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Here is an article released today on the New York Times.

Link here

I will comment on  this later, as I am still gathering my thoughts and analysis on this piece. However my initial thoughts to this article are two things.

1) 2012. You’re having a laugh.

2) Common words used throughout: Embarrassment, shame, stigma, and disgrace. These words used to describe adoption are great indicators as to how we, the adoptees feel. It is no wonder that such ideals are passed on to us. I guess it starts at the top.

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What are we asked to shoulder? What items are tucked away in our nap sacks? What is it that you keep stowed away in tiny compartments and zippered pockets? What things do you slip into our satchels, unbeknownst to us?

 

I saw some of the extended family tonight. Sat there at the kitchen counter were cousins and uncles of my father. All Robinson, they reminisced over family and the current goings on of different extensions of the family. I had a glass of wine and listened, mostly I talked to my mom. It must be said that I don’t care much for that side of the family, but they are nice enough so I am not to bothered by their presence. That is until you get a bit of spirit into them, then their true colors come brimming out with such aplomb (sarcastic).

 

It was a conversation for my mother and I, but being Robinson’s gives them exclusive privileges to but in and give their two cents. Mom had informed me much to my surprise that my sister had bought another house, a house her husband had been saying they needed in Lou of the new baby. A house they can’t afford, a house that in my opinion they really don’t need. So I was talking exclusively to my mom, half jokingly, that it’s people like my brother in-law who are the cause for the housing bust and it’s honest people like me who are going to have to bail his sorry ass out. 

 

Enter extended family.

 

“What is this youthful, Liberal, Obama Hussein, Muslim, bullshit you’re talkin’ about.”

“You young kids are all the same. Don’t tell me you’re supporting that Muslim terrorist. All his fancy talk and smoke up your ass shit.”

“You liberal, Hussein, Bin Laden, Democrat, kids talking all your far out ideals and all that. Don’t tell me you’re gonna vote for that Muslim.”

 

Oh for Christ sake really? 

 

I was just talking to my mom about my sister and brother in-law over extending themselves financially, and this is what I get. I wasn’t even talking to them. I wasn’t even talking about that. I was discussing mortgages and housing prices and loopy brother in-laws.

 

The lines of dialogue(if you can call that dross dialogue) above are just some of the more tasty comments I endured. But it made me think. Anyway I thought about my adoption. I thought about a lot of adoptions, about the people who say they want to adopt, the people that say they would consider adopting, and those that have already adopted. I want to know what it is that you carry around with you and what is it that you will pass on to the children you adopt. 

 

As I sat through a thoroughly unjustified lambasting about my conceived political choices (I never once said who I associated with or who I intended to vote for, I guess they just assumed a young guy talking about current events must be some radical left wing extremist) and then tried to explain the mortgage bail outs and why they happened, I couldn’t help but think about what I was brought into. I mean look at this family, look at the mindsets that are prevalent throughout.

 

I was listening (well not actually listening) to someone who was clearly racist. I knew both sides of the family, mother and fathers, harbored some sentiments towards people of different races. I hadn’t seen it in years though. After my grandparents died and families kept in very loose touch, I really never saw too much of the extended family and therefore saw less and less of the racism and prejudice I had grown up with. Now I hate to actually admit it but I know that some of those blind prejudices in all likely hood reside within me. This is something I carry from years of exposure. 

 

I know my parents didn’t consider this when they adopted. They knew both their sets of parents were outwardly racist. They were from the old school or the old country or somewhere really old, so to them it was ok and therefore natural that they spoke outwardly about not liking people, for whatever reason. These were the people who I was entrusted for many an after school afternoon or even during the day when my parents worked. The family that was over tonight were the same people who I grew up around, when family gatherings were more frequent. The same people whom back in the day I would sit around the card table with or on the couch watching the game, listening and absorbing while they made off the cuff remarks about people of color. 

 

Now I know that they all love me, and on the outside they accept me. But what about when they got in their car tonight, slightly inebriated from all the drink, what is that they really say about me, about the first presidential candidate of color, about Spike Lee and his new film. (I doubt they know he has a new film but if they did what would they say) What words do they choose to use to describe us. 

