“his life story”

I’ve almost done a “search terms post” here a dozen times, because I get some very strange ones. (I think it’s because I cuss a lot.) This one caught my attention for a different reason, though:

“why wont my adopted son believe his life story”

(I’ll be making some assumptions as I try to answer this question. I’ll do my best to recognize them and point them out when I do.)

Mr. or Ms. Search Term User:

I’m guessing by “his life story” you mean “the story of how your son got into your family.” (That’s interesting, because it’s usually non-adoptees who tell adoptees we need to call our adoption a one-time, safely-in-the-past event instead of our “life story.” But never mind.)

I’ll assume that your son was adopted at a very young age; otherwise he’d remember his own story. So, look: Why should he believe “his life story”? “His life story” is bullshit. No matter how much you know, no matter what you tell him, if you leave out the important part everyone leaves out, his life story is bullshit. He doesn’t believe it because it isn’t true. I’ll get back to the important part.

Meanwhile, if his adoption resembles mine (closed), he doesn’t have much of a story in the first place. He has a very vague story with no details and zero evidence to back it up. Why should he take anyone’s word for anything? He can’t even prove he was born. Non-adopted people have details: Their mothers were in labor for X hours at Y hospital, etc. Their birth certificates don’t lie.

What little your son has of his story is probably not what he wants to hear. The story I got was “Your parents weren’t married, so she couldn’t keep you: The End.” True, but only a fraction of the story, and a not very satisfying one. I didn’t want to know why I was given up; there are many reasons society provides for a woman to give up her child if someone else wants that child. I wanted to know why I wasn’t kept. There’s a difference. Maybe your son doesn’t believe “his life story” because it’s incomplete and doesn’t tell him anything worth knowing.

Maybe your son’s story, no matter how much of it you know and/or he knows, makes him sad. Again, assuming this is a closed/sealed records infant adoption, that should be easy to understand. A boy very possibly doesn’t want to be reminded no name was passed down to him for him to pass down in turn (not one that reflects reality, anyway). I think that matters to boys and men a lot. I’ve never met a female adoptee who rejected the reclaiming of the word “bastard” as vehemently as some male adoptees I’ve met do. Men don’t get raised, as women do, to expect to surrender their names when they get married anyway.

Of course, bloodlines and names are important to everyone. An adoptee’s story is the story of not having these things, of not belonging to one’s own people. Nobody wants to believe they’re that outcast. Perhaps your son doesn’t believe “his life story” because it says nothing good about him or where and whom he came from.

Maybe “his life story” is something that has never been your son’s to tell because everyone knows it. (Maybe he doesn’t look like you, so everyone can tell he’s adopted.) Maybe it’s easier for him to believe something he makes up. (And really, when one’s birth certificate is a falsehood, maybe one feels entitled to any number of imaginary parents and their stories. Why not? If he has to act in your play in order to earn your love, why shouldn’t he write his own script and expect others to go along with it?) Maybe your son doesn’t believe “his life story” because inventing his own helps him feel powerful, if only just a little. Maybe he feels that, from now on, if anyone is going to tell lies about him and his life, it’s going to be him. Not believing “his life story” may be his one way of feeling in control of his life.

I keep putting “his life story” in quotes for a reason: it isn’t his. He doesn’t even get to be its main character. Adoption stories start when Someone/s Want/s A Baby Very Much, or when a woman Makes a Loving Choice. They end when the Someone/s get/s A Baby. Other people’s stories start when they are born (or perhaps when their parents meet) and end when they die. Your son doesn’t believe it because it’s not “his story:” it’s yours, and, to a lesser extent, his first parents’.

I’ll ask again: Why should your son believe, if “his life story” resembles mine (you know, the one about the Someone/s Who Wanted a Baby Very Much and the Woman Who Made a Loving Choice)? I’m pretty sure he has senses and a brain and friends whose parents displayed their love by keeping them, not getting rid of them. The whole world tells him his story is a lie. That’s because, in ninety-odd per cent of the cases, the story about the Someone/s and the Woman is bullshit.

