Aspie with Attitude

Sure, I'm just another Southern Recovering Alcoholic NPR- and Sweet-Tea Addicted Comic Mom with Asperger's in the SFV, but I can tell you now that I don't necessarily fit the stereotype.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Why The Adoption Myths Continue

When we first moved to Los Angeles, in 1999, I had just found my natural mother and father. The decision to leave North Carolina, after finally finding my family, was not an easy one. However, I now see that staying in North Carolina after finding my parents would have been difficult. It is extremely weird in a lot of ways to find your parents after years of not knowing who or where they are. As a Steely Dan song says, "All at once, I know who I am . . . " Knowing who I am not not having to look in the mirror is a huge blessing that most people take for granted. Most people look in the mirror and think, "I look like my mom or my dad" or whatever. Looking in the mirror for over 34 years and finding that you don't know whom you look like is a strange kind of experience that's hard to explain when you're not adopted. Sometimes, you just pretend that the people who adopted you are your parents. It's often so much easier to pretend when you're adopted. It's much easier to lie to yourself because your life is often built on a lie. There are some people, including this lovely woman, who have adopted a child and are honest with that child, or in M's case, children. M doesn't pretend that she's a mother to the children that she adopted; she is honest with those children and I am sure that the children are benefiting as a result of her honesty. Adoption has been sold as such a wonderful thing, however, and as a "creator of families," that people believe it. In addition, mainstream media perpetuates the myth. When we first moved here, the Los Angeles Times printed my letters regarding adoption. After three years or so, they started ignoring them and stopped printing them. Why? My writing was no worse. I responded to articles and followed the guidelines, as I had previously.

It is no secret that mainstream media spews the propaganda that the power elite want us to believe. This problem has gotten increasingly worse over the past few years, as I witnessed with my adoption letters. I saw the same thing happen with Ron Paul. He was also ignored by mainstream media, despite the lovely and Constitutional messages that he was spreading. Those of us who have been writing letters telling the truth about adoption have similarly been dissed, as the media dictates thought through simply ignoring us.

Ah, but in today's Los Angeles Times, there is a lengthy "Column One" essay by a "Korean adoptee." No doubt, this adoptee is telling a fascinating story, about a woman who did an experiment in which she asked her classes to pretend that people with brown eyes are superior to those with blue eyes, to show the difficulties of "racism." Throughout the article, the adoptee says the right things about adoption, just the way that the Times wishes. She claims to be the "daughter" of "white parents," which is impossible if you're Asian (although one parent could be Asian in a natural family relationship, of course). The adoptee, who calls herself Corina Knoll and is evidently employed by the Times, talks about how she spent years "yearning to be white." Evidently, this yearning came from racism, of course, and not from the fact that she grew up in a family that wasn't her own. In fact, the adoptee goes to great lengths to talk about her "grandfather" and "mother." "My parents were liberal Democrats," this adoptee says, as if she's not at all adopted, as if God and nature simply plopped her Asian body into a Caucasian woman's womb. That's not the way things work and when people pretend that people brought together by adoption are equivalent to natural families, as the adoption industry so very much wishes us to do (and with help from propaganda machines, such as the Times), the truth suffers.

This story reminds me of something I heard on a local WUNC (NPR affiliate) show one night while I was in graduate school. After I'd finished working at the YMCA, I listened to a Korean adoptee talk about being raised in a Jewish family. She said she was surprised every time she looked in the mirror, that all around her she saw Jewish people and she was surprised to see her face, that she was not Jewish but Asian. Corina Knoll states in her Times story that "Race was not something we discussed in my family," even though her adopters also adopted a Korean boy. Although Knoll's points about racism may be valid, her seeming denial that adoption has had any effect on her and that growing up in a family that was not her own, with people who are not only in a different family but of a different ethnicity, seems to say much more about adoption than the Times seems to cover. I've given up the futile effort of sending a letter to the Times, but I do hope that what I write on my blog will make people think about the lies of adoption and urge people to seek and speak the truth.

One more thing: A few years ago, before the collectivist-thinking La Leche League decided my views weren't right and they didn't want me to associate with them, although I have exclusively breastfed my children, they were all gaga over this essay that I wrote about breastfeeding. They ended up publishing it in a book, which I now have too many copies of. When I read the published essay, however, it had been edited and gone was the part about how finding my mom and indeed, being without her physically in my life for a number of years, influenced my decision to breastfeed. A few pages later, a mother who'd lost a child to adoption and then kept one and breastfed her second child told about how she was okay with losing the first child. Yes, part of the reason that the La Leche League dissed me and my first book contract was dropped (although I was paid!) is because I am for natural families staying together. Evidently, the La Leche League has a problem with that.

Therefore, the adoption myths, that adoption is wonderful and great and that people can be made parents by signing legal documents and taking in a child that God and nature gave to someone else, continue. Gone are the moms who lost children to adoption and are pissed about it. Gone are the adoptees who have found our families and are pissed about the time we lost with them. Even though some of us have had great childhoods, nothing can make up for the loss of our parents. But you won't hear these thoughts in mainstream media. Nope. Our thoughts, our words are as silent in mainstream media as Ron Paul, even though we (and he) have a lot to say.

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