Voiceless No More

Update: I’m happy to report that the administer and I have been able to resolve our differences and move forward in a respectful manner. Nevertheless, adoptees’ voices are still largely ignored, and I still feel the heart of this piece remains true.

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Absolutely nothing is known about the first years of my life. My personal history begins when I was two years old, allegedly abandoned on a busy street in Nanjing, China. From there I was taken to the local police station, and then to the Nanjing Social Welfare Institute. In these ways, the beginning of my life can be characterized by a complete lack of control. The decision to leave my first family was not mine.  This was made by the national government in 1979, when China first introduced the One Child Policy. And this was again made by the local government, as Jiangsu Province implemented one of the strictest family planning commissions in the country.

When I first came to the orphanage, I used silence as a coping mechanism, physically displaying how powerless I probably felt. During my transition from orphan to adoptee,  I again rendered myself voiceless. I was thrust into yet another unfamiliar situation, this time with strangers who didn’t look like me or speak my language. Upon meeting my parents, I refused to talk to them for more than a week. Through adoption, other people and policies again dictated the direction of my life. Dependent on the person who matched me with my parents, I could have gone to any country, been given any name, and grown into any number of different people.

Now, as an adult, my first reaction to adversity is no longer silence. Through this blog, public speaking opportunities, and more maturity, I am finally finding my voice. And with this voice, I’ve discovered, comes power. The ability to tell my narrative and my truths in the ways I want has allowed me to create my own agency, which is something I have lacked for so long.

No longer holding my voice back, I now find that my experiences are often discredited by others – sometimes by the very people who have encouraged me in other areas of my life. A little too radical, too threatening, or too deviant from the mainstream, my adult adoptee opinion is often unwanted  or written off immediately as “ignorant” and “ungrateful.” Though I am used to harsh criticism of my words, it was not until this spring that I was quite literally silenced by an adoptive parent.

Being from the Nanjing Social Welfare Institute, I joined the facebook group titled, “Families with adopted children from Nanjing SWI, China.” On that page, like any other adoption group at the time, the video “If You Wouldn’t Say it about a Boob Job” was circulated. I have some serious problems with this video (you can read about them: here) and decided that, as one of the only adoptees in the group, I couldn’t let my voice go unheard. I responded to the post with only a few words and the link to the Lost Daughter’s roundtable discussion on the video.  Instead of provoking an insightful discussion on the video or adoption rhetoric at large, my status as an adoptee was questioned, my comment deleted, and my presence in the group removed.

The description of the Nanjing SWI facebook group says, “This group is for families who are in the process of adopting from the Nanjing SWI or have already done so, and for the adopted children from Nanjing.”  Though I am no longer a child, I still feel that I very much fit into the membership of this group. I sent the administrator a message confirming my identity as an adoptee and asking about the reason for my removal. She never responded to my message or my two additional requests to rejoin the group, nor do I think she will.

I was particularly surprised by this behavior from a high ranking staff member of a well regarded university.  While this type of institution is supposed to help foster the development and deeper thinking of young people, like myself, she has done the antithesis. She has not only ignored the adoptee voice, she has actively silenced me by removing my words from the discussion and by barring my ability to communicate with those who are adopted or have adopted from my orphanage. More than muting my voice, she has offended me at the core by doubting my integrity and, with a click of a mouse, making me nonexistent.

In the past few years, I have grown so much, yet these instances draw me back to my three year old self. I feel powerless and voiceless again, but this time not by my choosing.  Who is this woman, and what right does she have to tell that I don’t belong in a group of people from my orphanage?

It is for this reason I get so upset when adoptive parents say they feel unfairly judged or unheard. Adoptive parents have been heard and heard and heard again, while adult adoptees have had to fight to be heard at all. As children, adoptees are voiceless in the adoption process, and in a large part remain voiceless as adults, as well. Adoptive parents are in charge of heritage camps, have authored the majority of adoption literature, have led adoption research, drive the demand for adoption, and continue to dismiss the adoptee voice when the words aren’t to their liking. At no point, in the lifelong process of adoption, have adoptive parents been powerless in the same way as adoptees.

So, to the administrator of the “Families with adopted children from the Nanjing SWI, China” facebook group and the others, like her, who wish to silence the adoptee voice, I say this: I was a child from the Nanjing Social Welfare Institute, now a young adult, whether you choose to acknowledge me or not. Though you may try to silence me, I will simply find other avenues and platforms from which to share my voice. I will not be speechless again.

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111 responses to “Voiceless No More

  1. 1.
    Please be careful making sweeping statements:
    “Adoptive parents are in charge of heritage camps……”
    FACT: Not all camps are. Holt Adoptee Camps are design and administered entirely by only adoptees. Non-adoptees (including parents) cannot participate in the camps, including campers, staff and counselors. My daughters attended the camps for eight years. Only adoptees participated at all levels.
    2.
    “Through adoption, other people and policies again dictated the direction of my life. Dependent on the person who matched me with my parents, I could have gone to any country, been given any name, and grown into any number of different people.”
    I understand this sentiment but is it not the same situation almost every person faces? In my own case: My (biological) parents dictated the direction of my life because of their personal situations (I had no control over this). They were in charge, not me. Depending on the persons with whom my biological mother and father were accidentally matched, I could have gone to any country, been given any (a different) name and grown into any number of different people.
    3.
    The frustration and contempt you voice for Sharon Keyes Grace certainly rings loudly. I agree that you are at least owed an explanation from your nemesis. But, by calling her out on your blog what are you trying to accomplish? This is not just a glib question. I honestly wonder what you seek? What is your goal? Maybe you could explain that?

    • I think you may be doing her a disservice by replying in this way. One culture camp is only one. The majority of camps are run by APs and agencies. Also, being a product of a biological family may not be compared to being an adoptee. She is correct in saying that she had no control over much of her life. Decisions were made for her. Decisions which took her away from her biological family and her country of origin.