Almost all of us adopted as infants have the same real, true “life story.” It’s a story about a person or people who wanted a baby and had enough status and/or money to buy one, and a *woman who had a baby but not enough money or status to keep it. That’s the important part everybody leaves out, because nobody wants to be any character in that “life story.” One is either a victim, a purchaser of human flesh, or a purchased product. It’s a sucky, stupid, evil story that should be prevented from happening to anyone whenever possible: The End.

In short, Sir or Ms., if my assumptions hold, your son doesn’t believe “his life story” because it isn’t true, it’s incomplete, it tells him nothing worth knowing, he didn’t ask to be in it, it isn’t his story, and it isn’t even about him, let alone “his life.”

Sincerely,
Snurchin

 

*Yes, I’m sure some few women wanted-really-wanted to undergo nine months of life-altering, perhaps life-threatening pregnancy only to give the baby away, but I’ve never met one. We have fewer adoptions now because there’s less pressure on single women to relinquish. Absent any pressure at all, adoption as we know it would surely be vanishingly rare.

And even if one is the exception, who wants to have come from people who would willingly bring a child into the world for the purpose of giving it away? Nobody, not really, not deep down. Nobody.

18 Comments

Filed under AdoptoLand, General Ignoramitude

Fuck Your Adoption Process Moral Pedestal

Hi, Everybody! Know what? A’dad Andrew McDougall is better than you are. Not just richer, oh no. Not just more entitled to the children of others: certainly not! More virtuous. More actually, factually Good–and now far too Good to help anyone else who might need it. (Send five pounds to the starving kid I saw on TV? Nope, fuck that “life I could have saved.” I’m helping society by raising a child of my own! …just like almost everybody else.)

That’s right: Since at least late 2012, Mr. McDougall has considered himself super special for raising a child he didn’t contribute that one precious cell to. Why is that nobler? Is it because adopted kids are defective and require extra special love, or because the real reason to have a child is so you can look at your own face all day without walking to a mirror every time? Sorry, but I don’t think those are good reasons to parent. I think parenting is about wanting to raise a child, period. So the fact that you are raising one “not your own” makes you…a dad! The fact that you accomplished this by adoption makes you…a (damned lucky and privileged) dad! The fact that you filled out all the forms and waited and hoped makes you…a dad! The fact that you wrote an article about “the adoption process moral pedestal” (and I hope you made that phrase up just now) makes you…an asshole. Congratulations! I’m sure your child will be thrilled to learn about your “moral pedestal” once s/he’s old enough to Google his/her own name.

(Seriously: “Daddy, what’s a pedestal? …If you weren’t standing on one, would you still have loved me?”)

You, Mr. MacDougall, adopted in January of last year, so you’re an expert. (What about your wife, who is *no doubt doing all the heavy lifting? She’s mentioned in the article exactly once, and as “my wife.” But I digress.) Of course, your Year-Plus-Eight-Months Adoption Experience-ence-ence-ence! doesn’t mean you’ll think of the rest of us as lesser people for not adopting. Heavens no. That would be

wait for it

beneath you:

Is it that my adoption story sees me sit on the moral high ground pouring judgement down upon those of you who haven’t adopted – shame on your having your own children, the fires of hell await?

What? Why is your adoption story spying on you? While we’re at it, does your adopted child have an adoption story which is in any way separate from “your adoption story”? Didn’t think so.

Or I could opt to patronise you and say that ‘not everyone is cut out for adoption’.

Which is, of course, absolutely true.

No of course that isn’t my view.

Of course it isn’t, Mr. McD. This is a parody, right? And now my commentors and I will have the joy of deciding what to call the adoption debate equivalent of Poe’s Law, won’t we? You’re making fun of the dialog currently surrounding international adoption, aren’t you?

Aren’t you? I mean, it’s hard to tell, because you keep contradicting yourself and because your writing confuses me:

This adoption process has (rightly or wrongly) given considerable boost to the feeling that my contribution to society has allowed me to stand proud at the summit of my moral pedestal.

“If I write it poorly enough, I can write this sentence so it says ‘the adoption process’ is an active subject that runs around forcing people to do and feel things, rather than a process I initiated. –Oh! is that a pedestal? Do I have to climb it, Mister Adoption Process? To its very summit, even? [blushes, titters] Thank me so much! But really….”

