Adopted in the UK

The life of a UK adoptee

Posts Tagged ‘Headology

Adoption Blogging – It gets complicated

with 4 comments

I have, despite my seeming protestations to the contrary on Twitter, been putting off writing somewhat deliberately. Not that I’m particularly convinced I have my writing head back on now, but I need to get a post out about the dangers of blogging for the adoptee, ’cause without it, I’m pretty sure I’m not gonna be able to write another damn thing.

Which reads far more dramatic than intended.

So, these dangers then? Well they’re probably not just limited to adoptee bloggers, to tell the truth. They’re the usual issues of how much of our personal life do we put into our blogging life? However, the adoptee blogger hasn’t just got the usual amount of family members to navigate, but can have double the amount. Being an adoptee in reunion means that not only do I have to balance protecting my afam from any potential fallout my online activities might have, but I also need to add in balancing both mat and pat bfams too. This gets even more precarious when so many in the families are also online residents. How much do you say? How do you phrase what you say? Admittedly, this should also be general thoughts when blogging even anonymously, as care is needed to cater to ones audience, but for the adoptee trying to navigate the waters of reunion, the results can be catastrophic on a deeply personal level.

Yet if I don’t reveal these issues – issues that are a direct result of my adoptee status – then who will? Certainly the likes of BAAF and Pact and Adoption UK don’t care about the issues faced by adoptees who are beyond their sell by date, as evidenced by their blocking of me across a wide range of mass social media for raising such problems. Sir Martin Narey, thankfully, has showed far more fortitude in putting up with me (potentially helped by the limited amount of characters I have available to whine at him in one go with :p), yet squares my blog away firmly in the realm of a bad/rare/unusual experience. I’m not having a bad/rare/unusual experience though. I’m having a perfectly normal reunion, to go along with my perfectly normal adoption. Not a bit of it has been in any way exceptional to any Rules(tm) I’ve encountered. My story echoes many of those found in the blogroll listed at the side, yet TPTB still think adoption is a panacea. While I don’t think my voice alone will be enough to engender the changes needed to the current adoption system in the UK (nor even anywhere else in the world, for that matter </optimist@heart>), I hope that being one of the collective voices helps us get heard eventually.

So I wind up having to share details of how my reunion is going, because if I don’t, I can’t write on reunion without missing massive chunks out. Yet how much do I say? How much do I reveal? More to the point, how do I reveal? After all, this is the Internet, and it’s par for the course to link to things that are being used as an example, but to do so links these people that I’m discussing to me in ways that they may not want linking. So where is the line drawn? How do I avoid over-stepping it so much that I don’t bring my own reunion crumbling down in flames of hatred – or do I even try to avoid it? Do I instead stick to skinning away to the bare bones of an issue in order that I can both clearly explain that which is a problematic area, hoping that others find the knowledge helpful, even though it may cost me dearly to share that knowledge?

A precarious path to tread, exacerbated by the fact that BECAUSE I have been “blessed” by “the joy of adoption”, I barely know these people, and so barely know what their reaction to such postings are likely to be. Yet until I meet them more and interact with them more, I won’t be able to learn how much is enough, nor how much is too much, until I go there and make the post that either does or doesn’t result in recriminations – and even then I may not know as they may not encounter the post for some time. This is why it’s taking me so much effort to write. Trying to get a post out and written is no longer just a battle to get my head working enough to write in the first place, but there’s also this minefield of potential future trauma and angst to navigate, too.

Written by 7rin

Wed, 2 January, 2013 at 7:09 am

Posted in Explanations

Tagged with ,

{3 of 30} Wasting Away

with 2 comments

Less than a week in, and already I’m a fail – it’s the 4th already, yet I’m only on the third post.

One of the main issues I’ve covered in this blog in the past (in general, not just this month) is my battle to get some form of adoptee-appropriate therapy (see the post-adoption support tag for some examples). Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms I’ve got against adoption as it stands for UK adoptees today is that, aside from the irrevocability of it all, while there’s this insane drive to create more of us, it seems as if nothing is being done to help those of us that have already been created. It’s not even compulsory for any of the authorities to provide adoptee-specific counselling once an adoptee hits 18, yet it is not until far into adulthood that many adoptees even realise that some (many, often) of the issues they’re dealing with are related to the impact that adoption has upon the psyche.