 

But more importantly how does this impact me, a minority of color. Maybe a a better question is how has it already effected me. Years of exposure to this, a lifetime of being conditioned to think a certain way. How will I view myself or how do I view others. I just wonder if people consider what it is they carry with them. Whether it be racism, intolerance, hatred, whatever it may be, what is it that we all travel with and how will we pass it to our children. Especially our transracially adopted children. 

 

So just think about this. What tasty little pieces have been put into your satchel? What did your parents give you and what will you give to your children? Knowingly or not. 

 

p.s.

-lets not forget that as we get older and move from childhood to adulthood to old-folk-hood we get a better feel for the things we have strapped to our backs. Somethings we forget are there and some weigh on us heavier than others. But as conscious human beings we all have the ability to choose what we will take with us and what we will leave behind.

I am sure no one asked her that day, she probably didn’t ask herself. That however is all I ever heard regarding my adoption. It was out of love I was given up, it was out of love that I was adopted into this family, it was out of love that I still exist today.

 

But why I ask myself. I have loved and I have been loved. I have bleed and I have cried over love. I elated and I hurt, all for love. Love is supposed to be such a grand thing. It is said to heal all wounds, but not this love. This love has cast open more pain than any sort of love is supposed to. It has lead me to believe that this is not love at all, that the actions carried out on that day had nothing to do with the notion of love. 

 

Where was the social worker, the nurse, the father, the lover, the sibling, the aunt, the grandmother, where was the person who asked her, do you love you son? Then why are you casting him off to a life of unknown? As his mother why will you not be the one to look over him, to protect him and guide him through a world full of what ifs? Do you love this boy? then why would you not endure the pain yourself in order to save him that extra bit of hardship that as an adult you know first hand this world is so good at dealing out. Do you love him? Then why…….why do this?

 

Maybe she asked herself these questions, maybe it hurt her to answer. It hurts me to ask myself. Did she love me? Then why? 

 

I used to believe in it, love that is, but now I am not so sure. I used to think that with love a person could do anything, could over come any hardship. But I just don’t know what to think anymore. I used to try and just listen to my heart, but its voice has become shrill and bitter. So I drown it out, lacking the necessary compassion to entertain its plea for sympathy. 

 

Because of love I cast aside family members and friends with a certain disdain. Because of love I hide deep within myself, scared to find out who I really am. Because of love I hold trust on a very short leash and dispense it sparingly. It is out of this act of love that I feel so alone. 

 

Now if by some slim chance you ever find this, no find me, I have but one question to ask you. Did you love him, then why?

 

I use the past tense because the man I have become today is nothing of the boy you produced all those years ago. No I changed the second I left your arms and care was relinquished over me. From that moment I was no longer a son for you to love unconditionally but an orphan to be prized by someone else. Yes a prize as it were, a prize going to the lucky couple from New York, yes the ones standing in the back. That is what I became the day you signed the papers, the day you signed my life away. 

 

Out of love was it. Out of love I got the college fun, the suburbs, the American values, the full belly and the nice clothes. Out of love I got racism, the cold stares, the butt of all jokes, the stereo type, the fear, the pain, and the longing. All of these things you gave to me out of love. Brilliant bit of business on your part, splendid job. 

 

We do a lot of things out of love, and as the salty little bits hit they keys, in my heart I am forgiving you out of love. As I readjust my contacts and blow my running nose I am realizing that no matter how much I hurt inside I will always reserve a bit of love for you. So when I ask you that question one day whether it be in this world or the next and regardless of the answer, I will be satisfied. Because past all the wreckage and the scaring, deep inside this heart of mine lies a little bit of love, saved especially for you.

My cousin is up visiting and it is really great to see her. I haven’t really seen her in something like 10 years at least. She was visiting about 3 year ago but at the time I was working 3 jobs and trying to keep a broken relationship form totally falling apart. So needless to say I was preoccupied and I only say her in passing last time she was here. But now I only have one job, no crazy girlfriend, and no crazy extenuating circumstances(those of you who know me know what I’m talking about).

So we have time now and it is good talk talk to her. Aside from the fact that she has a gorgeous and witty young daughter, 11 years old I think, to talk about, a lot has happened for the both of us in the long time that has passed. The last time we really talked I was probably 12 so I am sure the conversation was not all that great, well at least for her. But now as two full fledged adults we are able to converse and commiserate and fully understand the scope of the twists and turns our lives have taken.

