An eye-opening look at the power of an AP

Times sure have changed....

Ten years ago, when I first started to post my litany of complaints about abuse in adoptive families, it felt as if all AP's were unified (and ready to attack) on all adoption forum fronts.  Not a negative word about an AP could be said/written by an angry adoptee, without a pack of AP's offering their outraged 2-cent opinions.  In other words, the more I was banned repeatedly because I kept writing about the many ways AP's can be messed-up in the head, the more I thought adoption, as a practice, was (and continues to be) REALLY F-ed up.

The blogging-world sure seems to allow more honest,  uncensored truth.  <WHEW!>  This truth in blogging is giving me an odd feeling -- hope.

Today's find comes from an Amother's blog, Adoptiontalk.  Kudos must go for the AP who finally sees just how crazy life can be for the adoptee "chosen" by/for a well-to-do family with some serious identity issues:

The speaker was a proud father. To illustrate his comments about a piece of art that celebrated the wonders of modern medicine (and which he had just donated to a local hospital), he told a story about his adopted Asian daughter. He described her as a beautiful, happy child in whom he took much delight. Her life, he told the audience, had been improved dramatically by the miracle of modern medicine. When she joined her new Caucasian family, her eyes, like those of many people of Asian descent, lacked a fold in the upper eyelid, and that lack was problematic—in his view—because it made her eyes small and sleepy and caused them to shut completely when she smiled. A plastic surgeon himself, he knew she did not need to endure this hardship, so he arranged for her to have surgery to reshape her eyes. The procedure, he explained, was minimally invasive and maximally effective. His beautiful daughter now has big round eyes that stay open and shine even when she smiles.

[From:  Eyes Wide Open:  Surgery to Westernize the Eyes of an Asian Child ]

The hardship this adoptee has to endure has nothing to do with her eyes.  Her hardship has to do with the way in which she is seen by her all-loving, all-accepting Aparent, who also happens to be a nut-job with a medical license and a knife.

What I, a self-proclaimed angry adoptee, appreciate most, is the comment written by the Amother who featured this reported story.  In her blog, Malinda writes:

when a parent modifies features of a child that have nothing to do with physical impairment but can be integral to identity, and bases that decision on his own needs or aesthetic preferences, he asserts physical control over the child's body in the same way that he might assert control over a piece of property that he can modify to his specifications.

When I was a sophomore in high school, my Amother told me my birthday gift was going to take care of a problem.  In my case, my "problem" was my nose.  According to my Amother, it was too big... too ethnic.  It had to be fixed.  I had to be fixed.  If I got fixed, more of "the right" people would like me.  If I got my face fixed, everything would be perfect.

As my stupid luck would have it, the plastic surgeon she chose for me was old (close to death/retirement) and not that great.  As a result of that surgery, I have these annoying nodules I'd like to have removed, but won't because it's not anything I can afford to do... and quite honestly, I wouldn't want a plastic surgeons nose, anyway.   My annoying nodules give me "character"... a quality many seem to like, once they get to know me.  [Anyone see the irony in that statement?]

The point is, I believe there are many AP's in this world who are serious closet control-freaks and demented psychos.  There are many AP's with some really weird identity issues ("I am the master race/ethnicity and superior being" sort of thing) that need to be resolved.  There are many AP's who treat their adopted children like objects, not real human beings with real feelings.  There are many AP's who should not be allowed to keep pets, let alone adopt a child.  Once other AP's begin to see this truth, maybe less children placed for adoption will be placed in these sort of homes, where all sorts of unfortunate events can happen. (At least, one could hope.)  Because the way I see it as always being in Adoptionland.... things will only get fixed (reformed) if an AP sees a serious problem.

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Very honestly

The AP that she discusses should not have been allowed to adopt at all.   I am lucky in that my adoptive parents would not let me change anything about me because I was loved for who I was.  I know that many adoptees do not have that.   I agree with you on Malinda.  She is an awesome lady.  APs are starting to see what is wrong.  Bad thing, when they see that you know as well as I do all the litigation that is occurring for them now.  Plaintiff Pap is an example of that.  Thanks to people like Malinda, ECase and others things are changing.  They are not changing fast enough to resolve the issues for adoptees and their families. It still continues to promote fighting amongst the various groups.

"lucky"

I am lucky in that my adoptive parents would not let me change anything about me because I was loved for who I was.  I know that many adoptees do not have that. 

I had to laugh at the word "lucky" used by an adoptee, because back in my day of deleted/removed open forum postings, the "lucky adoptees" would remind us not-so-lucky (aka used, neglected/abused) adoptees how good adoption really is.  Seems the only time "lucky adoptees" gave an angry adoptee any (supporting) attention was when that unlucky bastard complained about faked/changed birth certificates and lost identities.  [It's kinda funny when I look back and think about it!]

I have no doubt, if a child is adopted by a loving, caring, non-dysfunctional freak-family, an adoptee's experience can be quite good.  Why, to this day I still wish I was that lucky!  [I mean, really... who, in their right mind, wants to be adopted by closet psychos??]

Problem is, the not-so-lucky adoptees have become less inclined to speak/write openly when there are AP's and happy-go-lucky adoptees reading the pages.  In fact, here at PPL I have gotten several messages written by very brave abused adoptees telling me they no longer felt safe writing about their adoption-experience because of certain responses made by some AP's. 

I think it's very sad so many ADULT adoptees are still so afraid to put their thoughts and experiences into words.  In my mind, that says something.  It says victims are afraid of being attacked.  They are afraid, for damn good reason.

