The snurchin hates this man. She hates him so much that she has been trying to compose this post since before she had a blog to post it on. And that would be sad if this horrible man’s horrible post weren’t still online for all to see, as if its horribility were nothing to be ashamed of. Here he is, the author of a years-old post I like to call The Myth of the Compassionate A’Parent:
I watched her face as she sat across the table from me; it showed no discernable [sic] emotion, although her story was a tragedy in every sense of the word.
She described how two years ago she had come to drop off a four-year-old girl at the local orphanage. “I had married a man who already had a daughter,” she related, “and so if we wanted to have our own children, I needed to get rid of my daughter.”
Do you allow anyone to call your adopted daughter your “daughter” in scare quotes? Then stop that.
was a girl she had ostensibly
(you can’t believe what these inscrutable yellow people say, after all)
found on the street at a few days old and cared for, as a single mother, for four years.
In other words, she was an adoptive parent, just like you…ostensibly. Say, I bet the orphanage told you a story all about how your little girl got there…ostensibly. And I bet you believed it, even though it wanted vast sums of money from you and knew you wanted to hear that your daughter was definitely abandoned or orphaned. We can tell The Human Chinese Woman is a myth because you don’t have to accord her the same courtesy. You don’t have to believe a thing she says if that makes you feel better...ostensibly.
Pressured by her new husband, they had both [sic] brought the four-year-old to the orphanage and turned her in as a foundling.
A week later the couple had second thoughts on the wisdom of their actions
Why would they do a silly thing like that? Did they discover they could have sold her elsewhere for a price? It’s not like anyone cares about girl children in China, as you’re about to explain to us.
and returned to the orphanage to retrieve the child. They were told it would cost them 5,000 yuan to do so. Incensed at the orphanage’s apparent crassness, they refused and walked away, never to return.
“They were rude, so we left without my daughter.” Really? You don’t suppose there’s a chance they didn’t have 5K yuan lying around, do you? At today’s exchange rate, that’s close to eight hundred US bucks. I don’t always have that lying around, yet if I had a daughter, damme if I wouldn’t have the temerity to love her like any other white woman would. And what, exactly, is only-apparently-crass about being expected to purchase one’s own child at all, let alone at the rate of $800/week?
The four-year old was later adopted by an American family.
A family who laid out more than 5,000 yuan in tips alone, I’ll warrant.
Many adoptive families presume that the abandoning of their child by her birth parents is accompanied by pangs of guilt and remorse.
Some do, some don’t. Some find it easier to think of their kids as “unwanted” by anyone but them. Some write long essays defending this stance and blaming it on their children’s parents. Outside of Adoptoland, most people call such people racist ingrates.
We envision the birthmother watching the abandoned child until discovery is made, tears streaming down her face. We imagine that they [sic] deal daily with the guilt of this abandonment, and anxiously wait for the day when they might miraculously receive word that the child is doing well and being loved by a family.
We imagine, when we have a moment to indulge ourselves, that a Chinese woman is a person who feels things people feel rather than an automaton-animal-thingy that shits out a child for us and walks away without a second thought. LOLOL, IKR?!
For the rural farmers of China that [sic] compose 70% of its population, children are viewed as a two-edged sword.
Children are viewed that way everywhere by everyone. Children are as horrible as they are wonderful, just like grown people, and raising them is as much a curse as a blessing, just like most human experiences. We like to pretend differently in the US because so many of us here can afford to be sentimental. We also refer to people as “who” or “whom” and things as “what” or “that.” Chinese farmers are things.
At once creating a drain on precious family resources for food, medical and educational costs, they are also viewed as essential for aged care and family-name perpetuation. Additionally, there is the obvious benefit in providing farm labor.
Real people, aka “white Westerners” are never poor, never expect their children to take care of them when they’re old, and never trouble themselves about trifles like having their names perpetuated. Names mean nothing! And that’s why USAians A) never change their adopted children’s names and B) adopt the sexes in equal numbers.
Haha, psych: amended birth certificates FOREVER. Also, they go for girls. (Truly. USAians, who don’t worry about silly things like name/blood perpetuation, overwhelmingly prefer to adopt girls, or to at least adopt a girl first–and always have. If a daughter didn’t spring from your loins, that’s one thing, but a son perpetuates your name.)
But the thin line of existence that the majority of Chinese live on, especially in the countryside, has created a culture where love for a child, as we know it here in the West, is hard to come by.
Poverty: It makes you not love your own flesh and blood.
Children are seen as serving functions, not birthed for their own sake.