Quoting Nancy Verrier’s essay:

The coping mechanisms the adoptee believed would keep him safe while growing up are not very helpful in adult relationships. They are just that: coping skills, not true personality. Each adoptee is a unique individual, yet those coping skills are quite predictable. Gradually replacing coping skills with the true self should be a goal.

However, all the self-help books in the world can not help the adult who wants to be able to claw back some semblance of humanity over coping skills if that adult can not see which of their behaviours are true personality, and which are simply coping mechanisms borne of the devastating loss of ones own genealogical everything. This is why adult adoptees are at least as in need of trained, adoptee-specific psychological assistance as those adoptees who have not yet reached that magical cut-off point of 18 years of age, yet we get nothing.

We get nothing, and are expected to be grateful for our loss.

This fails to make sense, especially considering that had we stayed with our genealogical progenitors and been abused by them (’cause all adoptees’d be abused if they stayed with their b’rents, doncha know :p), then we would have no problem accessing appropriate psychological interventions as adults – as my own brother has demonstrated by his repeated ease of obtaining counselling. Yet adoptees can not undertake just any old counselling. The adoptee requires adoptee-specialists who don’t come out with idiotic and DANGEROUS questions such as “but aren’t you grateful?” like I got asked by the Chase Wellbeing counsellor that was the last person I got access to (back in ~May 2010). Yet this specialist help is not available – or, at least, not available without paying extortionate charges. Yet still the government continues to create more of us – with tomorrow being the first day of National Adoption Week 2012 (which I refuse point-blank to link to, since they refuse to print anything this “Adoption Champion” has written (it’s true, I am, I have the pack ‘n’ get e-mailed each year)).

This is cruel and abusive treatment, surely?

Written by 7rin

Sun, 4 November, 2012 at 4:32 pm

Big Shiny Adoption

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Before I respond, I’d just like to clarify that as well as being an adoptee, I’m also a massive Joss fan, and a Lokean too. As such, there’s only one part of this article that I’d like to criticise…

{quote}
All joking aside, adoption is an awesome thing. It brings children to families who perhaps cannot have children of their own … and it brings families to those children who … don’t have one
{/quote}

So sayeth Arse-bot, over at Big Shiny Robot.

Unfortunately – especially in America – adoption is no longer about providing children with families. Unfortunately – especially in America – adoption is far more about providing adults with children.
Unfortunately – especially in America – adoption is nothing more than BIG BUSINESS.

The Finances

“The National Council for Adoption: Mothers, Money, Marketing, and Madness” parts One & Two goes into minute detail about how much PROFIT is made by so-called adoption “charities” from their trade in human life.

Additionally, Babies for Sale provides a PRICE LIST showing how a child that is not a ‘healthy white freshly-squeezed womb-wet’ can cost far far less – what with the disabled or the traumatised or the non-whites not even being as high as second-choice on the wannabe-parenting dream scale.

Finally on the theme of cost, this thread is a bunch of adoptees discussing how much each of them cost – along with the impact that such knowledge has had upon their lives.

Everyday Discrimination

Sadly, the truth of the matter is that adoptees in much of America are much maligned by their own Government – to the point that they are legally and lawfully discriminated against.

Got a (fake) birth certificate filed over a year after birth? Tough luck if you want anything like a passport or a driving licence then, because many adoptees are now finding that they are now ineligible to be provided with such things due to rules introduced in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks. Same goes for applying for jobs that require some forms of identification. I know adoptees who have experienced all these forms of discrimination directly.

Even if you’re not one of the adoptees suffering from discrimination that way, should you actually wish to get at YOUR OWN factual (as opposed to “amended”) birth certificate – sorry, but unless you’re in one of the few states that allow adoptees access to such things (six of them I think, though it may now be eight), then you’re pretty much out of luck. Even if you can (possibly) get at it, chances are that – unlike the other 98% of the population, you may actually have to go to court and beg and plead with the judge/s you’re petitioning in order to get what most of the rest of the population can walk into an office and get handed over the counter with almost no fuss at all.

Adoption Records by State is a useful list of lengths adoptees have to go to to get at something given willy-nilly to the rest of the population (since don’t forget, these laws also affect those who have been adopted by step-parents too – not just those of us who weren’t even good enough for our own families to want to bother with).

Of course, this also affects international adoptees in ways that are even more devastating, with some being deported back to their original countries

The Emotional Costs

Being adopted, contrary to popular belief, is not “wonderful”.

