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Author Topic: The Language of Adoption  (Read 4301 times)

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katiescarlett

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2015, 01:03:54 AM »
As an addendum to part 1 I'd like to suggest "Do not correct someone's terms for their family" to this list.

I'm adopted (from age 6), and in this case I was adopted by my grandparents. This sometimes made family connections a bit confusing as I use half from pre-adoption and half post.

For example, Grandparents are now parents, but their kids are my aunts and uncles, a habit I developed as a kid and referring to someone older than my mother as my brother felt weird.

Around age 11 I was chastised by someone at a party for calling my Aunt the "wrong" thing. She was very adamant that i was deliberately confusing people and that now I was adopted Aunt was now my sister and it was disrespectful to call her "just" an aunty. I remember getting very upset that i had upset my aunt and eventually being rescued by another guest.

Whether it's figuring out relationships in a complicated family adoption or whether someone was adopted outside their biological family and prefers to call their new family members something other than what is usual or even the "real" vs "biological" debate, leave them be, it's a personal choice and telling them how to think of their own family is simply rude.

I like this, and totally agree with you.  My parents adopted my brother's child when she was 4, but had legal guardianship since 16 months, and had actually had the baby since birth, her birth mother living with them for the firs 8 weeks of her life.  Until the adoption, she called them Nana and Papa, and I was referred to as Aunt Katie.  Other sibs were also aunt/uncle, and Bro was Daddy.  The day of the adoption my parents began referring to themselves as Mommy and Daddy and the birth parents by their first names.  Ella now calls them exclusively mama and daddy (she is 9 now), the birth parents by their first names, and we are now her brothers and sisters.  In fact, the family joke is now that her birth father is her brother from another mother. 

Ella remembers her adoption day, and she knows that her parents were once her grandparents.  She knows I was once her aunt, and who her birth parents are.  She sees my brother frequently, her birth mom rarely.  It is hard for my mom when people refer to her as Ella's grandma.  She is Ella's mommy, and there have been people who continue to call her grandma even after correction.  Not maliciously, I hope.

apoptosis

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2015, 01:13:55 AM »
Thank you for your post.

We had to adopt my daughter. She was biologically mine, biologically a surrogates'. She was the first surrogate adoption in my state.

Trust me on this, my wife WAS her Mom. Not an "unreal mom." She was her mom. Ask my daughter today (who has met her surrogate mom,) who is her mom.

I find myself correcting people who ask about the "Real Mom."  Even court shows have a problem with this.

The real parents are the one who stayed up all night when you had the colic, changed your diapers, gave up their finances, worried about your second grade PE tests, held you when your first boyfriend talked to another girl. 

magician5

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2015, 08:18:00 AM »
I'm adopted, and it never was an issue for me. But recently (that's 66 years later) I came upon a new way to think of it.

I was watching an animal show, and the narrator said "he's a rescue dog", meaning that the dog had been gotten from a shelter.

Folks, I'M A RESCUE PERSON!
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Diane AKA Traska

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2015, 12:15:13 PM »
I'm adopted... I have been since I was a week old.  Whenever I bring this up, I always say "I'm so lucky as to have two mothers that loved me very much, in a world where many people don't even get one."
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Kimblee

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2015, 01:11:28 PM »
I'm adopted, and it never was an issue for me. But recently (that's 66 years later) I came upon a new way to think of it.

I was watching an animal show, and the narrator said "he's a rescue dog", meaning that the dog had been gotten from a shelter.

Folks, I'M A RESCUE PERSON!

This should be a thing. Maybe not the "correct" term, but should be a t shirt or something you could get for your kid.

And am I the only person who is befuddled by "Child of your/our own"? Not that people would say it rudely (because no amount of rudeness surprises me) its just a very strange phrase. It indicates ownership, not biology, dna or anything about "natural" kids.

If you adopt a child, it IS your own... Its certainly not someone else's child. From what I understand you've paid quite a bit of money (more than if it was dna-related in most cases) to be that child's parent, if anyone can say "That child is my own" it a person who has paid $10,000+ just to become that child's parent. (And adoption is ridiculous in its expense. There are enough kids who need homes, and enough potential parents who would not care what age/race/gender they got if they could just be someone's mom/dad that we could have a lot fewer social costs if adoption was easier/cheaper.)

As a friend of mine likes to tell his daughter when she is feeling gloomy about whether she is "wanted" or just what "they could get" at the time:

"We spent $x,xxx to register with an adoption agency, $xxx to fly to China, $xxx to travel to your orphanage and $xxx to bribe a police officer into overlooking that our papers for you were slightly wrong... Then we brought you home and paid to get you into the hospital out of pocket until our insurance caught up with you. We could have a boat, an RV or a luxury car for what we spent to be your fathers, and I would pay it all again if I had to just to stay your dad."

This is probably tacky as it can be, but he has a print out of the full costs of each of their adoptions and likes to have it on hand for any gloomies his kids get about whether they are what their parents wanted. As he likes to point out: "Some parents roll the dice to get their children, we paid a lot for the luxury of picking ours out."

blue2000

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2015, 04:03:12 PM »
IIRC, my brother and SIL had to pay a certain amount in bribes to officials, and there wasn't anything wrong with the papers - it is just a regular thing for adoption in some countries.
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Kimblee

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2015, 08:17:26 PM »
IIRC, my brother and SIL had to pay a certain amount in bribes to officials, and there wasn't anything wrong with the papers - it is just a regular thing for adoption in some countries.

