Undeserved

Grown in My Heart has a list up of the 101 Best Adoption, Loss and Infertility Blogs. This blog is undeservedly in the list. I thank Grown in My Heart for including me, but can't for the life of me think of why. I haven't said an intelligent word about adoption here for a long time - partially because of recent work events, but not entirely.

I've been struggling on the adoption front for awhile now with the feeling that always pointing out the bad stuff doesn't really help improve adoption. Part of this is due to the fact that I just can't shake that feeling of hypocrisy that has dogged my writing since the very beginning - that feeling that because I have benefited so much from adoption that I really shouldn't be pointing fingers at others, especially when I myself was truly waffle-headed about adoption issues at the onset of this journey. I knew nothing and thought little about first parent loss, accepted our agency's party line, and moved forward. It has always seemed a little disingenuous for me to be bashing the bad guys when I was pretty much the same way back when.

Maybe still in more ways than I realize.

Seeing my blog on that list is a bit of a wake up call. I really need to get through this mindset and figure out what I want to say, because it's in there. I'm just not sure how to get it out of my head, particularly now with all the life-changes going on. (On that front, I start the new job on Monday - I'm really excited, a little nervous, but most just grateful to be re-employed.)

I will work on that. In the meantime, I thank those of you who have started following when I'm not even writing. And I thank GIMH for a shout-out that I most definitely do not deserve.

Comments

Kerri said…
I thank you for writing. I often see my own thoughts reflected here. I'm much earlier in the process than you, having been an adoptive parent for almost 3 years now. However, my thoughts on adoption have changed so much over that time, especially after adopting my (at the time) 7 year old daughter 19 months ago. It's definitely not all warm and fuzzy now and it's nice to see that other adoptive parents see the bad parts too.
Kris said…
I echo what Kerri said. I follow a lot of adoptee and first mother blogs and have learned a tremendous amount (things I admit to not realizing before adopting) and I do this in an effort to understand adoptees' and first mothers' experiences regarding adoption - the vast majority is very negative. However, sometimes it does get to be "too much" and I have to step away from it for a while and just enjoy my beautiful 5 year old daughter in the here and now. I love reading your blog b/c it echoes a lot of what I feel and think about adoption these days but from the AP perspective - as an AP I refrain from commenting much on the other blogs - APs are just not welcome many places, but here I feel more comfortable to do so. I too have benefitted from adoption and often feel hypocritical and it is such a strange place to be/feeling to have. I have bio children as well and I struggle with wondering if I knew then what I know now, would I still have adopted?? I just don't know. I will continue to follow your blog - from what I can see you are well respected by all sides of the triad (I found your blog from an adoptee blog) and I think you deserve the recognition you got!
Terra said…
Dear Margie,

Hurray.

Providing intelligent words about adoption requires sometimes backing off and focusing on other areas in life that are equally key, which you have proved yourself able to do. Expertly cutting through the knot of assumptions your willingness to explore and delve into hard issues provides a forum for not only for yourself, but for all of us here.

Without a doubt "Third Mom" deserves to be placed in the top 100. Thank you for lending your voice.
suz said…
You know I often get chided for being too negative about adoption. Really? Come on. It is not standard practice to want to change something by stating all that is wonderful about it.

There are some very bad things about adoption, things first parents and adoptive need to be told. Until society sees this, until it starts happening, until we put family preservation first and giving children to naive strangers last, I am perfectly fine being considered negative.

Hugs to you.
Terra said…
Outstanding comment Suz.

I agree wholly.
Margie said…
Thanks all - I appreciate your insights.

Suz, you are absolutely correct in that there's negativity inherent in trying to change something bad. I don't have a problem with being personally seen as taking a more negative stance, but that's not exactly what I've been pondering recently.

It has more to do with the risk of casting an unnecessarily negative light on those things in adoption that are or have the potential to be positive. What triggered it was an email I got from a new organization promoting adoption from North Korea.

My immediate reaction was "Here we go again - another program to solve a country's problem by sending its children away." But in the case of North Korea, there absolutely are children who have literally no hope. No family at all in a country that discards the unwanted far too easily.

I don't really believe that the political situation in North Korea could allow anyone to seriously entertain the possibility of adoption from that country, so in a way the point my brain is trying to make is moot anyway. But I'm finding it hard to find how to express that adoption could, in a country like North Korea, be a far better way to help children than to send donations to a country that is known for skimming off the good stuff and sending it Pyongyang for the big wigs.

