An adoptee describes disruption

Ash Clouds and Adoption Bans

Skip the adoptive parent stuff at the top, and go down to Orlando Modeno's story. Orlando's thoughts on international adoption of older children:

I would ban all older international adoptions if I could, all of them. I’m still healing, it’s a rupture that occurred in my life. It’s still a process, a process that will take probably the rest of my life.
Listen to an interview with Orlando Modeno here. It will break your heart. And it will make you think hard about older child intercountry adoption.

Comments

johnraible said…
Thanks for finding this, Margie. More people should hear this. I posted it on my blog, too...
MarthaO said…
I agree that we need to hear more adoptee narratives. But let's do so honestly, hearing all sides. Many complain that there are just too many "happy ending" stories out there. I disagree. Where are are these happy ending narratives by older adoptees? Or even the stories of teens and twenties who are still putting together their identities? They're not "out there" online. They're being lived, experienced. It's individual. One person cannot represent, but only offer their insight and hope to improve things for others. Improvements come from emphasizing what is RIGHT as well as what is wrong. There are many, many families who are getting this right. They are not tuned in to these issues, because they are just living life. And there are unhappy stories that can not be dumped entirely on agencies/a-parents, etc. Some is about personality, early circumstances, abuse, neglect. We need placement plans, education, and a system that prepares children. Ban older child adoption entirely? And then what? Solutions...solutions are what we need, not just angry fist raising.
Liv said…
I had a completely different reaction to Mr. Modeno's honesty. I'm in a place where I am listening to and honoring his experience.

This is the first time in all the media coverage of disruption that we're actually hearing from a person who experienced an adoption disruption as a child.

The reason critiques of adoption practice are seen online is because adult adoptees who critique adoption are not usually given voice in the media. There are many adoptees who are involved in critiquing, theorizing, and studying adoption. I think such true engagement with understanding the full spectrum of the adoption experience and working to make adoption better for all those involved can indeed be part of a very "happy ending." And there are many adoptees out there who are not involved in thinking through the adoption experience exactly for fear of being labeled angry.

I did not experience an adoption disruption, and I was half Mr. Modeno's age when I came to America. And yet his experience of fear and confusion and pain upon arrival resonated with me very deeply. Until recently, I have been fearful of sharing this aspect of my experience, exactly because I was fearful of being labeled instead of listened to.

We may not agree with his opinions on making adoption policy, but I do not believe it is respectful or productive to dismiss Mr. Modeno's honesty and courage as "angry fist raising." Instead, I will honor his courage in speaking his lived experience and truth. I feel like all of us in the adoption community should be thanking Mr. Modeno today.
Anonymous said…
re: "happy" adoption narratives by adults adopted at older ages...
My daughter tried several times to share her story and her belief that adoption is truly a "happy ending" to foster care and institutions. In talking with other adult adoptees she felt they just didn't hear her. I remember her saying once "If you think being adopted sucks you should try being not adopted".
There are indeed many stories - as many as there are people adopted I suppose. Its not either/or and just trying to make sense of own individual narratives takes so much thought and feeling.
Its good for me to listen to everyone and not try to compare what they experienced to what I experienced. My 3 daughters have 3 totally different adoption experiences - honestly if you heard them you would think they grew up with 3 different families!

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