I've heard of this, although having chatted with Friend, he says it may or may not have actually been a bribe, but he got the feeling it was. (Everything was done through a translator, who apparently was very good at her job, and also very expensive)

From what my friend said of it, the papers were muddled some how, legally she was theirs, the papers just had something in the wrong place (A signature that should have been on one page but was on another? I don't remember, the child in question was less that 2 years old at the time, and is now almost 10) and they needed someone to look it over and say "Yep, this kid is theirs, the officials all agree she goes with this family to America, we can ignore the mess up because humans are human and sometimes sign things wrong" but the person who needed to do that was not available and wouldn't be for a week, whereas they had a consult with a pediatric cardiologist scheduled for the day after their planned return and didn't want her to miss it, so were told if they would pay some sum of money, they could get a different person who could also sign off that yes this child is theirs to come do so THAT NIGHT instead of in a week.

They did so and got their baby on the planned flight, but it was apparently a very scary process, made harder by the fact that there was a slight chance if her condition got any worse she wouldn't be cleared to fly out until she was recovered some, which would not be easy to have done for reasons I don't fully understand. I do know that she was christened by the family priest in an airport before being rushed off to the hospital for her consult and a minor procedure to help her stay oxygenated. (I want to say it was a blood transfusion but I have idea how that would affect oxygen)

I'm sure there's a lesson in all of this, but to hear my friend say it the lesson is that "Its worth it to pay off officials if it gets my daughter onto US soil" and that probably isn't a nice lesson. But she was a very sick little girl for a very long time, and now she is healthy. Slightly emotionally disturbed and a very cutting, nasty tempered child at times, but healthy.

Friend once said (In private, away from her hearing) that if had known when they started the adoption process what he knows now about how much pain and heartache treating her sickness would be.... he would do it all over again happily, because she is his precious jewel. He does admit that he wishes he hadn't resisted getting her a therapist, but other than that he says every debt, moment of fear and time she yelled and told them she hated them and wanted to die has been worth having his little girl and her siblings in his life.

On a less noble note, he also says all adoptive parents should be allowed two assaults a year on people who say unkind things in front of their children, causing said child to cry. His "favorite" was some strange woman who said, unprovoked, to his daughter (the one from above, he has three girls now) "Well, you're lucky they're gay and HAD to take you. Otherwise they would have held out for a healthy baby."

This one comment has led to years of worry that she was what "they could get" and led him to telling her the previously mentioned amounts spent to have her in their life and how precious she is to them. Years later he says she still seems to worry that the nasty woman was telling the truth.

Betelnut

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #22 on: June 18, 2015, 03:57:55 PM »
Kimblee--I actually think it is HORRIBLE that your friend brings up how much the adoption costs.  Many people will ask an adoptive parent (such as myself) about costs which is marginally okay but others will talk about "buying" children.  NOT okay.  I say, "I paid a lawyer to help me have a child just like you paid a doctor." 

Making a kid feel like they are another commodity just seems ... wrong.
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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #23 on: June 18, 2015, 07:13:43 PM »
Kimblee--I actually think it is HORRIBLE that your friend brings up how much the adoption costs.  Many people will ask an adoptive parent (such as myself) about costs which is marginally okay but others will talk about "buying" children.  NOT okay.  I say, "I paid a lawyer to help me have a child just like you paid a doctor." 

Making a kid feel like they are another commodity just seems ... wrong.


I don't actually.  My aunt who just passed away and her husband adopted a young boy from foster care several years ago.  They got really jerked around by CPS and had to shell out thousands of dollars more than expected for the adoption to happen. 

He was living with them the entire time and saw what they had to go through.  They almost lost their house, had to borrow money from pretty much every family member and go through quite a bit to keep him.   Sometimes he just gets in his brain that no one wants/wanted him or REASONS.  For some of those reasons, bringing up what they went through and the money they spent to adopt him is helpful.  Not all of them, but some of them. 
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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2015, 08:18:12 PM »
Kimblee--I actually think it is HORRIBLE that your friend brings up how much the adoption costs.  Many people will ask an adoptive parent (such as myself) about costs which is marginally okay but others will talk about "buying" children.  NOT okay.  I say, "I paid a lawyer to help me have a child just like you paid a doctor." 

Making a kid feel like they are another commodity just seems ... wrong.


I don't actually.  My aunt who just passed away and her husband adopted a young boy from foster care several years ago.  They got really jerked around by CPS and had to shell out thousands of dollars more than expected for the adoption to happen. 

He was living with them the entire time and saw what they had to go through.  They almost lost their house, had to borrow money from pretty much every family member and go through quite a bit to keep him.   Sometimes he just gets in his brain that no one wants/wanted him or REASONS.  For some of those reasons, bringing up what they went through and the money they spent to adopt him is helpful.  Not all of them, but some of them.