Not a single fucking one of them. In the history of the earth, no rural Chinese person has ever looked at his/er spouse and said “You know, I think it might be nice to have a kid around the place” without adding “to help with the chores, if it doesn’t eat too much.” Are Western children really birthed “for their own sake”? Of course not. Under the best of circumstances, they’re birthed to satisfy the desires of adults who want to love and rise a child, and that’s OK (by me) as long as nobody insists upon lying about it.
It is hard to express the subtle difference, so perhaps an illustration might help.
Subtle with a capital B, thou perfected ass. Brace yourselves, Readers, for The Illustration:
When I interviewed the two birthmothers last year, both matter-of-factly recounted their stories. There was [sic] no tears of remorse, although both expressed some regret that they had abandoned their children. Both acknowledged that if confronted with the same situation again, they would abandon their child [sic] again. Neither birthmother was very emotional when recounting her story, but rather showed a sense of *consignment [sic]. They did what had to be done in both of their situations.
Yes, they did what they felt had to be done to save the lives of their children, exactly as if they loved them the way white people love their children. But they couldn’t have, so it must be that they simply found taking the child to a safe place less convenient than dumping it in an unsafe place or killing it. I pray for you, for me and for every other human being ever born that we never find us in the “situation” you fail to describe because you don’t really want to know what it is.
Also, the fact that two Chinese mothers did not cry for you on demand says fuck-all about how they, let alone all Chinese mothers, feel about daughters. If I were a relinquishing mother and you wanted to interview me (and I decided to let you because I’d lost my fucking mind), I’d be so guarded you’d think I were incapable of emotion too—and we share a culture and a language.
Another example originates in my own family. My wife comes from a farm family of five girls, and each of those girls was at one time or another offered to another family to raise. It started when the oldest daughter was two years old. A local childless couple befriended my wife’s parents and was affectionate to my in-laws [sic] only child. My wife’s parents felt that this childless family could provide a better life than they could,
They wanted their kid to have a better life? What heartless assholes the Chinese are. “Wanted the child to have a better life” is why I was told I was adopted, even though my mother is an upper middle class white citizen of the USA who could have given me the same socioeconomic privileges my a’parents did. She relinquished out of societal/familial pressure and shame. The difference between her and the Chinese women? I’ve always been told she did this out of “love,” because hey, we’re talkin’ white people here! The Chinese, tragically, cannot love, as you are about to tell us at length.
so they offered their daughter to this couple to raise; their only request being that the couple retain their child’s family name instead of renaming her. The childless couple refused,
not like superior America where such reasonable requests mean adoptees get to retain their names and birth identities NOT, YOU JACKHOLE.
and after a few months of caring for this girl they returned the child to my wife’s parents.
“A few months” is more than enough time for a USAian adoptive family to become “the only family the child has ever known,” meaning the child will be ruined forever if s/he returns to his/her original family (no matter what means, illegal or not, the adoptive family used to acquire him/her). That’s just how cementing the adoptive bond is. But in China, neither natural nor adoptive parents can love children. Not even that one lady who raised an…oestensible “daughter” for four years.
BTW, in the US, we would call this an “adoption disruption,” and the kid would get put on a plane to Russia without ever having been psychologically evaluated, or sent to a ranch out West, and the a’parents would tell their story online and on the Today Show for money and people would rally around them and blame the child for her own misfortune.
A similar scenario would be repeated for each successive daughter, for different reasons but with the same outcome.
The outcome, at least in the first case, was apparently that they kept their daughter and raised her themselves. What monsters. Sad fact is, if you look inside a Chinese person’s ribcage, you’ll find a smoldering coal where the heart should be, and the coal will laugh at you sounding like Vincent Price while it tells you how thirsty it is for the blood of female children.
It is also interesting to note that a large percentage of families in China turn over raising of their child(ren) to the grand-parents, while the husband and wife work. For many of these families, the child is with her parents for only a small percentage of the time each year, most especially during New Year’s.
It’s not “interesting,” it’s POVERTY. Why, I’ve even heard there are families right here in the US of A in which both parents have to work. No, really! They leave their kids in the care of *complete strangers* called “babysitters” and “day care workers,” and see them for only a small percentage of every workday. They don’t spend a solid eight or more hours with their own offspring except when they can, most especially around Weekends and Christmas and Spring Break. Can you IMAGINE? (And isn’t that INTERESTING? Seriously, “interesting”?)
Also, I just finished watching Last Train Home. I saw in great detail what those parents go through to spend that precious annual slice of time with their children and parents. And I know of many, many adopting US families who put their new kids into daycare at age six weeks.