ANYWAY.... I'm very glad to see various sides of the adoption-circle reaching-out and sharing their stories.  I'm glad I'm becoming more open-minded and willing to read what others are writing about adoption.  Not all of it turns my stomach, as it used to.  But then again, my ability to accept stories that differ from my own comes from the fact that my own story... my own opinion about certain things, events and people.... has been acknowledged and respected.  [It's funny how that "respect-is-a-two-way-street" really operates, isn't it?]

Thanks to more and more articles, videos and blogs being posted, more and more people are (finally) beginning to see the stories many of us shared 10+ years ago are confessions about real events, and not fictional accounts created by needy freaks wanting attention.  These stories shared, and deleted, many years ago reflect events that are still taking place, today.... events that are taking place in some very scary, creepy adoptive homes. 

Thanks to people like Malinda, ECase and others things are changing.  They are not changing fast enough to resolve the issues for adoptees and their families. It still continues to promote fighting amongst the various groups.

Perhaps in time, more and more will see the wounds of the past can better heal if those wounds are not inflicted on the next new group of people.

Perhaps in time, the fighting/discord amongst the various groups will cease enough to make child placement reform a very attainable goal and reality.  [I'll be honest, that's a reality I'd like to see before my dying day.] 

<moment of silence>

<clock ticking>

Is it too impatient of me to say, "WTF is taking so long, folks"??

Lucky?

"Lucky" is a word I shun. Too often, some well-intentioned stranger has made comments about my kids being lucky - lucky to live in Australia, lucky to have a second family, lucky to have been adopted - especially as older children, etc. 

Were they lucky when they lost their first family, were not taken in by a family in their birth country, had to struggle through learning another language and adapting (always adapting...) to a new life? They were denied what should have been a given - being nurtured and raised by their first family. Some remember abandonment, some remember abuse, one was relinquished by parents because he was born with disabilities ... where was their luck then?

Whatever they gained through adoption (and I do hope they gained enormously) can't ever balance what they lost. Our efforts to provide a stable, secure life for our adopted sons and daughter has, at best, been an approximation of what our birth kids have always had - yet nobody ever gives my birth kids the burden of feeling lucky.

Lucky was the wrong term possibly

Well I lived in a family full of blonds with my being a brunette and brown eyed.  I was always odd man out. I am just grateful that I was not forced to be a blond.  As an adult so many years later, I make a much better red head which is of my own choice. I do not think adoption is the best answer.  Yes I was lucky but many many adoptees were not. I know that more than anything.  I still wonder how my adoptive father was allowed to adopt me.  He was totally lame.  They saw him only as a dentist and educated but they did not delve into his personality.  My issues have also always been with my fathers. 

No difference

when a parent modifies features of a child that have nothing to do with physical impairment but can be integral to identity

If this comes from an AP of a transracial adoptee, I find it hypocritical.

If we are to talk about identity of a person, for me, there is no difference between modifying one's culture and modifying one's physical appearance. 

My Aparents (and the society where I live in) removed my culture, they modified my inside completely by making it completly westerner  but they didn't change my appearance. 

My eyes, integral to identity? Let me laugh!  What identity? I am a westerner. I live as a westerner, I do everything as a westerner, I think as a westerner, I think that I'm living in the wrong body.

I'm envious of the girl who had the surgery. Her father finished his job completely. I wonder why my APs didn't finish their job by also chaning  my outside.  

Death, from the inside

I'm envious of the girl who had the surgery. Her father finished his job completely. I wonder why my APs didn't finish their job by also chaning  my outside.  

In the name of modification and appearances, I can easily see how lots of AP's want to attain/maintain a certain image for their sake, not the child's.  Westernizing an Asian child is only one way in which this "magical transformation" can be done.  Modifying looks, appearances, behaviors.... that can quickly become a torture of another kind for an adopted child.  For instance, look at the ways in which children are being treated because they are not bonding nicely with the new-mommy.  [See:  Holding Therapy].  The message being sent to the child is this --  "Love ME, or ELSE!"

But torture (forcing a person to do something he/she does NOT want to do) can be very well-hidden, (insidious), if it's done by someone who knows what he or she is doing.  [Mentally-manipulative parents really trigger me!]  So while some adoptees can get stuck with brutal child abusers; others can get stuck with mentally manipulative control-freaks.... the kind that show their true-colors only at home.  Either way, I remember the thought process that went through my head many many times:  "If I don't make them happy, I will be sent away."  [If I don't have their good-favors, and stay in their good-graces, and keep/put them in a good mood, I'll be sent to a place that is much much worse.] 

Looking back, I can see just how much stress that can put on a child.  A child should NOT have to live years in fear. 

I know in my own case, my owners controlled all that I was to do and NOT do.  I was to do well in school.  That "looked good".  Having black or low-income friends, and bringing them home, did NOT look good.  I was to speak well of my Aparents.  That made them "look good".  Asking questions about my first-family was NOT good (it was a betrayal).  Saying yes to any request was good.  Saying no proved I had a mind of my own, and that would not be tolerated.  <sick laugh...>  So much about me was not well-tolerated by others... and these are the things I learned to accept.  By accepting their desired look/appearance, I allowed myself to lose core essential parts of Me.

What hurt me the most was knowing my Aparents were not the worst control-freaks in my entire adoptive family.

Many times they fed me to the wolves, without ever knowing... without ever asking... without ever noticing what changes were taking place in and outside of me.

After awhile, I began to see a truth that may or may not have been their reality:  they didn't care.  As long as they got what they wanted from me, they didn't have to bother or concern themselves with the mind and body of a child enduring a slow and tortured death.  Sick-funny thing is, if they didn't get what they wanted from me, they would ask, "What's going on inside your head?"

<fading to black, remembering all I wanted to do and say>

Pound Pup Legacy