"Angry Adoptee" and "Angry Black Man"

By Kim Yoonmi
March 23, 2009 / Korean Adoptee
Do you know what they called a Black Man that spoke out against the white masters? An"Angry Black Man" this served to function to other the person so they were not human but "other."

What was Malcolm X? An Angry Black Man.
What was Rosa Parks? An Angry Black Woman.
What was Martin Luther King? An Angry Black Man.

Who was the "good" black man? The one that shut up and took the oppression and let himself seem dumb to his masters. Because this man was grateful to his masters for feeding him, clothing him, and treating him like crap when the master dehumanized him. Sure, these masters also committed genocide on 30% of the full 90% of Native American populations and sure there were plenty of acts later down the line to prove that White Superiority was shown through things like "Manifest Destiny" Immigration Acts (mainly to block Chinese, Japanese and "foreign", let's admit it, "other than white" races.) But let's get this straight. The man who does not speak up against oppression is the "good" slave and the one that speaks up is the "bad" slave.

Since most East Asians use passive means of social correction, this makes them the "good" minority.

The bad minority are those Native Americans without tribes, you know the "red" people whom we like to misnomer things like "Indian" and "Eskimo" (For anyone living in a cold climate must be "Eskimo") that do things like sue the government for reparation money for the 90% of the population and irreplaceable land they lost through sleazy displacing. Yup, they are the "angry" ones. The ones that we like to call things like, "Skinheads." (taking from a Mohawk stereotype... and mixing it with Blackfoot Native American traditions... Way to go! Mix those Plains Indians with Sedentary Agricultural New York State Native Americans!) Don't forget those African Americans (Why should they be angry at almost 150 years of slavery and prejudice?) And those Catholics too... Man, what were they thinking by believing in the Pope. Let's ban those "bad" white people of Eastern Europe from coming into the country with their Papist views. They are "angry" Irish and "drunk" Scots and "seductive" Italians with Immigration Acts to ban them from the country--religious freedom! Yay! If they speak out they are "angry."

So Uncle Tom that lived in the cabin was a "good" slave, but Jim was a "bad" slave, 'cause he ran away from his master/mistress in Huckleberry Finn.

What do I think when someone calls me an "Angry Adoptee?" I think the "good" adoptee is the one that has faced hardships and tried very, very hard to cope with their surroundings, but is afraid to speak out. While the ones that speak about the injustices of the system are the "angry" adoptees. As history has shown for the African American slaves, I don't think either is the "wrong" way. There are good and bad adoptions, things that are good and things that need to change. And if I point out things that need to change at the same time that I point out the good things about adoption, it's likely I'll be labeled as the "angry" adoptee. Because I called for change to the system. Because I feel like certain unalienable rights were taken away when I had to take on this label given to me by certain institutions and governments. And if I fight for them and the next generation of adoptees, isn't that just as frightening as it was when advocates of race spoke out? So it's easier to label me as angry, take away my humanity and voice by labeling me with a "negative" emotion, because who wants change to a system that seems to serve the adoptive parents' and agencys' good which the media entirely endorses (well, most of the time). However, remember that Susan Soon-keum Cox of Holt said, "Families for children, not children for families."

So go ahead and call me angry. And I'll be happy to call you out right back--prejudiced and afraid. And if you are prejudiced and afraid, then please educate yourself so you are not. Because I think the next generation of children--adopted or not--deserve that much.


Why be angry?

Throughout my adult life, many people could neither see nor understand why I would not be more grateful and thankful about my own adoption.  After all, wasn't I saved and rescued from a life of hardship and poverty?  Wasn't I kept out of a horrific orphanage, where there was no care?  Wasn't I spared and given a second chance at life?

I believe the quiet [yet angry] adoptee is compliant and agreeable... for a while.  However, eventually, a diet of suppressed anger eventually shows itself in not so cute and pretty ways.  Typically it shows in various types of behavior... the sort of behavior that can be blamed on first parents/family.   I'm reminded of the phrase people used to say back when I was dating:  "Be careful of the quiet ones".  [We are quiet, for a reason.]

Yesterday I read an article about the new-face of the soon-to-be VERY angry adoptee.

It's so amazing to me how the more things change, the more they stay the same... only to get much much worse for The Chosen Ones.

A Liberian Boy: a casualty of the war and a casualty of adoption.

This is a story about a preteen boy who was adopted from Liberia in 2007 to a U.S. family and how his adoption was disrupted within six months of bringing him home to the U.S. This boy was born into a nation experiencing a brutal civil war that lasted 14 years until it finally ended in 2003.

During Liberia’s civil war, a child’s chance for survival was grim at best because access to food, medicine and safety were often not assessable. And for this particular boy, his life tragically came close to being a “killed” statistic of Liberia’s war. It was on one fateful day, this then baby boy was seriously wounded when a bullet fired from a gun rapidly propelled towards him before piercing through his still developing skull and brain. This bullet remained lodged in his head because the medical services were no longer capable of performing such a delicate surgery. It was a miracle that this boy survived at all, and to even walk and talk after experiencing such a life-threatening and life-altering injury.