I think that despite the difference in our ages and our upbringings we are very similar, I think we just see the world through similar eyes. I remember thinking this even as a young boy, that she just understood where I was coming from and I her.

Last night after my father, mother, uncle(her father and the one whom I really dislike), my cousin and her daughter came home from an excursion to our cottage, my cousin came right up to my room to have a talk. She wanted to vent after being ambushed in an hour long car ride by the three adults. I knew her pain and anguish and could do little more than laugh. That is why I don’t go anywhere with my parents anymore and if I do I drive separate because I hate being told the way I feel or what I know is wrong.

So we sat there until way too late talking about life and about perspective and most importantly about family. Our family to be exact. About the rifts, the rumors, the opinions, the dynamics. What struck me most was her views on our families openness. She talked in great length of her husbands family and how they all talk about everything, together, as a collective. If someone is struggling with life or having any sort of difficulty, they sit and talk and hash it out. If someone is not so apt to talk but clearly displaying symptoms of a troubled life, that person is approached and confronted in a caring way. Not our family, we’re rug sweepers and rumor mongers. If you have problems they are your problems, and damn to anyone who will help you with those problems. They are ignored and then talked about, behind your back. Compassion, what compassion. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s not like we don’t care, we do we really do. It is just that we would rather you figure it out on your own with no assistance, and if you ask for help all you’ll get in return is stories spread about the family like wildfire of how you are incompetent and not fit to live your life. Asking for help is like signing your life away as you will forever be branded the family fool and be in debt to those who lend the helping hand.

I am not quite sure why i am talking about this, it seems whiny and trivial. But I just felt the need to write something, anything as I have been so congested and backlogged with my thoughts lately. Anyway new topic. Again I am going through my pile of draft that has magically gotten larger and I found a topic i wanted to write about for sometime.

People who tell me matter of fact that I am not in fact Asian in any way shape or form but that I am as white as they come. Wow really, this is news to me, I guess that guy that looks at me in the mirror everyday didn’t get the memo. Honestly when people tell me this it really gets on my tits. In fact that is in my top 10 for things that really piss me off.

The thing is it’s always people whom are close to me and know me relatively well, but at the same time people who are probably unaware that I blog or that I harbor such intense feelings about my adoption, race, and my own self image. It is the people whom I share a relative level of trust that like to proclaim my whiteness. I like to call this act modern impreialisation. People claim my ethnicity and my identity in the name of white people everywhere. Plunk, and they stick this giant white flag out my ass. There you go here is your subscription of Home and Garden magazine, your key to your new Prius, and your  Best of Phil Collins CD. Oh wait wait, you almost forgot your sense of self entitlement. Right wouldn’t want to forget that.

I mean honestly I might have some white mannerisms. It can’t be helped, I did after all grow up around all white folk, I was raised by a white family who had no non white friends, but for fucks sake I ain’t white people. So stop proclaiming that I am white, I just ain’t havin’ it.

Phewwww, big breath there. Sorry I had to get that off my chest. I have heard that a lot over the years and quite a bit as of late. I think the more and more I come out of my shell and become more open about my desires and my feelings, the more people want to tell me that I am wrong and shouldn’t want the things I do. I don’t know maybe people just are afraid that I will become someone who is so unfamiliar to them. Maybe it is that the people I hang around are not as diverse and open as they think they are, and the fact that I may become to “ethnic” scares them. I mean if all these white folks were so open minded and were so pro diversity, wouldn’t they be cool with the fact that I am exploring a very integral part of who I am. A part of me that is so clearly not white. Eh who knows.

Well I am off to our nations capital. I really wanted to let some things out so that I am unburdened for this weekend that I am really dreading. A good weekend to all and thanks for listening.

(Note: this was not proff read or edited, so if it reads like total dross my bad)

I hate calling them nightmares, it just seems so childish, but that is exactly what they are. Maybe they are perverse dreams. Dreams that become twisted and sick and frighteningly out of control. Right now I take a back seat to the will of these dreams. Occurring much more often then I would like and robbing me of a sound nights sleep, these dreams have taken hold of my attention.

