By Lara/Trace, author of One Small Sacrifice and Two Worlds
I was so naive when I took foster care training in the mid-1990s. I really was. I was in my mid 30s, an adoptee from a stranger adoption in Wisconsin, about to be divorced and there I was thinking about doing the Oregon foster-to-adopt program. I was thinking I could give a child a better life but eventually I changed my mind. I couldn’t help but think any child I took in would wish to be with their “real” parents. That was my mindset, how I felt growing up. That thought really hasn’t changed.
Then I decided to really look at my life, what I had done with it. I realized I was in no condition to adopt anyone. I couldn’t love anyone. Yep, that was definitely true. And I hated my life. I hated what happened to me, being adopted, almost divorced. Time after time, I forgave. I forgave the pedophile who adopted me, who I called dad. I forgave the woman who I called mom who lived in a fantasy world the entire time I knew her. I forgave my soon to be ex-husband and many others. (Eventually I forgave my birthmother and I found and met my birthfather and relatives in 1994.) (Forgiveness doesn’t mean we forget)
I wore the marks of disappointment all over my soul. Why? I could never be their biological daughter so I “created” who I thought the DeMeyer family wanted. I took up so much time trying to be that perfect daughter. I tried hard to please my adoptive parents. I literally wasted years – I mean more than half my life – trying.
Then I tried to be what everyone else wanted. I didn’t realize that I could have my own life. How is this possible I didn’t know I could choose for myself? It was like “I” didn’t exist. I was just a mosaic of other people’s expectations. I was not a happy camper so I made some good choices for me – like getting counseling and knowing myself – finally.
So fast forward to 2004, when I left my job as editor of the Pequot Times newspaper. I decided to look at adoption again. Not to adopt but to look at it as a journalist. I decided to pursue the study of adoption on my own, not to gain a college degree. I read everything. I read studies, I read blogs, I read books, I read history. I read more pages of text than I could write in my lifetime.
I decided I wanted to know who is really running this billion dollar adoption industry. I decided to look at global poverty and how it creates slave conditions which can lead to human trafficking. I looked at how young people fall into lust and create children when they are children themselves. I looked at how world religions treat unwed mothers. I looked at countries that do not allow adoption by Americans. I looked at how adult adoptees are rarely mentioned in what I call adoption propaganda. I looked at how psychology was just noticing that adoptees were suffering and not living a “fairy tale” life. I studied birth psychology. I looked at adoption agency ads. I looked at couples who ran ads for a baby to adopt. I looked at the marketing by the adoption industry who created a niche for themselves, using newborns and young children (with living parents) to be the human guinea pigs for their experiment. I looked at intercountry adoption and how it makes some people very rich. I looked at industry profits. I looked at the history of the Indian Adoption Projects and ARENA. I looked at the governments who created and funded these adoption programs. I looked at how religions advanced the false idea there are orphans everywhere and someone needs to save them. I looked at how the adoption industry convinces people that babies are blank slates and we will adapt and be perfectly happy as the adoptee. I looked at how many children in foster care could have been placed with their own relatives instead of strangers! I looked at the suicide rates of adoptees, many who didn’t make it to middle age.
Then I met adoptees. I met outspoken brilliant adoptees who filled me and educated me with a new narrative and perspective.
I thought I was emotionally well when I started my memoir in 2004 and as each year passed I woke up more and more to the truth that I wasn’t healed. I didn’t set out to do this work but somehow this work chose me. And as I learned more, I healed more.
So I googled “The Adoption Industry” and found this website. I want you to look at it. I want you to study it as I have. I want you to open your eyes. I want the adoption industry, child traffickers and the adoption agencies to worry that their days are numbered. I want them to feel exposed. I want them to know there is a growing awareness and that the world is watching them. I want them to know that many of us see adoption as trafficking in babies to satisfy infertile couples needs and we know some couples feel important and special for bringing up a child that is not their own offspring. I want those people who adopt to realize we adoptees would never choose to be adopted. We’d rather be raised by family members, whenever it’s possible.
|Adoptees are Mending the Hoop|
I want you readers to know that hundreds of adoptees I have met or talked to are healing too. We are mending the hoop. Some have made the journey back to their first families and tribes and are healing with their entire communities.
Adoptees across the planet are working to unseal our adoption records and change archaic laws so we can all make our journeys home.
Most of all, I want the adoption industry (traffickers) to know who they are dealing with… the light is on…WE are watching and writing and blogging and you can’t hide your secrets and greed anymore.
(posted in 2013 at American Indian Adoptees)