Monday, November 05, 2012

Adoption in the Blogosphere

In 2008 I first started to come to terms with my own adoptee status and to see I wasn't alone. I found a community of like-minded adoptees writing blogs. In particular, I remember reading According to Addie shortly after my splenectomy, laughing and crying, relieved to have found someone whose ideas resonated so deeply with me (she is another Missouri adoptee of roughly the same vintage). I responded to one of her posts, and she sent me an e-mail back. I was delighted to have her direct me to Adult Adoptees Advocating For Change, which has since become my online home.

From AAAFC, I discovered the blogs of other adoptees, and made more friends. I also began blogging openly about my own adoption as a way of coping with the complex, difficult emotions of search, rejection, and eventual reunion.

I read conversations that adoptees were having with first parents. Some conversations were easy, and I agreed and could support the first parents wholeheartedly. Other conversations were more difficult, especially when first parents were ambivalent about placing their children, or would say things about not loving (!) their placed children. It's hard for me not to have an intense emotional reaction to such writing, although the posts clearly aren't meant personally. I cannot help but imagine what it would be like to read such words, in public, written by any parent of my own. Ambivalence may be the truth for a parent at any moment, but it is still potentially very hurtful for a child to process.

For that reason, I don't feel it's my place to blog about my feelings for my own children, even though they're securely attached and my biological kids with no adoption baggage (except what I bring with me). I talk openly with them about my feelings, but they don't need a written record in cyberspace.

My mothers are both private. I know one of them keeps a diary. I never, ever would want to read it. EVER. Some things are best left to the imagination.

I go through periods when I cannot read blogs by first parents at all, except those written by BSE moms (with a few notable exceptions). There are several first parents who have fully committed, ongoing relationships with their children that seem ideal (in as much as adoption might be "ideal"). There is a sense of peace in such situations, at least as they are now, and I derive a feeling of hope from these parents' posts. The world seems less doomed to hell when I read their particular stories.

I cannot read happy beemommies' tales without feeling a terrible sense of sadness for both them and their children (placed and raised). I will torture myself sometimes by reading the stories of mothers who have come around to seeing that placing is not necessarily the only and best decision they could have made. I am even more sad when the parents think that their pain is justified by their children getting a "better life." It's too early to say for most of these children, and only the adoptee, in my opinion, is allowed to make the call about what was best for them.

I read the blogs of a few adoptive parents who are supportive of adoptees and who clearly put their children first, and by extension, have respect for all of us adoptees. These people are more than worth their weight in gold. I adore them.

Primarily, however, I am committed to adoptees: I am pro-adoptee! If we don't support each other, no one will.

As far as disagreement in the blogosphere: I am currently in a psychological place where I don't need to engage unless what people say is absolutely egregious (and even then, if the people are obviously crazy, there's no point). I recognize power games and blatant insecurity, and I would rather ignore insincere bait than become embroiled in circular bullshit. I have nothing to prove to myself. I am not insecure about who I am. As I wrote a few days ago, such "exchanges" are textbook Derailing for Dummies: discrediting, mocking, and trivializing if what we say makes our opponents uncomfortable. No give and take, just "Sorry you had a bad experience, but you are not like my child," or, "You don't have anything useful to say unless I say you do!" People cannot read.

If I need to try to convince people at work, or on the street, or at a protest about an adoptee rights issue, sure, I will make an effort to argue a point. In the blogosphere, not so much. Especially not when people too often equate disagreement with bullying, or become patronizing towards adult adoptees, treating us as forever-children. No, thank you all the same.

1 comment:

Lorraine Dusky said...

I always feel that I should read everybody's blog all the time but lord, who has the time? Just writing my own blog takes a ton of time.

But from your blog and some others by adoptees of course I have learned a great deal about the difficulties in a reunion, and like you, I am first and foremost committed to my own group--mothers in pain--but Hey! changing those laws for adoptees first is also right up there, changing modern adoption and being a voice for not letting this adoption-prone culture steam roll over us all is my cause.

As for the happy and proud birth mothers...don't get me started. Brain-washed. They are.