Since the war collapsed Liberia’s medical care system, it was hard for anyone to evaluate the extent of his injuries relating to his physical, mental and emotional state; however, there were a few noticeable differences that became apparent while others were yet to be revealed. Physically, one side of his body the muscles had slightly atrophied. Mentally, there were signs that his learning development would be delayed or limited. Emotionally, at first he appeared as a quiet and reserved boy, but later many hidden traumas would soon rise to the surface and occasionally erupt into a fiery volcano.

As the nation began to sort out the devastation after its civil war completely destroyed the infrastructure leaving many Liberians in extreme poverty, this boy’s chances for survival were still critical. His father’s [3] post-war impoverished condition left him unable to provide or care for a son with special needs. This father was likely overwhelmed with worry for his son’s welfare and despair for there was no hope for his future. However, he would soon find relief when he learned about adoption. His son was eventually placed with a U.S. family that seemed eager and willing to help this special boy.

After completing the in-country paperwork and court documentation, it was now time for this boy to be united with his new family. The adoptive father arrived alone in Liberia July 2007, to complete his new son’s travel visa before bringing him home to the rest of the eagerly waiting U.S. family. The first moments that the parent and child meet one another are filled with both excitement and anxiety. And like so many other new adoptive parents, this father was overjoyed with emotion as it became clear that this was his new son.

For the next two weeks while the travel visa was being processed, this new father-son bond had time to become more cohesive. It was during this time that the adoptive father could also assess his adopted son’s condition. This adoptive father, who was fully aware of his son’s injury, would share his reasons for adopting this boy by saying to the likes that “God placed it in my heart to adopt and help this child.” He also openly talked about having his new son evaluated by surgeons to see if the bullet could be removed and some resources to help him overcome his developmental issues. He seemed ready to face the many challenges—known and unknown—for this physically and emotionally traumatized child as he and his adopted son prepared to embark on their journey home to the U.S.

Sometime after arriving to the U.S., this boy was evaluated and found to be eligible to receive the reparative surgery that successfully removed the bullet from his head. From this moment, it seemed that this child’s tragic past was over and a new life was about to begin. Nevertheless, on one tragic day this boy would become grievously agitated and subsequently threatened the life of his family and his own. It is unknown if this occurred more than once, or if this was caused by probable brain damage and emotional trauma from his injury. Regardless of these unknowns, the family was ready to disrupt his adoption within six months of receiving him.

At first there were attempts to readopt him to other adoptive families of Liberian children in the U.S., but they were unsuccessful. So instead of putting him into the U.S. foster care system, he was returned to Liberia in late 2008 or early 2009. Currently, he is living at the compound of the agency that placed him for adoption, and the environment there is not conducive to living in caring home with loving and nurturing parents. Additionally, he is not receiving any emotional counseling to overcome what is most likely post traumatic stress syndrome.

His future is unknown and his chance for re-adoption is unlikely with Liberia’s moratorium still in place. However, even when that is lifted the outlook of him being placed with a new family is highly doubtful due to two reasons. First, there is a growing trend of older Liberian adoptees' being returned to Liberia or placed in U.S. foster care because the parents could not cope with the child's disruptive behavior. Secondly, adoptive parents in their blog posts are advising others not to adopt older Liberian children, because they are struggling with their adopted child’s emotional outbursts that can turn violent or behavioral problems that include lying and stealing.

It is very likely that his father is aware of his return, and yet it is unknown why this child is not living with him. It seems after everything this boy has been through that his only hope is to be reunited with his natural father. Also, his father could receive financial assistance to care for his son through child support payments, because the adoptive family is still obligated to this child, regardless of the disruption.

Disruptions: why they occur and why they are unreported. 

This story illustrates how disruptive adoption can fail children and also cause them additional harm. Unfortunately, many preteen and teenage children from developing and post-war nations have similar stories. Many of these children have unforeseen trauma-related anxieties from experiencing war, being institutionalized or separated from their birth parents. If these children are not given proper mental health care for their emotional wounds, they express their anxiety in violent rages either by verbal threats or physical assault. Many times the adoptive parents are unprepared or incapable to tend to their children’s emotional needs, and this is how children are placed in foster care or returned to their birth nation. And in some notable cases, these traumatized children have been violently abused or murdered by their adoptive parents who were unable to cope with their emotional problems [4].   [From: "Liberia:  What happens to the Child When Adoption Fails?"]

Page Moved.

Hello, thanks for the reposting of my blog post. Just letting you know that the blog moved to a new location ( http://www.kimyunmi.com) .

Has other new content as well. Thanks!

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