Saturday, December 13, 2014

Xmas Memories

Xmas Memories

Recently, I found myself thinking about an event that happened maybe 15 years ago. This was before an event that we call "The F@ckmass Event"and that is for another Xmas themed blog entry. 

Why do you have 2 trees?

Back to my Xmas memory-  This  memory begins with my asking my adoptive mother why she had 2 Christmas trees in her house this one year.   

So it beings with  my adoptive brother's girlfriend had a 5 year old boy, and they lived together. At the time I had met the girlfriend and young child before, and the child was a really cute little boy. 
Flash forward to several weeks before Christmas. Adoptive mother goes tree shopping with my adoptive brother, and they pick a real tree out together for the apartment he shares with his girlfriend. This isn't a fake tree, this a cut live tree... you know the ones that loose needles like the second you bring them home,  and you are hoping you don't burn your house down... yeah, one of those.
Back to the story:
 I'm not clear on the exact details of what took place, but days before Christmas they break-up, and she asks him to leave on short notice.  The adoptive parents help him move out since he has so little notice.   Now, my adoptive mother is telling me this story, about how they ran over with their SUV and started taking a few loads of belongs back to their house Then she looks at me with this look of glee in her eyes, smiling... she tells me how she looked at that tree she had helped her adoptive son buy... and proceeded to remove every ornament from it, and ever bit of tinsel,  and leaving it all on the living room table.... she tells me like this is come great she has just cured cancer....  and then proceeds to tell me how she took the tree with her.... In the SUV.... back to her house...

“And with the child’s Christmas tree in hand- she walks out of the house – Just like the Grinch who stole Christmas on that cold and snowy night.”

She looks at me, smiling... she is so proud of herself. She thinks that she had just shown up this girlfriend who dared break-up with her adoptive son the week of Christmas. 

I say to her "But what about the little boy? Did you even think about him coming home to find his Christmas Tree gone? How that is going to make him feel"  Adoptive Mother is unmoved, and doesn't care.  But to this day I am shocked by this. I mean these people are @assholes, but this takes it to a whole new level... Class A professional @ssholes!

And I know that little boy, a boy no more... has this really $hitty Christmas memory of the day he came home and a Grinch stole his Christmas tree.

And I think about how some people proclaim that adoptive parents are somehow better than other parents, because they adopted.... it's just insane logic... Adoptive parents are not super hero's, or angles... they are simply people who had the resources to buy adopt a child... or two.... plain and simple. The act doesn't make them any nicer, or special... in fact i'm convinced that adoption attracts an element of humanity that has no business raising children.  My adoptive parents had no business being parents... that is for sure.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A War on Adoption? Opinion of an AP on #FlipTheScript

A War on Adoption? Opinion of an AP on #FlipTheScript

For those of you who might have missed it, Tracy Dee Whitt author of the blog lovin'adoptin' saw some of the #FlipTheScript tweets on twiter, then lost her $hit and wrote a blog post entitled “the war on National Adoption Month”.  This latest installment of my blog is a response to Tracy and why she needs to educate herself.

Adoption is Beautiful! Dammit, don’t say otherwise!
 The opening on her blog post states:
Adoptees are “flipping the script” during National Adoption Month, sharing the other, unattractive side of adoption. It’s their right. I’m not an adoptee and can’t speak for them, but part of me doesn’t like seeing this opportunity of beauty turned into something that’s looked down upon” (Dee Witt, 2014).

So let me get this, the adoptee voice has been ignored and marginalized during the entire history of #NAAM, a campaign is developed by adoptees for adoptees to speak up and have our voices for the first time be heard during #NAAM and you are upset that we’ve tarnished the “beauty of adoption”?