As the adoption process fills more of my life, the greater the realisation that this was meant to be.

Someone paid you to write this, didn’t they? They need their money back. Look: the common English construction here is “The more X, the more Y.” You could also have chosen “as X, so Y.” Instead, you went for the mixed construction while again choosing to frame “the adoption process” as a subject which acted upon (a passive, implied) you, all on its own. This is so symbolic of the way we talk about adoption I could just eat it up with a spoon (or belt it one, I’m not sure which oh yes I am).

So my adoption pedestal helps me hold my head high, and saves me a few quid, but it is not license to bark my pseudo new moral army of beliefs at people.

What a wonderful man you are, Mr. McD, to write an article about how much better you  are than non-APs in the name of protesting that you’re no better than non-APs. You’re an arrogant ass, but that’s not what infuriates me about your article.

You imply that raising a kid in the UK somehow costs less than sending, what was it, five pounds per month overseas (for some lousy kid you don’t even get to name and coo over and climb a pedestal about). That’s not what infuriates me about your article, either.

What infuriates me about your article is the fact that it is still so indicative of the way we think about adoptees. Adoptees are castoffs, mistakes, bad blood. It takes a very, very special person to care about the likes of us. And it takes a super special person to not only care, but to call his caring nothing special while waving it around like a winning Powerball ticket.

Cynical as I am, it had never occurred to me before reading this article that there is an “adoption process moral pedestal” APs get to climb whenever they see a TV ad for a charity because they already scraped some let’s-face-it gutterkid out of the gutter.

If my a’dad were alive, Mr. McD., he’d be ashamed to share the title “dad” with you. He never talked of helping society by taking me off someone else’s hands. He talked of being lucky to have me and my a’bro in his life. And you know what? He was a good dad and a good man. I could write paragraphs of support for that statement, but they’d probably tip off someone as to his identity, so I hope you’ll take my word for it.

He published a fair few articles, too, but none were about being an adoptive dad–perhaps because he  had a crazy thing like his children’s privacy in mind. Still, at his funeral, I think I shook the hand of half the population of [my region of my home state].

I keep rereading this article and hoping it’s a parody. And I really do wonder if Mr. McD. didn’t mean to be somewhat, somehow light-hearted here.  But I can’t tell, because I can’t laugh about this:

…[M]y adoption pedestal [...] is not license to bark my pseudo new moral army of beliefs at people.

Then come down off it, Sir. Because making others feel less than you is the one and only thing pedestals are for. And here’s what is carved on that thing:

I AM A WELL-OFF WHITE WESTERN MAN WHO IS SO MUCH SMARTER THAN YOU ARE THAT I CAN FOOL BOTH MYSELF AND YOU ABOUT MY BRAGGING WHICH IS TOTALLY NOT BRAGGING.

*I got this wrong: He’s a stay-at-home dad, and is therefore doing a good part of the heavy lifting. (My point remains: When a dad does childrearing, it’s bragworthy. When a mom does it, nobody notices.)

28 Comments

Filed under AdoptoLand, The Adoption Process Moral Pedestal, WTF?!

Abduction, Adoption, Tomato…Dead Hearts

“Neither child trafficking nor baby buying in Chinese international adoptions are widely studied. No one can say for certain how many children are kidnapped in China each year, or what percentage of them end up being put up for adoption domestically or internationally.”

There, just as here, nobody really wants to know. But Charlie Custer and Leia Li have made a documentary on the subject, and that’s a start.

3 Comments

Filed under Film, Uncategorized

We Are So Pro Life!

How pro life are we? We’ll take your fresh, newborn infant off your hands even if it has Down syndrome!

…Just like all the heathens, only we’ll do it for the glory of god, because our Christian desire for a baby makes us angels.

Other articles assure me that hundreds of people from all over the world called wanting to adopt this as yet nonexistent Down baby to save it from abortion. This means pro lifers put their money where their mouths are and do too want to adopt all those aborted babies, so they win! ….even though absolutely nothing has been done yet, and even though plenty of non-anti-choice types raise babies with Down Syndrome.