      • How is stating an opinion “doing her a disservice”? It’s a different viewpoint and I assume that such is an important part of a blog. NO? If everyone agrees with everything what’s the point?
        CAMP: There are many culture camps that are run by adoptees OR designed by adoptees, not, as you state, a “majority of camps run by APs and agencies.” I just named one. And, camps are not just in the “parents” purview. Some, not all, parents may force their adoptees to attend adoption/heritage camps. I was forced to go to church camp growing up. I didn’t particularly like it but I made friends and looking back it was a good experience. So, does one throw the baby out with the bath water? I never forced my girls to go to an “adoption” camp. They chose it from among many other kinds of camps and returned year after year.
        BIOLOGICAL FAMILY: Well, I think you missed my point entirely. I had no control over my beginnings, neither did you. “Others” made our choices and decisions for us. I was not taken away from my biological family as were many adoptees (Chinese, Native Americans, etc. etc.). This is certainly true. But, there are many reasons for this early separation and what follows in terms of “decisions” – many are admirable and motivated by kindness and love, others are horrendous and despicable. But, lumping both into a category that defines “decisions” as good or bad is dubious. It’s not so simple.
        My brother’s adopted son, from Costa Rica, would not agree with the blogger. In many conversations he (in his 30s) has repeatedly stated how thankful he is to be adopted and while he loves his birthmom (a prostitute), he feels that the decisions made on his behalf have given him a better life.
        SHARON KEYES GRACE: As I stated, I do not approve of the lack of response or Ms Grace actions. It is beyond disappointing, I think. But, do you have any thoughts on the blogger’s reasons/goals? Or does the blogger have any response? I think it would be helpful for everyone to hear.

    • P.H. Krieger–your comments reinforce what this blogger is saying. They are all about APs. If we as APs can stop ourselves from reacting defensively and give ourselves a chance to assess what she is saying, we know she’s right. APs and adoption agencies control the majority of the dialogue, policy-making, and post-adoption experiences available to adoptees.

      Because you can come up with what you think is an exception to her statement does not mean that it isn’t true for the majority of the time. Personally, I have no experience with Holt adoptee camps, but I cannot see how a camp that is sponsored by an adoption agency is anything except proof of what she says. It does not matter that those camps are run by adoptees. Who hires those adoptees? What are the criteria for hiring? Who sets the agenda for the camps? Who does the training? I don’t have the answers to those questions, but simply having adoptees as counselors doesn’t mean it isn’t a camp run by an adoption agency. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t great value in these camps–that’s not what’s being discussed here. It’s about who gets center stage in making these decisions.

      No, your experiences growing up in your biological family and having your parents dictating your life circumstances do not in any way compare to this blogger’s experiences being born in another country, separated from her birth family, placed for adoption, losing everything that is known about her for the first two years of her life, adopted into another country, and being raised by a family half a world away from her origins.

      This really and truly is not about us as APs. It’s about this blogger, other adult adoptees, and about our children. When we make it about what we think or believe, we completely miss what adult adoptees like this blogger are trying to share.

      Even if APs don’t agree with what she’s writing on a particular post, this is excellent practice for when our adopted kids want to share their perspective with us. It isn’t about whether we agree or disagree. This is their lived experience. Their reality. Their pain and their growth. Picking apart what they are saying by pointing out exceptions or dismissing things by saying we went through the same thing isn’t going to help our kids. It will silence them. Accepting that what they feel and experience is real and simply saying “I’m sorry this is so hard right now. How can I help?” will (with some luck) keep them talking with us and including us in their journey to make sense out of the very complicated life they’ve been dealt.

      • Thank you Debbie for your comments. It appears that what I have written has been interpreted as a defensive AP. Quite the contrary. I wish you knew how involved I am with adoptees on a daily basis and how often I talk with adoptees about many of the things that Red Thread Broken writes. As I stated, I support the voice that is being heard on this blog. It fills a tremendous need.

        Briefly here is my response to a few of your points:

        As you stated you have no experience with HOLT. So here are the facts. Holt employees are by-in-large adoptees. Key decisions are made by adoptee employees not “an adoption agency” or any single non-adoptee. All past CEOs have been adoptees. It’s not perfect but that’s the situation. All camp hiring, organizing, designing, directing, administering, etc. are done by adoptees. If you are not an adoptee you don’t participate at any level of the camps. The camp directors are hired by adoptee adults who work for Holt. This is why the program is different than what everyone thinks. The center stage is the adoptees, not parents or “an adoption agency.” You are passing on misinformation and I hope others will read this. I will not take time to describe other similar organizations that run adoption camps but there are many. I hope you will look into this before assuming something that is not fact.

        Red Thread Broken(RTB) and others should voice their opinions, questions and as I have said before I support this completely! A wider audience needs to hear from adoptees with similar voices. I hope some of my points are a means of focus, a way to better define the opinions and “voice” of RTB and others. The points I have raised were written with that intent. While I nod my head in agreement with so much of what RTB and others write it’s important to bring into better focus what seems to be unclear (example below). It’s not, as you state, about “picking apart what they are saying….” It’s about their ideas and trying to better understand what appears to be inconsistencies, or to just understand better. Below is one example:

        I will copy my response to labs71. Here it is: “You are correct that it is not about the adoptive parent. Everyday I think about my daughters who have no biological history, no medical history to report to the doctor, no memory of their beginnings, no birth language or connection with their birth family or birth country. I understand that Red Thread Broken is seeking a voice (and good for her) but there seems to be a disconnect. In a previous blog statement she stated that there should be no adoptions.”

        I call this a disconnect but there is surely some explanation that would explain what appears as incongruity. It could be frustration with the entire adoption experience, partly that or something else not defined. Anyway, this is an example of why it’s important to have such a blog in order to better understand RTB and company’s viewpoints. It is about adoptees. And it’s also about AP who want to better understand adoptees, their views, their experiences, their questions and frustrations and also to encourage them to speak out.

      • Frankly, PH Krieger,
        I come to RTB’s page because I’m interested in what she has to write about. She writes really well, appears thoughtful, considerate, and is very experienced and knowledgeable in TRA, and I love that she’s developing and using her voice.

        But, just as many adult adoptees have been talked over by louder, more self-righteous AP’s, you have done the same on her blog. Actions speak louder than words. But your actions in defending what you know and believe based on your (in)experience as someone never involuntarily separated from your country, culture, family, language, story, and history is quite apparent.

        Considering that you do not have the experience or depth of experience in the area of TRA, it is probably best that you stop defending your “expertise” and just listen/read until you become more experienced in TRA. As it is, you will never become anywhere near as experienced as RTB is in TRA and ICA. Thus, it is probably best that you learn, starting now, to take a back seat when it comes to TRA and ICA discussions, especially on a blog of a true TRA.

