Transracial Adoption from one black girl’s perspective

Day After

Someone asked me how I feel. truthfully? I dont feel happy. I feel pissed.

Someone said congratulations – is that the right word? I’m not sure. But somehow it doesnt seem right. This aint a party. This is a storm, a tornado, that has caught me up, and is whipping me around. I feel like I’ve got my storm cellar all set up,with food, clothing and protection – but the windows are flooding, the water is coming down the walls on to the floor, the doors are shaking and ready to come off their hinges.

Couldn’t sleep fully last night. kept wakin up with her voice in my head, telling me things, and hearing my own inner voice ask a million new questions.

I was writing to Ji-in telling her that I never thought I would actually feel anger toward the BM/G****. its scary because I know I have to keep it under control or she’ll disappear and not tell me anything. Its like im being held hostage or my history is being held hostage and unless im nice to this stranger, I wont get to know anything.

She emailed me today. told me she thinks things are happening too fast, that she needs time to think about developing a relationship with me. I emailed her back and told her I wasn’t asking for a relationship. I was asking for answers to questions.

Im so glad this didn’t happen to me 10 years ago, or even 10 months ago. I was talking to someone today and I realized as I was talking, and I always knew this – I don’t need her. I need the story, I need the history, the pictures, the faces. The mirror where I can recognize myself.

I wanna see my sisters faces, mouths, lips, heads, hair, skin, smiles. (I have two half sisters in Hawaii and possibly 3 more siblings in Seattle) I wanna see pictures of the BM as a little girl. I wanna see pictures of her mother. I wanna see pictures of her father. I want freakin answers!

I realize that I’m not sad, or lost or any of those things they say adoptees are – what I am is pissed and impatient. Somebody needs to tell me something.

I emailed back and said I told her I’m not interested in hurting her or making her uncomfortable and that I want to give her plenty of time to communicate what is happening to the people close to her. But I also made it clear that I, too, have many people in my life for whom this situation will change everything about the nature of our relationship.

It ain’t all about me, I know this – and im tryin not to be childish or to give into these impulses and just rage out. but hell. 35 years.. come on now. get your shit together, you had to know this day was coming and if you haven’t had time to prepare, or to tell people, or to delve into the things that will hurt to cause healing – well – now is the time. get on it.

is that wrong? am I being totally unsympathetic?

 

6 responses

  1. I think it’s a common knee-jerk reaction among birth mothers to assume that when their babies find them, it’s because we’re seeking to recreate some mother-daughter relationship with them. As much as I want to understand my birth mother, I already got myself a Mom, thanks.

    You sure as HELL are not wrong, feeling the way you do. You have every right to feel anger toward her. It’s obvious you are still considering her feelings. Just never forget your emotional stake in this give & take.

    I think as transracial adoptees, we learned to protect ourselves a loooong time ago. Inserting the birth mother into the equation suddenly makes us very vulnerable. Our birth mothers feel intensely vulnerable, too. Who has the power in the dialogue? Our birth mothers have so many of the facts we seek, but it’s on them to give them up. Whereas they see us as having the power to turn their lives upside-down. Which hell yeah, they might have anticipated, after all.

    I think it’s up to us to take the anger and shape it into something that can nourish us. And as an artist, you’ve already got a head start on that.

    February 7, 2006 at 3:54 pm

  2. I felt upset and angry too in early reunion and it made me angry that people kept trying to force me to say it was wonderful. I found the first year traumatic.My rule is that the adoptee has to set the pace and set the boundaries which are to be respected.

    April 14, 2006 at 10:17 am

  3. Again, thanks for this comment… its been very strange for me on a continuous basis and continuously strange that I find it -as you say – traumatic- as opposed to wonderful. If one more person tells me – wow how exciting, you must feel like a piece of you has been found – thats wonderful – i swear I will egg their house. :)

    April 14, 2006 at 3:31 pm

  4. Kathy Caudle

    August 24th, ’06

    Hi, Lisa Marie! You said someone needs to tell you something, in your comments. Not much, I know, eases the pain and hurt of being adopted without having any input into the matter and then being denied your personal information you and others who were adopted have every right to have with NOQUESSTIONS asked!

