Does Being Adopted Really Make One An Expert On All Things Adoption?

Been reading around blogs this morning and found much that nauseated me. Thankfully I found a few gems as well. I decided to pinch one anonymous comment I found especially interesting and share it here with you.

Nobody can be an expert on the background to every single adoption program in the world unless that's what you do all day and get paid for it. I also disagree that there's plenty of information for people to take away from the blogs; there's a lot of bickering and name calling, but little useful info. Better to do your own research and try to find out why children are institutionalized in the country where you adopted from/plan to adopt from and what you can do to enable family preservation in that country. Every adoptive parent(has)an obligation to do this IMO. But if you adopted from Eastern Europe, don't try to be an expert on China (the roots of child institutionalization in EE will keep you occupied for months or years) and don't pretend that you're an expert on all intercountry adoptees or adoption just because you were adopted in Wisconsin in 1966. There are a handful of dedicated people doing the legwork to rid the system of corruption in different regions. Find those people and those lists (mostly closed), find the research that explains WHY children and families are separated, and support the foundations that do the work, including driving some trial programs with group homes and fostering—even in places where foster parenting is not the norm. EveryChild is an example of one that does this in EE, since a couple of people mentioned that example.

You can find a link to their report here:

They view intercountry adoption as a very last resort but have nothing good to say about institutionalization. As usual, reality isn't on one side or the other.


Who is speaking doesn’t matter when what’s spoken is truth.

Like many of you I've been reading through some of the interviews at Adoption Bloggers Interview Project . I had considered getting involved myself but found I didn't really have the time to dedicate to do a good, to be honest, I was kinda chicken.

I was looking forward to reading one interview that was of special interest to me, not only because it's with a rare father blogger but also because I always enjoy reading what this particular writer has to say.

I wasn't disappointed.

I've asked the writer for permission to highlight some of what he had to say in his interview and you can find it in it's entirety here .

Here's some of what  "I am" at Statistically Impossible has to say in his interview.

There’s an annoying concept, particularly strong in adoption circles, that a child is somehow more the mother’s than the father’s. The ability to be geographically removed from the location of the child during gestation doesn’t change the relationship of a child to his/her father. The father is the father. He may be a horrendous jerk, but his child is still his child without regard to his ethical quality.

Social taboo tells us asking others to raise our children effectively makes us defective humans. People who take in children that are not of their own lineage are compassionate heroes. So giving a child to another for adoption is abhorrent, but the act of adopting is a beautiful miracle. These contrary attitudes need to be addressed and changed.

What first fathers need to be able to engage in an adoption is the knowledge that they can engage, fully, and as they wish. Understanding why it is so common for first fathers to leave adoptions is as easy as searching google. Hop over and search for “birth father resources”. Of the few links that have anything to do with birth fathers at all, one is an out of date activist site specific to the state of California. looks like a great organization, until one recognizes that it is a single page that’s a part of the pages. The article, though well written, is in fact written by a woman. I’m glad to have women’s perspective on the subject of adoption, but we are well out of balance. Susan Wadia-Ellis wrote, in her introduction to The Adoption Reader (1995): "Adoption, like motherhood, has always been a woman’s issue. It is women who give birth, and women who have had their birth children taken from them because of cultural, political or economic forces; and it is women who sometimes feel they must relinquish their birth child in order to protect that child"[p.ix].

Why aren’t more birth fathers involved? Does one sit at a table where no chair is available? What I believe will help open the door for more birth fathers to engage is recognition. It is important to realize that the emotional processes men undergo in adoption are largely the same as women! Men, too, are placing their child in the care of others. It may be a shock for some to hear that men have emotions. We love our children every bit as much as their mother’s do.


You either knew or should have known

In January 1999, an unidentified hockey player, who also played on the Swift Current Broncos under Graham James, filed a $650,000 lawsuit against 24 individuals and organizations who allegedly knew, or should have known, that James sexually assaulted some of his players, including him. Among the groups sued were the Western Hockey League and its parent group, the Canadian Hockey League, as well as the Swift Current Broncos and the Sasketchewan Amateur Hockey Association. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1/17/99)

Did ya get that? 24 individuals and organizations who allegedly knew or should have known.

It's tough for me not to think about Graham James and his abuse of young hockey players entrusted to him with the Sandusky investigation that's going on. I googled James recently and found this in a Canadian newspaper.

Charges against former junior hockey coach and convicted sex offender Graham James have been remanded to Dec. 1. Last month, it was suggested dates would be set for the case to proceed but that hasn't happened. Instead, court has been told the defence and Crown are continuing their discussions. James has been out on bail for almost a year and living in Montreal after his arrest on new sex assault charges involving young hockey players he once coached as juniors, including former Calgary Flames forward Theo Fleury.
Fleury went on to become a star in the National Hockey League and wrote about the alleged abuse in his book. He then made a complaint to police, which prompted the second investigation after James had served almost two years in jail for assaulting other young hockey players, including former NHLer Sheldon Kennedy.

I was just a kid when I knew Graham James and I knew there was something bad about him. Of course, I was safe as his molestation preference was boys. In fact, I clearly remember the disdain he had for me, his attempts to keep the likes of me out of the picture, to be alone with and everything to his players.

If I knew there was something wrong as a young girl, surely the adults knew. So disappointing, so dangerous, the reverence and blind trust given to sports figures, at all costs, at any cost. The same thing happened in the Sandusky case(s). Why?