        You don’t seem to comprehend, despite it being spelled out for you, that RTB, like many TRA’s, didn’t have any voice or choice in losing country, culture, family, language, story, and history, ALL of which were/are a part of her. YOU did not lose country, culture, family, language, story, and history. You may not have had choices when you were younger, BUT you didn’t lose so much of what you entered this world with. So, just STOP with your false comparisons. Based on how you presented yourself, you show your ignorance (and your aggressively defensive tactics and hijacking tendencies of other people’s voices).

      • P.H. Krieger – Red Thread Broken(RTB) and others should voice their opinions, questions and as I have said before I support this completely! A wider audience needs to hear from adoptees with similar voices…

        I agree.

        I’m very sorry that RTB got kicked off a group. Hers is a voice that people ought to hear. Certainly they oughtn’t have the choice arbitrarily taken from them.

        However, I’m also very sorry to see that P.H. Krieger is under attack for doing exactly what RTB apparently did, i.e. not agreeing completely and without reservation with the group orthodoxy. For shame!

        I’m an AP (we Americans do love acronyms, don’t we?). I read RTB because it may well be that my little daughter will some day feel the things that RTB and other adoptees have felt, and I want to be prepared to help her as much as I can.

        But am I to tell her that her mother and I are villains because we “made decisions for her”? That we are wicked because we took her out of foster care and into our family? Oh, I (like other parents, adoptive and biological) robbed her of power a couple of hours ago when I put her to bed when she wanted to stay up and play some more. Shame on me…

        You folks demand that we understand how you feel. We’re trying. Might I ask that, in return, you not confuse “understand” with “parrot”? And that people not be attacked for daring to voice a polite question or even (gasp!) disagreement?

        And one more thing: you want us to understand how you feel. Do you know how WE feel? Do you understand how much we love our children? If you did, you might be a bit more careful about making AP’s out to be villains… and we might be a bit more willing to listen and look for common ground like supporting better regulation of international adoption, rooting out traffickers, supporting birth culture, etc. instead of tuning you out as cranks intent on wallowing in a sense of victimhood.

    • This is actually hilarious. The only redeeming quality of this nasty, demeaning comment is that it totally reiterates the blogger’s point. One has to wonder why Ms. Krieger is so…. defensive.

      • To anenomekym and Jennifer Hemsley and RTB我是收养: What specifically have I written that is defensive? What “actions speak louder than words? What of my “actions” are you talking about, anenomekym ? I have given opinions – you know, in the same way that RTB got kicked off the Nanjing group site. She gave an opinion that apparently “someone” did not like, felt it to be inappropriate and so the delete button was pressed. Actually, what did I write that deserved anenomekym’s finger-wagging, conform-or-shut-up response? Please, what it is? Jennifer Hemsley assumes it is Ms. Krieger not Mr. Krieger. Why? That is actually where the hilarity lies….assumptions. They seem to define the respondents on this blog – except, of course, for RTB我是收养, whom I hope keeps voicing her option while keeping an open mind.

    • You’re right not ALL culture camps are run by adoptive parents, but let’s think historically about who was in charge of them. Because you give one example doesn’t discredit the fact that the majority are parent led.

      Additionally, I can’t believe you compare yourself to an adoptee. If your mother had married a different man, if you were conceived at a different time, you still would have had the privilege of being raised by your biological family, not ripped away from your homeland and culture.

      Lastly, I write to draw attention to a cycle of oppression within the adoption community. I believe that people need to be held accountable, especially when they place themselves in such a public position. Her removal of me from the group was a way of asserting power, and I am standing up on behalf of myself.

      • Historically adoptive parents did call the shots on too many issues involving their adoptees. My point in bring up Holt as one example is that adoptees are gradually changing lots of things and camps are slowly contributing to the needed change. I sound like you expect change to come immediately. I agree that it’s been long enough but sometimes change takes more time then we all would hope for. Your viewpoints as an adult adoptee is helping affect needed change. You can’t change APs but your voice can help them change.

        The comparison I gave was based on a comment from my (adult) nephew who is an adoptee. He said to me, “I was not ripped away from my homeland and culture…I was saved from my biological mother who refused to take care of me as I was close to death…my adopted parents saved my life.” Certainly that’s not always the case and I understand (as much as I can not being adopted) the pain every adoptee faces with the unknown about their birth, birth family and birth culture, whether or not they were stolen, sold, etc. It’s heartbreaking and something that crosses my mind throughout each day. I get it, even though I can’t for a moment feel what you feel.

        I agree that she did assert her power. It’s despicable, and I agree that people in such public positions should be accountable. The fact that she did not respond in any way is inexcusable and cowardly.

        The many replies I have read about my thoughts and comments on your blog seem to be pushing in the same direction. Indirectly I have been told to shut up, don’t write this or that, etc. Since it’s your blog, I will ask whether or not you want me to continue participating? I will respect your decision.

    • The reason I decided to blog was firstly to further process my own thoughts. Additionally, I wanted to open dialogue on adoption from an adult adoptee’s perspective. Because adoption is a very political, as well as a highly personal subject to all of us, some of the necessary conversations may not be easy ones. As long as you are here with an open mind and open heart, I want your participation as much as my other followers’.

  2. Wow–I am stunned by what you wrote. I am sorry that this happened to you with the Nanjing group. I wish I could say I’m surprised by the actions this group moderator took, but I’m not. I’m sad for you and really sad for these parents’ children, because if they refuse to listen to you over something like that video, I can only imagine all the ways they’ll refuse to listen to their own children.

    I am glad you have found your voice and choose to share it with the world via your blog. I learn from you and I share your blog with my 15 year old daughter, adopted from China. I want her to know that speaking your reality is important and empowering.

    Blessings to you.

  3. I am sorry this has happened to you. My daughters were adopted from china. I appreciate reading your blog and others so I can try to learn both what to do and what not to do. sigh

  4. Wow! It is unfortunate for so many reasons that many adoptive parents try to create their own reality about adoption – ignoring the reality of adoptees. But I can’t say I am surprised about what happened to you. Thank you for writing this and kudos to you for not letting anyone take away your voice.

  5. There are adoptive parents with children from China who are appalled and outraged that you were not allowed a voice and kicked off the Nanjing group. Please do not judge all adoptive parents by the actions of a few. Some of us are sharing your blog post on FB in support of you and other adoptee voices. Please keep sharing Your voice is valued. It is the Nanjing group’s loss to lose you. I am very sorry that this happened to you
    – Concerned Adoptive parent with daughter from China

  6. Wow. That’s horrible on many levels. APs need to listen and be inclusive. If we cannot do our children any good if we do not listen to those that went before us–especially the adoptees.