Personally, I could not imagine ever giving up my child to another to raise,
No one anywhere can imagine doing such a thing until she is forced to do it. And there is a HUGE difference between letting your parents raise your child, whom you will see every year, and relinquishing that child for adoption to another country, knowing you’ll never know how s/he fared.
but then again I don’t live in the same financial state that my in-laws did, or that most Chinese families are in. Perhaps if my daily struggle was to simply exist, I would see beyond my own emotional needs for love to the long-term life-opportunities of my child.
Seeing beyond your own emotional needs, in adoption mythology, would make you a much better parent than you are, wouldn’t it? Somewhere out there is a couple with more time and more money than you have. If you really care about their long-term life-opportunities, you’ll give your kids to them. It’s in their best interests after all.
I don’t say the long-term happiness of my child, because I don’t think for most Chinese “happiness” is the driving factor in their decisions. Rather education, quality of life, and simple existence seem to be important.
Not like in the Best Country In the World, where education means nothing and everyone is happy. Also, “quality of life” is not at all akin to “happiness,” is it? Nope. Not in any way. And “existence”? Who needs that?
There was no emotional regret
If the outsider from another culture who profited from it and doesn’t want to see it can’t perceive an emotion, it doesn’t exist.
in any of these stories, simply an acceptance that life required these decisions. No apologies, no tears, no looking back.
Letting a stranger from halfway around the world interview you about why you gave up your kid isn’t a form of “looking back”? (Also: “Any” of these stories? Didn’t you interview exactly two Chinese women? Shouldn’t it be “either” instead of “any”? Just in case you expect anyone to believe you don’t think They’re All Alike…?)
I’m not saying that the Chinese don’t love their children,
Yes, Sir, you fucking well are. Over and over and over again.
but it is not often the emotionally-invested love that we in the West feel. It is a practical love. It is not a love shown by touch or words, but through deeds.
NO HUGS PLEASE WE’RE CHINESE and our love is inferior. Unlike all the other love ever felt by anyone for anyone ever, it’s not “emotionally invested.” We don’t even call love an emotion here in China; we call it, um….a truck. Vroom-vroom!
If you love your child in China, you demonstrate it by acts.
If you love anyone, anywhere, ever, you demonstrate it by acts. Saying you love someone is the LEAST you can do. All that costs is air. And this is why we have a Western proverb about how some things, you know, speak louder than other things or some wacky shit. Bet we got that crazyassed notion from China!
My wife has never heard the words “I love you” from her parents or siblings, and no one I have met in China has acknowledged saying it to their children or hearing it from their parents. Love is shown by the fixing of a favorite meal, the knitting of a sweater or pair of gloves, or by giving the child to another family to raise in order for the child to have a better life.
My adoptive parents often tell me they love me. They demonstrated and continue to demonstrate this by doing things like fixing my favorite meal. But they don’t love me at all, because they failed to give me away to rich strangers thousands of miles away, never to know what became of me again, so I could have a “better life.” Selfish, unloving creatures–I’ll bet there’s some Chinese in their ancestry somewhere.
Of course each family is different.
Nope. All Western families love correctly by laying down some cash and hollering “I love you!” All Chinese families get love wrong with their shitty homemade mittens. And this is why god wanted you to have a Chinese “daughter,” ostensibly, The End.
Really, I can’t believe you think you’re getting away with this. I can’t believe you have fooled yourself so very thoroughly. Shame on you.
I have met many Chinese families that coddle their children in love as much as I coddle mine.
What does the word “many” mean to you, anyway? You just said they don’t do that.
But speaking generally, I believe that it is dangerous for adoptive parents to project their own emotions onto women in China.
Empathy with another human is dangerous? To whom? How so? Since when?
When a birthmother is faced with the “unfortunate” birth of a girl, she will do what is viewed to be in the best interest of that child — the girl will be taken to a family with all boys, or a childless family, or left to be found and brought to the orphanage.
“Best interests of the child.” What a wonderful phrase…if you’re an adoptive parent or an agency worker. Again, you silly ass, these are the same words we used and use to talk real white USAian women out of their children, and we know white women are capable of love, so what is the difference? (And has NO Chinese family ever kept its own daughter? Dear gods, where do all those Chinese people COME from?)
It is an act that is understood, and done with little fanfare and emotion.
“Shameful” acts are undertaken without fanfare by definition, eh, Stupid? And how is it you’re privy to the emotional lives of so very many Chinese women? You can’t be because they don’t have emotional lives, remember? Love is too big an investment for them.
“It had to be done,” they might very well answer us if we could ask them why.
“Might”? “If”? But you DID ask them. All two of them. That was the point of your post, wasn’t it?
I believe for most birth mothers, it is felt and recognized that it has to be done, and it is accomplished with little emotion and less regret than we living here in the West often imagine.
Whatever helps you sleep at night, Punkin.
