Is anyone there? I know on the weekends the blogosphere becomes the field the day after the carnival ends... Not quite as fun as you remember it being, full of rotten caramel apples and scary carnies.
A little something horrifying in the spirit of a carnival:
(Taken from this gem of an article: 38 Baby Shower Cakes Made from Nightmares)
Seeing as how it's probably pretty quiet, here, apart from sharing the cake that I will absolutely be taking with me to the next party I'm invited to (note I said party, and not necessarily baby shower) I would like to take this opportunity to vent a little.
Today I went to the gym with the fabulous glitter shitting gay husband known as Mr. T, and we followed that up with eating at a restaurant called "More Than Waffles". (Not just waffles, ya'll.. More than waffles). Over our surprisingly waffleless plates we got into a discussion about adoption, as this is one of the options Mr. T and his husband are considering in the not-so-distant future. I was mostly piping in about how if I were a birthmom, I would totes be hunting down the liberal gay dudes in a sea of heterosexual white couples.
Yesterday I was directed via Twitter (talk about an online carnival) to a lovely, informative article about adoption on an adoption website.. Coming home today, adoption on the brain, I perused the website again and came across an article that made me squirm a little bit.
The jist: it's written by an adoptee, and it discusses the trauma that all adoptees experience from being adopted. How we all experience a fear of abandonment, have rejection issues, and will spend our childhoods overcompensating by either acting out or blending in. The writer is an adoptee, he has some research to back his statements up, and while I'm not in agreement with everything that he said he delivers it in a kindhearted, open way.
I'm an adoptee, ya'll. I am surprisingly uninformed about how many adoption websites, articles, etc. there are. One of these days I'll write about my adoption story and meeting my birthparents, but frankly I keep forgetting that it's interesting to anyone - that's how much of a non-issue it is for me. Perusing around the interwebs today and seeing how much stuff there is on the subject is a bit like overhearing someone talking about you... what you hear is either going to make you feel wonderful or shitty, not a whole lot of room in between.
Apart from my very strong feelings about telling adopted children they are adopted in a positive way, before they're even old enough to understand what that means (please, pretty please with sugar on top) I usually don't have too many loud opinions about it. Am I stoked about being the subject of many horror movies and the idea that being an orphan gives me an interesting edge from birth? Yes. I don't feel like I need to talk about it all the time, and I also don't have any problem talking about it whenever it comes up. I'm totes in the middle, ya'll.
The article made me squirm a bit (I feel like it may accidentally send the message 'you're signing up for a problem child!') but some of the comments made me full on clench my fists.
Particularly one from a birthmother... Now, she must have had a very terrible experience, but she says that 90% of adoptions are 'unnecessary', that adoption agencies are money-grubbers who work only with the interests of their 'infertile clients', and that there are no tests or hoops to weed out alcoholics or pedophiles most of the time. (Cause you know, if you're a pedophile, quickest route to a child is adoption! So simple!)
(Taken from this gem of an article that made me pee my pants).
Cue head exploding.
I am in a particularly unique position to respond to this, because I am both an adult adoptee and an infertile.
First, I know a million adopted people, none of whom - regardless of whether their adoptive parents ended up divorcing, or if they grew up wishing to find their birth parents - think of their adoption as 'unnecessary'. That is... insulting.
Second, as an infertile I resent the picture that I'm some sort of subfertile asshat whose desire is to hire a fancy attorney to coax an unwilling baby from a saintly fertiles arms. I feel I can safely speak for the infertile community in saying that by the time you're looking to adopt, you've jumped through plenty of hoops and are absolutely at the mercy of everyone else involved - power is not something that you have. (And sidenote - my Mom was perfectly fertile, she chose to adopt thankyouverymuch).