  7. I am an adoptive parent. Right there in point #2 made by fellow adoptive parent R.H. Krieger lies a key problem. IT IS NOT ABOUT THE ADOPTIVE PARENT BUT ABOUT THE ADOPTEE. Most Chinese adoptees have no biological history. How can an adoptive parent even compare their situation to an adopted child’s situation unless the parent too was adopted with a low possibility of making a connection with his/her birth parents. (Thank you, red thread broken, for sharing your voice and experience so that I can strive to do the best I can in helping and understanding my daughter as she continually matures and understands more deeply about her beginnings.)

    • You are correct that it is not about the adoptive parent. Everyday I think about my daughters who have no biological history, no medical history to report to the doctor, no memory of their beginnings, no birth language or connection with their birth family or birth country. I understand that Red Thread Broken is seeking a voice (and good for her) but there seems to be a disconnect. In a previous blog statement she stated that there should be no adoptions.

  8. Great to hear your voice Red Thread and one can’t hear this too often
    IT IS NOT ABOUT THE PARENTS it SHOULD ALWAYS BE ABOUT THE ADOPTEE.
    I have encountered so many that devalue, belittle. ignore and seek to sweep aside the adoptee’s experience and I can only suggest that what is being said, what is being uncovered is feared and some would prefer that such subjects, topics and experiences remain buried.
    Keep writing, keep speaking out I support you and your right express your views.

  9. Thank you for sharing your story. I am an adoptive parent and I am absolutely appalled by the actions of the Yahoo moderator of the Nanjing group. It reminds me do much of all the censorship that goes on in China ( how ironic). I believe the moderator brought on this problem herself, by delisting you as a member and you have every right to seek out other forums to express yourself. I know I would have done the same thing. Besides, I truly enjoy hearing other people’s opinions and usually learn a few things.

  10. Well done. Well said. Your pain & frustration comes through but no more so than your strong & articulate message. Thank you. David A (TRAP)

  11. The deletion of your comment and your removal from the group (of which you clearly meet membership guidelines) appalls me. It is so unfortunate that some are not willing to listen and learn from those with different perspectives and experiences and immediately choose to silence them without having professional or mature dialogue.

    I have no question that you will continue to move forward and share your voice.

    I will also write a note to Sharon.

  12. I’m so sorry this happened. As an AP, I’m often terribly embarrassed and disgusted by the willful blindness so many of my “peers” employ. This kind of stuff makes my brain bleed, quite frankly. I’ve been thrown off so many boards that I’ve lost count over the years. I just don’t join them anymore because I know my opinions are totally not the status quo (plus, it causes too much acid reflux and one can only take so much talk of hair ribbons and “gotcha” days without going insane). I, for one, THANK YOU for sharing your truth. If only more AP boards could have more of the adopted persons perspective. Your words are SO important and I value your perspective and honor your efforts more than you know. IMO, your experience is far more valuable than any AP’s purchased one. If you’re an outlier, chances are you’re on the right path. Keep doing what you’re doing. Bravo.

  13. A very well written blog! And thank you for using your voice. I can’t understand the moderator for removing you from the Nanjing group, to be honest, I wish adoptees would join the orphanagegroups I am a member of.

    • For those who have drawn rather negative conclusion about my posts as an AP, here is a poem written by an adoptee. It speaks for itself.

      ADOPTED?

      Adopted?
      Do you miss your parents?
      What was it like?
      Questions, Questions, Questions.
      Why does it make a difference
      If I’m adopted or not?

      I was adopted half way through my first year.
      I don’t remember anything.
      Nothing.
      I don’t know who my biological parents are.
      I just don’t remember.

      I’m not that different than anyone else.
      I’m only learning Chinese,
      Not speaking it.
      I don’t know what it was like.
      Just as you probably don’t remember
      What happened during your first six months of life?
      I don’t know my biological parents
      But I don’t consider them my parents.
      Not really.
      They didn’t raise me like my parents did.

      I’m not that different.
      I go to school and speak English like you.
      I have lived here my whole life,
      And spent a total of about seven months in China.
      It’s more like a place on a map.
      I’ve never known anything else.
      I have a home here.
      I’m normal like you.

      But at the same time
      I’m not normal.
      I have two,
      Almost three sets of parents.
      My biological, my foster and my adopted.
      All contributing to one special thing.
      Me.

      • P.H. Krieger, my comment was not meant for you, It was meant for the writer of the blog. I am so very glad she used her voice. I do not know what you are trying to prove with your posts.

      • This poem does not speak to me of being comfortable in one’s adoption. This speaks to me of the pain in wanting to the same, and never being the same, no matter what.

  14. This is puzzling to me. I know that, as an adoptive mom, I do not have all the answers. I was not adopted. I cannot begin to understand the challenges my four-year-old daughter will face as she grows up. I know that we adoptive parents long for connections with others who “get it.” But as adoptive parents, isn’t our goal supposed to be giving our children a voice – whether they’re 3 or 33 – instead of just kicking people out of groups who could give us the BEST ideas of how to help our children thrive? I’m so grateful you use your voice on this blog and I hope that more and more adult adoptees do the same.

  15. I’m absolutely appalled to read that you were removed from that group. There is no excuse, absolutely none.

    P.H.Krieger said: “Everyday I think about my daughters who have no biological history, no medical history to report to the doctor, no memory of their beginnings, no birth language or connection with their birth family or birth country.”

    In light of this knowledge, why wasn’t your initial comment one of pure praise for RTB’s courage in raising her voice in the group and here? Anyone’s opinion on who runs the majority of culture camps pales in comparison to the muzzling and tone-policing of adoptees that happens at the hands of adoptive parents all the time.

    Focusing on an unimportant point in an effort to discredit a speaker or writer is classic deflection. It’s a cheap shot we APS have been taking for far too long. Enough already.

    • It’s amazing that RTB’s courage is emphasized and I wholeheartedly support everything she is doing to voice her perspective. I applaud her blog and her viewpoints and I stated this from my first post. I find it inexcusable that she was kicked off the Nanjing group. I also find it revealing that I am being told obliquely by many on this blog to “shut up” with my views (“enough already”, etc.), which is essentially the same results as RTB faced when she was kicked off the Nanjing group. i.e., fall in line with everyone’s opinion on this blog or get out. “Agree with everything we say or go somewhere else.” It’s just a different approach with the same results.

