Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dear Adoptive Parent #NAAM #Flipthescript

Dear Adoptive Parent  #NAAM #Flipthescript

(screenshot published with permission of How Does it Feel to be Adopted FB group)

Just when I thought I was done with my #Flipthescript efforts, this gem came across my screen.  So Adoptive Parent, this post is just for you.

Betrayal & Lies

 Dear Adoptive Parent,

I realize that after you asked your question, that you had a hundred responses on this Facebook page all basically yelling at you.  I know that you might have felt like you were being made into a villain. I’m sure you thought you might find some understanding from the adoptees on the Facebook page, and when you received such a raging backlash…maybe you thought denial would be the best method to deal with this…. and maybe you haven’t had this conversation with your daughter yet.

First, you have “carrot and sticked” your daughter all along with this promise of “when we get the money, we’ll get your records unsealed” when all along you know who her mother is.  I’m sure you think this has been OK, a way to gage her interest in seeking her family… But. It. Isn’t. OK. It. Is. Far. From. OK.

Why it’s far from OK

So the crux is this. You’ve lied to her every day of her entire life.  You’ve withheld information that is crucial to her, that is about HER- and NOT YOU.

The totality of what an adoptee loses because of adoption is something that you Adoptive Parent will never understand. Imagine if you will- that you find out you were switched at birth. You find this out today, you frantically call the people who are your biological family, only to find out that they are all DEAD. You never get a chance to meet them, to talk to them… You never get the chance to even start to form a relationship… you find they are so much like you, or really interesting people… people you’d like to know….. But this has all been STOLEN from you. 

Being an adoptee is much like this. We don’t know “who we really are” and that can be a very hard thing. We also don’t know why we were surrendered for adoption, the stories of our origins. And no matter what the narrative is of our beginnings, good or bad… we all have a right to know this truth… the truth of us.

You do not have the RIGHT to keep this information from your daughter. This is not your RIGHT.

I know you fear that this will destroy your relationship with your daughter, and maybe you haven’t told her the truth yet- out of fear. That is the very reason I am writing this post… because I fear you haven’t told her yet.


You have to make this right, and you have to do it NOW.


Because you’ve just robbed your daughter out of even starting a relationship with her family because of your own selfishness and insecurities. You don’t know who has died, who she’ll never be able to meet. And its every death of a relative… a relative she will never meet… never form a relationship with… this is what your lies and secrecy have taken from her.

Maybe she will be lucky, and no one has died yet. But in the very least you have robbed her of several years of being able to start a relationship with her family… because of your selfish actions and because of your own insecurities.

Will your relationship survive?

This is what you fear…. Who knows, but you did this… this was your doing. You know it’s wrong, otherwise you would have not posted the question on the Facebook page. Imagine for just one moment this was you…. How would you feel?

Action Steps
1.     Tell your daughter the truth- right now.
2.     Give her the funds and resources to find her family, and to visit them when she is ready.
3.     Stay out of the reunion- this isn’t about YOU.
4.     Get down on your knees and beg her for forgiveness.
5.     Hope that it isn’t too late… hope that no one has died.. that she hasn’t been robbed of the chance to meet a family member because of your lies and insecurities.
6.     Understand that if your relationship with your daughter doesn’t survive this, that it was your own actions that caused it. Back away gracefully… let her go.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Bouncing Doors and Other Strange Phenomenon

National Adoption Awareness Month
The summer is over, and the fall is upon us. My favorite month of October is now over
and the depressing month of November is here. I don’t like November for many reasons, but the chief reason is that it’s ‘National Adoption Awareness (NAAM) Month’. Seriously, if I was any more aware of my adoption, I’d be on billboards.  This year for #NAAM, blogs and features by adoptees are being featured in an effort to #FlipTheScript and bring a spotlight to the other side of adoption- Adoptee voices.
My blog is a very honest, brutal look at the closed adoption and abuse was subjected to. I have no doubt that the abuse I suffered was primarily due to my being adopted, I do not believe that had I been the biological offspring of my adoptive parents that they would have subjected me to the abuse they did. My blog details what I think the cause of the adoption going south, that I wasn’t what they wanted. I was adopted during an era of “blank slate baby” theory and you can mold the baby into whatever you want.  We now know that genetics play a much larger role in the formation of our personalities and abilities then once thought.  So in honor of #NAAM I give you the next installment of this blog.