Adoptees face a multitude of psychological issues that the non-adopted rarely experience. However, being such a vast subject, I’ll resort to saying please visit the link included for further details.

Adoption Loss is the only trauma in the world where the victims are expected by the whole of society to be grateful” – The Reverend Keith C. Griffith, MBE

Finally, for a far more coherent rebuttal of the quoted text than anything I’ve managed to throw together yet, please go read Amanda’s post, “The Opposite of Adoption“. In fact, if you’re AT ALL interested in adoption and its effect on the adopted, then please go and read lots of posts in Amanda’s exceedingly articulate blog.



 

ETA: Tue 15 May 2012 @ 02:42

I’ve mentioned in one of these The Avengers posts, the wealth of other articles and blogs on the subject. Unfortunately, I’ve been having a hard time tracking down all the ones I thought I had read. Thus this ETA section of this post will be dedicated to linking to articles and blogposts on the subject, sometimes (though not always) from adoptees themselves. Feel free to nominate any posts that you feel worthy of inclusion, should I have missed it. I may not add them all, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be suggested.

May 06
Disney, Adoption and The Avengers… by Doug7856
… with alex9179’s reply being my favourite explanation of the scene yet.

May 10
Some in the Adoption Community Angered by ‘Marvel’s The Avengers’ by Arse-bot

May 11
Was ‘Avengers’ joke cruel to adoption community? by msnbc.com Entertainment (has link to msnbc.com Entertainment website post on the issue)

‘Avengers’ Joke Does Impact Kids Waiting For Adoption by Beth Robinson

May 14

Why I Found “The Avengers” Line Offensive by Amanda

My thoughts on the “he’s adopted” line from the Avengers/I’m an angry adoptee by kostvollmers

NCFA is not the “Expert” on Adoption Issues by Susan P

May 16
That ‘He’s Adopted’ One-Liner in ‘The Avengers’? Not Funny. by Jessica Cromwell

May 17
An Angry Adoptee Fangirl Responds To Avengers Adoption Joke by Triona Guidry

The Avengers attack on adopted children is mean and unfunny by Andrea Poe

In an article proving how spot-on the original complaints are, Natalie Zutter goes to great lengths in demonstrating her own lack of lack of comprehension.

May 18
Avengers: He’s Adopted Joke Creating Controversy by Scott Johnson

May 20
Another “The Avengers” Interpretation: Your not a “Real” Member of your Family by Amanda

May 21
Stigmas About Adoption Remain, and Hurt Families by Abbie Goldberg

May 29
I Belly-Laughed all the Way Through the Avengers by Earth Stains

ETA: Wed 05 September 2012 @ 00:04

He’s adopted – Thor (Avengers) Facebook page

===========================================

Not about the controversy, but where I got the link to Tom Hiddleston’s article: A little homework for you…

Also not directly related, but something I found while ‘liking’ EB’s Team Loki (Tom Hiddleston) fan page: How to tell Loki that he’s adopted.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 12 May, 2012 at 9:03 pm

All joking aside …

with 3 comments

{quote}
All joking aside, adoption is an awesome thing.
{/quote}

So sayeth Arse-bot, over at Big Shiny Robot.

The comment has, of course, really really annoyed me – but not just because it’s yet again someone who has no experience of what it’s like to be adopted telling everyone the complete opposite of what it’s actually like to be adopted.

No.

Much more important is the fact that the final paragraph – the one that begins with the that heinous, quoted phrase – is the only thing marring an otherwise accurate account of some of the recent bitching from some within the adoption community about Joss‘s new film, ‘The Avengers‘.

Now I know what you’re all wondering – how could anyone in their right minds bitch about anything Joss has ever given to us?

Were it only adoptees complaining, I would point out that actually, many of us aren’t in our right minds – not least thanks to the pressures applied through socialisation upon the adoptee to ‘become’ this other person that is not the product of their own biological parentage. Of course, by making such a statement, I too would likely be slammed by some of the adoption community for daring to feed into the stigma already faced by adoptees – so it’s probably a good job that not many people read this blog. ;)

It’s not just from the adoptees though. One of the links included within this post – Rage Against the Minivan – is an adopters blog. It is also the first blog I encountered issuing complaints against The Avengers.

So why are there so many complaints?