      • P.H. Krieger- This post was about APs silencing the adoptee voice & yet you are attempting to do the same thing here in the comment thread on an adoptee’s blog– smh. How can you compare the disagreement with your comments (the bulk of which seem to be coming from your fellow APs) which are freely posted here to RTB having her comments deleted and then kicked out of a group she has every right to belong to as an adoptee from that very SWI? I’m sorry, but you are really taking it to a new level of making all about the AP, not to mention confusing disagreement with deletion/banning. How revealing indeed.

        To RTB: I am an AP who has been reading your blog almost since the day you started it. I have appreciated so many of your posts & this is another powerful one. I am sorry for what happened to you with the Nanjing group but not really surprised. There are many APs out there who are used to controlling the conversation and do not want their perceptions and perspective about adoption challenged in any way.

        But I thank you for using your voice!

      • While I like for comments on my blog to remain civil, I loathe to censor my readers’ words. I think the reaction to your comments isn’t coming from a place of “agree with everything we say or go somewhere else,” but instead a seeming lack of understanding that our (adoptee and non-adoptee) experiences aren’t synonymous and that there is a long history of adoptive parents talking over adoptees. I think when you try to compare yourself to me or comment on a minute detail instead of the issue at large, the perception is that you are trying to discredit my words and devalue my experiences, which is essentially the topic of conversation at hand.

      • Jennie R: Exactly how am I trying to silence any voice, especially RTB’s voice or other commenters ? Just because you say it? What did I write that supports your statements? Because I give an opinion? Because I asked questions? Because I give a viewpoint? Because I give examples of other adoptees or made a lame adoptee/non-adoptee comparison? Because I wrote over and over and over how much I respect and admire RTB’s voice and her speaking out? Your comment has no substance in truth. I am an AP who supports what RTB is accomplishing and I have for the past year reading her blog (but not commenting until recently). I have copied many of her essays and given them to my daughters and other adoptees. RTB’s voice is essential to creating a better understanding of each adoptee’s life. My daughters also read this blog. I have never downplayed that or suggested anything else. To the contrary, I have written in other ways that her voice is crucial, important and refreshing. I am not trying to silence anyone’s voice or overpower any adoptee with my opinion, or “control a conversation”, certainly not RTB’s; but it appears others are trying to silence anyone who brings a different idea or says anything that challenges or seems “out of place”. Too many APs have historically/currently tried to take over the voices of adoptees. I said that in one of my earlier posts. Even if you define me as such, I am not that AP just because I voice an awkward opinion (or describe another adoptee who does not feel “ripped away”) or because I write a challenge. If voicing an opinion or disagreeing or posing a question on this blog is perceived as an AP who is suppressing an adoptee’s voice (due to commenter’s preconceived notions) then, well, it’s sad
        Clearly minds are made up on this blog that I am the evil AP trying to control conversations. I have never written anything disparaging about others, even if I have raised questions, but others have not been civil in their replies. It’s one thing to disagree, it’s something else to define what my intentions are or, in essence, hint that I should not be commenting. I encourage RTB to keep on keeping on. Keep your voice strong. I will no longer comment. Minds are like parachutes – they only function when open.

  16. Thank you for sharing your story. I pray that you will always find many other “avenues and platforms from which to share” your voice and that you will continue to be an inspiration to others to ‘speak out’ about the things that they care about.

  17. Jim R — I am an AP and I have never once felt like this blogger villainizes APs or all of adoption. I find her blogs a complete and total gift because she is not that much older than my daughter and she is so open, honest, and insightful in her posts. My daughter and I have read her posts and discussed them. In the short time I’ve been reading this blog I know we’ve talked about things that we might never have spoken about. The blogger doesn’t owe me anything and it is not my role to educate her about how I think she should be thinking/feeling/blogging about adoption or APs.

    The part that is very hard for APs to understand is that it is not our role to challenge the perspective of adult adoptees or to expect them to understand us as APs. This blog belongs to her. It is her vehicle to put her thoughts into the world. She is not asking everyone to agree with everything she says. She’s asking us to make room for her experience in the world. You can read, take what you want from it and leave the rest. As APs, we are used to being the ones in charge of the communication about adoption. It is uncomfortable when we’re not (hence, her removal from the group founded by parents with children from her orphanage).

    When our reaction is pick apart what an adult adoptee is saying, we’re missing the opportunity to just sit with his/her words and ask ourselves things like: Why do we need to pick things apart–what buttons are being pushed in me as a person and a parent? What will it be like in X years if our own children say something similar to us? What could my child learn from this person’s perspective? What can I learn from this person’s perspective? None of those questions require that we accept any “group think” about the blogger’s work. But they do require that we be quiet and think about ourselves instead of the blogger.

    I sincerely hope that my daughter and I continue to have a dialogue about her thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Otherwise, what’s happened is that she’s shut me out of her inner world. When I saw that this blogger and her mother were open, honest and trusting of each other to the point that she invited her mother to write a piece for this blog I instantly wanted to know how the two of them have navigated their relationship into adulthood in this way.

    There are a lot of ways I could very easily shut down my daughter as she talks to me. Just like this blogger, she doesn’t owe me access to her inner world. It is a privilege and a blessing that she continues to share it with me as she reaches young adulthood. Every step of the way, every new phase of childhood requires new and improved skills as APs.

    I started reading adult adoptees’ work as soon as we decided to adopt from China in 1998. I have taken some hard lumps with adult adoptees much less tactful than this blogger. I deserved them and I am a better mother because of it. This really is about our kids. How do we become better and better parents to them? That’s what guides the majority of my communication with adult adoptees now (except the ones who are my friends of course). I ask myself–why do I feel the need to post XXX? Is it because I want to know more to help me be a better parent? If not, I do not post it.

    • Debbie,

      There is, I think, a large area of agreement between us. Like you, I want to understand how adoptees may feel about themselves, their origins, and their place in the world so that, if my daughter has questions, I can help her find the answers. I find RTB’s posts to be generally very eloquent and thought-provoking, though I confess that the first thought is often along the lines of “WTF???”

      Where I think you and I differ is in relation to the following:

      “The part that is very hard for APs to understand is that it is not our role to challenge the perspective of adult adoptees or to expect them to understand us as APs. This blog belongs to her. ”

      First, you are entirely right: the blog belongs to RTB and she is of course at full liberty to write what she pleases. I think we’re all happy that she does.

