Tuesday, July 08, 2008

LOYALTY AND LURKERS

A dear friend of mine has been discussed in a manner that I find disgusting and very demeaning. She has had other issues to deal with in her life recently that precludes her from shutting it down herself. It irritates me that someone anyone would blast her on the Internet. I don't take kindly to someone doing this to someone I honestly love and respect like a sister.

They have read and posted about this blog. I honestly do not care. At least it is being discussed. My friend's blog is similar to mine. She has discussed her search, her lack of reunion, and adoption law. She like me is a member of Bastard Nation. Part of the tongue in check is the title of this organization. I too have called myself an ungrateful bastard. However, the reason why that organization named itself that was because adoptees' original birth certificate is marked bastard or illegitimate. I spoke with a fellow Indiana adoptee who has hers. Yep its marked illegitimate. I imagine mine is too. I was born two years before her.

Adoption for an adoptee is a lifetime event. Some treat it like its not or that its not an issue. Its not a one time event. It is an event that affects us for the rest of our lives, good or bad. The adoption industry treats us as if we are invisible. Both the government and the industry treats very separately. Separate is not equal.

I have been told many things over the last two to three years:
  • Shut up and be grateful that your adoptive parents took you in.
  • Your adoptive parents are probably ashamed of you.
  • Shut up and be grateful that you were not aborted.
  • Shut up and be grateful that you were not dumped.
  • We must protect the 'birth mothers" from their unwanted children.
Those are some very harsh realities. I expect your adopted children will face them if I and ULB haven't done our jobs.

Here are some of the tacky comments:

By Snafu Suz:

Of course her sense of loss and rejection is valid, and shouldn't be dismissed. I would imagine all adoptees at some point feel a sense of loss and rejection. I think what is a personal problem is her choice to perpetuate these feelings and hold on to them rather than work through them. Just the title of her blog implies she has no intention of working through this any time soon. Granted, I haven't read her blog, but the harshness of the title definitely says a lot.

Snafu Suz, I wonder if you realize what your name implies. Situation Normal All Fucked Up Suz. Military term that I know very well. You are criticizing ULB for her terminology. Pleeeeuuuuze give me a break. If you knew anything about ULB, she has seriously worked through her issues concerning her adoption. If you read her blog, it would make you think outside of this little box that you have yourself cornered into.

By FaithA:

Yes, I agree with your assessment of the self-imposed label. There is a danger is defining yourself by anything that happened to you because you choose to limit your future. If she truly self-identifies as an "ungrateful little bast@%#, then that colors how much joy she likely feels she can experience in life. I went through this in self-identifying as a "victim of child abuse." Yes, I once was a victim of child abuse, but I am no longer a "victim" today. My life can be anything I want it to be.

I could have entitled my personal blog as anything. I chose "Blooming Lotus" because the lotus flower is planted in the muck and mire of the pond but sends out shoots (hope) until it breaks through the surface of the water and brings beauty to the world. That is a very different message than something like "The World's Doormat." The labels we choose for ourselves have power, and I find it sad if she truly feels that her life is forever marred by being placed for adoption.

Ya'll are making a lot of assumptions about ULB. Her life is everything and then some. She is a great, articulate writer. She nails it home great. I think calling one's self a bastard is like telling folks like you to fuck off. Its defiant. In this situation, I think its warranted. Your tone is demeaning and degrading. It treats adoptees like pets.

By Linny (I didn't include all of it because it can be found with the link above):

What I can't accept here, is that the "Ungrateful B-" chooses NOT to separate the rest of her life from what occurred beyond her control.

In my life, the summation of my childhood, it would seem my mother wasn't so thrilled with me either.

I'm not adopted; but for years, THOUGHT I was because of the lack of info about me (compared to that of my sibs), and because of the way my mom acted toward me.
I was the last child.
I was born years after my sibs.
One could easily think MY 'feelings of rejection' were because my mother disliked me. One might also suspect that my birth was 'unexpected', 'unplanned' and therefore, resulted in my mother's seeming rejection, couldn't one?

And yet, years later, in my own searching, I discovered that I WASN'T adopted. I also found that of the three kids, my mother was eager to get pregnant with a child (me). And, only years later, did I realize how much physical pain and agony she truly experienced dealing with a serious, physical illness.

