make it positive.

      Thank you,

      James Beni Wilson

      (Pathos of Asian Adoptees)

  3. @girl4708 – where’s the “like” button on this thing??! i don’t want to be misunderstood and sound like i am belittling your much needed rebuttal by my first comment so i will just finish with the image of loudly clapping hands and say “thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!”

  4. This site is a great place for adoptees to be safe in ‘venting’. Throughout most of our childhood we are told that we must be ‘grateful’ that we were ‘saved’ from growing up in ‘BAD’ places like…… third world country. They like to scare us with a lot of ‘WHAT IF’ scenarios. I know plenty of people who did grow up in third world countries and remember beautiful memories of running through the fruit trees as children, playing games with peers and being brought up in big happy families with lots of love….money cannot buy love and America has proven that! They (or we) are either unhappy or wanting more! It seems like the people who were brought up in third world countries are actually full of gratitude for the ‘small stuff’ more then Americans are. Don’t get me wrong though…I am a happy adoptee! Do you know why? It is from my own two flesh and blood children that I produced! They bring me JOY! HAPPINESS! HOPE! A REASON TO LIVE! A REASON TO CELEBRATE LIFE! My adopted mom did not give me that. She taught me FEAR! She taught me that I was a LIAR, I was a THIEF! I was SNEAKY! I was MANIPULATIVE! and when I was pregnant she said I must give up my child for adoption or else I will be disowned by her. What do you think I did? It’s a no brainer….So that is why I love this place…we can vent the negative in order to appreciate the POSITIVE!

  5. What I like about the responses so far is that they vary from reasoned to emotional to supportive to, well, “snarky”. The reason I like this is that it shows up what we have been saying: no matter what our reply, or indeed how we reply, the judgment has been passed down—hence the “hit and run” comment.

    Of course, it is full of known triggers, and I’m hard pressed to reply to them because I know there is no truly desired discussion to be had here.

    I will say that I resent very much the implication that this is the majority of our lives, or that we have no life other than this, or that we have not in any way “devoted” any aspect of our lives to others. What a heinous, filthy thing to say!

    I will not rise to this, in terms of comparing charitable actions. That is ignoble to even think about. I will, however, dare our commenter to spend one day, if not one minute, with me here in Lebanon. One second even. I dare her.

    Beyond that, I dare her to engage critically, dialectically, refuting in any way on the level the arguments are here presented: In terms of politics, culture, economics, etc.

    Anything else is pure demagoguery.

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