nicely – and quickly – done, NPR!

Never have I been so happy to have to eat my words!  And, funny thing: they taste just like chicken!

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The adoption community spoke out (the few of us not drunk on the koolaid), and they listened!  They actually listened!

NPR Takes Advice and Features Transracial Adult Adoptee

In a world where people generally don’t want to hear what we have to say, you listened anyway.  Thank you, National Pubic Radio!  Well done!

follow up to NPR’s latest choice

see no evil

Besides being a big money entity, society is more accustomed to hearing about adoptions going through than they have been to listening to people’s actual experience with adoption.  From all 3 perspectives, it is not the win-win that it has been portrayed.  Parenting an adopted child has its own set of unforeseen challenges, and the adoptive parents I have met and/or whose stories I have read who have had the courage to be honest about that have my utmost respect.

There is a completely different set of challenges for those growing up adopted – and the challenges are ongoing.  I do not pretend to know what it is to walk through these challenges, but I am aware of many of the challenges.

The other party in adoption – and perhaps the not completely silenced but definitely muffled or even muted voice and/or the voice that is the least likely to be heard – is the voice of the mother who looks into and ultimately chooses, for whatever reason, to give up all of her parental rights – and quite often, whether knowingly or unknowingly, any and all chances of ever seeing her child again.  Unfortunately, she cannot know the magnitude of how devastating this choice can be until it is too late.

The voice we are starting to hear more that was hardly ever heard before is that of the father who was either tricked into signing away his parental rights – or who was not even given the chance to sign because he was listed as unknown.

The other voices in the adoption scenario are those of the deceived and the deceivers who keep the myth afloat that everybody wins, when, in fact, everybody loses to some degree or another – except for those whose livelihoods are dependent on facilitating adoptions – and we all know that a baby fresh out of the womb is preferred over those coming out of “broken homes” (which is a topic that is as wide and varying as the number of people involved, but this is another conversation altogether) or those who who have no living relations (since, after all, they have been in a few foster homes before they are adopted, usually, and, therefore can be “damaged” or at the very least have special needs).  No one likes to talk about the issues adoption creates in the lives of families – whether it is the family being “created” by adoption or the family that has been torn apart in order to make adoption possible.  Not talking about it does not mean the realities cease to exist.  It is most unpleasant to hear about and unpleasant to truly think about.  So we, as a society, generally choose to avoid the unpleasant business of hearing and/or truly thinking about it – thus the tradition carries on largely unchallenged.

So when I say NPR chose the chicken train in not allowing the truth to come out about what adoption creates in the lives of the people involved, NPR is not alone and not necessarily to blame.  They are, after all, just going with the status quo flow of the world we have created that says that the unacceptable consequences of adoption are all okay and what must be when, in fact, it is not okay what adoption has wrought in the lives of so very many – and doesn’t have to be.

We can do better!

The thing is, the doors and walls of the adoption closet cannot hold up under the weight of the bones that have been collecting for all these decades.  They will not continue to remain out of sight and out of mind for very much longer.  They are already starting to press through to come out into to the light.  NPR just missed an excellent opportunity to do what must and what will be done – with or without them – that’s all.

NPR took the Chicken Train

On Sunday, January 12th, in light of the recent controversy that was stirred concerning a joke by Melissa Harris-Perry about the Romney family’s trans-racial adoption and her apology that followed, this interview was aired on NPR’s The Sunday Conversation: Transracial Family Gets Double Takes ‘Everywhere We Go’ – which would have been fine except for this:

NPR & Exclusion from the Transracial Adoption Experience Discourse: the Wisdom we Could Have Gleaned

Angela Tucker was contacted originally by NPR to do that segment but was contacted the very next day and told they’d chosen to go another direction, hence, the segment by Rachel Garlinghouse on being a white adoptive parent of trans-racial adoptees – who, by the way, are minors under the control of current adoption laws and practices which essentially boils down to being given no voice.  As Angela said in her article in Lost Daughters, who better to help shed light on the experience of what it’s like to grow up in a trans-racial adoption than an adult trans-racial adoptee?

NPR, obviously, decided to follow the big money trail.  Adoption is, after all a huge and powerful money-making machine.

NPR, in light of your recent decision to scrap the interview with Angela Tucker in favor of a white adoptive mother, this one’s for you:

 

an update – of sorts…

I know it’s been eons since I’ve written, and it’s not because I haven’t wanted to write.  I think about you, the beautiful people who’ve been so graciously taking the time to read my rants and explore ponderings on adoption with me, and I’ve yearned to reach out but have been at a loss as to where and with what to begin.  I would love to have new news for you, but I can’t really say that I do.  We have been writing, and that has been life-giving to me.

I will say this.  Just being directly in communication in some form is the only cure I’ve found for the ache and the gaping hole that had blown my heart and world apart after relinquishing.  I’d learned to live with not having that, and just when I’d decided to make peace with always having to live with it, like the brightest light that heaven could shine, that beautiful soul entered my world again.  And I’m still so grateful for it and relieved by it I still, to this day, don’t even know what to do, or to say, or to think.  I wish he could see through my eyes, even just a glimpse of what an amazing person I find him to be.  I wish I could give him an easier world to come of age in.  I wish so, so many things.  But I couldn’t wish to be any prouder or any more pleased with the person I’m finding him to be and with whom I’m starting to get to know.