I think this might be how Friend's DD sees it. She is very insecure and apparently knowing what her dads have been through is comforting to her. Maybe its proof to her that she is precious to them?

I don't know how I personally feel about it, but I do know that she seems less insecure since they told her. (She also just likes to hear the story of her flight to the U.S. and how she was so cute the flight attendants couldn't resist talking to her and talking about how pretty a toddler she was.)

Honestly, if they were using the dollar amounts as a "You owe us" thing, I would find it disgusting. But using it as a "of course you are our precious child, we saved and borrowed and fought to be your parents and would do it all again" tactic, it's more a gray area to me. Not something I think I would bring up to my kid, but it's their way. (The little girl in turn sometimes expresses her love with gifts and will tell you "I spent six weeks knitting this scarf/pair of gloves because I love you." so assigning time or money as proof of how important someone is seems to be a thing with her.)

Her parents also have a tradition that when she goes to the hospital everyone in the family hugs her stuffed rabbit in turn and sends it with her so she has "hugs for when no one is there to give her one"  She's older now but apparently still wants it done, and she started doing it to her younger sister's stuffed animal too.

gramma dishes

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2015, 09:46:11 PM »

Product of Rape
Rape and sexual assault are horrible, heinous crimes that no one deserves to experience- but, they happen, and some women do become pregnant after being assaulted.  However, it is never, never justifiable to point to a child and say they are the "product" or "result" of something so horrible as rape.  If it is absolutely necessary to clarify a child's genetic history, then use words that separate the miracle of life from the horror of sexual assault: "Her mother/birth mother was assaulted and became pregnant," not, "Her birth mother was raped and she's the result."

Oh Dear Deity! 

No, no, no, no, NO!!!   :o

There is absolutely never, ever, ever a reason to bring this up. 

If one has to say anything, I'd rather just say "Little is known about the biological father", which is probably true anyway.

Marga

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2015, 10:25:10 PM »

Product of Rape
Rape and sexual assault are horrible, heinous crimes that no one deserves to experience- but, they happen, and some women do become pregnant after being assaulted.  However, it is never, never justifiable to point to a child and say they are the "product" or "result" of something so horrible as rape.  If it is absolutely necessary to clarify a child's genetic history, then use words that separate the miracle of life from the horror of sexual assault: "Her mother/birth mother was assaulted and became pregnant," not, "Her birth mother was raped and she's the result."

Oh Dear Deity! 

No, no, no, no, NO!!!   :o

There is absolutely never, ever, ever a reason to bring this up. 

If one has to say anything, I'd rather just say "Little is known about the biological father", which is probably true anyway.

Since most assaults are by people known by the victim, I would not assume that last bit. But yes, deflection is fine in these cases.

Kimblee

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #27 on: June 19, 2015, 10:50:28 PM »

Product of Rape
Rape and sexual assault are horrible, heinous crimes that no one deserves to experience- but, they happen, and some women do become pregnant after being assaulted.  However, it is never, never justifiable to point to a child and say they are the "product" or "result" of something so horrible as rape.  If it is absolutely necessary to clarify a child's genetic history, then use words that separate the miracle of life from the horror of sexual assault: "Her mother/birth mother was assaulted and became pregnant," not, "Her birth mother was raped and she's the result."

Oh Dear Deity! 

No, no, no, no, NO!!!   :o

There is absolutely never, ever, ever a reason to bring this up. 

If one has to say anything, I'd rather just say "Little is known about the biological father", which is probably true anyway.

Since most assaults are by people known by the victim, I would not assume that last bit. But yes, deflection is fine in these cases.

That's just awful. I just want to go hide in my oblivious bubble and pretend people wouldn't say such a hurtful thing in front of a kid (or ever for that matter) but I know better.

Some people....

mime

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #28 on: June 23, 2015, 09:46:39 AM »
~snipping....~
On a less noble note, he also says all adoptive parents should be allowed two assaults a year on people who say unkind things in front of their children, causing said child to cry. His "favorite" was some strange woman who said, unprovoked, to his daughter (the one from above, he has three girls now) "Well, you're lucky they're gay and HAD to take you. Otherwise they would have held out for a healthy baby."

What a horrid thing to say! I want to kick that woman in the shins on his behalf.

Kimblee

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Re: The Language of Adoption
« Reply #29 on: June 23, 2015, 08:01:48 PM »
~snipping....~
On a less noble note, he also says all adoptive parents should be allowed two assaults a year on people who say unkind things in front of their children, causing said child to cry. His "favorite" was some strange woman who said, unprovoked, to his daughter (the one from above, he has three girls now) "Well, you're lucky they're gay and HAD to take you. Otherwise they would have held out for a healthy baby."

What a horrid thing to say! I want to kick that woman in the shins on his behalf.

Yeah, I think he had a similar urge. Its a really good thing that he's a calm man because I'm not sure I could handle that, especially when the child in question was dealing with recovery from heart surgery, struggling to make friends in a new school system and this ongoing guilt she has over being alive due to a heart transplant. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have assaulted her, but I'm not sure I wouldn't have said things. Very, very nasty things that my mother would have washed my mouth out for.