September 09, 2011

Are Ya'll just plain CRAZY?!


    As an adoptive mom, I have to find some way to respond to this...  I'm also an adoptee and I'm also reunited with my birth family, well all except my birth father.  I'm aware that I do not have all the answers. I am aware I'm not a Korean adoptee, I am aware I am "the mom" to some adopted kids. So possibly older Korean adoptees may think I am not qualified to respond or in any way give my opinion. BUT AS A MOM TO ADOPTEES  I AM RESPONDING!  I have grown up Korean adopted kids who are in their twenties. I know that when ALL "kids" are in their 20's we are all more critical of how our parents parented us. I also know it is extremely important for all adoptive parents to listen to adult adoptees as far as what they have to say about their experience of being adopted. Because we all learn from them. And we can learn how to improve adoption for children in the future.  And even though some times adult adoptees can rant and rave ... (domestic adoptees can too!) listening to their own experiences with adoption is invaluable to us all.  So is listening to birth or first parents and so is listening to adoptive parents. We are a three-sided triad and without each other we are incomplete.

    I AM AN ADOPTION ADVOCATE. In a perfect world adoption would not ever be needed... but we are here all of us in this imperfect world  and children can not "wait to grow up" before we find answers to the needs of children with out families to raise them.   I do not think growing up in foster care (as only the foster kid) or growing up in an orphanage is preferable to being adopted. I believe all kids should grow up with birth family if possible and if not then they should be placed in adoptive families in their birth countries. AND IF THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE THEN CHILDREN SHOULD BE ADOPTED OUT SIDE OF THE COUNTRY OF THEIR BIRTH....Because adoption is mostly a misunderstood concept in general in most other countries it is not well understood out side of the United States, Canada or France. A  family is a family just like birth families. NO MATTER WHAT COLOR THE OUT SIDE OF THE PARENTS OR THE CHILDREN ARE.  It is not a village or a group home or a foster home.  Families are Filled with imperfect people trying to love and live  for each other and with each other. And in this life, as a family, we grow up to be individuals who can love and become healthy members of our societies who will care for others as well.

   When I first heard of Korean adoptees returning to Korea to live and become part of Korean society I was very excited about it. No country is proud that it sends its children to other countries to find families through adoption.  Korea I knew had always wanted to stop the adoption of its children in need.  But when I heard that these adult adoptees went to Korea with the sole purpose to stop any and all future Korean adoptions of Korean children I was shocked!  The  first thing I thought of (upon hearing this was the reason for over 2000 grown up Korean adoptees returning to live permanently in Korea!) was an expression a dear southern friend used one day in dealing with her teenage son. He had done some thing so reckless and dangerous she could only exclaim, "Are ya'll just plain Crazy!" 

   (A very interesting man named, Don King Bell, is an adult Korean adoptee also, until recently, was living in Korea as well. He was adopted with the first group of Holt Korean adoptees. He has lived in Korea and tried to educate and teach the importance of adoption to Korean nationals as well as in some way fight these misguided adoptees.  His web site is Please go to his site and read up on his experiences as well as many adoptees he links to his site.)

   I really had thought that these adoptees had gone to Korea to help change their birth culture for the better.  I had even seriously thought they were possibly wanting to adopt Korean children and raise them in Korea.  Showing Korean culture that adoption was preferable to throwing unwanted children in the ocean (a practice common when Harry Holt first went to Korea) ..... starving them or abusing them, denying them the right to a birth certificate, schooling or marriage, work or making them live as second class citizens in Korea.   I thought these adult Korean adoptees might change Korea for the better.
  Here are some of the adoptees desires for Korean orphans from what I can understand:
    They want all international adoptions in Korea to stop.  Inner country adoption should be allowed but only if the adoption is kept secret from the child and others in the society.
    That the adoption agencies made money on their adoptions and this was the reason for the agencies arranging adoptions.
     Many feel they were stolen from birth families by adoption agencies and that some where there are birth families who miss them. 
    I am left to understand also that these grown adults also feel much resentment and unhappiness with their adoptive parents and their lives in America.   Growing up in a white family in America was too unhappy for them and they would have rather grown up in orphanages or not have grown up at all.  Or that all of them were in some way stolen from birth families and so they rather would have grown up in these first families.



