March 10, 2011

"Truthful" Narratives?

The Truth is Between My and Your Stories
© Photographer: Iqoncept | Agency:

In "I Think! I Act! Transforming the Thoughts of the Traumatized Adoptee is Essential!", Arleta James makes a valid point regarding the disenfranchised grief that many adoptees carry their entire lives.

However, telling a child that their adoption, "is not about them" because their mother "did not want to be a mother" is a good example of how adoptees must grieve not only their loss, but also the "narratives" told to them about their adoption, along with expectations they face from others of how to think and feel.

Many times (especially after search & reunion) adoptees find out the "facts" they have believed about their adoption from a young age weren't entirely true. This can happen even in supposedly "open" adoptions.

Adoption is rampant with “conflict of interest” issues, due to the fact the adoption industry is driven by the the same economic principles of supply & demand as any other "business". Falsifying and amending the very birth certificates of human-beings is just the beginning, forcing adoptees to live a very complicated reality.


Lori said...

You know, the old axiom "when at first you practice to deceive" fits so well in adoption.... as our children reach majority more and more of them are sad and harmed in so many ways.....All because some people just don't get the honesty issue.

T. Laurel Sulfate said...

Just the title of that entry creeped me out a little bit--not the idea behind it, but the way it's phrased (someone else's thoughts MUST be changed!)and all the exclamation marks.

I read your comment and her response there, and as I was typing my comment, I looked back over Arleta's response to you to make sure I was quoting her correctly. There was something that struck me as "dancing-aroundy" about it. And then I found what I think Arleta's "in line with what the child feels" comment really means. As usual, it means "more in line with what the adoptive parent feels."

Because if you tell the wrong story ("Your mother was poor") your child asks the wrong questions ("Why didn't you give her money so she could keep me?"). Is there any inherent harm done to the child in asking that question? Any indication of self-loathing along the lines of "I was given away because I'm defective"? Not that I can see. In fact, it strikes me as a damned good question for adults to ask themselves before they adopt. But it mustn't be asked.

Are they ever going to "get it", or is the emotional and ego investment in NOT getting it too great? Arleta obviously means well, but she also seems to have jumped right past getting it to congratulating herself on getting it.

This stuff makes me so tired...