They all seem to center around my younger brother or at least he is always an important character in these dreams. Some nights he is brutally beating a loved one, others he is leading some Aryan movement similar to scenes from “American History X”.  Each time I am in some sound, familiar place. Places that should be safe and comfortable to me, but become places I desperately want to escape due to the sheer discomfort I feel in them. Each dream scares the shit out of me, and all end with me collapsed in a heap of sadness and anger on the ground weeping. And I am awaken suddenly.

Rocked to my core from these dreams that seem so real, I wake to the familiar sound of my fan buzzing and cars passing the house in the wee hours of the night. Always my heart is racing uncontrollably. I clutch my pillow tight and run my fingers through my now longish hair trying desperately to discern between to the real and the world of dreams. And as always my eyes are crusted over from the tears.

These tears that I always shed in my dreams are real. Real in their waning presence on my lashes, real in the salty residue felt on my high cheeks, real in the moisture felt on my pillow. I rise myself at these unreasonalby early hours and drag myself to the bathroom, where I stand in a awe at the presence standing in the little vanity missor reflecting back at me. This figure is blury from the sleep and from the crud caked over my eyes. As I wipe away the little tear skeletons I can see my still racing heart, beating from my chest as if it is trying to escape, trying to leave such a horrific captation.

But I am the one in capture. Left to the demented will of these dreadful dreams. Why do I keep having them? Why is he always in them? Why is he always acting so haneous?

They say dreams are memories and thoughts trying to escape the conceous, but their presence and frequency alone means that these visoins won’t be leaving me anytime soon. So I guess I should figure out what they mean. I think I know but I don’t want to admit it out loud. I am affraid of my brother.

I feels good to write that but at the same time I don’t want to have to admit it. I feel liberated in a sense but confined by the idea that he is fast becoming a person that when I move I will probably cut ties with. As I move forward and as I mature, this idea that even family is no longer off limits is something that I have been struggling with.

He is my little brother and I love him, I always will. But his racism, his bigotry, his anger are things that terrify me and are things that I know not how to fix in him. Ultimately he will have to find solutions to his problems on his own, I just hope he knows I will always be there for him. And hopefully one day these dreams will stop and return to what they should be, dreams.

Gripped with anxiety I wander through this life. Day to day avoiding those things which leave me cold and numb with the fear of what if. No amount of Xanax could cure what ails me for I think it is all in my head, my own doing. Always on the door step staring at the knob, knowing what awaits if I walk through the door, I stand frozen and hunched, until no longer can I bear the pressure and the voices, I turn away from what could be. So yet another promise left unfulfilled, and I can’t taste it.

Voices of expectation and potential cluster and group inside, and that is all I can hear, that is the source of this anxiety. I was supposed to be this or I was expected to become that. So I shrink. Withering on this vine refusing to expose my true nature, whilst the fruits around me who suckled from the same source grow and flourish and become all the things I dreamed to be. The accomplishments and the grand life I was told I would lead slowly escape me and that nectar that is success abandons me.

This is not perfect, I am not perfect. But I am not like all the rest. Like some ape faced piglet I am made to be different, defected from the norm. It was reasoned that I would be the same, that this melting pot would absorb me just like all the rest, that my differences were not unique. But so strange this sequence, so alien is this strain, that my form is not recognized. I feel omitted from the heard and the jackals that are of my own creation will soon devour me.

I was to succeed under this sun, and so by all levels of reasoning I should rise up and take my mantle. But I am my own variable, my personal X-factor. I chose not to climb the stairs that were placed before me, instead opting for a blind stroll down a path of unknown, but maybe that should have been taken into account. Maybe someone should have reasoned what it is like to live life carrying this heavy pack, alone in an environment where many hours are spent with nothing but the weight and the expectation. Yet even knowing this all I find it hard to place blame, because a man, a reasonable adult, does not look back in anger, he takes what he has and makes it work.

Then maybe I am not a man, maybe theres is no shred of reason in me. Because surely this isn’t working and I don’t know how to get a move on. Every moment not spent at the pinnacle of greatness is a moment I regret. Another point in time that I look back and die just a little bit more knowing I can’t recoup those moments.