“The only thing that surprises me” crows author Wesley J. Smith,”is that anyone would be surprised. The outpouring of selflessness and love to save the baby’s life and commit to parenting him or her for the duration was entirely predictable. There are exceptions, of course, but from my experience, this is what most pro lifers see as their calling.”

Fucking bullshit, Sir. Selflessness is when you help and expect nothing  in return. Not the baby, not money, not the adoration of your neighbors, not a “thank you” letter from the baby when it’s old enough to write, not your name in the paper: Nothing. Maybe I’m crazy, but I believe the “-less” suffix has a meaning.

And love? I guess anyone can love some nonexistent person they’ve never met…in a useless, worthless, abstract way that requires them to do nothing but declare it. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It’s a cheap and shitty sort of love that costs the lover nothing but air.

But Mr. Smith is right about one thing: this outpouring was predictable. If there’s one thing I learned when I was a veterinary assistant, it’s this: Everybody wants the very different, very special dog or cat, the one they read about in the paper, the one to which something very bad has happened. Google will even suggest the search terms “abused cats for adoption” or “abused dogs for adoption” in case you need to be that super special owner who makes excuses for your pet’s shitty behavior with “he was abused before I got him.”*

Nobody wants the ordinary, abandoned adult dog or cat that’s about to be put down in the shelter because it isn’t cute anymore and isn’t equipped with a sob story that will make its new owners look like Great Humanitarians. Don’t get me wrong: the puppy or kitten with the sob story generally gets a good home with people who are really glad to have it. But that doesn’t stop those people, in almost all cases I know of, from milking it for all it’s worth: “This is that little dog you saw on TV. This is one of those  kittens they found in that bad place.”

Almost all of the the people who called and insisted they “have to have that [abused] dog” (and that’s really how they phrased it) were doing so on impulse. They probably thought no one else wanted the animal, so their not-really-appropriate home would be good enough. They thought (and they weren’t necessarily wrong) that, as an alternative to dying, their home looked pretty good. But they didn’t get the dog unless someone decided they were the most qualified to take care of said dog, and despite their good intentions, they almost never were.

How many of the people who called wanting that Down baby are qualified to raise it? This is a country with a long, long waiting list for every healthy white infant that might be available…and a long, long list for many other infants who might not be either white, available or entirely “healthy.”

There are many people out there who are really willing to do what it takes to raise a baby with Down Syndrome. They prove it by learning what the task is, deciding whether they can do it, preparing themselves, and finally seeking out such a baby. They don’t do it by waiting to hear that such a baby might be available soon, picking up the phone, and praying to be that lucky ninth caller.

People who really want to prevent abortions expect no baby in return. They expect nothing in return. They do boring, unglamorous, “non-traditionally pro life” things like lobby to insure that women have access to free/cheap birth control and shelter and food and work and good child care. But it’s much easier (and it feels much more righteous) to be a “prayer warrior” doing “sidewalk counseling.” (See that woman who turned crying away from the clinic door just now? I SAVED HER BAY BEE!)

I could put up a Facebook message offering a nonexistent baby with any number of crippling health problems and prompt a similar outpouring of the impulsive nature of human beings (i.e., “selfless love”). I could even leave Jesus out of it, insist it was the mother’s CHOICE to have this baby over the objections of her family and doctors, and say she was a Wiccan. Then, when I got a thousand phone calls, I could call the papers and brag about the glorious love and selflessness of pro choice Neopagans. Either way, the baby would not exist, it would not yet have a home, and I would have proven nothing about the “superiority” of the pro choice position.

And I guess some people might well complain that to use a  soon-to-be-born baby as a cheap political ploy would be cold and manipulative of me. Those people would be one hundred per cent correct.

*Of course not all people who adopt rescue pets are like this. The ones who get the very special dog or cat when they had no previous plans to acquire any pet at all very often are, though.

8 Comments

Filed under Jesus Told Me To, Stop Saying That, Those Wacky PAPs, You're going to Hell for this.

Racism In Adoption

Snark 1102
Teacher: Today’s lesso–
Bright young student [reads blackboard]: Oh! Oh, I know, pick me!
Teacher: Yes, bright young student?
BYS: This is gonna be one of those things where we find out there’s racism in adoption and that’s terrible because an AP might get hurt by it, right?
Teacher: Well, you have been paying attention. That’s exactly what this is.