    As a mother whose only child from my only pregnancy was ripped away from me–I was terrorized to sign the Affidavit and Release form that lawyer David McConkie and agency worker Colleen Burnham both of Children’s Aid Society of Utah had shoved in front of me–I know this kind of family loss causes deep anguish for everybody in the child’s family of birth. For you being Black adopted by a couple who’s White and maybe torn away from you African roots, and culture, I’m sure doesn’t make things any easier.

    In February 2006 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) showed a program about African-Americans researching their ancestral roots and family histories. Whoopie Goldberg, I believe, was on this program. Though the show’s focus was ancestral DNA research for individuals of African descent maybe if you contact the researchers they might be able to tell you something. Go to the PBS website and use “African roots” as a key word and I’m sure you’ll get some hits back. Or, you can select your topic from some drop-down menus.

    Fully, I support adult adopted individuals’ rights to be able to access their adoption records and also get their original birth certificate. Wrenching anguish cuts through me every time I read a story of adults adopted as a child being deprived of their adoption information, from their records, because I’m reminded hence that I’ve caused my son similar struggles.

    Without adoption social workers and lawyers plus others who transact adoptions for a living recognizing that mothers (and fathers) whose child[ren] was/were adopted out and away from them especially in cases where this was against the wishes of the mother, in which the mother was forced to surrender her offspring, then these lawyers and social wokerks plus the judges and others will continue to resist unsealing records of adoption regardless of the circumstances. My opinion as such is because adoption lawyers and social workers plus others who work in adoption falsify (corrupt) the records of mothers whose child[ren] they take, and also criminalize some mothers by the same method. These lawyers and social workers in addition to others forge documents relating to the child[ren's] natural mother, and overall pervert the nature of the adoption matter by many other unethical practices.

    Consequently, these same lawyers and social workers and others don’t want mothers learning this information because she could have grounds to sue the lawyer(s) or social worker(s) and/or anyone else involved in taking her child[ren] from her. They don’t want mothers whose child[ren] was/were taken from them involuntarily to know they probably were falsely accused criminally, characterized as a prostitute and/or drug addict (as Colleen Burnham and David McConkie along with CAS of Utah wrongly portrayed me) , or maybe was falsely branded as being mentally unsound. .

    Such mothers who sued, especially in a class action, might bankrupt the court’s legal jurisdiction. Judges don’t want therefore to open the “flood-gates” of litigation for mothers whose child[ren] were wrongly taken and adopted out, away from her, so these judges keep encouraging the lawyers like David McConkie and others who mostly are also adoption lobbyists pertinent to proposed adoption legislation, not to allow open-records legislation to be enacted.

    Now, I realize I’ve probably given you information to make you angrier! But, you have every right to know what many of us biological mothers have discovered because of the sad experience of our child[ren] being ripped away from us for no other reason except that most of us were not married and also were poor.

    Thanks, for your time, Lisa Marie. God speed, to you.

    Kathy Caudle
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Mother of Adoption Child-Loss

    August 24, 2006 at 5:47 pm

  5. Burt

    Kathy Caudle is a crazy woman. She attacks people, makes things up, and then harrasses them. Just a warning.

    February 17, 2008 at 12:52 am

  6. Sandra Bridges

    Burt, How would you know any thing about Kathy Caudle? She sounds perfectly “sane” to me. She hasn’t said anything that isn’t true. The Adoption Center of Choice is a fraud practicing agency. Have you not investigated the “Webb” family? The Webb’s (owner’s of The Adoption Center of Choice) have Utah and California tied up thanks to Morman money. You evidently haven’t seen the comments that others have seen posted throughout the internet. Utah is sucking in millions of dollars from not only adopting parents, but at the state and federal level as well. Open your eyes and investigate before you give your “opinioned” warnings. Sounds to me that you are out to discredit the woman. Why? Sandra Bridges

    March 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm

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