I crucify myself for not being the best, for not achieving at the very least what has been laid out for me. And for a while I was able to let go of the expectation and just exist. Not caring one way or the other, not worrying about this or that or him or her. I am probably just not good enough. The reason I wanted to be the best was to show you. I wanted to go back one day and be the little boy I should have been. I wanted to kneel down before you, hands cupped, holding up what I had done. I wanted to show you all that I have conquered and overcome. I wanted you to be that proud mother who looked in awe at what her little boy had achieved and for you to be pleased. But to do this I had to be the best. I swore as a child that I would not go back, I would not find you until I was the epitome of success. I wanted you to be shamed and sorrowed and full of regret at what you had given up. I wanted you to see what you gave up on.  But I’ve changed.

The child in me still wants to shame you, still wants to turn my back, but that child is slowly dieing. A new boy is emerging from the shadows and he is more kind, more simplistic. This little boy has nothing to hold up to you. He has very little to show in hopes that you will be awed. This new little boy just wants you to hold him close, to return him to the loving embrace that he has never known, to the place his heart has yearned for all along. He wants the weight of expectation and the burden of loss to be lifted. But most of all he just wants you to know he exists.

I pray that somewhere in your mind and most importantly in your heart you think of me. I like to think that I derived this neurotic tendency from you and that because of this you long me for me in the same way I long for you. I don’t hate you. I never have. I hope you know this to be true. I know I am spiteful and I rue many things about my life, but that is only out of frustration, not malice towards you or your decision.

Redefining success is hard. Is a life measured by the names on diplomas or balances on bank statements? Cars, houses, families, boats, countries stamped on passports. Are achievements measured by titles on business cards or awards and merits received? For me success would be finding you, but as always I stand in my own way. Afraid of what I might achieve or how high I might climb, I stop myself dead in my tracks.

I just wish I could taste it.

When you are young you are afraid(or not) of a lot of things. Spider, snakes, the world running out of chocolate milk, monsters under the bed. Oh wouldn’t that be nice now. To return to the days when all you had to fear was creepy crawly creatures or the supply of sweets and snacks. As we grow older and develop into bigger more sophisticated creatures our fears too grow more developed and complex (kind of/sometimes). Long departed are our carefree days when our worries were easily solved and our minds put to rest. As I child I never knew fear as I do now. I was scared of breaking my arm if I fell from a tree too high (oh the silly dares you take on as a kid), I feared that I might get bitten by a cotton mouth snake (that by the way are not indigenous to my area), I was afraid that there was a man hiding in the walls and shadows of my house that would come and take me away.

Now I am older, I am wiser, I am more discerning or so I think. Snakes still scare me, but only in that I am startled by their presence in the woods when I walk. I have actually never broken a bone in my body (aside from the ones in my feet from years of soccer) and I don’t jump off roof tops or from high tree branches like I used to so breaking anything from foolish misjudgments seems unlikely, so needless to say I am not scared of that. I am most certainly not afraid of people hiding in my walls, this fear was substantiated from a weird movie I saw when I was way too young, and now I am confident I could beat the piss out of anyone lurking in the shadows of my home. Ahhh sweet relief, all of my childhood fears are resolved, well at least the silly ones are.

But the things I do fear as an adult are much more complicated and less easily dispelled from those I harbored as a child. Now I fear the cold, angry, distressed man I could become. I fear not having a set identity, but rather being a jack off all trades eager to please everyone, that push over type image. I fear being lost between two worlds, the white American and the Korean blood. I fear not having family, either my adoptive, my birth family, or a family all my own that I make one day with someone I love. I fear not being loved. I fear not being understood, mostly these feelings inside me that very few seem to pay heed to or have the patience to try or the ones that I keep locked up that few people know exist within. These fears of mine are not easily dispelled. Not like when I was a child and petting a docile snake, or leaping from tree branches, or turning on all the lights as to assure no one was lurking in the shadows; I could get over these fears, I could conquer them. These fears are of a different nature, they take time and experience.

As a child I always feared being different, I loathed standing out. Now the thought of being stuck in this place eats at me even more. I fear our suburbs, our super markets, our chain restaurants. I become anxious when I walk through our sterile malls, I bit my nails when I am at Cheesecake Factory, I smoke till my lings hurt when I am at the bar. Ever since I was a child I realized this picture wasn’t right and I feared that it may never be. I just want the eyes in the pictures I take to be more chinky, I want the hair to be darker, I want to not be the only one giving the peace sign. But I am afraid that this will never happen. The nurture has been branded so deep inside of me that I am at a point of no return.