In retrospect, it's very possible it was her deteriorating and debilitating pain that caused her comments of bitterness and displeasure throughout my childhood.
Without that piece of knowledge, it was easy to assume her feelings and figure she just really-- hated ME. It wasn't until after she died (just about five years ago), that I began to see and understand parts of her I'd never understood before.

That's my point here. (Long way around the barn, I agree....but it's my point.) In this case, we only see what the blogger is allowing us to see. She's CHOOSING to list 'adoption' as the main factor in her disappointment in life. She's CHOOSING to list 'adoption' as the main ingredient in making her life 'less-than' it could have been. If only.....If ONLY.........

Yet, on the other hand, how DID her adoptive parents treat her and act about the title of adoption, you know? I read and hear about SO many women who continually lament of 'not being fertile and giving physical birth'...and I think, 'Get over it!'....because while they're lamenting, they have this adopted baby/child in their lives....What is that 'lamenting' really saying???
I'd have to agree it's possible their adopted child will grow up feeling 'less than', after hearing over and over again how their mothers 'couldn't get pregnant and their lives will never--feel--completely intact!'

Excuse me why do modern day adopters always ask what her adoptive parents did to her? Why must it be that the adopters abused an adoptee? This just diminishes the adoptee. Well her adoptive parents abused and that is why she is the way she is. Its not adoption itself that did this. I had good adoptive parents but I am still angry at adoption. Its the way adoption is practiced and how it treats the people that it is supposed to serve, the adoptee. Adoption has become about the adopters and their needs. Adoption gives the following impressions to the adoptee.

  • Before we are chosen, we are unchosen.
  • Love is abandonment. "Your mother loved you enough to give you away or to people who could take care of you.
  • The states, the industry and society itself treats us like we can't handle our own affairs.
  • It gives some natural parents the right to abandon the truth that they owe their child.
  • It gives some adoptive parents a savior complex. Then it blames it on the adoptee for not accepting it.
I am personally sick of it. I don't want to be grateful. In fact, I am not good at it. Is this how your treat your adopt child? If so, you will be seeing your own child's blog online in the years ahead. It will be more angry than mine or ULB's could ever be. I suggest you continue to read about us ungrateful little bastards. I suggest putting yourself in our shoes. Imagine that you have been taken to another country or state. Imagine that you were forced to give up all of your identification, phone, credit cards and other forms of identifying information. Imagine you had to accept this new family as your own. Imagine that you were told to shut up and be grateful that this strange family wanted you. Imagine if you were told that you could never talk to your family ever again. Imagine if you were told that you had to accept it because if you didn't you would be labeled angry and bitter. Imagine all that you feel about it was dismissed. That is what it feels like to be an adoptee.


23 comments:

Ungrateful Little Bastard said...

You're incredibly sweet, you so didn't have to do that, but thank you.

Professor Suzanne said...

Adoptive parents need to consider the future, the child, and how being handed over to strangers (yes, at the time, the aparents were strangers) is jarring and life changing for babies...and the adults they become.

How is it that some aparents forget this? Will every child respond in the same way, of course not. But reality is, some adoptees will respond as Amy and others have, with anger. What kind of parent do you want to be? The kind that makes the child/adult/adoptee feel WORSE or the kind that accepts the child/adult/adoptee has a right to feelings (and documents).

Ultimately, certain events change who we are. It's that simple. Adoption is one such event for some, abuse is it for another, neglect for still others, and so on. Things don't go away, as these posters wish they would. A person's past is his/her past...always will be. And writing about it is "dwelling" it is healing and educating.

Sigh. How come others who aren't adopted can't here the words of those who are?

suz said...

Wow. What happened to ULB? I missed that. Did not realize she went private. I will have to email her. Thanks for letting me know.

Lori A said...

I am not an adoptee. I am a first mother in reunion and between my daughter (who got almost everything)and myself we sometimes end up feeling guilty because her adopted life and our reunion has been that of a fairy tale compared to others. I understand the pain and the rollercoaster feelings of first mothers. She understand first hand the feelings of adoptees.