Sure as an Adoptive Parent (AP) I can see that you find adoption “beautiful”. After all you get what you wanted, a child. And if you want to look at adoption in the highly simplistic way that you do, yes a child gets a new set of parents….. BUT the child is also losing a lot in the transaction. The adoptee loses more than the AP in this. It doesn’t matter if they come from a background of abuse or not, they lose:

  • 1.     Their identity
  • 2.     Their family
  • 3.     Their history
  • 4.     Their Culture
  • 5.     Medical background information

*and more

Like you said, you’re an AP and you have no idea what it’s like to be adopted… therefore, let us talk! You might learn something, and perhaps become a better AP!

Get your own month Adoptee, leave my beautiful #NAAM alone!

“I don’t want to belittle anyones experience, after all, it’s their own. I can’t speak as an adoptee. Maybe there should be separate months, one for National Adoption Month and a month for adoptees to share their feelings, like an Adoptee Awareness Month” (Dee Witt, 2014)
You just cannot make this stuff up, yes Tracy you said it. First off in one of my #FlipTheScript posts I used my time on a national adoption blog to discuss things in adoption that AP’s can change. This as an Adoptee, I know what needs to be changed. Things that are really hurtful but many AP’s are clueless about. To me that is what #FlipTheScript is about, addressing misconceptions and maybe affecting some positive change instead of flooding the media with old narratives and harmful misconceptions.  Get our own awareness month? Nope, we aren’t going to do it. Because you cannot have a conversation about adoption without including us. Yes it’s been going on for years, but never again… we are here to stay!

An opportunity for education, but you don’t get it!

But instead you dig your hole deeper, and you write as a response on your blog that
I don’t want adoption to be wrought with talk about how wrong it is, but the fact is, there is pain surrounding adoption. In most cases it isn’t in the adoption itself that causes pain, but in the events surrounding the adoption. Yet, there’s so much that is beautiful about adoption, and I feel it’s beginning to get lost in the muddle, in the anger, in the “political correctness.” Want to know what’s politically correct? (Dee Witt, 2014).

So let me understand this, you only want to focus on only the ‘positive’ aspects of adoption, and ignore everything else? You realize this is called DENIAL? Right?  At this point I’m going to say in my opinion, you really have no business blogging about adoption in any way shape or form. This is exactly the kind of attitude that is harmful to adoptees! Rehashing old outdated narratives that have no bearing on reality!  To illustrate my point, Dee Witt (2014) further writes:
 That’s why “flipping the script” on adoption day is so painful. The world is taking what is often a positive event and turning the tables, focusing on those who don’t feel it was a good thing for them”.
If anyone has ever wondered what we mean by the Adoption Industries “Kool-Aid” this is a great example above.  We realize that while adoptees only make up roughly 3% of the population, but they have an increased risk of:

1.     Depression*
2.     Mental health issues*
3.     Substance Abuse* (40-60% of those in treatment are….ADOPTEES)
4.     Eating disorders*
5.     Harm or Death by those they are living with*

 (Edited 12/9/14 to add: This is by no means a complete list either, only the data points I was able to pull together quickly. We haven't even talked about Suicide or Learning Disabilities. On average adoptees carry a 4 times greater risk for everything listed above than their peers in the studies in the reference section. In some cases  it is higher, but on average its a 4X higher risk factor than their peers in the study- As a data analyst I am making this generalization )

Imagine that, I’ve had #1, #4, and #5 – Wow don’t I feel all beautiful and lucky and grateful! And chances are if you are adopted, you will also be able to check off at least one of the 5 listed above too.

So you could focus on listening to what adoptees have to say, OH MY GOSH and maybe learn something… Like gee why we have these increased risks for so much! But instead…. Well you said it 
All the adult adoptees I’ve met and know personally are very happy, having been adopted, they aren’t searching for more meaning, and frankly, they’re grateful. I don’t expect my children to be grateful, but what if they are? Is that wrong?” (Dee Witt, 2014)

OH you did not just pull the Grateful card on us? Oh you did…. Please refer to #1 on my list. 