I hate this identity that I am stuck with for the rest of my natural life. That I will always be someone who was given away, someone who was bought. At least hookers choose their Johns, when my body was sold I had no choice. Like walking through the red light district of Amsterdam someone sized me up and decided to have a go. I fear that this will always be with me. Forever I will be the object of someone else desire. I will fill that emptiness for someone whom was not to really be mine. But who will fill mine. Surely I could not ask someone to do what was so wrongly done to me. Some say it was fate, some say it was love, some say it was God. I don’t know whom or what it was, but I know I shall never be what I desire and that scares me.

I am afraid that I am small and lost in all of this. There is no road map, no guide on how to navigate this whole situation. There are so few of us and our voice is little more than a whisper in the night. I fear being attacked and ostracized for this speak, what more could be taken from me that has not already been taken. How much more are we to give and why would you even ask knowing that we cling to such humble strands as it is. There was a wave of you whom started this and gave us a voice and an outline on how to work though it, but the system and the circumstance was always changing and I fear I wont be heard, that the landscape is no longer recognizable. I fear that I am only one and thus out casted from the collective. I know many, I met my share, all ages, both sexes, but I still stood out, even amongst those whom I shared the essentials with. I fear that there aren’t more guys and girls my age whom feel like I do, thus I keep my voice even lower still because I don’t want to be outed even more than I already am. Has the fog become so thick and the procedure so well honed that you don’t even know you’re in it. Why did I leave in the first place, how am I the only one who sees what this is. I fear someone like you won’t come by these parts ever again and still I will be left lonely. I fear crying too loud because someone might hear me and know this pain. I wish no one in this world ever know this for themselves, that would truly be too cruel.

I don’t know what else to say other than I am scared of being alone in this. Where are my kin? Where are the ones who see the world in the same shades I do. Where is my best friend whom can hold my hand as we shine the flash light underneath the bed and scare away all the monsters lurking in the darkness. Where is the buddy who will jump off the bridge and into the river only to emerge from the water to signal that everything is safe. Where is the companion who will emerge from the dark cave and signal that everything is alright and that through the darkness there is treasure. Why did you have to go so early. Now I am left to cower underneath the covers, this plastic orange flashlight the only things keeping me sane. If I can nourish this light just a little while longer, before the batteries run out maybe day will break and I can at last come out from underneath my protective dwelling. Pray that Energizer does not lie and that these double A’s will keep going, because I don’t know how long the night will last or if morning will ever come.

I fear doing all of this alone. I wish you could have checked underneath the bed at least once before you shut the door.

I by rule try to stay away form AP/PAP blogs. I also by rule try to stay out of discussions with AP/PAP’s on other peoples blogs and forums. I guess I really just don’t want to be involved with the whole foray of having to justify my feelings or convey my point of view, because really why should I have to. These are my feelings, I try to own them as best I can, but at the end of the day I am not here to help AP’s or PAP’s try to do a better job than my parents did.

I want to say first and foremost, my parents did a pretty spectacular job raising me. I mean if I do say so myself I am pretty stand up guy, and I attribute a lot of my most becoming characteristics to them. However I will say that they have a lot of work to do in understanding who I am becoming as it relates to my feeling on adoption, family, adulthood, loss, etc. etc. I also want to point out that despite their parenting prowess I really do believe that they never saw a lot of this “angry adoptee” stuff coming. So really I don’t fault or blame them for not understanding what is going on with me, but, but really they should be doing a bit more than sweeping my feelings and my views on the whole lot under the rug. Yes I am older now, yes I am pretty much a full fledged adult, but parenting is something that lasts a lifetime. And to think that I am the same person at 22 that I was at 12 would be a major oversight and a bit naive if you ask me.

