Even adoptees in good homes suffer the trauma of loss

Being an Asian adoptee in Norway, I did not have the lottery luck of ending up in a good home, which is a fact that has adversely shaped my life from childhood to present day. It has been suggested that, perhaps, if I had grown up with a better set of adoptive parents, I might have fared better and everything would have been all right. However, I’m convinced that many of the adoption-related issues that I struggle with today would still remain.

In the Washington Post article “Please don’t tell me I was lucky to be adopted“, Shaaren Pine, a trans-cultural adoptee from India, shares her experience of growing up in a white home in a white area in Massachusetts, USA, with adoptive parents who did a pretty good job of raising her. She also speaks of how she finds that her 7 year old daughter Ara expresses her mother’s adoption situation far better than she herself could.

“There she was, then 6, expressing her feelings about my adoption so clearly. She was able to acknowledge that like me, she, too, feels she has been cut off from her family, her culture and her story and that she is missing a part of who she is.

In my almost 40 years, I’ve only recently been able to talk about adoption honestly and openly. And it is incredibly difficult.”

Aside from the differences that I’m South Korean, not Indian, and that I grew up in what can only be described as a bad home, whereas she grew up in a good one, Shaaren’s story and the feelings and troubles she describes, to a large degree mirror my own.

“Unfortunately, there is no way to convince a non-adoptee that adoption is hard and that its effects continue into adulthood unless that person is willing to hear it. And in my experience, few have been.”

All in all, the article gives a look into the kinds of struggles that many adoptees have to deal with, emotionally and socially, and which follow them all through their lives. Even with good adoptive parents, all is not automatically well.

Click to read:

Please don’t tell me I was lucky to be adopted

An adoptee’s lifelong struggle to claim a world of her own

In the night

PTSD is a bitch. One hour of sleep, or perhaps if I am lucky I get two or three.

But sleep is not something I can take for granted, so the usual routine is to be up at late hours, make a cup of tea or hot chocolate and turn the computer on again, sit and take little sips of my mug and have another look at Facebook.

And think, is the world ever going to be a better place to be?

Is it better to join the majority of sheep, and go blissfully nowhere, or is it to be the lost sheep who suffers in silence, or to be the one that bugs them all with my thoughts and opinions, to be The One Who Annoys The World With Truth?

Well, I have always been the Black Sheep anyway, so nothing has really changed In Adoptionland either. So many times I feel I stand alone with my view of adoption.

But I know that we are millions out there who want changes, mothers and adoptees alike. And for that I am so happy, and I feel that there is hope for the future.

But here and now, with a mug in my hand, and my cat at my feet, here and now at least I feel loved for who and what I am. I am The One Who Spoils Her With Treats In The Night, and she does not mind at all.

She and I are a pair, a Grumpy Cat and a Grumpy Woman with PTSD, have found each other across the borders of race and species.

Namasté 🙂

Related:

“Unwanted”: Re-homing of Adoptees in USA

“Unwanted” is a documentary by 60 Minutes Australia, published on August 8th, 2016.

This short trailer (below) gives a brief glimpse into the practice of “re-homing” of adopted children, a way to rid yourself of an adopted child whom you do not want to care for or be responsible for anymore, “like getting rid of an old fridge on eBay”.

Adoption on its own is bad enough for starters, but it’s difficult to see how re-homing can be anything other than devastating to the adoptees — including but not limited to a brutal blow to their self esteem, and reinforcing existing abandonment issues, or creating new ones. The act of adoption is a lifelong responsibility to a human being whom you choose to take into your care, a human being with the same rights to be loved, respected, cared for and given a decent upbringing as any child that might have been born into that same family. There is no less parental responsibility for an adopted child, than for a child that is biologically yours. In fact you may well find that the responsibility is far greater, owing to the adopted child’s greater need for support due to baggage from their life before the adoption, or as a result of the adoption itself, or even as a result of growing up in a family they weren’t born into. And keep in mind that unlike the adoptive parents, the adoptees never had a choice in the matter, therefore the responsibility rests solely on the adoptive parents.

The existence of re-homing proves that many adopters consider their adopted children to be little more than pets, or even slaves, property that they can conveniently dispose of whenever they no longer feel motivated to keep up their end of the deal.