I think probably the most important part of the answer is that – due to wads and wads of abuse directed at adoptees – many involved with adoption have become over-sensitised to what may or may not be an actual insult.

Unfortunately, adoptism, like tallism and fatism and gingerism is one of the last bastions of insult. In a world where being racist and sexist and disablist is frowned upon, there is a shortage of candidates for the butt of jokes, and since so many people believe the hype about adoption being all rainbow-farting unicorns, being adopted is one of the fastest growing jokes. Of course, should people – especially those who are adopted – dare to speak out about such negative stereotyping, they are almost inevitably chastised, and reminded that adoptees should be “grateful” that they weren’t aborted/thrown out with the waste/left languishing in an orphanage/etc.

Great, eh.

Problem is, these jokes that adoptees grow up hearing, are a part of the socialisation that we experience. From these jokes, we begin to learn from an early age that we are second best, the booby prize, and almost certainly doomed to become either a serial killer, or some other form of insane-off-the-rails mess. It matters not whether we love being adopted, or hate being adopted, or even don’t really care about being adopted – all the time we are the “final resort”, the “last chance”, or perhaps even the “cure for infertility”.



 
In other stuff: It’s taken me almost a whole day to write this one post, which clearly indicates that my head is still not working as well as I would like. It also means that this post, like many others I attempt to write, has become almost as lost as I have been in recent years – thus I’m quitting now (just this post, not bloggin’ as a whole), while I’m still at least vaguely ahead and have produced something vaguely coherent.

I started writing it, not just in answer to Arse-bot’s article, but because I wanted to say something on here about the petition anyway. It just so happens that many of the points I was going to make were far more credibly covered by Arse-bot, and so instead, I ended up heading somewhere else.

Of course, being Lokean and a lover of Joss also gives me an alternative perspective on this than many of those who’ve complained about The Avengers, but it looks like that’s a post or another day. For now, I’m off back over to Arse-bot’s article to attempt to construct a coherent response to that bloody annoying quote that I started this post off with.

Written by 7rin

Sat, 12 May, 2012 at 6:54 pm

What *is* a “successful adoption”?

with one comment

It gets said around – for example, in this {linky} article by (yes, I know, don’t mock, it was the easiest one to find :p) the Daily FMail, that there are such things as “successful adoptions”. (Bolding = my emphasis)

{quote}
And while some adopted children will go on to have behavioural problems because of their poor start in life, there are still many successful adoptions that take place.
{/quote}

So what constitutes a successful adoption then? Is it one where we don’t follow in the footsteps of our “dire backgrounds, where it’s highly likely Dad has been in prison and Mum was addicted to heaven knows what illegal substances and working as a prostitute.” ??

Are we even allowed to want to know our biological predecessors? Or does that make us a bad adoptee?

Does it make any difference if it is our adopters that are abusive, as has happened in so very many cases? Or are we still expected to follow the decree and only recognise our adoptive families (who we generally have absolutely nothing in common with at all, other than shared history) as our “real families”, since after all, they’re the ones who sat up with us sick, and other such normalities?

What makes an adoption “successful”?

I’d really really like to know.

Another point to raise, while we’re on the subject, is …

{quote}
But, unfortunately, the names of these blameless children make their less-than-middle-class backgrounds all too obvious. And most prospective parents don’t want to adopt children who are named after someone’s favourite celebrity or tipple.
{/quote}

… should someone who so obviously cares about such superficial things as the name we’re given by our parents be allowed to adopt in the first place? I mean, surely that exhibits pressures that are going to be applied to the prospective adoptee that should not be placed on a child who hasn’t already experienced such a great loss, let alone one who has to conform in the ways that an adoptee does?

Written by 7rin

Tue, 8 May, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Containing Analyses

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In an attempt to bolster my own capabilities, as well as to help shed light on the plight of adoptees, I decided today to undertake a sociological inquest into adoption. The research will examine publicly available data, using content analysis to examine the perspectives of the messages delivered.

So how am I hoping that my work as an un-yet ‘qualified’ sociologist will help shed light on the plight of adoptees?

Simples (thank you Aleksandr).

I am hoping that my research will demonstrate several things – both the positivist language used when discussing adoption, and the fact that adult adoptees are one of the least catered-for (for want of a better short-phrase) minority groups.

