Tuesday, August 24, 2010

As The Brain Is Washed

In a recent review by the Washington Post, NPR's Scott Simon was lauded for his book, "Baby, We Were Meant For Each Other." The reviews that I have read are all of the "Oh, Isn't that just wunnnnerful" variety.

Once again, the defenders of this practice come to the fore with horror stories of Chinese orphanages and the assumptions of sainthood for the adopters. "Meant to be," is a trite concept and one that assumes that the natural mother must have been ruled by fate to conceive and then lose her child. I have a lot of trouble with that concept, just as I have a lot of trouble with the trauma dealt to the psyche of the internationally adopted. Bye-Bye homeland, language and culture along with family and home.

In this picture of Simon, wife and new acquisition, which one is NOT smiling? The happy couple are obviously successful and probably waited too long to conceive. Old eggs don't do a good job. This is another failure of the "You can have it all" idea. Children should be born to young, healthy mothers and allowed to stay with them. But "having it all" obviously means raiding another woman's womb or even the womb of a woman in another nation in order to "create a family" when natural children are not in the picture.

Adoption is a construct of human beings. It has nothing to do with fate or "God's Will" or destiny. It has everything to do with social engineering, the disruption of nature and the sense of self-entitlement of those who adopt. Add the greed of the facilitators, and there you have it. I hope that, one day, whoever came up with the idiotic phrase (I think it was Rosie O) about God putting a baby in the wrong tummy, will have to eat those words, dry with no water. What a pile of harmful crap to tell a child. And what a total lack of regard and respect this is to the mother who lost that child to adoption.

In a major case of synchronicity, my daughter's adopters gave her the same first name I gave her but dropped the last letter. It was still pronounced the same. In my one short and painful conversation I had with the woman who adopted her, when I pointed this out, she used that as an argument that it proved the adoption was "meant to be." Whenever I hear that phrase, I either want to scream or vomit. I don't think she even knew or cared how much that hurt me. She just wanted me gone, dead, in Timbuktu or Antarctica. My pain and loss meant nothing to her.

I have neighbors who adopted from China. The girls are precious and well-mannered and it breaks my heart for their mothers and families and for them every time I see them. My great-niece, whose mother is Caucasian and whose father is African-American, asked the oldest girl which parent was which race. Now Leah is only 4. She wasn't trying to hurt any one's feelings. She was just curious. But the adopter got a bit miffed and told her to go home (she and her family live just a couple of houses down). Now, I am sure that this is an extreme case. I would not think that anyone who adopted a child of another race would pretend that these children were anything other than adopted. But it still seemed to be a bone of contention with this woman.

I am so tired of the excuses and fantasies being used and spun to justify this kind of unnatural act. If they are going to do it, then call it what it is. Stop tying bows and farting rainbows. A tragedy had to happen to "create that family." If adoptophiles don't think it is a tragedy, then they need to speak to some mothers and adult adopted people. We're all, domestic and international, tired of being dismissed and our pain ignored.

That's why there are these blogs. That's why there is that rumbling you hear and why the industry and the likes of Mr. Simon have amped up the rhetoric. They have the money, but we still have our voices.

They can't out-shout us forever.


윤선 said...

Well said. I hate, hate, HATE the look and sound of this book! I hate the idea of "meant to be", too, especially when it comes to adoption. And it makes me sick that anything of this sort was allowed to be published. I feel sorry for his child. (I also hate his stupid smile in that photo. Just want to stab his eye out, or something. Not that I'm violent, or anything...!)

Just Me said...

Excellent post!

Sandy Young said...

The woman down the street from you likely got mad because no amount of changing birth certificates will make that child "as if born to" them. I think that is the dilemma of international adoption. The birthmothers are uaually not an issue, but there is a trade-off. I think that many adopters are really not quite comfortable with their trade-off choces.

Robin said...

It was really petty of her to be rude to a four-year-old who was just curious. For Leah, her mixed race is something she just discovered and finds very interesting. All she wanted was to see if those kids were like her. I was sitting in the driveway and called Leah over to us and the woman saw the glare I sent her way.

BD said...

The book sounds awful, but beyond that, I still don't get this urge to procreate/parent. Honestly, even if you paid me I wouldn't have one of those things. And if I were lucky enough to be unable to have one (that is not have to worry about the consequences of sex) I'd not be out expropriating someone else's kid., and creating a lifetime of misery for myself.

For the parently minded, all that money spent on adoption could be spent on worthwhile child and mother-child projects. Otherwise a trip to Monte Carlo, a hot car, a stamp collection, computer gadgets. The list is endless.

Chris said...

