9 thoughts on “Decolonizing transracial adoption

  1. Do you believe you will be able to heal from this pain and end up having a better relationship with your adopted parents?

  2. Couldn’t agree more, we had no choice, we survived and we’ll keep on surviving.Hopefully more and more will find their voices and tell their stories and their truth.

  3. I hate the term “Gotcha” Day. *shivers* Seems like it’s saying, “Hey, look, I bought you from a store at a discount.” Some other obnoxious ones are “Stork day” and “Airplane day” Which just further makes the adoptee sound like a package to drop down the Earth.

    I’ve heard of Adoptive Parents turning the day of adoption around to remember and thank the Foster parents and parents that gave up their child. Not so much celebrating the victory, but honoring the loss… so I think there is a camp like that.

    For those families they tend to go over the events that lead to the adoption, etc. And also discuss adoption issues, race, etc. So I think the APs have matured beyond the original, let’s celebrate the heartbreak and loss you suffered to our benefit. They call it usually, “Family Anniversary Day” which is neither happy nor sad, but looks at how the family reformulated and remembers it.

    @Angela I learned the very hard way that you can’t make people do what they don’t want to do. If your parents won’t communicate with you about your adoption, your difference in race and won’t accept your culture(s), it’s not likely to succeed. You can try reaching through that fog, but nothing on this Earth can make them an ally for you. If they aren’t willing, that’s it.

    As for recovery–I think that’s a personal thing. Forgiveness and Reconciliation are not the same thing–and both are journeys through yourself. The pain we feel is shared, but individual at the same time. People grieve in different ways. For me, though, I think it’s important to not label yourself as a victim, but more of a survivor and activist. People don’t respect victims after they whine and whine about problems, but take no action. When you survive, you recognize that bad things happen and when you become an activist, you try to make changes to the world around you through your actions–even if it’s not your exact responsibility for the problems you have, you at least try to change the future of other human beings. This gives you power and respect because it takes strength to be on the front lines and listen to the other side.

    But I think one can be content to be a survivor–to overcome the pain and look and learn from it in your own personal way.

    1. Hold on a second… Angela could be an adoptee wondering how to repair her relationship with her parent… I took it as insulting, at first. Then I reconsidered. Stay tuned for a post that addresses her questions as an adoptee. (Even if she turns out to be a parent, I will address it as if it were asked by an adoptee!)

  4. Thank you for this post. For all of your words. I am an adoptive parent-of a TRA Black son, and a Biracial biological son.

    When I birthed my second son, I experienced the most altering grief for the loss that I now imagined more deeply, that my first (TRA, adopted) son and his first mom experienced at his birth, (or shortly there after when I arrived at the hospital). As an adoptive, new mother I had NO IDEA what she was going through. Although I believed at the time, I was tapped into her sadness.

    But it wasn’t until three years later, while I was wailing and holding this new baby, that I arrived somewhere else in my grief understanding. I ached to hold my first son. That ache came from a new fathoming of all the loss around his birth. The nurses thought I was having post partum depression. I was, but it wasn’t mine!I wanted to hold her, (his birth mom) and him. I wanted to go back in time, and feel it again.

    I recalled how my first son’s first mom and I talked about her choice to place him with me. I was overcome by the grief. She said; “I need you to give this baby only your joy. Save all the sad part for me.” Hardly a day passes that I do not recall that moment on some level. Her maternal/selfless plea to me, was to give him relief from this devastating sad. She instructed me to leave the hospital and come back with joy…

    I was writing about that tonight actually, when I took a break to poke around some of my favorite blogs. So grateful to land here tonight.

    (My sons are six and three by the way.) Thank you for the call. Again. The wake up call. I hope this response isn’t too confusing. Decolonization is destabilizing. Feeling it tonight.

  5. Thanks for a thought provoking article. I’m an adoptive parent and i appreciate insight into the minds of adoptees.

  6. Hi, that’s for tweeting this, I hadn’t read it before.it reminded me of when i was finishing work for our first adoption and being a bit upset that no one so much as gave me a good luck card, when births were celebrated with flowers and cake. I guess us adoptive parent feel like second class citizens in the parenting world, so celebrate where we can. 3 adoptions in, and I get it, so now we celebrate achievements and progress.

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