Archive for November, 2008

26
Nov
08

Not What I Thought—Adoption Loss and More

In the last two years, I’ve learned that so many things about adoption aren’t what I thought they would be. Yes, my son is wonderful and I love him more than I could even have imagined. The issues aren’t with him. They are with the outside world and the adoption community.

Just today I was checking out the blogs I routinely read only to find that my favorite adoption blogger, who has just come back after a long break, has essentially taken down her whole blog because she’s received threatening comments. The police are now involved and she said she hopes to be back blogging soon. I hope so too since her blog has been an incredible resource for me. Her posts have often been about processing her adoption and dealing with racism, but never has she been mean or spiteful. I can’t even imagine what would have inspired threatening comments.

This blogger had written recently about many families contacting her to say they’re so glad their adopted family member is better adjusted than she is and that they are praying for her to come to terms with her anger issues. Talk about projection! If you know this blogger, she’s never come across as angry, just trying to figure everything out, which I believe all adoptees whether their families know it or not.

That’s one thing that definitely isn’t what I thought. The adoption community is not one big happy family that is completely supportive of each other. I’ve read so many comments of adoptive parents feeling threatened by birth families, adoptees who feel like they can’t explore who they really are because of their adoptive parents, adoptees who feel like adoptive parents are blame for every bad thing that happens in the adoption world. It amazes me how easily and quickly we turn on each other and are spiteful to people, who in many cases, we’ve never actually met.

Why do people feel like they must be hateful? And why do people feel as if they have the right to comment on your life and your decisions? I’m a very opinionated person and yes, there have been times when I’ve stated opinions about the decisions of others that I’ve had no right to say out loud. But one thing I’ve learned, especially in the last year, is to be mindful of what I say and how I say it. That doesn’t mean I can’t have my opinions but the fact is I do have many opinions on things that are none of my business. Just as many people have opinions about our decision to adopt, which is really none of their business. And just because I have an opinion doesn’t give me a right to state it.

Which brings me to the adoption loss part. We learned early on that adoption involves loss on all sides of the triad—birth parents lose a child, a child loses the connection to birth family and often times birth culture, and many adoptive parents deal with lose of the child they thought they would have biologically. Since adoption was our first choice in becoming parents, we didn’t deal with that particular loss. But the last year has shown me that we’ve experienced loss in other ways.

We’ve experienced the loss of friendships and even on some level family relationships. Our relationship with our best friends of eight years became strained when we told them we’d decided to build our family through adoption. While she’s been reluctant to discuss it with me, I believe my friend feels like adoption would only have been an acceptable option for building our family if we’d struggled with infertility. Is it any of their business? No, but that hasn’t stopped the relationship from all be ending. We think there might also be racial issues that are being dealt with. But no matter what the issues are, the result is a loss of my closest friend and I believe the outcome would have been completely different had I decided to have a biological child.

A recent trip to visit family also showed loss. While we still speak with all of our family members, and the grandparents delight in our son, they are uninterested in the things we’re learning about adoption, race, and Korea. They want to believe that adoption is a happy win-win situation for everyone involved, that our son is so lucky, and they don’t want to face the fact that our son might experience emotional issues in the future because of his adoption. They don’t want to believe that racism still exists either. We’re 30 years past the civil rights movement, surely our nation is all done with that. And while they’ve never said anything directly about our family interest in Korea, there is a definitely disinterest there when we mention anything about it. Honestly, it made for a hard trip because adoption, Korea, and understanding racial identity have become huge parts of our lives.

Sometimes I experience such discouragement over it all. But since I believe God is at work in my life, I know that all of these things are working for my good. I know that in so many ways I’m a better person now when compared to who I was three years ago. I’m not in a bubble anymore. Sometimes that’s hard but I’m becoming more compassionate and understanding of others. That’s a good thing.

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My Korean Culture Blog

Just a reminder that if you want to learn more about Korean culture (both traditional and pop culture), language resources, and cooking, check out my other blog: thekoreanway.wordpress.com It's filled with resources for adoptive families or anyone interested in Korean culture.

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Be Strong, Geum-Soon
Please Teach Me English
Spy Girl
Tae Gu Ki
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2009 Lost Memories

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