Ya know Robin...just yesterday I was thinking of Chinese/Asian babies/children that are adopted here into the US. I live in a neighborhood in Chicago, which in the last 10 yrs has seen a huge increase of Chinese people. Not so hard to imagine though, as Chinatown was only ever a viaduct away. I was in Walgreen's yesterday, waiting for the ATM guy to finish loading the ATM machine with scads of cash. As I was waiting..suddenly I noticed so many young Chinese moms with their babies and toddlers in the store. One young mom passed only a foot from me, snuggling her baby in her arms and kissing her baby all over her little face. The other mother was talking to her baby in the stroller. A Chinese grandmother was walking with I will assume her toddler grandchild. These were all women, these were mothers...who so visibly loved their babies, their children, their grandchildren. How vastly different these mothers and their babies lives might have been if they had stayed and bore their children in their Homeland. I sincerely doubt that Chinese Mothers are wholesale abandoning/dumping their babies/children's on roadsides or orphanages in China, because their babies are unwanted, unloved. Chinese Mothers in their Homeland do not have the Freedom of Choice in their Homeland...not even of how many children they can bring forth. That is the Chinese Governments fault for the putrid, inhumane treatment of their most vulnerable in their society...that of their women and their children. Then we have Americans and people from other countries who take advantage of these women/mothers disadvantages and their lack of choice to even keep and raise their own children, via the sorry-ass laws of China. How convenient for IA adopters. I live in a place where probably the population is 50% Chinese now. I only see mothers who love their babies, who smile very expressively into their babies faces and that causes me to think of the Mothers in China, who do not have the freedom to keep and love their babies, to smile at and kiss their babies..to snuggle their babies in public. I then thought..how many Asian young mothers who now live in America actively seek to surrender their newborns to the American Adoption Industry?? Why do I think it is not very many...
Far too many would-be adopters have and still take advantage of young mothers who are denied choice, denied the right to their own newborns...whether in a foreign country with a putrid govt system or right here in America. Surrender comes at a far greater cost to the mother and her baby. Adopters have the advantage of choice, freedom and money...something I think any Chinese Mother in China would so desperately wished she had. The same for the countless mothers and newborns that were lost to each other right here in America during the BSE. Adoption on the whole takes advantage of young mothers and the disadvantage that the young mother and her newborn suffers under.
I was glad to see these young Chinese Mothers yesterday with their babies...where they both so rightfully belonged...with each other.

Von said...

Interesting the body language in that photo..if any gesture said 'get away from me' it's that outstretched left arm!
Great post and some great comments here.My other comments are on the post I did on the same adoption.
Having money doesn't necessarily make a good parent, not having it doesn't necessarily make a bad one.

Chris said...

Ya' know Robin..when I first saw this Scott Simon's picture..I kept thinking who does he remind me of? Honestly..it plagued me a little bit. So not that it means nothin for nothin...it hit me!
PETER LAWFORD! The actor I think that married Jackie Kennedy's sister or somebody in the Kennedy family. Gosh I feel better after solving that mystery for myself and sharing that with one and all! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Most abandoning parents in China are married couples in their middle to late childbearing years, not young single mothers. Among a sample population studied about 12 years ago, about 40 % of the time, the mother and father made the decision together. Of course, this decision is made under intense, sometimes insurmountable, pressure.

However, international adoptions represent only a fraction of the total adoptions, mostly informal, of abandoned children in China. Many children without parents live with relatives. About 60,000 live in orphanages. Only a smallish percentage of those children are in the int'l adoption pool.

In rural China, boys are still seen as the only way to carry on the father's lineage and the chief source of social security in old age. This, along with the one-child policy, has had a huge impact on the situation.

I'm sorry, but there are simply too many culture-specific issues to examine before leaping to the conclusion that the situation in China is the same as the BSE. This does not make the situation any better or worse, just different.

Robin said...

Where we see similarities are in the corruption of facilitators, and in the self-enntitlement of adopters. Of course, this is an anti-adoption blog. Not a "this kind of adoption is different from that kind of adoption" blog.

Robin said...

Oh, and nowhere in this post did I try to equate current international adoption practices with the US BSE. It was a post about the mindset that allows it.

Anonymous said...

"Oh, and nowhere in this post did I try to equate current international adoption practices with the US BSE. It was a post about the mindset that allows it."

In this regard, I was referring to the comments by Chris.

The adoption program in China was not created by adopter demand. There were very few takers in the early years and genuinely *not sufficient* facilities to care for foundlings. The program has, however, endured on the basis of adopter demand and many believe the non-sdpecial needs program should be shut down altogether.

Don't worry: I'm bowing out now.

Robin said...

Without a market, Jessica, there can be no commerce. In any event, the problem of the Chinese children should be solved by the Chinese people....not by the taking of infants and toddlers from all they know to a strange place and Americanising them to the adopters' tastes. It still stinks and adopters are not saviors..there is nothing altruistic about fulfilling one's need for a child.

kdawber said...

Robin, as you pointed out the picture of who is not smiling is worth a thousand words! I can't help but think that so many international adoptee's have been misappropriated. Many Koreans (especially older ones) are opposed to adopting orphans because that would mean adding then to the family register. In short, the adopted child would be tantamount to a skeleton in the closet. While not as strong as in the past. Confucian influence still carries a lot of weight in social circles.