Trauma and Reflection

Prior to 2013, I was considered, by some, to be an adoption activist as I wrote and presented about historic trauma, and the role of legislation in determining legitimacy as a family, a person, a representative of an ethnic group. Adoptions were bad, staying within family/community was good. But then a funny thing happened on […]

Why Asian Adoptees Need to Give a Shit about #BlackLivesMatter

I don’t remember the first time someone told me I was White. But I definitely remember the last. It was the summer of my junior year in college and I was a new student orientation leader. My university was diverse but mostly segregated, and this staff was about half White and half Black – plus […]

What is the obverse of “ghost” and “haunting”?

We’ve spoken about ghosts here and there. Lately, with reunion looming, I feel like I am haunting my own life, finding might-have-been footsteps; meeting could-have-been friends and, inch’allah, even family. But the metaphor is bothering me. A ghost is the immaterial which haunts the physical plane of the past, of what was. What is it […]

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” […]

Disabling Petitioner’s Syndrome: Psychological and Structural Aspects

As I plod slowly along on the slow trail of information-gathering to hunt down trails of my possible genetic origins through different genetic testing tools, I sometimes note an obnoxious petitioner’s syndrome that being adopted [1] can engender. Petitioner’s syndrome points psychologically to having to address a greater power for essential information and structurally to […]

What’s in a name? Re-thinking the terms “adoptee” and “adopted”

I was proactive at a very young age. Ok, full disclosure: I am wordy-nerdy. I have been thinking about how we define ourselves as either adopted or as adoptees. Both of these words feel very much about action that happened TO us. One EFL site referred to adjectives ending in ‘ed’ as words that “show […]

Gender issues for rematriating adoptees.

In speaking of “rematriation” as opposed to “repatriation”, we take a different and gendered view of our adoptions and our return [link]. I’d like to expand on this with a notion that I have been painfully aware of these past years as I’ve worked with returned adoptees in Lebanon, male and female. As a male […]

Assimilate or…?

Random snippets behind this post include this quote I came across on Twitter [link]: “Getting rid of your Chineseness by losing your accent, it’s like grinding away your face.” —Richard A Lou, artist; from the book War Baby/Love Child It makes me think of a former and historical/egalitarian “cosmopolitanism” or mixing of cultures in an […]

Breaking open the adoption discussion.

I’m touching back here to a discussion we had about AP entitlement [link], and how our discussions, which we would hope help us “break out” of the status quo discussion of adoption in fact feed back into the “adoption loop” as it were. Recently the reactions to NPR’s mediation of transracial adoption, as well as […]

The empty circle: honoring and validating our complex identities

****This is my first post with TRE and I would like to share my gratitude to Daniel and the other contributors for this space. And for you, readers. I have this memory from 3rd grade. On the surface, it’s a fairly mundane image; I am staring at a piece of paper with a large circle […]