      As for challenging… Why oughtn’t we do that? How does being an adoptee (or an AP, for that matter) make a person’s opinions sacrosanct? It’s one thing to give a person a polite and interested hearing, but something quite different to make them an unquestionable expert to whom we must do no more than nod in agreement. If the latter situation obtains, then no dialogue is possible. You ask:

      “When our reaction is pick apart what an adult adoptee is saying, we’re missing the opportunity to just sit with his/her words and ask ourselves things like: Why do we need to pick things apart–what buttons are being pushed in me as a person and a parent?”

      In my view, healthy dialogue relies upon questioning, though I realize that the line between questioning and “picking apart” is a hazy one and very much in the eye of the pick-ee. Without questioning, it’s just one person agreeing with the other. How does anybody learn from that?

      As for adoptees not needing to understand AP’s, again I ask, “Why not?” Quite aside from the idea that one person’s experiences and perspective ought to be treated (at least initially) as respectfully as another’s, doesn’t understanding us – why we took the leap of faith, why we went on such an uncertain journey, and why we love our children as OUR children despite the fact that they don’t look like us – help them understand what happened to them and their place in the world? And might it help them to understand just how much they ARE valued?

      Finally, on the topic of the “villainous” AP, consider the following:

      RTB – “When I first came to the orphanage, I used silence as a coping mechanism, physically displaying how powerless I probably felt. During my transition from orphan to adoptee, I again rendered myself voiceless. I was thrust into yet another unfamiliar situation, this time with strangers who didn’t look like me or speak my language. Upon meeting my parents, I refused to talk to them for more than a week. Through adoption, other people and policies again dictated the direction of my life.”

      I think we can agree that being rendered voiceless and having the direction of one’s life assumed by others are pretty gross violations of one’s unalienable rights to free speech and liberty; RTB is certainly very cross about it, as anybody would be. This was done to RTB as part of the adoption process. Who is the principle agent in this process? Answer: the adoptive parent, that same person who, knowingly or not, funds child traffickers and corrupt government officials and who has (by proxy) participated in such wicked deeds as tearing children away from tricked or coerced birth parents, kidnapping, and the “transracial adoption as a form of genocide to wipe out the aboriginal peoples of Australia”(1) and who also, from time to time, abuses or kills his adopted children because, somehow, their lives are “undervalued”(2).

      But the AP’s role in oppressing the adoptee doesn’t end when the adoption is finalized, does it?

      RTB – “Adoptive parents are in charge of heritage camps, have authored the majority of adoption literature, have led adoption research, drive the demand for adoption, and continue to dismiss the adoptee voice when the words aren’t to their liking.”

      If systematic suppression of adoptee voices isn’t villainy, then I’m not sure what would be.

      =====

      (1) https://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/how-one-class-changed-my-life/

      (2) https://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2014/07/01/crime-punishment-and-the-undervalued-lives-of-adopted-children/

      • To RTB–I apologize for taking up so much space in your blog comments. I am not comfortable with my role in this discussion and will answer Jim’s questions since they are directed to me and then be quiet again. I have never posted this much anywhere on an adult adoptee’s blog or in any adoptee-led group. It feels like I’m falling into the same pattern you experience elsewhere. I’m sincerely sorry.

        Jim, I can only give you my perspective on what you’ve asked. Other APs, the blogger, and other adult adoptees would have their own perspectives obviously.

        I read the reactions that the blogger reports when she came to the orphanage and then was adopted as statements of fact. They are her reality. I see no judgment of her adoptive parents in what she wrote. There is (and in my opinion should be) criticism of the larger adoption system that may start out with children who really do need homes and then balloons into meeting the demands of parents who want children, so that children’s rights are subjugated. We APs are part of that larger system and we have a responsibility to speak out about it and try to fix a broken system that we helped create. To me, that reality does not make us villains unless we knowingly moved forward with a fraudulent adoption which does happen.

        I can relate to what the blogger wrote because we experienced it ourselves. Our daughter was an infant when adopted, but in hindsight, I know she completely shut down in China when she was given over to us. By the time she was 3 or 4 and I knew her coping mechanisms better, I could watch our China videos and reflect on our interactions those first several days. She was on baby autopilot for at least 6 days. She gradually emerged from her shell after a very traumatic thing happened to her. That does not mean that she does not love my husband and I. It is part of her reality, what brought her to our family. The happiest day of our life was a traumatic day in hers. That’s a horrible fact to sit with, but to ignore it would be so disrespectful of her. That traumatic beginning does not define our family and I think thus far, it does not define our daughter’s understanding of her life. But it is real.

        My answer to why adoptees don’t need to understand APs is that it isn’t their job. They didn’t sign up to be educated by us about our experience as APs (unless they are asking us about it which does happen–my adult adoptee friends will sometimes ask me a question to get an insight into their own parents). The points you raise about our experiences as APs are very well shared by the adoption industry and by our fellow APs. Most adoptees have grown up hearing these things from many sources. It isn’t news to them.

        My answer to why it isn’t our role to challenge what adult adoptees write in these kinds of public ways is that we as a community of APs and adoptees are not fairly balanced (yet). Most of the public discourse about adoption, most of the adoption industry, and most of the policy decisions about adoption are controlled by the people who make money from adoption and by adoptive parents. When we are lucky enough to have an adult adoptee who is willing to put his/her experiences out there, they come to it knowing that their voice is like a small boat in a sea of APs and adoption agencies who often don’t welcome that boat in “their” sea. There has never been a moment in the history of adoption (at least in the US which is all I’m familiar with) when that role has been reversed–that we APs or our adoption agencies are small voices struggling to be heard by adoptees. We cannot know what it is like for adoptees who want to speak their truth in this setting.

        The last thing most of us (and I include you in this since I assume it is true) want to do is drive a blogger like this into silence, but look at the volume of AP comments on her blog (and I’m including myself in this–I am feeling very uncomfortable with my continued comments here). Are we discouraging other adult adoptees from China from beginning to blog, simply by the sheer number of us who will be filling their comment feed? We parents with kids from China are huge, huge numbers. The adoptees from China who have reached adulthood are very small still and will be for several more years. Do we really expect these young people to hold a dialogue with all of us, to listen as we share our experience from our perspective, and to have to justify why they feel the way they do about adoption in general and/or their own life experiences? For the adult Korean adoptees, there are decades of attempts at discourse between APs and the KADs who come to share their experiences. Is it fair to them to ask that they re-tread the same water over and over again with each wave of new APs?

