Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Found! One Mexican Adoptee

Okay, I found another one.

A Mexican adoptee from the failed social experiment that was the Closed Era.

I can't say too much about her except she is highly educated, successful and...was placed with a middle-class white couple thanks to an arrangement made by her birthmother and her doctor.

In other words, this Mexican adoptee managed to avoid the pitfalls of "matching."

Of course, she had nothing to do with it. Like the rest of us adoptees, others decided her fate. We just deal - happily, gratefully, ambivalently or otherwise - with the consequences.

Instead of being placed with an equally poor Mexican family, she landed several rungs higher on the socioeconomic ladder. And from what she has said publicly about her adoption, her adoptive parents were loving, supportive and - THANK GOD - not narcissists.

At one point, she was entered into a bilingual school.

Have been mulling this one over.

For all that I have moaned and groaned about the utter agony and hell of being raised by narcissistic adoptive parents who were ignorant and poor, at least I was not separated from my culture. Being separated from my first mother is tough enough.

I was raised within 1.5 miles of my first mother. We probably hit the same grocery stores. So I grew up eating pretty much the same Mexican foods, listening to the same Spanglish and went to the same sort of schools...hanging out with the same kinds of kids...that I would have if she'd decided to keep me.

While it would have been undoubtedly an improvement if the social worker had skipped over my a-parents file to the next waiting Mexican-American couple, it hit me after reading the other adoptee's story that I felt sorry for her, despite her obvious advantages. I'm almost sure she doesn't feel the least bit sorry for herself.

Still, I had the benefit of being raised in my own culture. My grandmother told me about her sister turning into a dog after a withdoctor hexed her. Then she followed it up with stories about The Llorna and dragged me to her little church in East L.A. where the mass was said in Spanish and the congregants swore the Virgin de Guadelupe shed tears of blood. On Sundays, I watched my uncle made menudo and on Christmas, my aunts made tamales and taught me to roll out the masa. Sure, I had to put up with their derision of my aspirations for a higher education, but at least I knew what it felt like to be raised in a real Mexican family...even if that family was technically not my own.

I have absolutely no idea how much more LOST I would feel if I did not have that enriching experience.

When I read about the other Mexican adoptee and tried to imagine myself being raised outside my culture, it hit me that this is the plight of the transracial adoptee. Of course it is. I knew that! I read their stories and feel sad. But I felt it like a sucker punch in the gut. Ouch.

I really HATE being asked what I'm grateful for when it comes to my adoption.

Well, I'm finally grateful for one thing.

Being raised as a Mexican-American. At least the social worker got that right.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Annie said...

Hi Nina - glad you found another one. And thanks before (when I posted as anonymous) for your words of encouragement (you said "I don't know you, but I'm rooting for you"). Still looking for something to feel grateful for about my adoption - narcissistic parenting and transracial adoption all in one - yuck. Just don't get TOO grateful, will you - to me ingratitude is a very healthy sign for those with our kind of history!

8:51 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

Annie! Hah! You can count on me for remaining an ungrateful Bastardette! Maybe grateful was too strong a word. Maybe "relieved" was more appropriate. Don't waste tooo much time or energy trying to be grateful for anything in your situation. Just surviving and moving past is maybe the best we can do. And more honest, too.

Take good care.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Caldjingle said...

Hello my fellow adoptee...
I LOVE YOUR MIND ,YOUR BRAIN ....

I HAVE BEEN READING YOUR JOURNAL,
GOD BLESS YOU.

I ALSO HAVE JUST WROTE AN ARTICLE PLEASE CHECK IT OUT,ITS CALLED ADOPTEE ISSUES:

http://thissideofthegrass-sh.blogspot.com/


I WOULD LIKE YOUR OPINION ON IT.

YOU KNOW PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT ADOPTED "JUST DON'T GET IT"
AN THEY PROBABLY NEVER REALLY UNDERSTAND, BUT ITS GOOD TO KNOW THAT WE DO...RIGHT.

P.S. AFTER YOU READ ADOPTIVE ISSUES..YOU OWE IT TO YOURSELF TO CHECK OUT THE ARTICLE.. YOU REALLY DON'T WANT TO MISS THIS..

THANKS LET KEEP IN TOUCH ...BLESS YOU..

12:47 PM  
Anonymous CALDJINGLE said...

looking for you again.. this is caldjingle....who commented above.
PLEASE DONT STOP WRITING!

8:13 AM  
Blogger jayjay said...

Dear Nina,

My husband and I were considering adoption and when I started researching from the adoptee point of view you were the first. I was wondering if you would give me your opinion on adoption in general?

I'm mixed race (Italian, Black and Native American) and my husband is Jewish. Does that mean any child we adopt would feel transracially "sucker punched"?

Thanks!

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