The ironic part about adoption is that for an adoptee the first and final steps of their lives are the same. Ultimately we must all adopt ourselves and accept who we are and where we came from. Or where we did not come from. The life of an adoptee is complex and unique because we are all uniquely complex in being singular as human beings. Never allow someone to tell you that your life is a statistic or that you fall within a group. Break that stereotype by showing people that you are not a group, you are a fucking person.
There is a war being waged in the adoption world. This war is not
between two sides, it is not between “evil” and “good,” and it cannot be
quantified by numbers as so many try to. The war on adoption is a
personal battle fought by people within the struggle. The opinions of
those on the outside are rarely worth much. The reason for this is due
to how sensitive the topics are. You have adoptees that hate the world,
adoptees that hate their birth parents, adoptees that hate foster
parents, adoptees that hate nations, adoptees that hate their past, and
adoptees that just want to forget that they are adopted. On another
side, not the “other side,” you have birth mothers that were coerced
into giving up their children, you have birth mothers that were forced
into giving up their babies, you have birth mothers that hate adoption,
you have birth mothers that advocate for adoption, and you have birth
mothers that think abortion is a better alternative to adoption in every
case. The extreme nature of these sides is due directly to their own
lives and the opinions those lives have formed.
When I was two years old my mother left my sister and I on a street
in Pusan. She returned days later to get my sister only after a change
of heart. I spent ten years trying to reconnect with them only to have
her shut me down and out continuously. My personal story, my personal
experience, formed my hate for my birth mother and many people call me a
“true adoptee.” I don’t accept that label. There is no “true adoptees”
or “fake adoptees” in this world, there are simply children that weren’t
wanted or loved by their parents and those that were. Do some young
women get tricked, forced, or coerced into giving up their kids?
Absolutely this happens, I was raised in the bible belt here in America
and know what that culture can be like. It is also not hard for me to
imagine such pride and shame being used in Asian countries where shame
plays such a large daily role. Although I allow my past to color my
feelings towards my birth mother, I do not allow it to shape my opinion
of adoption as a whole. That is the difference I think between me and
many birth mothers who appear to be overly reactive towards adoption due
to their personal past and pain.
Adoption is a GOOD thing. No one can change that opinion in me. Sure,
I’ve seen the statistics that adoption causes suicidal tendencies and
that it isn’t really helping. It amazes me how often people use stats
that include “X out of 5” because using 5 really makes the scale tip
right? I hate when people throw statistics at me without basis. I don’t
care if “Sally Adoption Advocate” is the top adoption writer in the
world. If Sally didn’t interview EVERY FUCKING ADOPTEE IN THE WORLD then
Sally cannot make the statement “70% of adoptees in this world do
____.” What adoptees did you interview? Far too often these
anti-adoption sites will state such facts and it annoys the shit out of
me. Samples are just that… samples, you cannot write a factual report on
adoption without taking a HUGE international sample and still that
won’t be accurate. Otherwise your facts are shit and I don’t buy them.
Adoption isn’t a movement or a focus group… it can be the gift of love
given by a humble heart.
Recently I entered into a discussion on a board that was full of
birth mothers that were against adoption. They advocate for empowering
the “mother” into keeping her child. The funny part is I agree that is a
great thing! But in the same voice I will NEVER bash adoption or put it
down. Many of these women do because they had bad experiences. Well, as
I discussed, so did I, but I wouldn’t allow my personal experience in
this matter to change my heart as a whole. That is not fair to adoptees
stuck in hellish orphanages receiving two bowls of rice a day. I wonder
if people that are against adoption have actually visited these places.
Sure, someone will advocate for adopting foster kids or ADOPT AMERICAN
like people are a product. That shit makes me angry as well and honestly
it all comes back to my main point. In the end you must adopt yourself
because acceptance of one’s self is the first and last step in life.
There is nothing wrong with walking a road less traveled. The only thing
ever wrong in life is to stop trying at life altogether.
Jason C. Cushman
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