        To clarify what I meant by “picking apart” which I admit is a very vague term–what I meant is that when there’s a larger message being delivered and someone focuses on a small detail or comes up with an exception to that message, it can be very dis-empowering (not sure if that’s a word) to the author. There are always exceptions to what is being shared. We all know of adult adoptees who’ve never once voiced anything except praise for their adoptions and their adoptive parents. Many of us also know of adoptees who’ve ended their lives because they are tormented by a life circumstance they cannot handle. Most adoptees don’t fall on those far ends of the spectrum in reactions to their adoptions. They are complicated and nuanced. But none of them invalidate the reality of the others.

        To make it more personal to APs–I have zero grief about infertility. We did not try to get pregnant. I have very dear friends who have suffered greatly because of infertility. Is my experience more valid than theirs? Is theirs more valid than mine? How would they feel if they were sharing their pain and I piped in that I feel no grief? How would they feel if I told them that their desire to give birth to a child just contributes to population issues and environmental issues? How would I feel if they told me that my lack of desire to create a child indicates I lack maternal instincts? We all would be poor friends to be that insensitive to each other’s realities. The larger discussion of our shared motherhood of adopted children would be lost if we focused on small details of each other’s realities.

        To take it away from adoption–this is a huge problem when people of color attempt to talk to many white people about racism. They share their reality and the reaction is pointing out exceptions or a small detail to dispute which completely derails the conversation and leaves them feeling like their reality was just dismissed. Ultimately, the opportunity to have a meaningful discussion about race and racism is lost. That isn’t dialogue, that’s a unbalance of power preventing dialogue.

        I do certainly ask questions of adult adoptees in on-line forums, but as I said earlier, I first think about why I’m asking. If I am asking a question or commenting on something it has to be because I’m trying to learn to become a better mother. That criterion alone reduces my comments/questions to adult adoptees by probably 80%. I try to let the writer know why I’m asking and to open the door to telling me I’ve totally missed the boat on what they’re saying to come at the communication more humbly. I want dialogue and I need to be sensitive to the current imbalance of power between APs and adult adoptees if there’s any chance of that happening. If it’s not about wanting to be a better mother, I have to ask myself why I feel the need to put it out there in the first place. I’ll ask adult adoptee friends in person who I know will better understand where I’m coming from (and feel free to tell me when I’m off base) or I’ll just sit with it and ponder why it’s sticking with me. I learn about myself a lot that way.

        What I’ve realized is that a similar imbalance of power exists in my relationship with my daughter (Not just about adoption–it’s the reality of being any child that PH Krieger talked about in her first post. We parents hold the majority of power in our relationship with our children). My daughter told me one time that she sometimes feels I am like a cruise ship and she is like a dinghy. Without meaning to, I make big waves. That is such a good image for me to hold onto. I have to park my ship and sit quietly at anchor to not be bouncing her around and to be able to appreciate her reality, in all aspects of her life. Not to say I’m always successful at that, but it is something I hold onto as a goal. And of course, there are times when I mean to be bouncing her dinghy–that’s a parent’s job too, but it should be done with conscious choice.

        I would love to talk person to person Jim. I think we would be friends and enjoy our conversations. I wish I could give you my email to talk more but there’s no way I’m opening up myself to the spam that will come from a public sharing of it. I am going to go quiet on this blog post because I’m feeling like an ass for taking up all this space on RTB’s blog.

      • Debbie,

        Thank you for your thoughtful response. As I wrote in a previous post, I think there is much agreement between us.

        Like you, I will try not to take up much more space on what is, after all, not my blog. I would like to make the following final comments:

        1. What do any of us want out of blogs like this one? To give adoptees a place to vent? AP’s a place to learn? Both? If the last, then the last thing to be thought of is silencing people, whether by shouting them down or outright banning them because they aren’t on the “right side” of the equation or don’t go along with the orthodoxy

        2. To the extent that adoptee voices haven’t been heard because they’ve been swamped by the voices of AP’s, it stands to reason (we ARE older, though they probably have us outnumbered) and DOESN’T generally represent an effort to silence anybody. Indeed, judging by what I have seen during my adoption journey, AP’s are hungry for adoptee voices: we WANT to know how they feel and are grateful when they share as this interaction helps us to be better parents. BECAUSE adoptee voices have been heard, prospective AP’s increasingly understand things like the need for honoring birth culture, honoring birth parents, being honest about their children’s history, etc. To borrow from the old slogan, we’ve come a long way, baby, and this is due to hearing and heeding their voices

        Finally, I, too, recall the trauma my daughter had at adoption, when she started screaming in terror for “Mama” and we knew she didn’t mean my wife. It was hard. She seems happy now, and we will do what we can to see that she grows up that way. I feel some guilt, but it’s much the same sort of guilt I feel about putting her through her recent surgery: it was very hard for her, but she’s better off because of it. Would it be better if she was still with her birth parents? Very likely. Do I regret on her behalf that her life so far has been filled with trauma? Absolutely. But, given the realities of it, she’s better off with us and, selfish people that we are, we’re very, very happy that she is. We hope that, when she is old enough to understand the situation, she will be, too.

        herddog505@yahoo.com

  18. I normally cant find it in me to care enough to leave a comment on articles on the internet, but this was actually pretty great! Thanks, Ill definitely check back again.

  19. I admire the time and energy you put into your blog and the depth of the information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Wonderful read!

  20. Thank you for posting this. It is a truly powerful statement you make about the voicelessness of adoptees throughout their lives. It is immensely difficult to break out of that internalized inclination to always keep quite and let the storm pass. I admire your courage and hope you continue to be true to yourself and your own needs/feelings. I’m glad I came across your writing and look forward to reading more.

  21. RTB, I’ve really loved many of your posts, but this one is probably one of my top 4 posts of yours. I’m so glad you and more fellow adoptees are using your voices in your own words, so eloquently, and for positive change.

    This post, more than others perhaps, resonates with me more, because reading what you wrote about your early life, I felt like I was reading my own story. I think so many adoptees share similar stories and coping mechanisms to our rapidly, suddenly changing environments, and it’s comforting to see it reflected with maturity, understanding, respect, and kindness. So, thank you for sharing parts of your life with all of us.

