Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Still Nothing New

We had to evacuate over the weekend. Our house survived, mostly, but we're not back in it yet. We hope to be in a few days. I hope for an update next week.

Monday, March 23, 2009

No Real Update

Sorry for the lack of any real updates. I hope to post next week. I'm currently in the middle of helping my community prepare for what could very well be a record flood. I'm spending much of my days sandbagging and hoping for the best.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Probably not this Information

So today is Freedom of Information Day. It kicks off the beginning of Sunshine Week. It is an effort by the media to draw attention to the vital role that freedom of information plays in our society.

From the website dedicated to it, sunshineweek.org:

Sunshine Week is a national initiative to open a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. Participants include print, broadcast and online news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public's right to know.

As I heard about this today, and heard stories about, for instance, a foster parent who unsealed the records kept about his (or her, I'm not sure) status as a foster parent, I thought about myself and my fellow Adoptees.

The government has our information. The government keeps our information from us, sealing it away so that we cannot touch it. We are not allowed to know where we come from. We are not allowed to know who we are. We are not allowed to know the story of our origins.

The government has this information. The government could give us this information. But no FOIA request seems likely to pry this information from the government.

If you want to help Adoptees get their records, please support the Adoptee Rights Demonstration (the badge and link is at the top of the sidebar). Attend the protest. Write letters to your state legislators. Do something.

I'm all for freedom of information. And Adoptees deserve their information, too.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Dark Side of International Adoption

Scott Carney wrote a piece on the case of a kidnapped boy in India who was adopted out to America for Mother Jones. It is an amazing (and heart-wrenching article. In case you haven't already heard about it, I thought I would share the link to the article here. And if you haven't read it yet, you should:

Meet the Parents: The Dark Side of Overseas Adoption

It is upsetting and awful and illustrates some of the worst in adoption. So be prepared.

Scott has continued to follow up on this case and writes about it on his blog. You can see the current post (and search through the rest of his blog): Meet the Parents: When Adoption Means Kidnapping.

It is good to see some work being done to bring this story to light. It's sad that the story exists at all.

Thank you to Scott for his work on this issue.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A Slap in the Face

From the "devaluing motherhood" file...

Carla Bruni says she would adopt a child:

'I would like (to have a baby with my husband), but I don't know if at my age it would be possible,' the 41-year-old singer and former supermodel told Figaro Magazine.

'If it's not biologically possible, I'll adopt one,' she added. 'Adoption is perhaps the purist form of motherhood,' she added.

There are lots of things I would like, but the ones that aren't possible I don't try to force by taking it from someone else. But never mind that, I guess.

What really struck me about this was the "Adoption is perhaps the purist form of motherhood" crack. Really? How is adoption the purest form of motherhood? It's not the natural form of motherhood. There is no immediate connection, based on biology and nine months of biological dependence. There is no genetic tie.

Does she think those women who give birth to their children and raise them aren't really mothers? Is there motherhood somehow less pure?

People have such an amazing need to glorify adoption that they say completely ridiculous things. Whatever one thinks about adoption, whatever one thinks about the nature of adoptive parents, no one really believes that adoption is the purest form of motherhood, do they?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My Tribe

I've been devouring the new edition of Betty Jean Lifton's Lost and Found: The Adoption Experience since getting it for my birthday. I could probably post whole chapters that speak to me, but I have no interest in violating copyright laws.

Still, something grabbed me today, and I need to post it.

Call them what you will - a pseudo-species, survivors, exceptions - adopted adults insist they feel outside the mainstream of human existence. Instead of asking "Who am I?" they ask "Who are we?" Speaking an emotional shorthand, they compare common traits in their adoptive parents as if they had emerged from a communal womb. They sound like brothers and sisters reminiscing about the family. The gravitational pull of their shared experience holds them together in their own private galaxy. Just as society has kept secrets from them, so they kept secrets from society. It is this private world of tribal secrets that binds them together in a new kind of kinship. Together they have a chance of discovering who they are. (p. 63)

I may have said this before, but bears repeating: I didn't know any other adoptees growing up. Not that I knew of, anyway. So when I started meeting adoptees at the beginning of my search a couple of years ago, I was shocked to discover that I wasn't alone. Others had had the same experience I had. Others felt the same about their adoption. Others felt just as lost and confused.

It was reassuring in a way that few things have been.

The Adoptees I've met in real life and on the web were instantly recognizable to me. I don't feel like I have to explain everything to them. They often seem to understand intuitively what I'm talking about.

Indeed, meeting Shelly was a weird experience. I told her about my search for no apparent reason. I didn't know she was an adoptee. But it just seemed that she might understand somehow.

Adoptees are definitely my people. And those of you who aren't one of us may never fully understand us. And there's a part of me that's jealous of that.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Quick T-Shirt Update

More t-shirts have been added to the Cafe Press store supporting the July protest. There are now black t-shirts. There are also other colors, too.

Very cool. And all the profits go to support the protest for Adoptee Rights in Philadelphia this summer. So buy a t-shirt to show your support for Adoptee Rights.

Cafe Press Store