Mea Culpa #2

Two posts in one day, both mea culpas, and both for overactive commenting. I'm on a roll.

This time (and it isn't the first time) I'm apologizing for overstepping my bounds by submitting comments in response to two posts (here and here) on Twice the Rice that stated an opinion regarding Korean adoption travel. This blog is a good read - covers many subjects, adoption being just one of them. And the adoption discussions don't beat around the bush.

The posts in question encouraged adoptive parents to travel to Korea to meet their children, and pointed out that a-parents who chose not to travel for their own convenience were not acting in the best interests of their children. A-parents sent unwanted comments that weren't posted, triggering more indignant responses from some.

Today, the author posted a response to the many a-parent emails and comments, saying, "My blog is neither for nor about China APs. It's not about Korea APs. It's not about any adoptive parents at all." She also said, "I often find that APs, having seen their comments published on my blog, feel that this implies my 'approval' of their actions or their choices."

I should have realized earlier that, by intruding into adoptee space, I squelch a dialog that doesn't belong to me, and force acceptance where I am owed none. The contents of the comments aren't necessarily at issue - it's the fact that I submitted them at all. And I apologize. Lesson learned,

For anyone interested in the travel issue:

In the early 1990s and perhaps later, travel to Korea wasn't always an a-parent's choice. Many agencies, including ours, had policies that prevented a-parents from traveling to Korea. We were told that having a child escorted ensured that we would be awake and ready to parent when the child arrived, not jet-lagged and exhausted. (They forgot to mention that traveling to Korea was the right thing to do for your child. Oh, and that exactly three days after your child arrived, you'd be jet-lagged and exhausted anyway even if you hadn't been on a plane.) Later I learned that the no-travel policy was financially motivated. When escorts did the traveling, one-way tickets could be booked because the escorts were often GIs, students, or ex-pats returning to the states. The agency travel fees, however, were based on round-trip airfare. The difference went to the Korean agency. I also believe, but haven't gone out there and researched it, that many, if not most, agencies now at least allow travel, although I don't know how many still encourage the escort system.

One last unrelated point: I think that sometimes adoption agencies and adoptive parents are viewed as one big monolithic entity. There are certainly some adoptive parents who are so grateful for their children that they become completely loyal to their agencies, sometimes to the point of blindness. Some, however, question agency policies, and are trying to do something about that, including working toward the ultimate close-down of Korean adoption programs.

Comments

Anonymous said…
One last unrelated point: I think that sometimes adoption agencies and adoptive parents are viewed as one big monolithic entity.

--> I think that is why when you (not you personally) have a popular blog and you make sweeping (negative) generalizations about aparents or IA there is going to be some controversy.

Actually, if you have a blog with a large readership (any blog) you have to anticipate that not everyone will agree with you-- and some will tell you so in an impolite manner. It may be that person's blog, but it is public. In other words, public bloggers can't have it both ways: I'll say whatever I want and expect everyone give me high fives.
dianah said…
"I should have realized earlier that, by intruding into adoptee space, I squelch a dialog that doesn't belong to me, and force acceptance where I am owed none. The contents of the comments aren't necessarily at issue - it's the fact that I submitted them at all. And I apologize. Lesson learned,"


Margie,
Yes, I am feeling exactly this way. I've refrained from repling in most instances unless it was to show support (or try to wake up a few clueless APs). But I see that I was/am the intruder - no matter how well intentioned.

And, honestly, the last thing Ji-in needs is another mom rushing in to defend her... something she is quite capable of doing on her own. :-)

So, yes, another lesson learned for me as well...

PS.. I think you've done a great job with your blog and appreciate what you are doing.
I don't think you need to apologize. She was right to decide not to post comments that she feels detract from what she wants to say, OK. But you can certainly say what you think, and let her decide if she wants to publish it or not. I find your comments to be respectful, enlightening and honest. I don't think I would have read her at all if you hadn't called attention to her blog, and for that I thank you. If everyone spoke as gracefully as you we would all be learning a lot more, IMO. Keep on sayin' what you're sayin' girl!
Margie said…
It was important for me to acknowledge that I heard her message. I just want to be sensitive to the fact that an a-parent's presence really can kill the dialog.

And there's enough blog to go around for everyone, LOL!!!

Thanks for the thoughts :)
Mo said…
If we are going to blog and allow comments to those blogs, then we do have to expect comments that we don't like. I liked your message. It makes me sad sometimes how us vs. them we get. Both sides seem to be equally at fault, but you are gracious in your acknowledgment. Because I am both an adoptee and the mother of an adoptee, sometimes I feel like I'm caught in the middle.

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