All this "you are what you think" inspirational crap is not going to change the deep scars that are left on adoptees, first parents and infertal adoptive parents.

Telling someone to get over it belittles them as a person. It says I have no compassion for you, I'm too shallow to acknowledge your pain.

Post a full length picture and a little background about yourself and I'm sure I can find something about you that I can throw in your face. Maybe it's that you were so fat your thighs rubbed together, or you have a huge over bite that no one can miss. How about that you were so poor as kids, and there were so many members in your family that you didn't get to bathe regularly and you were the stinky kid.

You may think I'm way off base here but my point is that these things if you look at them all had nothing to do with you, it was all decided for you either by your parents circumstances or their gene pool. You had no control over it. Kinda like adoption.

Have you really recovered from your own scars four eyes, fatso, stinky? Can no one make you feel like crap any more because you have chosen a feel good name for your blog?

Quit giving advice when you don't understand the situatiion. It is not about adoptive parents, how they were raised, what they got or didn't get materially. It's loss, it's pain of being without someone you are inherently suposed to be with.

Its the practice of adoption and the secrets and lies it creates and keeps creating. It's the feeling of limbo as far as ancestry, looks and personal traits.

ITS THE INDUSTRY that's hated. The people who keep it going for their own monetary gain, not caring about the humans its going to affect.

And you can't get past or blame it all on the choice of a name? Pffft.

I love her name. It has that back in your face attitude. She didn't chose that name, it was given to her. All she did was chose to embrace it.

I read a book as a kid called "Ten Little Indians" By the title, I had no interest in the book what so ever. Who cares about 10 indian kids? Not what the book was about at all. It was an Agatha Christie and it was brilliant. Another was "The Breakfast of Champions" Who cares what rich or athletic people eat for breakfast? Not me. It's a Kurt Vonigut that inspired me to read more of his work.

What ULB and others do is not only for them but for all the others that are going to come up through the ranks of adoption. They want you to experience as close to first hand as possible what this is doing to people. The scars it is leaving no matter what you got as a kid, or how wonderful it was to have June and Ward as parents. The many ways it is inner twined into everyday life for them. The problems it causes them regularly.

She wants you to be offended by the name. Just like she is offended by it. Just like thousands of others are offended by it. A name that was GIVEN because they had feeling of loss for the parents who bore them. But then you would know that if you got past the title of the blog.

Adopted is not a nationality. It is in fact the lack there of.

Don't judge a book by it's cover?

kim said...

I love "Linny's" comment, "What I can't accept here..."

Who is she to accept or not accept anything? ULB has an opinion about her life. It's her life and her opinion.

As I see it, adopted people have two contexts in which to view their origins (with innumerable variations on the themes):

1. My mother/parents did not want me and therefore I was somehow intrinsically unloveable until I was adopted and became somehow magically loveable again; or

2. My mother/parents loved me so much, they gave me away to strangers. This can only mean that someone who claims to love you more than anything can walk away from you, because it's for "your own good."

This leaves the adopted person with 2 horrible choices about the beginnings of his or her life and how he or she will treat all other relationships.

Conventional wisdom now tells us that the fetus hears and recognizes its mother's voice while in the womb and that the first month of life is all important in child development. Yet, most adopted people of my era--I was born in 1967--were left in foster care or an orphanage or, as in my case, with nuns, for at least a month before being placed.

So, the adopted person is expected to be thrust into a totally foreign environment, with voices and sounds he or she has never heard, have the first 10 months of his or her existence wiped off the map, and be totally OK with his or her experience?

To be told you were "chosen" isn't very helpful. Did someone else see me first and not choose me? What was wrong with all the other kids? Why weren't they chosen? If I was so great why didn't my birthmother "choose" to keep me?

I could go on...

I'm sad that ULB made her blog private, I enjoyed reading it.

Hmmm. Maybe I am an ULB too.

Marley Greiner said...

What possible business is it of Snafu Suz, Faith A (please tell me this isn't THE Faith Allen!) and the swarm of busybodies who apparently made a landing on Ungrateful Little Bastard's blog? Adoptees as a class are told constantly to be be grateful (they weren't aborted, tossed in a dumpster, returned from where you came from, etc). It's what the state tells us every day when they seal our birth records. So, when someone takes that name and turns the tables, it's shocking, I tell you, shocking...considered some form of dysfunction...or worse.