I have been the adoptive parent for my daughter Meigon for four years, the same length of time as the woman I interviewed in the opening to this essay. I ask myself if I would ever be willing
to bring her to an orphanage in order that I might find favor in the eyes of a woman. I can truthfully say that I would sooner remain single all my life than lose my daughter.
And I can truthfully say that I would enjoy watching you eat a big ol’ steaming bowl of night soil. Until you have been reincarnated as a poverty-stricken WOMAN and experienced the pressures poor WOMEN feel all over this patriarchal world, you need to shut up. You describe China as a girl-hating land full of poverty-stricken farmers, but you can’t imagine why a woman in such a society would have to (oh sorry, “choose to”) get married, at any cost, to any man? FUCK YOU.
No, really: sideways, Asshole.
That the woman above was able to leave her adoptive daughter at an orphanage is incomprehensible to me.
That anyone ever went to bed hungry at night in the US of A was incomprehensible to Ronald Reagan. That didn’t make him a saint, and you’re not one either. (Careful–you forgot the ostensible and the scare quotes. That could make it look to a casual reader as if you and this soulless, heartless Chinese abandon-thing are of the same species.)
Truthfully, that any woman would leave her child on the street, at a hospital, or at the orphanage is difficult for me to comprehend.
Just come out and call her a heartless slut, Dude. Plenty of people have gone there before you and plenty will go there after you. And one day your daughter will Google her name and/or yours, and she will read your thoughts about her hideous inhuman yellow mother-thing, and she will by golly feel some emotion. But she won’t dare display that to you, so you will never know that she hurts or why she hurts, and that is some awesome American love right there: FINEST KIND, not available in China.
I can pretend to understand it,
Not very well, you can’t. You can’t even pretend to feel for a fellow adoptive parent. You can’t even pretend to notice, let alone examine, your privilege as a white, well-off, Western man.
but in the final analysis I am simply forced
“forced, I say, forced! What do you expect me to do, jam my feet into some baby-dumping Chinky bitch’s teensy, clompity clogs? Screw that!”
to project my heritage, my culture, and my emotions onto her. So, while we may try to tell our children that their birth mothers loved them, that they regret having had to give them up, that they probably think about them everyday [sic], in the end it
makes us feel better to pretend our children were birthed by monsters–and to tell them so. Such Parent of the Year Award material you are, Sir!
is all our projection. It is what we would do if we were in their situation.
Holy backflipping Christ. You just SAID you’d never relinquish no matter the situation. Is your skull shaped like a pretzel, or only your brain?
And if your beloved daughter is the offspring of automatons incapable of feeling human regret, what does that make HER? What kind of message are you sending to the little girl you say you love by telling her she comes from people who don’t have feelings? How does that benefit her? How does it benefit anything other than your own selfish, pointless, stupid luxurious insecurity?
As adoptive parents we should be careful before we assert emotions to our children’s birthparents that might be simply our own projections or assumptions.
WHY? What harm could it possibly do to tell a child she was loved by her own mother like the overwhelming majority of children are, whether you have firsthand evidence of that or not? Who would it hurt?
I believe it can be damaging to our children
Dear god, the damage of believing your mother loves you. The terrible, irreparable damage! Surely your mother never said anything so damaging as “I love you” to you? Oh–wait, she DID, and you just used that as evidence of the superiority of American families over Chinese families. Wow.
to communicate feelings we think their birthparents had, which possibly they didn’t, or don’t have. To tell our children, for example, that their birthparents miss them, love them, etc., is
a thing we would take for granted if our kids didn’t come from China. It might even help our adopted children deal with believing they are unlovable. Do you read what you type?
simply communicating what we might feel, but does not necessarily communicate the reality of the birthparents.
Pray, what hath adoption to do with reality? Speaking as someone with an entirely legal yet entirely fictional birth certificate, I must know.
In all probability, they have moved on, looking to the future, and not dwelling on the past.
Culturally that is what they are taught to do.
Culturally, that is what every first mother in every country that has participated in adoption was told, taught and expected to do (unless, of course, her child was stolen outright). Inexplicably, only the white women suffer as a result.
In your comments section, a reader pointed out that s/he read/watched the interviews you did, and that when you asked these women how often they thought of their daughters, they both immediately answered “Every day.”
That’s how you can tell the cold chinky bitches don’t love like Merkins love right there, innit? The fact that they say the same thing a white woman might say, or that your wife might say…while failing miserably to be a white woman or to be your wife. Sir, you are so very far beneath contempt that you have wrapped yourself entirely around contempt so as to stand on its head…and deem yourself not contemptuous therefore. I hate you and I pity your children.
*I love you, Ironic Typo. I want to take you home and stuff you full of cookies, I do!