Considering I'm adopted and I've gone through years of infertility treatments, I think I have been asked a few more times than the average bear - in timid ways and in accusatory ways - 'why don't I just adopt'. For the record, the idea of having someone genetically related to me that I see every day, seems like science fiction. I want to experience it. Rare is the adoptee who adopts, an unadopted person can say to themselves 'I had genetic siblings and parents - genetics don't mean anything'. I know that, I do, but I would like to experience it - and that's not even really a point that needs to be made. Having been adopted and raised by the most loving people on the planet, and having been an infertile, my feeling is that everyone has a right to build their family in the way that they see fit, and if they end up adopting, they need to come to it naturally and be super stoked about it.
I resent the implication that I am in some way 'defective'. That they did a study about people like me, and have reached the conclusion that I have 100% either spent my life behaving badly or behaving too kindly. I think we can all agree here that I'm a bit of a grab bag just like any other human being on the planet.
No one has 'studied' me. No one has sat down and asked me about my adoption experience and compiled it for scientific data. And until someone does talk to every single adoptee on the planet, I have to say that I find most 'statistics' about what I'm 'like' to be about as useful as reading my horoscope. Sure, some capricorns are going to find it wildly insightful and applicable, others are going to find it to be a giant hunk of horseshit. It's one fat generalization about a huge group of people who happen to have been born in similar conditions.
So I just wanted to state very clearly for any women who have adopted, are thinking about adopting or have it on the 'someday' backburner - you are no more likely to get a defective human being by adopting than you would by giving birth to your 'own'.
I am so sick - so sick! - of reading things all over the internet about how if you adopt a child, if you end up with an autistic child, if you don't breastfeed your child (which by the way is insulting to adoptees), if you don't chew through the cord at a water birth, that you're just going to be royally fucked with this tragic mess of a human being.
I'm adopted. I'm married to an autistic person. No one breast fed me. To the question of whether or not I'll be making you all shampoo out of my future placenta, put me down for no. If you're signing onto motherhood in hopes that you're going to make a perfect person, you're in for a world of surprises. Show me a person who's not a little weird, who has no damage, and I'll show you someone who can't be trusted. Serial killers are usually the beige people smiling all the time, kids.
That all being said - if you adopt are you going to have someone with rejection issues?
Yes. It's icky to even write that, but from my experience, yes you are.
Every adoption story is different. One day I'll find the right words to maybe explain it on here, but I can say as an adoptee that children most definitely, in utero, come out with a sense of whether they were wanted or unwanted. (I was wanted - my birthmom was just unable to mother me. I know adoptees who have the same feeling, and I know adoptees who have known since birth that they would not be welcomed should they go looking their birthmother up. It differs).
Being adopted is being the perfect experiment in the genetics vs. environment debate. From my experience, the answer 60% of the time is environment, 30% of the time both, and 10% genetics.
I am extremely uncomfortable with any website - regardless of studies to back it up, regardless of whether it's authored by 10 thousand psychologists or 10 thousand carnies - who make any generalizations about all adoptees. Again, I know a gajillion of them and they are all different.
The only general conclusions I have reached about adoptees is that yes, we'll all have some degree of a rejection issue, some tiny some huge. We're born out of some kind of loss. (And I'm even anxious to write that just as my experience, because I'm sure there's a person out there who doesn't have any rejection issue.. I just haven't met them).
All that means is that we need that hug for a few seconds longer, we need to be reminded sometimes when someone declines something of us that it's not a rejection of who we are as people. That's it. That's the issue.
But fuck me... there are plenty of unadopted adults who have that. There are plenty of unadopted adults who have been rejected by their biological parents. There are plenty of unadopted adults who act crazy rebellious as teenagers, who have to lock and unlock their door three times before they can leave their house, who have to look at their toilet paper after they wipe, who are incapable of being nice to anyone who serves them, etc. etc. etc. At least with adoption, you'll know from the get-go what 'problem' it is that you're signing up for.
If what you're looking for is a perfect human, you don't want to be a Mom, you want to be God. And that's all there is to it.
PS - on an unrelated note, lookie lookie! I'm on BlogHer! INTERNET FAMOUS.