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Archive for August, 2008

A friend of mine is a domestic adoptee. Of course, she is much more than that to me. It’s something we’ve touched on occasionally in conversation. I don’t ask about it specifically, because it’s none of my business. If she wants to say something she will. And she has. I also don’t want our relationship to be defined by adoption, and mostly I don’t want her to feel defined by adoption either. She has always known about my preferential adopter status, how I do not struggle with infertility, how I feel strongly about adoption reform, how I try give back, and how I navigate the minefield of adoption for my family. She has always been supportive of Squirt’s adoption (at least that is how she made me feel).

A little while ago we had the coolest conversation and it just amazed me how small the internets can be for all their vastness, and how undercurrents of adoption fall-out can run really deep. We got on the subject of blogs, and how mine is mostly about adoption, issues of race in adoption, the joy of adoption, the heartbreak of adoption, with a little miscellaneous mixed in.  She asked if I read blogs of adult adoptees, or first mothers, or other adoptive families. Yes, yes and YES!

She told me about Harlow’s Monkey, because she thought I would particularly appreciate that one. I told her I had been reading it forever and it was one of my favourites! And she talked about a couple of adult adoptee blogs. I faithfully read almost all the ones she mentioned! I told her about AntiRacist Parent, Resist Racism, Racialicious, and a few others. She had read those too.  We talked a little about our small little world. Suddenly, she became a little quiet. I asked her if she was okay. She told me she identified with the feelings of loss, the identity issues, the unanswered questions and anger. I thanked her for sharing with me, and told her that though I couldn’t understand exactly how she was feeling, I thought those emotions were pretty ‘normal’.

She looked up at me then, right in the eyes, with a little fire behind her own and she whispered “I am NOT drinking the Kool-Aid.” I didn’t really know what to say. I think I started babbling some fucking platitude about her right to feel whatever she feels, and it’s not up to any adoptive parents or fellow adoptees to tell her how to feel and her experience was unique and her own. I’m not sure if she heard me. Then she whispered “My adoptive parents are NOT strangers. It’s always repeated about how babies are handed to strangers after growing in someone else’s womb. Complete strangers. Virtual strangers. Awful strangers. My parents are NOT strangers to ME.  YOU are NOT a STRANGER to Squirt.” I think I just looked at her and nodded. It was intense. I didn’t know what to say.

She let out a heavy sigh. I told her we didn’t have to talk about it anymore if it was too difficult. She said it actually wasn’t difficult for her to talk about her experience with adoption. She just resented the insinuation that adoption is inherently wrong, or just because she had differing feelings that she was somehow in denial. She said that she did not feel ashamed to be adopted, but she really hated the whole “sunshine and roses” portrayal by the money grubbing adoption industry and by society. She also said her feelings were complicated and couldn’t be summed up without people (read : adoptive parents) dismissing her viewpoint as “bitter” (where oh where have I heard that before??), or other adoptees characterizing her as in denial.

“It’s not being adopted that makes my life complicated. It’s the minefield of everyone’s expectations of me that is constantly maiming me.” 

Wow.

I spontaneously hugged her (I’m not really a physically affectionate person unless it’s with children), and told her how much I appreciated her. She laughed and said she was just a bitter adoptee and I should just ignore her. She giggled, oh the irony, so did I. And we both sat in silence watching our kids play for a while.  Soon she turned to me with a wry smile and said”Your kid is so fucking cute, I can’t stand it”, shortly followed by; “Anyway, you are way more fucked up than I am. I must have good genes or something.”

Mara – and who am I to argue with that?

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A little break

Bet you thought I was going to post another picture of some people making a racist gesture…  But nope, I just need to not do that for a little bit. There are more pictures (of COURSE, there are more pictures…) but I thought I’d just leave you a link from the UK about McCain (running for leader of the free world).

It’s interesting. And only because he makes such a big deal about character and morality. But hey, the guy was in a POW camp for over five years. Tortured. Bones broken. So, I’m just unsure about how much slack to cut him.

Mara ~ not American, an Obama supporter, George W hater, and totally in love with Brad Pitt

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Argentina now. Sigh. Seems my outrage has dissapated and all I can do is shake my head.

Coca-cola must be so proud. No?

Mara -score one for the anti racist who, this morning, got someone to admit they held a racist belief.  ahh HAA

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Outrage continues.

It’s not only men, and it’s not only soccer.

Here’s a picture of the Spanish women’s Federation Cup Tennis team, posing with (I assume) partners/family members/friends after beating CHINA to advance to the finals. So is this a little ‘wink’ too? Are they just showing a little love to the ‘chinky’ they just defeated? Um… so…  racist much?

And well.. Spain? Enough already? Okay?

Mara ~ anti-racist parent…… who feels she’s not doing enough….. sigh

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Nice

I don’t even have the words. My outrage shall have to wait for another day. A day where I can string a sentence together that does not include profanity as every second word..  This is a lovely picture of the ENTIRE Olympic Spanish men’s basketball team making the ‘slant eye’.  Racist much?

It makes me physically ill that I have to prepare my child for this in the school yard some day. Parents of children adopted transracially…..  for the love of God, do not turn a blind eye to racism. It is your responsibility as a parent of a child of another race to give that child the tools to deal with disgusting, racist, infuriating shows like the one above. This is not an anomaly. You need to dismantle this power structure. It is your duty.

To team Spain…  THAT, my friends, is not a “wink”. And you should be ashamed.

Mara ~ seriously, WTF???

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Geez, she’s adorable

… says the completely unbiased mother.

Squirt: I don’t like it too hot. I don’t like it too cold. I like it just the right size.

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Squirt: Mama, EB (therapeutic respite foster care placement) went home?

Me: Yes he did honey.

Squirt: Are we still a foster family?

Me: Yes we are.

Squirt: Well… where all the kids are then?

You know, because they are all here simply for her amusement.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After a COMPLETE meltdown leaving a friend’s house…  Tears, sweat, butt clenching, a little screaming thrown in.. I finally have her a little settled and buckled into her car seat.

Squirt(tearfully and sniffling): Oh mama I am so sad to be leaving A’s house!

Me: Yes, I understand. Sometimes it’s hard to leave somewhere when you are having a good time.

Squirt: Oh mama, A is going to be so sad without me. He is going to miss me! I am so sad for A.

You know, because she’s only thinking about her friend after all. She’s sweet like that.

Mara ~ love love love

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Fostering Saga continues….

So respite is over, and now they want us to think about a 10yr old girl, permanently. Well you know, as permanent as it should be, seeing that foster care is only supposed to be temporary. Yeah right.  It’s messy, complicated and sounds difficult. EXACTLY what we signed up for. Be careful what you wish for.

We meet her on Tuesday.

Mara ~ putting in new floors this weekend!

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