What’s been on my mind of late I’ll try to talk about but may have difficulty talking about at length just now.  It’s painful.  The fact that Dusten Brown was able to issue this statement is, to me, a testament of grace: Dusten Brown, biological father of Baby Veronica, issues statement.

I didn’t write about the court proceedings between Dusten Brown and the adoptive parents over who would have the right and/or the privilege of parenting Veronica, now 4 years old, but I followed the case closely and intensely and prayed fervently for her to remain with her true father who clearly would have gone to the ends of the earth to keep being who he is – her true father – if only his rights had not been trampled and so completely violated, disregarded, and discarded.  Words cannot express the depth of the laceration it is to my soul’s sense of justice it is that his daughter was taken from him.  If I write any more beyond this, at this juncture, to say I would not be gracious to those responsible for this unconscionable (on so many levels it’s insane) set of circumstances is way beyond an understatement.  In other words, I’m very clearly not over it, and I probably won’t be over it for quite a long time.  My heart aches for Dusten and for Veronica, and my soul wants substantially more than justice right now.  What my soul is crying out for is vengeance.  However, I am kept [mostly] in check by the knowledge of Who vengeance belongs to, and it’s taking everything I can muster to keep that outcry at bay and simply go with praying for a greater good to come from all that’s gone down.

I will not forget.  I can say this with confidence because I have not forgotten Terry Schindler Shiavo and how it shook me to my very core the way her life was so cruelly and brazenly – yet “legally” – robbed from her.  It still shakes me to this day.  What happened to Dusten Brown has shaken me just as violently to the very core of my being.  I will not stop praying for justice for Veronica and for her dad.

Revision:

I can too say more because I have been deeply disturbed by more, and what has been eating at me the most is this:

I can’t help but think about what the next few days, weeks, and years hold for Veronica.  In the first hours, it’s probably like a treat: going on a trip, being showered with presents and getting all this extra attention from all these new and excited people.  But what happens when reality starts to set in?  What happens when her daddy’s not there to tuck her in, and she begins to miss him – terribly?  What happens as the days and the nights keep going by, and she begins to become aware that something’s missing, something’s gone…something that meant a great deal more than she is equipped to comprehend?  Her daddy didn’t die (physically), yet she is left now to grapple with an acute awareness that a major presence, a rock and a staple in her life, is now missing from her life – that didn’t have to be.  She’s just 4 years old!  How can she begin to understand this hole that’s been blown into her world, her heart, her soul – AGAIN?  We have only just begun to tap into the profundity of the loss that newborns experience when thrust into an environment that the soul was not prepared to be born into from the womb.  All the signals and mechanisms at work in the DNA matrix and senses have been cut off and something new, something foreign, has now been introduced.  Veronica got a second chance at knowing some of what went missing the day her mother relinquished her to her adoptive parents.  And now she has to adjust to a whole new environment and shock to her system – for yet a third time!  Kids are resilient.  They will continue to be kids.  But she is being affected, and it is all very confusing, and no amount of attempting to explain will help her make sense of it all.  How can it?  It’s very difficult to think about what’s been done to her world without thinking of the adoptive parents as perpetrators of a most insidious and heinous crime.

I will not forget about her either.  And talking about some of my concerns for her helps me to recognize that I’ve got to find a way to move past how I feel about the immediacy of the injustice and concentrate my prayers and energy where the potential to do the most good exists.

To Dusten I wish to say this: NEVER GIVE UP, and NEVER GIVE IN!  Your child is your child is your child, period, and nothing can change this rock-solid truth in fact.  To all fathers whose rights are not being considered while adoption plans are being made without your knowledge and/or consent, I wish to say this:  Please learn from what Dusten went through!  This is YOUR child!  Find out what’s really going on, even if you and your child’s mom are not together!  I speak from the perspective and experience of having made an adoption plan without the benefit of ANY KIND OF INPUT WHATSOEVER that could have helped me to better understand what it was I was really doing and what adoption could mean for me and for my child over the long haul.  Please know that YOU MATTER!!  YOUR CHILD MATTERS – and will very much matter to you likely much sooner than you might think!  Don’t keep blowing it all off only to have to find that out when it’s too late.  Women are at their most vulnerable when they are pregnant, and a lack of resources and support can exacerbate those vulnerabilities and leave her feeling so backed into a corner she sees no way other than adoption to ensure the safety and wellbeing of her child – and there are predators out there (baby brokers, but that’s not what they prefer to call themselves) all too ready and willing to find these women and entertain and pacify, and, ultimately, exploit and capitalize on those vulnerabilities.  This may sound like early-to-mid 20th century stuff, but it’s happening right here in the 21st century.  If Dusten’s case doesn’t blaringly point that out and sober you up, then you may want to consider rehab of some kind to help sober you up.