Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Adoptee Sensitivity

Normally, I really appreciate every comment that is left on my blog, even the ones that disagree with a point I've made. In fact, sometimes it's those that accompany me on long walks. They give me a new angle to consider. Comments are sometimes funny, insightful and almost always supportive.

So why did I have have such a visceral reaction to an anonymous comment made on my previous post entitled, "Adoptive Parent Psychology?" (For the record, Joy didn't much like the comment, either. )

Normally, I don't like getting in pissing matches. Normally, I wouldn't have left such a snappish "back comment." In fact, my reply was so offensive that she said she didn't feel welcome and wouldn't read my blog again. Which I can understand.

So I want to dissect this a bit:

Here's the part of the comment that I did NOT have a problem with. It raises a perfectly fair question:

Or is it perhaps that only those adoptees who were adopted by narcisstic or otherwise troubled parents have a need to blog, post on forums etc? I am not an adoptee but I have become very interested in the phenomenon over the last few years as a number of people very close to me ARE adotees. My guess is that troubled parents often leads to troubled kids.

Here's the part that set me off:

And parents who are reasonably comfortable with themselves and their lives lead to well-adjusted children. Adopted or otherwise. And I think most well-adjusted people don't feel a need to blog about their parents etc.....Just my 2 cents.....

1) Even the best informed, empathetic adoptive parents will raise children who will have issues particular to being given away by one's own mother; adoptive parents can't completely take away that pain;

2) The opposite of well-adjusted is MALADJUSTED and since I DO have a need to blog about about my parents, therefore this qualifies me as "maladjusted."

Call me sensitive. That doesn't go down very well. In fact, I think I've adjusted and coped extremely well all considering. Most of my struggles are internal. I'm a writer. It's the way I process life and try to make sense of the incomprehensible.

EVERYONE, including adoptive parents, social workers (especially Leroy), adoption professionals, people close to adoptees, people who disagree with me and, of course, adoptees (even the happy ones!) are very welcome and encouraged to leave comments. Keep 'em coming! I think about them and learn so much!

However, I am VERY sensitive to any implication that I am ungrateful or maladjusted. Those are perhaps my two biggest vocabulary triggers, sure to send me into orbit. The few times I've dared discuss the downside of adoption in public, I was called both. In questioning the way adoption is practiced in this country, I've been scolded, corrected and called names. Those of us adoptees who've had to endure such indignities will, understandably, be a tad touchy.




Blogger elizabeth said...

I didn't like the comment either, it was insulting.

I don't think you are being too sensitive. If anon. doesn't return, her loss.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Joy said...

I don't know...

I think that it is in fact NOT fair and NOT reasonable to post on someone's blog that perhaps they, and other bloggers only write about their experiences because they are troubled as a result of poor parenting.

It insults all the bloggers AND all their parents.

AND completely misses the point, the point being that ADOPTION itself IS problematic, there is no nice way to separate a child from its family, there just isn't.

Adoptees AS cures for fertility IS problematic.

If someone thinks it is fair and reasonable to post such an insult on someone's blog,maybe Miss Manners can help them because I can't.

7:22 PM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

The Anonymous commenter on your previous post failed to understand that even if there were "perfect" parents, that does not mean that there will be "perfect" kids anymore than maladjusted, dysfunctional parents will produce only maladjusted, dysfuctional kids.

Even in homes where children have every need met, there is no guarentee that the child will be a well adjusted, fuctional human being. The reason is simple. We have diversity and choice. We are anonomous individuals who can be and are influenced by our genetics and environment BUT we decide ultimately who we are and the path we will take. There may be a high correlation between raising children who have all their nurturing and physical needs met and being well adjusted but that doesn't necessarily equate to a causal relationship.

Not only that, I would argue that we are ever on a journey where we are changing, growing, learning about ourselves and those around us. We can alter a genetic or environmental course by choice (and a lot of hard work). Tell me I can't do something...tell anyone who has some fire in them they can't do something...and see what happens.

I find blogging or journaling to be a very healthy, insightful avenue for learning about oneself and getting feedback/support in their journey. Everyone has their own way of providing and receiving that feedback/support. I happen to believe that blogging is a creative way of expressing oneself and having the courage to share oneself/beliefs with others. Yeah, it has its drawbacks, but what doesn't?

The fact that Anonymous is reading blogs tells me he/she views them as a way of learning. I hope that he/she continues to read, learn and become more sensitive to those who do blog and have the courage to share some very intimate details, thoughts and feelings about themselves.

You honor us by sharing yourself Nina. Those who read should honor/respect what you are sharing.

4:28 AM  
Blogger LeRoy Dissing said...

I should have edited my comment the second paragraph, make that "atonomous individuals..."

4:31 AM  
Blogger chez said...

Damn good post Nina!!
That comment made me have now settled my soul.
Love your mind!!!

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Paula O. said...


So glad that I found your blog. This is a hot button topic for me - the whole sense of entitlement of some APs who feel so superior to the adoptees who are honestly and courageously trying to talk about the very issues that are inherent in adoption. To think that their child will be immune from any of the feelings that the more "vocal" adoptees express is arrogance & naiveness personified.

And I actually think just the opposite of anonymous said about why people blog - - I think those who are willing to take an introspective, honest look at themselves and are amongst the most adjusted (though I take issue with that term, too).

Sorry to go off like this. I just really have been struggling lately to understand why so many APs feel that they can vent, complain, and blog all they want about a host of issues pertaining to adoption, but do not want to hear anything real or honest from the people who have truly lived the experience.

I loved the past few posts! Thank you!

6:18 AM  
Blogger suz said...

i found it offensive and rude to and try to commend joy for her support but blogger wasnt taking my id (lets hope it does this time). its not you. its that rude person. some people dont understand blog etiquette.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Mia said...

You know I bet if you search the word gratitude on every one of our (adoptees) blogs you will find at least one post on the topic. Probably several. I am with you, ungrateful and maladjusted are huge triggers for me as well.
Great post, great response to anon!

12:01 PM  

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