This is definitely a new age for AP’s and PAP’s . Unlike my parents who had no internet, no blogs, no forums to read from, this new crop of AP’s has a plethora of resources to take advantage of. However the more and more I read(although I try not to read AP blogs) the more and I more I am convinced that nothing will change. My feelings on it are never really swayed as to think that AP’s get it and that another child out there will be spared the pain and agony that I have so wonderfully discovered. I think that despite the outpouring of love and affection a parent gives and even with the application of culture, diversity, and discovery, it is my opinion that there are inherent problems that reside within every adoptee, whether they are aware of it or not. And with that I must say bravo to those adoptees who have enough strength to suppress the questions, and the pain. My hat is off to the proverbial hairdresser’s cousins adopted daughter, and your friends high school sweethearts BFF’s brother who are totally “cool” with being adopted.

But what is really on my tits currently, and this comes from reading some AP’s blogs and their comments on adoptees blogs is this feeling I get that AP’s are just the best shit since sliced bread. This statement may come off as crude and undeveloped but I really could give a toss. I call it as I see and it and the way I see it is despite all the posturing of being proper and the faining to be enlightened and open, I just see the dross. I see AP’s touting the strides they are making to adjust their kids to being different, I see them putting on display their newly bought little angles that they put in demeaning little t-shirts. I see them attack adoptee’s for having a voice and for feeling that way that A LOT of us do. All we really want as adoptee’s is to have a voice and a place where we can find solace in others, knowing that someone understands our feelings. And that is what I percieve as a problem witha  lot of AP’s. Despite your words and your posts we will always feel as though you are intruding on our space. I will always feel that AP’s see the win-win side of adoption even when they say they see our pain and our struggle, you don’t and you can’t. I believe that you only see it as the love you’re giving and the life you’re providing for a child. It is almost like God complex and it is driving me crazy. Maybe some of you are doing the “right things” and if you believe so then fine, I don’t want to hear about it. Just leave it out and let us have our little community.

I want to finish this by saying shame on you for expecting so much of us. For asking us to take on yet another responsibility. That we are expected to be the voice and the knowledge for all you new AP’s out there and at the same time we are blasted for being honest and open about our feelings. We do as best we can in the only way we know how. What we experience is still somewhat uncharted waters and we are just trying to make it work. So get off it and leave us be.

Note: To all AP’s who might want to post on this. Go ahead bring the noise, defend yourself. But keep in mind I write this for me and I write this for my fellow adoptee’s. It is not for you and I never posture myself as any sort medium for AP’s. Again I do this for me and for those who share my situation. Oh and don’t give me your pitty or your *hugs* i don’t need them, not from you.

My sister is home visiting for a few weeks. She has the summers off and seeing as how she is pregnant, her best friend is getting married, my father is going to have major surgery, and she wasn’t here for Christmas, she figured now would be a good time to revisit the place we all called home. She has considered Minneapolis her home for quite some time now but I suspect Rochester will always be her “home”, but for me this place, this house has not been a “home” for quite sometime. In fact I am not sure this place has ever been a home to me.

Mom is so advantageous when my sister comes home. The house always spotless, refrigerator always stocked, intricate meals always prepared. Why just the other day she proclaimed to me and my friend that Katie(my sister) is indeed my father and mothers favorite child. She is by all accounts the most well behaved, the best educated, and the most presentable of my parents three children. Alex(my brother) although socially inept, always unkempt looking, irresponsible, and an all around nut bag is most likely the second favorite child. Even despite his problems with the law, drugs, and mental instability, I am sure that the folks would proudly proclaim him as their son in a heart beat. Then there is me. I think I rank 5th on the list of favorites, slotted in right behind the two cats, however it must be said that my father is not a huge fan of the cats; so if we average my mother and fathers power rankings I may come in at a solid forth. Why so low on the totem pole you might ask. Well it is very simple really, I didn’t and do not accept that love is all that matters in a family, especailly a family that is beholden to a TRA.

Now I mention my sister and brother to set the scene. Dad was down at the lake house that night checking up on the family friends that were staying there for the week. I came home late from work because I stopped off at Starbucks to get a coffee per my usual end of day routine. One of my best friends works there and is going through a sour patch so I waited for him to take break and we conversed and smoked cigarettes.

So I came home and walked up to my room, changing out of my work attire I turned on the ceiling fan to help squelch the stifling heat. Mom was buzzing about the kitchen getting things together for the grand meal she had prepared in celebration of my sisters first day home. I stayed in my room and played video games trying to zone out from the hectic work day. Now, had my sister not been in town I do not think I would have received a call from the kitchen informing me that dinner was ready. I have become quite accustomed to this as usually the family dines without me, neglecting to inform me that anything has been prepared and that I am welcomed to join in. This is fine, I mean really I am 22 and should really be on my own providing for myself, but whatever. Tonight I was summoned for dinner.

