I became a Korean Adoptee at the ripe old age of 9 months. My parents are white. My siblings are also adopted from Korea. We grew up in the 1980s and 1990s in a rural New England town where the diversity percentage was zero besides my family. I never knew the topic of adoption was so controversial, divisive and hostile until now.
Topics that divide
Hmm…where to start…
Is adoption good? Is it evil? Are adoptive parents bad? Are adoptive parents saviors? Are birth parents good or bad for giving up their children? Is it a heartless act because who could give away their flesh and blood? Or is it a selfless act because he/she thought that child would have a better life elsewhere? Should adoptees be grateful for being adopted? Should adoption be illegal? This list goes on and on and on.
Giving back to the adoptee community and why more adoptees should share their stories
When I was in my late 20s I decided to initiate a birth family search and found them. This started me down an unexpected path of meeting them in Korea and getting a glimpse into the life that would have been. Something that helped me immensely during that time in my life was listening to other adoptees either via Facebook groups, YouTube videos, blog posts, you name it. I consumed anything and everything I could find from adoptees from all walks of life.
Now in my mid 30s I am ready to give back to the adoptee community. I have chosen to share via blog posts and YouTube videos and sometimes both. The overwhelming feedback is positive and grateful for an adoptee’s unique perspective. UNIQUE being a keyword here. I can guarantee no two adoptees have the same exact perspective or lived experience.
This sounds too obvious right? That two adoptees who have lived through trauma, identity crises and countless other complex hurdles would have unique takes on the world…shocking!
People love to speculate how they would feel in a given situation or comment on how an adoptee should or should not have handled a given situation. This is true for even fellow adoptees which I find amazing. I may not understand every adoptee’s life story or identify in the same way on a given issue but I do not judge my fellow adoptee comrades. For, we have been through enough and need not add to each other’s burdens.
That being said adoptees have to forge on and let their stories and perspectives be heard. If not to educate those unfamiliar with adoption, then for fellow adoptees who might identify and feel less alone on their journeys. I benefitted greatly during my birth family reunion from others’ stories and I am forever grateful for those adoptees whose stories I consumed.
The Many Sides of Adoption
There are too many topics that divide the adoptee community to discuss in one blog post. It both astonishes me and saddens me to witness the negativity in adoption Facebook groups and the like.
My reaction to unsettling news and topics is to learn more. I am a researcher. So that’s what I plan to do. I will be dissecting and discussing some of the controversial adoption topics on here. Adoption is messy and complicated. I hid from my adoptee identity for most of my life. It’s time to embrace it and try to understand it from as many angles as possible; not just the ones that feel comfortable.
Thanks for reading.