The author of two books about adoption and a’father to six says he chose Russia because “[o]ur adoption/foster system here in the States is a big mess, and adopting within [it] proved to be a nightmare. That isn’t to say it gets better when you adopt internationally. It actually gets worse.”

Wait, what? You adopted in Russia because it’s so much harder? I think what I really just read was “I know I’m not supposed to say ‘because I didn’t want to have some kid in my house who might never be legally mine,’ or ‘because I didn’t want to deal with a first mother’ or ‘because US foster kids are more messed up than Russian orphanage kids’…but what will I say? Um, it’s easier but harder! That’ll fix’em.”

It didn’t. Perhaps perplexed at not having gotten an answer, the interviewer asked again why he and his wife chose Russia.

“I’ll be honest. It was racism. To my wife, race didn’t matter. For me, personally, I could have had a child from any race and it wouldn’t have mattered to me. Still, I was afraid that as a child aged, it might matter to them.”

Of course it will matter to them! And you shouldn’t even contemplate an interracial adoption if you can’t take a long, hard….what? What did you say?

“I was afraid of being rejected by my adopted children.”

No. No, that’s not possible. It must be these glasses. [rubrub, squint]

“I was afraid of being rejected by my adopted children.”

No. No. No. No.

He was afra… [counts to ten] He was fine with bringing some hypothetical kid here from Ethiopia or somewhere. He was fine with the idea of raising that kid in a society that would judge him/her inferior by skin color forever. He was fine with doing that even though he, as a white parent, can do little or nothing to help that child negotiate racism. He was fine with all that. That would have been dandy. But a resentful child? Oh no, racism, now you have GONE TOO FAR.

Adoption is about rescuing a kid who’s properly grateful for it. It’s about the wants and feelings of well-off Western whitefolks, and if some kid’s gonna resent them, it’s just not worth it!

The assumption that no child who “looks like” Mr. Simmons will ever dare find fault with his parenting skills is not merely racist, of course. It’s outright harmful to adoptees of all backgrounds. Back before people knew any better, a lot of us grew up feeling that using anything short of gushing praise to discuss our a’parents was disloyal. Some of us grew up thinking all our confusion was our own fault, and that we must have been given up because somebody knew we would think secret bad thoughts about our parents. And if we looked a lot like our a’parents, we were expected to be like them and have fewer problems than adopted kids who didn’t “look like” their parents.

We know better now. Psychologists, adoptive parents, everybody knows better now. Surely a man who published two books on adoption knows better?

Anyway there it is, the “racism” in adoption. (Scare quotes signify that the resentment of their oppressors felt by the oppressed never has been and never will be racism.) Any questions?

BYS: Oh! Oh! Miss?
Teacher: Yes?
BYS: Is at least one of Mr. Simmons’ books on adoption drowning in sugar?
Teacher [marks extra credit column]: He calls it “saccharine,” but that’s close enough. Here’s why:

“First, it’s easier to write fiction. If you don’t like a part of the story, you change it. If you want to make a point, or you don’t know a detail, you don’t need to do research, you just make something up.”

Mr. Simmons, as a writer of fiction, let me just say that is not exactly how I or anyone I know writes fiction.

“Secondly, there are a lot of beautiful experiences that come with adoption. Why cloud it up with the uglies? Paint a rainbow on the bedroom wall, give the kid a stuffed unicorn and live happily ever after.”

(He actually. Said. Rainbow.)

(He actually. Said. Unicorn.)

But yeah, why not go on spreading the same sweet lies about adoption? It’s not like the book will have an effect on anyone–

“It was pretty easy to use a little saccharine (to artificially sweeten the story). I wanted people to adopt, so why not ‘sell’ it?”

You want people to adopt based on a prettied-up version of adoption. Well, that kind of thing never leads to expectations a child can’t live up to, does it? And those could never in turn lead to a little white child’s resenting his or her white parent/s down the road. Mercy, no.

To give him his due, Mr. Simmons would seem to be doing good work in Russia for those children who won’t be adopted.

10 Comments

Filed under AdoptoLand, Colonialism ROCKS!, General Ignoramitude, It Can't Be Racist. I Didn't Use the N-word Once!