Bouncing Doors and Other Strange Phenomenon
I do not recall what the argument was about, all I do remember is my adoptive mother
yelling at me with such force, that it scared me and I ran from her in fear.  I do know that I was 15 at the time, and this was before the Red Nightmare.   As my adoptive mother yelled at me, she got up and walked towards me. She had rage in her eyes and she started to raise her arm. The fight or flight response kicked in, danger signals hit my brain and I ran for the only safe place I knew- my bedroom. As I ran up the stairs, I heard her yelling at me to come back. Then I heard her on the stairs behind me. I had just made it to my room, shut and locked the door.  She was there at the door a moment later pounding on it, screaming to be let in. Soon she started trying to break it down.  I heard my adoptive father pleading with her to stop, she did not.
The door started to bouncing on its hinges as she threw herself against the door over and over and over again. Fear coursed through me, I held the door knob and pushed myself against the door to keep it from breaking apart. The door bounced on  its hinges, and I started to hear wood crack, I backed up and the door came flying open.
I stood there, not knowing what would happen next. My adoptive mother just staring at me. In a heartbeat she was on top of me, punching me.
She grabbed my hair, and yanked. I could not go anywhere, she had me. As she hit me with one hand, she gripped my hair with the other. My head jerked around as she punched me. I heard my adoptive father in the background begging her to stop, she did not.  Something inside me snapped, and the fight or flight mechanism kicked in again. Adrenaline surged in my system, my first attempt at flight did not work. My body was telling me to fight. So I started to push her back, which didn’t work because she had my head by my hair.  So I grabbed for the only thing I could, I grabbed her hair and pulled as hard as I could.  She responded by punching me in the neck. And so there we were, my adoptive mother beating me, and me trying to fight back. My adoptive father, began to beg ‘US’ now to stop. In the end he finally pulled my adoptive mother off me. And as he did, she still grasped my hair tightly- pulling me with her. I cried out in pain as he pulled her away, she hanging on to those last locks of my hair, red faced, screaming, and in a complete rage, unwilling to end the physical confrontation. 

Lessons learned
 After this day, I learned that I wasn’t safe anywhere in that house. And when my adoptive
mother started to yell, I walked out the front door- and would keep walking. My goal was always to get to the train station, if I could get on a train I could get away from them. I kept a $20 dollar bill in my shoe under the insole, so I could always pay the train fare.  My adoptive father would try to catch up with me in his pick-up, and bring me back to the house.
I made it on the train once, I made it to the end of the line. I ended up taking the first train back because I simply had no place to go.
It’s a pivotal moment in my life, because after this event- in a desperate attempt to gain some sort of control in my life, I stopped eating. This was the start of a 10 year struggle with bulimia.  I was fully in the grips bulimia and anorexia when the Red Nightmare happened.

I wish I was adopted & You’ve just had a bad experience
These are two phrases I am sick of hearing when I recount my closed adoption and abusive experiences. They are both designed to shut down the adoptee voice and change the subject.  Those who proclaim they “wish they were adopted” are fellow abuse survivors who clung onto an adoption fantasy as a way of surviving. They don’t want to hear that adoption isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.  And those who discount me by saying “you’ve just had a bad experience” and not all adoptions are this way… are almost always adoptive parents, or the general public who is had led to believe that adoption is some kind of selfless act. They don’t want to hear the truth.
The truth is that children living with adults they are unrelated to are 8 times more likely to be killed in that home.

So let's have an open honest conversation about adoption this month, instead of propaganda put out by adoption agencies. Because it's an effort to make more money with an increase in adoptions. I hate that I am was a commodity in the economic adoption model. I hate that #NAAM is nothing more than supply-chain management and free advertising for adoption agencies trying to increase profits.