    And yes, I think it’s horrid when adoptive parents disrespect the voices, experiences, and perspectives of adult adoptees, especially since people like you, with your direct background there and growth since then, could have added tremendously to that page. She did a disservice to not only you, but to the whole community on that page. I’m not sure if there’s been any different resolution than banning you since then, but I hope she’s seen her errors and immaturity since then.

    • And not just disrespect, but when adoptive parents exert their power to silence the voices of people who have already experienced being silenced during a prior vulnerable period.

      Again, great writing, and thanks for continuing to share what many of us also experience.

  22. I take it your adoptive parents didn’t work out then? If it weren’t for your adoptive parents, you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to learn English and write. It sounds to me like you were lucky to have the opportunity to be adopted rather then left dead on the streets.

    • I take it you haven’t read anything else written by me. My adoptive parents and I have a very strong and loving relationship (read my mother’s guest article on my blog — https://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/why-i-an-adoptive-parent-am-not-pro-adoption/). I am so thankful for everything they have done for me, but I am no more grateful to them than children born to their parents should be. Placing an expectation of eternal gratitude on adoptees’ relationships with parents ensures no normalcy, and it is unfair. And your last sentence, well, isn’t that a classic line? I’d suggest you read this piece in response to a similar question. — https://redthreadbroken.wordpress.com/2014/05/05/do-you-want-kids-to-die-in-the-streets/

      • Segmation, you are adding nothing to the conversation when you tell someone that they are lucky to be alive and beyond that, you are wrong in the assumptions you are making.

        And you think this blogger’s reply to you is harsh? I am sure there are many, many people who would have replied with flames or simply not published your comment at all. Instead, you got a thoughtful reply attempting to point you to other pieces that show you where this blogger is coming from and you whine because she didn’t back down to your ignorance?

      • I am sorry you feel that I am ignorant. Have you adopted a child and gone to a foreign country to get one? And raised this child? Maybe I don’t get your comment Debbie. There are 2 sides to the story. Just saying….

      • Yes, I have raised a child adopted from a foreign country and that’s why it is so shocking to me that anyone would say to this intelligent, articulate, thoughtful young woman that she is lucky to be alive or lucky to be adopted.

        In our family we are pretty clear that lucky is being born into a family that has the means and the desire to raise you. Being adopted is not lucky. It is a response to a desperate situation for a child (needing a home) and parents (wanting to raise a child). My husband and I are profoundly lucky to have been blessed with our daughter. She loves us deeply, appreciates us tremendously, and is satisfied with her life, but she would not say she is lucky. Being an Asian child adopted into a white family, with no knowledge of her roots or why she is not with her first family is not something to feel lucky about.

        I cannot fathom my reaction if someone said what you said to my daughter. And I whole-heartedly doubt she would have been as thoughtful in her reply to you as this blogger has been.

        It is a combination of cruelty and in this specific case, ignorance, because all you have to do is read her blog to see that she has a strong relationship with her parents (which even if she did not, telling her she’s lucky to be alive is still cruel). Struggling with issues around adoption, race, racism, and racial identity are not signs that an adoptee has a bad relationship with his/her parents. It is part and parcel of making sense of the life they have been given.

        Yes, there are two sides to a story. You can read her mother’s side in her post on this blog.

        I am sorry if you have had a troubled relationship with your adopted child(ren). There is no pain deeper than when there is hurt and anger between a parent and child. I hope that there is healing in the relationship.

      • Hi Debbie, Thank you for your response. Yes, these sisters have been nothing but trouble and we have sought many for helping us out. Sounds like you are an awesome mother and the adoptive situation worked differently for your family. I have tried to find your website but can’t. Would love to see your blog as well. Have a great day and enjoyed responding with you. This shows there are many many sides and stories in the adoption process from whatever country or circumstances.

      • Hi Segmation–I am so sorry that you are struggling in your family. Please don’t give up on your daughters or on yourself as a parent! We too know of people who have hit many dead ends in the search for professional help that actually helps. There are many online support groups for parents. You need to connect with parents that understand your struggles and can shine some light on your path. Your daughters need to be connected with people who can help them understand themselves and heal from whatever they have experienced.

        There are two Yahoo groups that I am aware of (and I’m sure others that I am not) where you can find a information and support. The one with years and years of topical discussion is called Adoption Parenting. If your girls are tweens/teens there is another called Adoption Parenting Tweens and Teens. Both of them you have to send a request to join to the moderator.

        Sending you hugs and hopes that you’ll keep seeking help in spite of having some bad experiences.

      • Segmation, you might also want to check out the Transracial Adoption facebook page. Gazillion Voices Magazine (gazillionvoices.com) is another powerful resource with both adoptee and adoptive parent contributors. Also, you may want to seek out support groups for your girls and yourself. These can be extremely affirming.

  23. Very powerful, and good for you!

    You bring up an excellent viewpoint — very often we hear the voice of the adoptive parents, but rarely the voice of the adoptee recounting their story, thoughts, and opinions.

    I wish you well, and hope that you continue to proudly raise your voice.

  24. It feels wonderful to meet another adoptee, even if it’s just via internet. (I was born in Indonesia and adopted by a loving American family.) And I’d like to agree with everyone else: I find it unprofessional, even appalling. Not only is it an explicit offense against you, it is the complete opposite of how a scholar should behave.

    I wish you the best and hope you continue writing.

  25. I completely empathize with the words written here, normally I’d write a long post, but to be honest, In this instance I feel my words would not impart my sentiments accurately enough. Bless you. I share some of your experiences and I feel for what you have endured. Stay strong and remain intact in your integrity.

  26. I completely empathize with the words written here, normally I’d write a long post, but to be honest, In this instance I feel my words would not impart my sentiments accurately enough. Bless you. I share some of your experiences and I feel for what you have endured. Stay strong and remain intact in your integrity.

  27. Absolutely true. Although I am not adopted, I agree with what you said about not remaining silent. I constantly experience the vindictiveness of others when I express my feelings especially about how I am treated. I’m black, highly educated in a white environment. Many people express to-I’m still inferior. I stand up for what I believe anyway. You continue fighting for you. If you don’t who will?

    • Thanks for reading. I think there are definitely some interesting parallels between the POC and adoptee communities. For nearly all my life, I’ve been in a 98% white setting. Just now, I’m finding circles of people who understand my various identities.

  28. I am saddened by the story of your life and it’s nothing more than atrocity but yes, you have this platform where you can reach your voice to people of the world.

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