Tomorrow (if I am still upon this earth) my response in "detail" .....(pray for me!)
till then go to Korean war baby's site and read up....





Aus said...

Morning Dawn - I'd go to that site and read up on it - but - I don't need the stress! Dude is just crazy - let 'em rant in peace - and don't trouble yourself over's just too short.

hugs - aus and co.

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

That is very disturbing. Thank you for what you do! I think it is great that you were called to adopt. I really respect families like yours.

Margie said...

Hi, was googling for blogs by adoptive parents of older kids from Korea and you popped up. Hope it's OK to comment.

I know a good number of adoptees who returned to Korea personally, and don't believe that anger or unhappiness with their adoptive parents was a driving reason; actually, it was only an issue in a couple of cases, and less because of the adoptive parents themselves, more because their adoptive parents wouldn't acknowledge their pain or their .

Some experienced considerable racism in their communities, some simply felt a disconnect from a culture, country and language they felt they had lost. Many initially went to search for birth families. Many, upon returning and seeing and experiencing Korea's attitudes toward adoption and single parenting, stayed to encourage change, individually or through organizations they founded. Some found that treatment too painful and returned. It's really a mixed bag, except for one thing: every single one is passionate about some aspect of adoption or connection with Korean culture and is doing what they feel is right.

Dawn said...

Hi Margie, Some how I feel we have talked in the past. ;-) Both of us being long time adoptive parents. I am fine with you replying here. Certainly e mail is fine too... I plan on reading up on your blog as well.I never meant to imply that the sole reason for adoptees returning to Korea to stop adoptions was because of anger at adoptive parents. But to totally leave out the RAD (reactive attachment disorder)aspect of many of these adoptees is not doing any one any good. And the main feature of this disorder is anger at MOM. You could certainly say adoptive parents are at fault in not acknowledging the pain of our children. And you could also say what do parents know about being a different race then their children.Even saying Yes, I acknowledge your pain is not really feeling it and is not (in a an adult child's point of view) understanding. Because you understand from the view point of the parent who sees his own hurting child... Saying "all or most" parents do not understand is kind of a biased point of view. Of course, parents can understand racism, and pain that our children have experienced. WE experienced it as parents not as the adoptee themselves...That should go with out being said... My view point is not just from "ANOTHER ADOPTIVE PARENT WHO DOES NOT GET IT." Parents also have a right to be heard Margie. And parents also have a right to be passionate...
I look forward to sharing with you...

Margie said...

Hi, Dawn, thanks - and we may have crossed paths in the past, I can't keep everyone I've met online straight anymore.

There are certainly many aspects to why an adopted person may feel one way or another about adoption, their adoptive parents, their first parents - anything, really. That's true for first and adoptive parents, too. I just worry about posts that generalize the beliefs and actions of adoptees who have returned to Korea, which was my point for responding.

I have found that those who are actively working to end intercountry adoption from Korea are thinking about it as something every country would want to end, by ending the injustices and social attitudes that lead women to place their children. None of the active adoptees I know would suggest that at risk children, for whatever reason, should remain with parents who neglect or abuse them. They just believe the first response shouldn't be adoption overseas, and that Korea should look to in-country types of care before placing children abroad.

By no means am I trying to discount adoptive parent points of view, just am passionate about empowering adoptees to own their experiences. Thanks for allowing my comments.

Dawn said...

Margie, I am not an international adoptee but I am an adoptee and a reunited adoptee as well. I certainly believe for adoptees rights. I have one child from China who will have an extremely difficult time ever finding any info about her bio family. I have one child from Vietnam who is grown and we have a good relationship with her bio family after they contacted us. As well as several children adopted from Korea. I think you know as well as I that Holt always has stated that children should first always be placed in their home countries before international adoption. Educating home countries about why adoption is a good thing is why they chose to live in Korea. I agree I was generalizing with my post about adoptees. Certainly generalizing is something we all do. Adoptive parents as well. I think you may know Don, at Korean war baby. As well you may know that not only were these small group of adoptees wanting to end ALL adoptions but they only wanted any domestic Korean adoptions to be secret and closed adoptions. This is not moving forward to change Korean society for the better for adoptees. American adoptees can attest to that... And in country care should not be in orphanages or villages either... that is certainly going back ward too..

please visit Don at his site

And Margie please feel free to e mail me for further discussion. Thanks.