In case you harpies are reading this, go to the Bastard Nation faq: http://www.bastards.org/FAQ.html


We at Bastard Nation believe that there is NOTHING shameful about having been born out of wedlock or about being adopted. We selected our name because we will no longer be made to feel shamed by the odious state laws that permanently seal our original birth records. We do not fling the word "bastard" at anyone. Rather, we wear it proudly as we work to achieve our goal of equal and unconditional access to original birth records for all adult adoptees. http://www.bastards.org/whoweare

If you don't like, it get off the bus. You do not own us and you do not define us.

The Improper Adoptee said...

ULB is nice. She didn't deserve that and I have to lmao Faith and other nimrods like her who are too unintelligent to see that adoptees who call themselves ungrateful little bastards are critizing the sinster adoption system, NOT being attention mongers with neurotic tendencies...

Eve said...

Sigh. I had a long comment that I tried to post twice, and it never went through. Mostly I wanted to say I love ULB and the adoptive parents you're quoting are being imbeciles. But you already know that.

Your post is excellent, writing impassioned and right on.

Snafu Suz said...

This is Snafu Suz here. I’d like to respond to this blog entry and to some of the comments.

First, I want to say that my intent was never to minimize or dismiss anyone's pain. If what I said came across that way, I apologize. While I was not adopted, I have experienced plenty of pain from my own childhood. My family was dysfunctional and abusive. I share that simply to say that I do understand what it feels like to experience deep, family pain. I do understand the difficulty of trying to make sense of childhood wounds that you carry into adulthood. I won't claim to understand what it feels like to be an adoptee, but emotional pain is no stranger to me. The last thing I want to do is minimize or dismiss someone else’s pain.

I am not an adoptive parent - yet. Our home study was approved just 4 months ago and we are waiting to be matched with a child. I read Adoption Under One Roof to learn as much as I possibly can because I know I am a complete newbie when it comes to adoption and the issues surrounding it. I go there to learn and discuss, but I haven't been on that site more than a couple of months. Now that I've found this blog, I will read this one too. I want to learn, I want to understand, and I want to be respectful. I am not unintelligent, an imbecile, nor a nimrod as a few have assumed, but I am definitely very early in my adoption learning curve and I’ll be the first to admit that.

As for my comment, I made a point to state that I hadn't read ULB's blog. My comments were speculation based only on the posts written about her blog, and based on the other comments. By the time I made my comment there had been 2 posts and 12 comments already made. By that time the conversation had veered off into a discussion about the title of ULB’s blog, what the title implies to a new visitor who has yet to read the blog, and how we define ourselves by the labels we choose for ourselves. My comment was not a personal attack on ULB; it was an interjection into a lengthier conversation.

Yes, my initial reaction to the title of the blog was that the writer is bitter and angry. To someone who hasn’t read the blog and is new to the world of adoption I don’t think that’s an unreasonable assumption. Three comments after mine KatjaMichelle gave some insight from the adoptee’s perspective that “it's a label that’s been foisted on us so sometimes we use it in a joking manner.” Now how could I have known that? I couldn’t, but I’m glad she shared that with me because now I do. It’s all part of the discussion. We learn from discussing, debating and sharing, and that’s all we were doing over on AUOR. I don’t feel anyone was “blasting” ULB.

Lastly, I want to respond to this question: “Snafu Suz, I wonder if you realize what your name implies. Situation Normal All Fucked Up Suz.” Yes, I am well aware what S.N.A.F.U. stands for and what it implies. I use it in a joking manner (much like ULB – how ironic is that?) but it is based on underlying truth. My family was/is fucked up in many ways. My fucked up family in turn fucked me up to a certain degree. I have spent the better part of my adult life working through it and coming to terms with my family and myself. While I can heal and grow and improve, I can’t erase it completely. None of us can. We all have our battle scars and varying degrees of being fucked up. But what I have been through has made me who I am, and I am not ashamed of that person. I am not perfect, I have a lot to learn, but I try to keep an open mind and a humble heart. I may be fucked up, but I am a work in progress. That’s why I use the moniker Snafu Suz.