You Will Believe an Adoptee Can Fly

Yes, a zillion blogworthy things have happened in AdoptoLand since I posted last. I’m going to ignore’em all in favor of a snarky, popcult-related post. (Surprise!)

Deborah Snyder, the producer of Man of Steel is an a’mom. Here’s what she has to say about Kal-El/Clark:

[I]t’s the greatest adoption story in all of history. I think that’s an interesting way of looking at it – maybe because I was just in the process personally of adopting my two children. The people of Earth adopt him and he adopts us, as well.

Why is it that adoptees always have to “adopt back” or “adopt in turn”? The evangelical adoption movement currently says “Jesus adopted me, so I adopt a heathen orphan.” People use to ask me all the time “when” I was going to adopt, as if I owed it to the world. A very few (I hope), very special APs take this “adoptees must adopt” nonsense to such an extreme that they claim it was their child who–sorry, something stuck in my throat, ahem–Their child [retch] oh ew sorry, be right back.

[brandishes toothbrush] They say their child adoBLARRRGH I CAN’T AND WON’T SAY IT! Back to Man of Steel:

Ms. Snyder says Clark is on this journey of self discovery, trying to figure out who he is and where he fits in, and in the end he comes to see what Jor-El, his Kryptonian father, has sacrificed and given for him.

Birth fathers are so awesome. When they step out of the way and don’t fight things. When they have the decency to mail us our baby from another planet and then die. Also, what about his mother? Hello, she died too!*

And he also realizes how his Earth parents made him who he is.

(Yes, yes, we know, we know: the Kents are his real parents.) The people who raise us, no matter who they are, do much to make us who we are. This is so very fucking obvious that nobody ever bothers to say it about anyone who is not adopted. We say it about adopted people so very many times because, deep down, we fear it is not true of them.

(And what if it weren’t? What if parents raised a child with love and it turned out they didn’t have that big an effect on his or her personality? Would that be bad? Do children have a duty to take after their parents or, failing that, to be molded by them? If they don’t do that, but turn out fine otherwise, did anything necessarily go wrong? Or did the child maybe just grow into being himself or herself? Does that mean all that love was wasted? To me, a child who turns out to be exactly himself or herself no matter who said s/he had to be something different represents a parenting success, not a failure.)

Back to Ms. Snyder: All those themes and notions follow him throughout the whole film. That’s something that resonated with me, even from when we started reading the script and started talking about doing this film.

The most important thing about any adoption story, and I employ not a hint of sarcasm here, is that it resonate with APs or PAPs. It just won’t fly otherwise. (OK, the “fly” part was sarcasm.)

But what if Superman were real? What if the fact that he’s adopted (“these themes and notions”) followed him throughout his whole life? Well, sooner or later he’d probably have to deal with the fact that being adoptedreally does make you different, and not always in a super-strong, X-ray vision kind of way.

He’d probably join an online support group or forum.

clarkk: Hey All, I was adopted in Kansas and I’m thinking of searching. I’m kind of worried my parents won’t understand, but we had a family reunion last week and now I can’t stop thinking about it. It just kind of hit me that my entire life is a lie.
adoptedandcranky: Welcome, clarkk!
GAadoptee: Hi, clarkk! Welcome to the wacky world of adoption searching.
lilbastard: Hi, clarkk. LOL yes! Makes you feel like you’re from another planet, right? As far as searching goes, you kind of hit the jackpot being from Kansas–if you were born there. Do you know where you were born?
clarkk: Kansas, but I can double check with Ma and Pa.

adoptedandcranky: Any luck, clarkk?
clarkk: I hit a dead end. )-: The State of Kansas has no record of my birth.
lilbastard: You’re sure you weren’t born somewhere else?
clarkk: Why would Ma and Pa lie about that? I’ve always known I’m adopted.
GAadoptee: )-: We’re here for you, clarkk.

