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 […]

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 […]

The Adopted as Hero

In Jung’s Symbols of Transformation, at one point he remarks on the irregular origins of birth for heroes in many sacred traditions: The hero is not born like an ordinary mortal because his birth is rebirth from the mother-wife. That is why the hero so often has two mothers. As Rank has shown with a […]

The Right to Choose, The Right to Choose Adoption

I hope, if proposing this question re-treads material already exhausted previously, that revisiting it has also a quality of refreshing it. But also, to avoid taking up a lot of space with any sort of startled “discovery” of the issue on my part, I intend only to submit it to the collective intelligence of the […]

Countering “No Abortion, Use Adoption”

A friend recently asked me: I was wondering how you would suggest I respond when people trot out the, ‘don’t be selfish just wait 9 months and give your child up for adoption’ BS. Besides the other things I thought to respond with, I also came up with: “Whoa, really? Your solution to the ‘problem’ […]

Children’s books on transracial adoption.

I came across a list of books targeting children as the audience with the subject being transracial adoption [link]. Two questions. Can you now imagine or consider that these might have been helpful/hurtful reading as a child? What books did you turn to (consciously or not-so) to help you deal with your adoption and/or these […]

Xenalgia vs. Nostalgia: a Proposal

Elsewhere, the “dis-ease” of nostalgia has recently been invoked. The medicalisation of this term already raises interesting questions, and its etymology sheds further light on this: 1770, “severe homesickness” (considered as a disease), Modern Latin (cf. French nostalgie, 1802), coined 1668 by Johannes Hofer, as a rendering of German heimweh, from Greek algos “pain, grief, […]

“All Bears Need Love”: anthropomorphism and adoption.

We’ve already discussed food analogies that are used as metaphors for interracial adoption; we’ve discussed how pet adoption is similar to human adoption. Now it’s time to talk about metaphorical comparisons to animals used to “help” the transracially adopted child [link]: Despite the grumblings and protests of the other animals, Baby Brown Bear learns family […]

What does your refound culture say about adoption?

Let’s forget about falafel, and kimchee, and dumplings, etc.; let’s forget about lamps, and dragons, and carpets and I don’t know what else; all the other superficial aspects that the “West” sees as “culture” from abroad. What instead have you learned from the culture of your place of birth that contradicts what we now refer […]

Also known as…

This question is a follow-up to the one asking about the orphanage-bestowed name, and its importance; I’d like to expand on this a little bit if I may. In local culture, the question to ask after someone is min aya bayt?—from which house? In this way a [family] name is closely tied to place, and […]

The oppression of adoption.

I am currently working with a group locally that does research for returning adoptees to Lebanon, similar to such organizations in other source countries. We are going through my collected bogus paperwork, bogus passport, and bogus references and one by one crossing out the information contained in them as being useful or not (mostly not). […]