It is my hope that this research, as well as getting my brain into gear ready for going back to university in Autumn, will help begin a flood of research that – rather than looking at the issues from a childhood perspective – recognise that an adult perspective upon the issue is just as valid, given that adults who were formerly adopted as children are more likely to have developed the necessary linguistic skills that will enable them to elucidate more clearly upon an issue than the child version of the same adoptee is unlikely to be capable of articulating.

Necessarily, the information being used, as well as all the tools being used (e.g. for data compilation) I either already own, can borrow (e.g. from friends or the university), or are freely available for download via some portion of the Internet or another. This should hinder neither the validity of the final research, nor the conclusions reached however – as it all comes down to the ways its mixed up, after watching the cookie crumble, who knows where things could wind up.

And with that rather weird turn of phrase, I take myself AFK, or, at least, AFWP posting.

Written by 7rin

Sun, 15 April, 2012 at 10:12 pm

Posted in Blog

Tagged with , , , ,

Screaming

with 3 comments

… frothing with incoherent rage that I can not – by myself – control.

And I feel utterly impotent.

I can not obtain the ‘professional help’ that my detractors over at Y!A Adoption insist I am so thoroughly in need of because my local doctors’ practice, which is supported by the local health authority, does not consider my needs for specialist help to be important enough.

It’s not for the want of trying.

When I was at uni. doing the civ.eng degree (I failed), I saw a counsellor, but I knew a lot less about me then, and so just utterly confused her. I was beyond her level of help.

I managed to get myself in to see a psychsomething meeting (after going through interviews with both the doctor and a Community Psychiatric Nurse), only to be told that I’m pagan because I’m rebelling, and I’m polyamorous because I like being walked over. I’m not sure I’d’ve even let her near my adoption.

She told me the only thing she could do for me was recommend I read some books on how to be a happy-clappy rainbow puker, because I was too intelligent for her to be dealing with. I declined, and told her I’d already found enough of my own reading material to know that she didn’t have a clue.

During reunion, I saw the college counsellor, but I’m not someone she could deal with. We mutually parted company.

And then there was Chase Wellbeing (after another round of doc/cpn interviews). Oh that was a joy. That’s where I encountered a professional telling me that I should just be grateful to be adopted, because things could’ve been worse if I hadn’t been. I told her point blank to never ever ever try to counsel an adoptee ever again because she’s too dangerous.

I offered her reading material, but she declined.

I’ve since tried to get funding to get help off Adoption Support, but the doctor and LHA won’t fund it. So I tried calling After Adoption, who said all they can do is tell me to call Adoption Support, as that’s the organisation that deals with my area.

I’ve even asked the local council’s adoption worker that I saw when trying to get records of my adoption if she can help get me any help, but she didn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t.

So I’m left here still cracking up whilst trying to hold it together enough in life to be able to do something. Anything.

I did post, a while back, that I could take the fight to get help to the media, but tbh, I’m not all that sure they’d listen. Adoptees are expected to be screwed up, but *yours* will /never/ grow up to feel like that. Bullshit. But I’m too tired, and too busy concentrating on trying to get through living the life I’ve got, to have time, headspace, and energy to try to fight the world.

I’m raging at the moon, and no-one gives a shit because it’s not important enough.

Of course, if I became an alcoholic, then I’d get no end of help, but I currently can’t afford to do stuff like that.

Written by 7rin

Fri, 31 December, 2010 at 1:22 am

Adopted Headology

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Grand Blanc mother who made headlines for transracial adoption 10 years ago now struggles caring for adopted daughter with special needs

^That’s the article that finally spurred a thought into the front of my mind that I know has been sat swishing around in the background for the past week or so, because I’ve been able to know what it was without being able to word the connection. Strangely how simple it seems now that I’ve thought about it.

The thought was something I put to Time to Change.Org‘s Fakeblag page:

http://www.mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2010/08/grand_blanc_mother_who_made_he.html

Whilst the story is from America, it does make me wonder (since I’m having to fight to try to get my own post-adoption counselling):
*Adoptees face significant mental trauma, all while having to deal with society’s expectation that we “should be grateful” for the occurrence of our adoptions.
**Where does Time to Change stand on helping adoptees to fight to get relevant post-adoption counselling?

Since post-adoption trauma is extremely prevalent, as well as requiring specialist knowledge from the psych’ in dealing with adoptees so as not to not do more damage, I’m thinking that some support from the mental health advocates could help at least some of us.

Written by 7rin

Tue, 24 August, 2010 at 12:49 am

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