clarkk: Hey guys, sorry I was offline for so long, but…this hurts. I don’t get it. It seems there was no agency and no legal adoption, and that’s why I don’t have any papers.
lilbastard: Oh shit, you’re black market? That complicates things for sure. Sorry, clarkk. )-:
clarkk: They told me they “just found” me! So I asked where and they said “It doesn’t matter, Clark, you’re ours,” and of course I am, but I’m adopted too. Ma cried when I asked where they found me. I shouldn’t have said anything in the first place.
GAadoptee: I feel ya, clarkk. But none of this is your fault. And you’re not being disloyal to your ma and pa. We all have the right to our origins, no matter how secret they’ve been.
clarkk: They said they were so glad to have a baby of their own they just wrapped me in a blanket and took me home! Did they even look for my other parents? I can’t ask them, but I need to know. Why do I feel so guilty about this?
adoptedandcranky: clarkk, I pm’ed you my phone number after our IM conversation yesterday. Please contact me if I can help, even if it’s just to listen. A lot of us have been through this.

adoptedandcranky: Anyone heard from clarkk lately?
GAadoptee: No. I pm’ed him Monday.
lilbastard: Hope he’s OK.

clarkk: Hey, I’m back. I really thought things couldn’t get any weirder. I am so confused. I don’t know if I’m going crazy or what. I don’t even know if I should tell you this. I did what you all said: I kept asking and waiting and assuring them I don’t want to replace them. And this is the story I got: Ma and Pa found me in the middle of a field in a smoking crater. They both swear I popped out of this gray dragonfruit-geode-looking thing.

So i'm Momotaro?!

I suppose my parents died in a car crash nearby, too.

clarkk:That’s crazy. It’s crazy, right? I asked if they had the gray thing or any pictures of it and no, they didn’t have a camera with them. Why would they expect me to believe this? Why can’t they tell me the truth? I’m so mad I could throw a car! But I can’t be mad at them, so what do I do with this?!
adoptedandcranky: )-: Are you anywhere near Smallville? There’s a meetup/search group there.
lilbastard: Giant gray stone dragonfruit-geode in a crater? Is that the new cabbage leaf?
GAadoptee: It’s not you, clarkk: that’s some crazy sounding shit right there. )-:

clarkk: My parents have been holding out on me. I don’t even know how to feel about this. They had information about my original parents all along. They still don’t want to let me see it.
adoptedandcranky: I know it’s hard. APs can be so insecure. Just remember you have a right to know who you are.

Kal-El:
Hey, clarkk here. Check out my birth name! Think I’m Jewish?
adoptedandcranky: Could be. Nice to meet you, Kal-El! (-:
CAadoptee: That’s great!
lilbastard: WTG Kal-El! So they showed you the info they do have?
Kal-El: Not yet, but I really think they will soon. I think I’ve convinced them I don’t want to fly away and join some other family I never met.

Kal-El: I don’t know how to tell you guys this….

*Unless she didn’t. I can’t keep up with DC Comics continuity (and neither can anyone else).

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Filed under Film, What It's Like

So How DOES It Feel?

Another adoptee I know recently mentioned having a feeling I think all of us have had: Not wanting to be adopted, maybe for just one day, so one wouldn’t have adoption in one’s head all the time.

But one does. I typed “Some days adoption seems to take up more than all my energy even if I don’t think about it much, like a background program I can’t close.”

So I can verbalize how it feels to be adopted (to me). I really didn’t think I could. I’m going to keep trying.

Here’s how else it feels: You know the part in Catcher in the Rye where Holden’s walking and every time he steps from the curb to the street, he asks his dead brother to keep him from disappearing? Adoption feels like that to me. I don’t trust the ground to hold me up. (This is not entirely metaphor. I wish I could explain it better.)

Allie, Allie, don't let me disappear.

Allie, Allie, don’t let me disappear.

Or, as Stephen Wright put it, “You know how it feels when you’re leaning back in a chair, and you lean too far back, and you almost fall over backwards, but then you catch yourself at the last second? I feel like that all the time.”*

I think I’ll have more to say on this later. For now, how does it feel to you?

*They say we can be “hypervigilant.” I jerk awake two or three times a night  if I’m sleeping in a strange bed. (I also occasionally hit and kick my lovers in my sleep, but I dunno whether I can pin on that one on adoption. Maybe I just hog the bed as well as the hedge.

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Filed under Srsly, What It's Like