If you’ve made it this far through my monster comment, thank you for reading it. I hope there are no hard feelings because no malice was ever intended.

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

There is a saying amongst many military personel and others. You make an ass out of you and me when you assume. ULB is one blogger most adoptive parents should read. If you new to the adoption world, you most definitely should read some of mine, most of Marley's and many first mother bloggers out there. Its harsh reading. I commend you for taking the time to read. I do not like the way that adoption is practiced in the United States.

I started out this blog to chronicle my journey to reunion. Upon my denial of contact, I changed it to understand a first mother's point of view. Under the careful tutoring of Marley Greiner, I have learned more. Adoption is not about the adoptee, the adoptive parent or even the natural parent. It is however about the industry's ability to make money. It is about the industry's ability to cover their butts.

Faith Allen said...

Hi. I am the "Faith Allen" you are referencing in this post. Let me clarify that I am NOT the Faith Allen in the Masha situation. Faith Allen is a pen name that I chose for a variety of reasons before I knew about THAT Faith Allen. That turned out to be an unfortunate coincidence.

I just want to echo what Snafu Suz said about our comments being about self-identifying labels in general. That is why I brought up my history of child abuse. I do not know the pain of being placed for adoption, but I do know the pain of being severely abused by my biological mother as well as many family friends. My comments were not meant to be dismissive -- just the opposite. The trauma of child abuse is deeply painful. Equating that pain with adoptee pain is a comparison of deep pain. I was trying to be empowering, not dismissive, when I shared that I have worked hard to find a way not to let the choices of my abusers limit my own potential in adulthood. I apologize if my words were taken otherwise.

Like Snafu Suz, I was unaware that someone would see applying the name "bastard" to herself as anything other than self-limiting. I, too, only learned this after reading Katya's comment. I was the first person to reply to Katya's comment with this response:

++++++++

Glad to hear it

I am glad to hear that the title of her blog is intended to be more tongue in cheek. Yes, I get that sense of humor.

- Faith

http://ouradopt.com/adoption-blog/jul-2008/lisas/adoption-and-rejection

++++++++++

Based upon some of the things you have written in this post, we actually have more in common than you might think. I, too, have major issues w/the adoption industry, especially when they "charge more" for different types of children. That makes me ill.

I not only support but have participated in attempts to change the laws so that adoptees can access their birth records. I see no valid reason for ANY adult to be denied access to basic information about her own history such as an original birth certificate.

One reason that I helped create the Adoption Under One Roof website is to encourage dialogue throughout the adoption triad. Most sites seem to have places only for members of one, or maybe two, sides of the adoption triad. However, adoption involves all sides, and all views matter. Without input from other members of the adoption triad, I have a much harder time seeing the bigger picture.

If you have any interest, I would love for you to submit a guest blog over on Adoption Under One Roof (to editor@ouradopt.com) to talk about ANY position on adoption that you choose. We are always respectful, even when we disagree. I think you have a lot of insight to offer our readers, such as Snafu Suz. You would be welcome to provide links back to your blog and others blogs that express your point of view so our readers can read additional material.

One more thing (and thanks for being patient in reading this far!!) -- I think that the best chance that we have of changing adoption laws is to work together as an adoption triad. As long as only adoptees are seeking changes in the laws, lawmakers can assume that they are protecting the "rights" of first mothers and adoptive parents. However, if we all work together and are clear that NONE of us want these laws, there is a much better chance of the lawmakers hearing us.

Take care,

- Faith

Angela said...

About the guest blogs on ouradopt.com.... We have accepted old blogs and republished them. So if you have an older blog that you want to draw attention to, you can send that.

Also a very easy blog to write that many people appreciate is a top 10 favorite blogs list. What are your favorite first mom or adoptee blogs?

- AngelaW

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

I get what you folks are saying. I understand that. Unfortunately, I don't have the additional time to put into a guest blog. I am busy trying to help getting the Adoptee Rights Protest together. Perhaps Marley above would like to do it. She actually is the authoritative person on adoptee rights.