Accountability cannot be placed on the young victims. What are they supposed to do? Think about it. This comment made by Sheldon Kennedy was very striking to me.

"'You do not have a clue what to do," Kennedy said. "You tell your mom and she makes you come home. You tell your friends and they will just portray you as a gay guy. It is just a very scary thing.'" (Detroit News, 1/7/97)

It's true, you know. There will always be those around who are less vulnerable, those friends who would never quite understand. Those kids who can somehow just say no, or who aren't even approached. Maybe they have supportive, strong families who have provided a solid start, given them a sense of security, self-esteem. Maybe they just have this natural ability to be strong willed, or just come across as confident. In any case these kids will not be preyed upon, may not even be able to understand how their victimized peers can consider themselves victims.

Nobody held a gun to their head, right? Right, just brought one into the room.

Sheldon Kennedy says of the Sandusky investigation, “I don’t see this as a failure at all — I think if anything this is a success,” said the former NHLer who has dedicated his life to abuse prevention and education. We've got all these victims coming forward against one of the most powerful organizations in that state. To me, that’s what we want — we want people to disclose, step forward and make sure this sort of stuff isn’t institutionalized.”.

If you're a victim of this kind of abuse, I hope you can find a way to tell someone. It's not your fault.

If you are suspicious or aware that someone in power is abusing children, do something about it and stay on it until there has been a stop put to the abuse.


Adoptee encounter

I had a live and in colour fellow adoptee encounter the other day.

I'm sure it happens more often than we know but contrary to what one might think reading about adoption online, it's not easy to detect someone is adopted unless they tell you. Our murderous tendencies and festering primal wounds are nearly impossible to detect in the everyday exchanges that occur on an average day between human beings.

This particular person's adoptive status was revealed in a rather interesting (to me) exchange. I only know this lovely lady through the service she provides, a very common service most everyone utilizes from time to time.

So how it went down was as she and I were talking one of her co-workers interrupted to ask her if she was going to do something or other once she was done with her sister....referring to me! Now although I was flattered to hear the co-worker thought that I looked like my service provider, as I said she is quite lovely, inside and out, we of course both immediately said, "we're not sisters!".

And then, she said it, said those words I've often said myself, "but then you never know, we could be related. I'm adopted".

And then it went something like this.....

" am I!"

"What? Really?! Are you serious?"

"I'm serious, I'm adopted too"

"Have you met your birthmother?"

"Uh, yeah actually, I have".

My service provider then went on to ask her name to which I had to answer sorry, I don't say her name. I'm a secret, nobody knows about me.

SP (service provider) went on to ask me a few more questions, I asked her a few, and then she quickly said her bio mom's name. Nope, I say, not the same woman, which is as I suspected. I was pretty certain if SP and I were related it wouldn't be as sisters although that seriously would have been cool with me. Although I already have the best sister, it wouldn't hurt to have another who lives so close by, excels at the particular services she provides, and is, as it turns out, an amazing woman who rose above the crap dealt to her by all of her parents.

See, SP was adopted by a family that already had a few boys who were biological to the adoptive parents. The a-mom wanted to adopt, the a-dad did not, a circumstance that I think is pretty common. Anyway, a-dad gives in, a-mom adopts SP, and then turns around and ditches all of her kids when SP was 5 years old. Just....takes off. I'm outta here. See ya suckers.


I cannot wrap my head around that. Who could do such a thing?

To make SP's story even worse, a-dad never ever comes around. She spent her entire childhood in a home where she was unwanted, not even finding a connection with any of her brothers. She is no longer in contact with anyone in her adoptive family.

Knowing all of this it should come as no surprise that SP searched for her 'real' mother, maybe more accurately put would be to say she searched for 'any' mother. Whatever the case, she found her, and found another piece of work.

I won't share all the details. Suffice to say that the woman she found is no mother, except for biologically. SP has nothing to do with her now and it's not surprising given what the bio mom acted like. I'm still blown away by the way she treated SP, not the least of which was intentionally lying five different times about who SP's father is.

I kid you not. 5 times!! We're talking, "so-and-so is your father". SP calls the dude up. The guy has no clue what SP is talking about. SP calls up bio mom and tells her what the guy said. Bio mom says yeah, I know, I lied. 5 freaking times people!!

Yup. Blown. Away.

Sad story, right? It struck me, that's for sure. I feel terrible things went that way for SP and I told her so. Thing is, she doesn't feel bad for herself. She said she had her days of being pissed off, and she's done with them. Her two daughters are her family now.

One of them was with her at work. It happened to be bring your kid to work day. Her daughter is lovely and it's simple to tell that SP has broken the cycle. A mom who never had a mom or dad stepping up and being a better parent than many of those who had the ideal intact family.

Damn I am in awe of that. People who make it, against all odds, in spite of crap parents.

I've thought a lot about SP since our discovery. I've been wondering what she does on holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. I wonder if her daughters have people they think of as aunts or uncles, people they think of as grandparents.

Perhaps I can offer to adopt SP and her girls, invite them to be a part of my family.

That's what adoption is supposed to be, right? Providing family for those who don't have one.

If so, SP certainly qualifies.

Oh yeah. One last thing. SP was adamant about wishing she'd known not to expect much when she searched for her bio mom, wishes she'd been better prepared for the outcome she actually experienced. It would have made things that much easier, much less of a disappointment.

The lesson here? Keep it real people. We don't do each other any favors when we spread false information about all or most adoptees and parents. One can never know what prize they'll find in the bottom of the box.

It could very well be a toy they already have.