When I settle in at work I'll post about it. My brain is mush right now - tomorrow's my first day!
KoreanWarBaby said…
Margie, Ladies,
As I have studied This Thing of Ours-Adoption (and you are all members) I have learned one BIG thing...The stories of all, no matter which part of the Adoption Triad, range from Great and Wonderful, to Sad and Horrible, and all the points in between. The shades of grey like a color spectrum apply to each situation,and each child as an individual HOW they react to losing their Natural/birth/bio mother.
In the cyberspace of Adoption, sure you see many mothers/adoptee/even adopters who seem to imply that ADOPTION is evil, and any trouble the child has MUST be related to its adoption. These groups really represent a minority! "The squeaky wheel gets the grease" meaning that you don't see the vast majority of "Happy Adoptees" doing blogs and taking surveys. What I have learned is that even the groups that represent unhappy Korean Adoptees number less than 500 including 'friends'. The Unwed Korean mothers' groups also number only 50-400 out of 350,000 Korean mothers who gave us up. Yes they, like the 50's and 60' in Western societies, were under pressure from their own family and society's rejection chose to give up their children.
I do NOT think ill of mothers who did give us up. In most cases I believe the act of giving up is equal to the LOVE that YOU as Adopting Mothers had to "Take by Choice" (meaning in Latin of Ad + Optare) a child not of your blood/genes.
In a perfect world there would be no broken homes, divorce, poverty, need to adopt, infertility, etc etc. PLEASE stop 2nd guessing and beating yourself over the head with, "Did I steal someones child?"
As YOU Margie said, you are the Third Mom (in some cases now because of the attempt to MAKE/Encourage Domestic Korean adoption) maybe the 4th MOM. Adoption did not Cause the Abandonment. Please check my site and see the current truth of the situation in Korea.
Raise you child with knowledge about it's country but he/she should also be aware that they must DEAL with life in the knowledge that they were given up in most cases by a mother who thought at the time that SHE could NOT take care of her.
I am totally sick of the FEW who darken the issues. YOU have also taken on the RIGHT of MOTHERHOOD by "Taking by CHOICE" to be a mother. Don't question What IS, just be open, learn all you can about the Trans-cultural realities to help your adopted child know who they are, a LIVING child.
MY own 2nd MOM always told me that my Mother must have suffered when she gave my sister and I up. "You were given up in Love...God gave me the responsibility and opportunity to BE your mother. Your mother did what was best for you, always remember that." When some well-meaning folks asked stupid questions, Mom said proudly, "I AM his REAL mother NOW". DON't feel guilty for adopting, as some would have you feel almost like a criminal. That is a load of dung, I will not excuse my language!
Adoption is not the best thing, but events in life have produced millions throughout history that were rejected by their "birth family" and raised by others who loved them AS THEIR OWN.
Just be the best you can be, take each day as it comes, learn how to prepare your child to stand up and be proud of their identity, both genetic and by adoption.
I salute you,
Don Gordon Bell
Korean War Baby
Don Gordon Bell said…
Please come to my blog and comment so others can see the hearts and understanding of Adoptive Mother/families. Many Korean Adoptees have told ME that they almost feel like they should feel that their own adoption was a 'bad thing' and they should agree with the Anti-Adoption crowd.

That is NOT THE MAJORITY, I am working out HOW to make a survey of my own. Perhaps I will make 3 of them, one for each side of the Triad. I believe that there is a Hierarchy of Best downwards to Worse case in This Thing of Ours-Adoption.

This last 24 hours, according to Korean Government figure there were 1,000 ABORTIONS. Several hundred Korean OB/GYN Doctors who have signed up to stop illegal abortions state that the figure is closer to 4,000 because they know the subscriptions issued.

This is current figures, everyday, only 21 mothers give LIFE and birth. Seven are being kept by them, 11 are Secretly adopted and never told, only 3 are given up for InterCountry Adoption.

Come and share your story, unashamedly of the adventure your family has had, tell me if you want to be anonymous or with names and pictures. Please don't let others put 'flies in the soup'.
suz said…
Margie - I believe even in the case you refer to, or in others, there will still be aspects that need to be addressed (and are therefore negative). I understand your point that those children in North Korea would likely better off being adopted but would they be better off being adopted and having their records closed? Being sold by agencies? Having their adoptive parents taken advantage of by greedy governments and agencies? Positive + negative still equals a negative.

Even in the cases where adoption is the best option, there are illegal and unethical activities.

We need to do better by our children - in all ways.
Margie said…
Don - thank you and big hugs to you :) I've been really bad about reading AND writing blogs, but will try to stop by more often.

And Suz - smooches and more thanks to you! What I need to do is get myself out of the "pro" or "anti" adoption mindset and focus on the "when" and "how." I think I've lost my grounding on that in the past year, and need to find it again.
Diane said…
Margie,
Good things are worth waiting for ;) Margie- you are a good thing and I am happy to wait for your words to come out in their own time. You are so 'deserved' and I am thankful that frequency of posting was not a criteria for 'the list'.

Sending more congrats hugs your way! And WOHOO to the new job!
Cavatica said…
You may have been waffle-headed once, but I think I'm a little less waffle-headed now than I was before reading you. So, keep it up. APs and others involved in adoption need to hear you. I still need to hear from you -still some waffles in my head, I'm sure.
Jeannie said…
the conversations i've been in and out of the past thirteen years have been beneficial in my process and journey as an adoptive parent, and as an adoption social worker. i think at any given point in our lives, and our kids' lives, things can be viewed differently. it just pays to keep our minds open, and go forward as parents: first, second, third, whatever. We are parents. We know things. We feel things. So do they. Life morphs along, things surprise us. Cultural differences constrain us. Children grow into adults with ideas of their own. First parents, birth parents, sometimes we meet, other times, no. In the meantime life goes on. Careers are made and lost. Loss happens. Good things too. Sometimes it's all you can do but choke back the tears and wonder about better times to come.

So glad to hear you've so quickly found another position in this economy. Here's hoping you find success and personal satisfaction in this new challenge.

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