My issue with you folks was that you were being dismissive to adoptees in general. Part of the reason why my friend was targeted was her title. The Daily Bastardette is just as controversial if not more so. I know that. Why did the discussion of her relationship with her adoptive parents have to do with it? I don't think an adoptee's relationship with their parents has an effect on the discussion. I also realize you want to make sure that you don't do the same thing. Asking this question invalidates an adoptee's experience. Just like the person who commented on my blog years ago saying that my adoptive parents are probably ashamed of me. If my adoptive mother had read that, she would have climbed through the computer screen and attacked. Everyone assumes that there must be a reason for an adoptee to dislike adoption.

My adoptive mother encouraged me onto this path. I don't think she counted on me being an activist as a result. All parents make mistakes. That is all part of humanity.

I again suggest reading adoptee blogs. I have a good selection as does ULB. I suggest reading first mother blogs as well. I suggest openness and honesty in your adoptions. Make sure that the children you adopt are in fact orphans or free for adoption. Many adoptive parents are now finding out that their children were not free for adoption. Do not ever diminish your child's parents. Read about adoption. Read Betty J. Lifton, Read Anne Babb, Read Ann Fesler. Read them all. Then write your legislators and ask for transparency in adoption. Ask for adoptee access. Put your money where your mouth is.

Faith Allen said...

When you have any literature put together about the Adoptee Rights Protest (a flyer or a blog that you write with details), could you please forward a copy to our site at editor@ouradopt.com? We could post that information over on our site as well. If other members of the adoption triad are welcome to participate, we might have readers in the area who would show up and offer their support as well.

Take care,

- Faith

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

Sandra Hanks Benoiten should have all the information. The head organizer of the adoptee rights demonstration was in contact with her via email.

You can find all of the current information on the http://www.adopteerights.net/nulliusfillius
website.

TherapyisExpensive said...

totally off topic but I cant help myself my name is KATJA, the German spelling with J not a Y...thanks so much.

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

I was initially like what. It was not me that you were talking to. Snickering now.

The Improper Adoptee said...

I meant to say before that I regonize Faith's icon..she requested to add me but I got a bad feeling and denied her....then I saw it again in the Adoption Is Binding myspace group that ripped me apart right and left....and now I find out from HER that she is an adoptive mother. And some people wonder why I posted the blog I just did...

Faith Allen said...

Yikes. I fear there are at least three Faith Allens related to adoption out there. I know about the Faith Allen w/Masha, and then there is me. It sounds like this is a third one.

Faith Allen is a common name, which is one of the reasons I chose it for my pen name. I only wish I knew there were so many controversial Faith Allens in the adoption world when I chose it.

I have never been to myspace at all for anything and have never heard of Adoption is Binding. I also never requested to be added to any blog. I sometimes post comments, as I am doing now, but I have never requested access to another person's blog. So, that Faith Allen might or might not be an adoptive mother.

The avatar I use is a blooming lotus. You can see it on my personal blog:

http://faithallen.wordpress.com/

Anything on the Internet with that particular blooming lotus is me because my friend took that picture, and it is copyrighted.

I am sorry about all of the confusion.

- Faith

The Improper Adoptee said...

Well, somebody here is lying Faith, and it ain't me..your logo, Adoption Under One Roof, IS in that horrific Adoption is Binding group as a member-so you must be afflicated with them or that is your myspace-but what it all boils down too, is that you are Pro-Adoption, and you attacked an adoptee very hurt by the rotten adoption system, so that makes you dirt in my book..

Anonymous said...

i really liked the post i can tell that most people hate but then like you, amy

Faith Allen said...

Oh, if you are talking about the Adoption Under One Roof logo, then that would be one of my partners who started an Adoption Under One Roof myspace page to advertise our site over there. I have not been to the myspace site myself. I don't know how myspace works, but maybe our myspace page is linked to that other site as a "friend"??

I thought you meant that my pen name "Faith Allen" was posting rude things to you over there. I would not do that. I also did not attack any adoptee. If you read what I wrote, there was nothing in what I wrote that attacked anyone.

Again, I apologize for all of the confusion.

Take care,

- Faith

KITE KAMP GIRL said...

Lets keep the dialogue active but nice. I don't want anyone attacked here.