It is as grotesque as it is shameful.

From 60 Minutes Australia’s Facebook page:

Could you ever just give your child away?

Last night on #60Mins, Tara Brown exposed the US phenomenon of ‘re-homing’ – where parents decide they no longer want their adopted child, and simply advertise them online to lure prospective parents. There’s no court orders or vetting required, and these disposable children can be handed over to anyone. | WATCH the full episode: bit.ly/2aSZksm

Note: The full episode is only available in Australia.

 

 
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Please help support Against Child Trafficking (ACT)

Dear everybody.

The people at Against Child Trafficking (ACT) are in need of help. Running a non-profit organization is a costly venture, and they rely entirely on private funding. That means donations from people like you and me. Please, please consider helping them out, even if just a little. Every single dollar or euro helps.

Against Child Trafficking is an international non profit organisation, registered in the Netherlands. ACT’s main focus is the prevention of child trafficking for intercountry adoption. ACT advocates child rights based social policies that are in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which is the universal standard and the best safeguard against child trafficking.

When I Was Four

People tell me I look like a doll in this picture.

I must have been about four years old, sitting in my adoptive parents’ home, trying to be the good child that they wanted me to be, but never doing quite well enough to earn their approval. They didn’t hesitate to tell me how much I had cost them, so certainly they deserved something for their efforts?

If I was four, then this photo must have been taken in 1973. Meanwhile, in South Korea, my real father had been looking for me for three years, ever since he discovered that I was gone from the children’s home where he had placed me temporarily. Going from orphanage to orphanage, he followed dead trails and searched up one dead end after another. In another year he would himself be dead, and he’d never discover what had really happened to me, or where I had gone. I had no idea who he was, or that I was wanted somewhere else. We never saw each other again.

It was around this time that I first began to notice that I looked different from all the other children. Those around me mostly had blond hair and blue eyes. I was the only one who looked like me. So I asked my adoptive mother about it.

“Nonsense!” she’d always say. “You look just like everybody else. You’re no different at all. Now stop asking stupid questions, and leave me alone.”

But I kept looking at my own face in the mirror, at the differences that were clearly there, even though she said they were not, and I asked myself what was wrong with me.

«My Lost Son» BBC Documentary (2014)

“Carol King Eckersley is probably the last mother to have found out that her child was killed when Pan Am 103 was bombed over Lockerbie in 1988. This powerful programme follows her journey to discover the last days and death of her son Ken Bissett, who she gave up for adoption at birth.”
Unfortunately, the full documentary has been removed from YouTube. I will re-post when or if I find another copy online. Meanwhile, I include these two shorter clips from The Oregonian and Worldwide News.

The death of Hyun-su: Holt in violation of adoption law!

Hyun-su

The following is quoted from a recent blog post by TRACK (Truth and Reconciliation for the Adoption Community of Korea), relating to the fatal beating of 3 year old Madoc Hyunsu O’Callaghan by his adoptive father, an Iraq veteran and high-ranking NSA agent, in February 2014, mere months after his adoption.

Click anywhere within the article frame to read the rest of the article at TRACK’s website.

Ministry of Health and Welfare audit on Holt
by jjtrenka on June 27, 2014

This is the report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on the audit conducted on Holt after the death of Hyun-su. This shows how Holt has been operating in violation of the Special Adoption Law amended in 2011 and enforced in 2012.

Summary: Holt was found to be in violation of the Special Adoption Law or its enforcement decrees in the following areas:

  1. They did not search for domestic adoptive families before placing children internationally.
  2. They took children from birthfamilies before the seven-day deliberation period was over.
  3. They performed up to 28 “Child Development Evaluations” per child. Only 2-3 have to be done per year. They charged adoptive parents for this and do not have guidelines for expenditures or the international adoption fee.
  4. They did inadequate assessment of prospective adoptive parents’ ability to financially support a child.
  5. They did improper home studies/investigations of prospective adoptive parents.
  6. They made improper contracts with overseas agencies.
  7. Their post-adoption services/follow-up on adoptive children was inadequate.
  8. They continued to collect government money to support children even though the children had already been sent overseas.

This is just the introduction.
Continue reading the full article on TRACK’s blog.