I’m a member of the Triad, like it or not, and I’m talkin’

So what’s the big deal? In a nutshell, by only focusing on the “positive” aspects of adoption you are creating an unrealistic and harmful portrayal of adoption for all those PAP’s (Prospective Adoptive Parent’s) and AP’s. Why in the world would you not want PAP’s and AP’s to be better educated on the psychological and emotional impacts that adoption has on adopted children? Why would you want to continue the harmful adoption myths that adoption is nothing but positive rainbows and unicorns? Because simply this is what you do, writing about adoption. The gritty reality of  adoption when it comes to adoptees isn’t very good for your readership.

So, as the backlash grew, and adoptees descended on her site, Dee Witt (2014) added the following statement to her blog 
“National Adoption Month, as I thought I had stated clearly, but others seem to miss the point entirely, was created to find adoptive families for the children who need it. When the voices of adoptees sharing their negative (only referring to those negative ones, not all #flipthescript) is the only thing prospective adoptive parents hear, they may be scared from adoption. Hearing things like, you will never be their real family, my family is waiting for me in my country, I never felt at home with my adoptive family, doesn’t make people want to adopt. Those stories can be shared, there are truths that only adoptees can tell us adoptive parents, however a balanced perspective of adoption should be shared, as there are a plethora of both. If you’d like to hear more about adult adoptees views on this matter, see #flipthescript on Twitter”.

So, for #NAAM 2015 I suggest that WE adoptees, strap on our helmets on October 31, 2015 and prepare for battle, since now just by even bringing up the reality of adoption, and trying to effect change we are tarnishing the institution of Adoption in the opinion of Ms. Dee Witt. Because If Ms. Dee Witt thinks that by speaking we are declaring   “…War on
National Adoption Month” well heck, give me my helmet and keyboard… I’m going in!  And I bet my fellow members of the Bastard Nation are ready too-

Because you have just ensured that we will be even more determined to effect the change that is desperately needed within the adoption industry.


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Feigelman, PhD, W. (2005). Are Adoptees at Increased Risk. The American Association of Suicidology. Retrieved from

Festinger, T., Jaccard, J., Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research November 15, 2012. Volume 3, Issue 4, 280-295 ISSN 1948-822X DOI:10.5243/jsswr.2012.17

Hjern A, Lindblad F, Vinnerljung B. Suicide, psychiatric illness, and social maladjustment in intercountry adoptees in Sweden: a cohort study. Lancet. 2002; 360:443-448. - See more at:

Holden, NL. Adoption and eating disorders: a high-risk group?, Br J Psychiatry. 1991 Jun;158:829-33. Retrieved from

Juffer F, van Ijzendoorn MH. Behavior problems and mental health referrals of international adoptees: a meta-analysis. JAMA. 2005;293:2501-2515.

Kaplan, A. (2009). Adoption and Mental Illness. Psychiatric Times. Retrieved from

Keyes MA, Sharma A, Elkins IJ, et al. The mental health of US adolescents adopted in infancy. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162:419-425.

Kreider RM. Adopted Children and Stepchildren: 2000. US Census Bureau. Issued October 2003. Accessed October 6, 2008.

Laidman, J. (2013, September 9). Adoptees 4 Times More Likely to Attempt Suicide. Retrieved from

National Council For Adoption. Adoption Factbook IV. Sterling, Va.: National Council For Adoption; 2007. 2.

Sigvardsson, PhD, S., Bohman, MD, M., Cloninger, MD, C., & Von Knorring, MD, A. (1983). An Adoption Study of Depressive Disorders and Substance Abuse. JAMA Psychiatry.

Stiffman, MD, MSPH, M., Schnitzer, PhD, P., Adam, MD, MSPH, P., Kruse, PhD, MSPH, R., & Ewigman, MD, MSPH, B. (2001, September 27). Household Composition and Risk of Fatal Child Maltreatment. Retrieved from

Sunderland, P. (2011, January 1). Lecture on Adoption by Paul Sunderland. Retrieved from