As An International Adoptee, I Know The Dark Side Of Adoption | HuffPost
As An International Adoptee, I Know The Dark Side Of Adoption. I know Dear adoption, The first picture my parents ever saw of me. Shin-Ja. He's a little boy from South America who became part of my family several I had wanted to adopt for a long time, even before I met my husband or had my Dan, I was ecstatic and convinced that I'd be able to parent this little boy, the . Despite the negative publicity that overseas adoption has attracted in. The Dark Side of International Adoption the message urged both compassion and caution for future parents of adopted children from abroad.
Stuy says baby selling is systemic in China, and he says it's still happening today. He just investigated 20 kids from one orphanage, and he says in more than half the cases The information as it relates to their finding was fabricated. Everything about the origin of the child was fiction. We got one orphanage director on the phone. Chinese media report at least 88 baby trafficking convictions since the Hunan trial.
But many parents and social workers in the U. China is considered one of the premier inter-country adoption programs.
The Dark Side of Adoptions: Why Parents and Kids Don't Bond
They have a very strong system of laws and an extremely involved, authoritative central authority. None of the children were adopted by American families.
That seems to conflict with the court documents we saw, which indicate that at least one was. I'm not going to comment on that because I have not seen the documents. And also, we've had to rely on the investigation completed by the CCAA. So we tried to contact the CCAA on this.
American Cathy Sue Smith in Shanghai sometimes wonders where her adopted daughter was really born. And here's the thing: The exact route used by the Duan family trafficking network. It adds to the whole possibility of trafficking. Smith knows her daughter is not the child court documents show as having been trafficked by Duan. That girl went to another American family.
But Smith says she's not surprised by these goings on. She's been in China nine years. Long enough, she says, to know rules get bent. Scott's assistant Cecilia Chen helped report that story. But Dan's attachment problems were only half the story. I also knew that I had issues bonding with him. I was attentive, and provided Dan with a good home, but I wasn't connecting with him on the visceral level I experienced with my biological daughters.
And while it was easy, and reassuring, to talk to all these experts about Dan's issues, it was terrifying to look at my own. I had never once considered the possibility that I'd view an adopted child any differently than my biological children.
The realisation that I didn't feel for Dan the same way I felt for my own flesh and blood shook the foundations of who I thought I was. I sought help and we had some attachment therapy to strengthen our relationship, but still I struggled.
One day I was on the phone with Jennifer, our social worker, when suddenly I blurted out that I couldn't parent Dan, that things were too hard. As soon as I said these words out loud, a flood of emotions washed over me, and I sobbed. Jennifer didn't say anything, she waited patiently, and when I had nothing left, she asked me to start from the beginning.
We talked about my family; about the problems my husband and I were having with Dan and, as a result, with each other; about the girls and their partial indifference toward Dan; and about some of my son's specific challenges. For the next several weeks, Jennifer and I spoke daily.
She mostly listened and told me to focus on Dan's future and wellbeing above everything else. My thoughts and emotions were disjointed. One moment I was determined to keep Dan because I loved him. An instant later, I realised that I wasn't the parent I know I can be, and that I should place Dan with a better family, with a better mother. As I wrestled with these demons, things remained very tense; whenever my husband was home we fought incessantly.
Then early one morning Jennifer called, and told me that she had found a great family for Dan. They had seen his pictures, heard his story and fallen in love with him. The mother, Samantha, was a psychologist, and the family had adopted another boy with similar issues a couple of years before.
I spoke to Samantha and her husband a few times on the phone and instantly felt comfortable with them. We decided that she should come down to meet Dan by herself, to ease the transition.
The dark side of Chinese adoptions
The decision was final. Less than two years after he arrived, Dan would leave my home. While waiting for Samantha to arrive, Jennifer helped me to talk to my kids, and other family members, but most importantly she held my hand when it came to speaking with my son.
I explained to him that he'd be joining his new family and that we loved him very much — that he had done nothing wrong.
I don't know how much he understood. For my first meeting with Dan's new mum, I was a wreck. I dressed him in one of his cutest outfits, strapped him into the car seat and took off to meet Samantha at a nearby McDonald's. The ride was short, but each time I approached a traffic light, grief assailed me, and I turned around, determined to head back home.
The five-minute trip turned to a minute journey, and when I finally made it to the car park, I was frazzled. My hands were shaking and my mouth was dry. Samantha recognised us as soon as we got out of the car, and rushed over. Her eyes lit up the moment she approached Dan, and she lowered herself to his height to hug him.
But most of all I was a literal outcast, alone in the world, in whose life God was able to display His provision and mercy. But please, let Him receive the credit, not you.
The Dark Side of Adoptions: Why Parents and Kids Don't Bond
As I matured, my defense mechanism of your glamorization persisted, yet evolved. I took only the rose-colored views about you to build an armor around me. I want to believe the story about the young, unwed mother who made the brave but difficult choice. I imagine many adoptive parents need to believe this. I admit that I, more than anyone, have been guilty of willfully closing my eyes to your darker personality.
I have kept you at a safe distance in order to exempt myself from accepting more sobering realities. Getting a closer glimpse of you meant distinguishing the hopeful and gallant truths I invented about you from the cold, hard, and ugly truths that might actually be. You in your abstract form, with all of your variables and unknowns, are a much easier explanation for the pain of abandonment than actually holding a person — a mother… my mother accountable.
The face you never willingly reveal has kept so much of my identity out of view along with it. You have been secretive, but you have also been patient — both a barrier and a shield from the truth I am only now ready to know.
We are tethered together, you and I; like the moon and Earth in their tidal lock. Though your unanswered questions hurt me, I was afraid your answers would hurt more. I realize now that in the years it has taken me to muster the courage to proactively seek the truth, I had been too nervous to flip the coin of your two sides. Which of your two faces would you ultimately reveal?
For the first time I am prepared to encounter you for who you really are and not who I imagined you to be. It has taken me my whole life to get to this place. For so long I looked down the corridor of your unanswered questions, too afraid to enter.
I imagined the journey to fully know you would be a painful one; but I know that pain is a passage to move through and grow from, not a destination to linger and languish in.
I hope you would be so kind as to offer me the closure I have desired for so long. I am ready to accept the full range of who you are, and not who I needed you to be. I am ready to replace the fairy tales I conjured in the emptiness you left, with the blunt truth, no matter how ugly.
If in the end you have no answers to give me — if you take your secrets to the grave — having the courage to finally face you candidly will be closure enough. My hope is that the world would be willing to take a closer and more honest look at you.
This cannot happen without adoptee voices. There are some who live more in your shadow than in your light. The more adoptees who speak up, the more accurate an image we will have of you. You are a mosaic of diverse experiences, both positive, negative, and shades of grey in between. May adoptee voices continue to be the satellites relaying their lived experiences to paint the portrait of who you are.
This was originally published on Dear Adoption.