So Katie called me down to the kitchen to join them in the big meal mom had slaved over. So I paused my game and went shuffling down into the kitchen. Ribs, glazed pork chops, garlic green beans, mashed potatoes with chives, and a salad that consisted of spinach mandarin oranges and shaved white onion all adorned the table. Even the fancy glass water pitcher, nice silver, and fancy plates were all brought out for this meal. I often wonder if when I go away will such a fuss be made over my return, probably not, lest we not forget I probably rank 5th.

We sat there eating, somewhat conversing (me doing little to provide to the conversation), my brother farting as loud and as crass as he could, mom looking over with discontent. Side note: I can’t even look at him anymore, his presence alone makes me sick. To think that I am supposed to be cordial to such a disgusting human being. It is in our last name alone that we find commonality, for if it were not for this and the fact that we have spent most of our lives together I would have no hesitation cutting down such a vile person. It is to be said that in the past week I have decided to no longer consider him a brother and he is officially written off as nothing more than a person I know through mutual acquaintance.

I am not sure what we were all on about, I believe mom was talking about how despite my Aunt’s humble upbringing she always fancied herself higher than her actual lot in life. That is when the subject turned to me. It was her sharp little words, the tone in her voice, the cold fire in her stare. It was at this point I knew God was not a genie. You can’t just call on him and expect him to grant your every wish. For at that moment I prayed for death. In my mind I closed my eyes, crossed myself like a good Catholic boy, and put my hands together and pleaded with God to strike me dead right where I sat. I wanted all of this pain, all of this anger, all of this sadness to go away. I wanted to float up to a place where my head no longer pounded with thought and contemplation and my heart no longer cried out with sadness, I wanted a place where I could escape all of these feelings, a place where I could rest. But God is not a genie.

She sat there stared right at me and said “but I guess love is not good enough, love is not enough to sustain and please my boys”. It cut me, those words ripping right at my heart. I knew then what I have been thinking all along. That I have been a dissapointment, that I am not what my parents expected when they decided to adopt all those years ago. I have hurt them with my rejection of thier love and my desire to seek out who I am. The fact that I have not been their lap dog, their little china doll pains them, and it pains me too. At that moment I wanted to die and aleviate all of our suffering. To take away all of the let down that has followed my into my years of manhood. I knew I should not feel sorry for feeling this way, for feeling like I have let them down in some way, but I did. I have hurt them and made them sad because I have discovered needs and desires which don’t coincide with their own dreams of what I was to be. I know it’s not my fault and that both my parents and I should just try and be as compassionate to eachother as the situation would allow and hopefully we can move forward and create some sort of working amicable relationship. But this is my burden, this is an adoptee’s burden.

This concept of tip toeing around the issues, like a presidential hopeful. The idea of being subservient to those who so “lovingly” brought me into their home and hoped for a smooth assimilation. The notion that I would be just like their natural born children. The racism, the alienation, responsibility of two lives. These are all my burdens. And without any mind paid to me and my feelings I am supposed to carry this and do my damnedest to not hurt anyones feeling. This of course while my innards are ripped to shreds, my self image and identity crushed, and my sense of security all but destroyed. But I am tired and worn now and I just want to die. If only God was a genie at that moment he could have granted me that pleasure.

We finished up and before my brother scooted off to do God knows what he looked me down and explained what a disappointment I have been to the family for not cutting the lawn. That dad told him how let down he was that I had not been more helpful. Thanks ass hole, if you only knew what pain I feel you might not be so quick to add insult to injury even if you words were minor. The fact that a degenerate fuck like you could lay even another tiny burden upon me makes me writhe with anger and sadness. So I kept quiet because that’s what adoptees do right. When confronted with such emotion and suffering we shut up shop and let what’s said be said. Then we run to our computers and say all the things we wished we were allowed to say to our AP’s. We console one another in our tiny community and we accept *hugs* from complete strangers over the internet.

I told her it was a great meal and that she did a wonderful job on the ribs and shuffled back up to my room. Sister and mom went for a walk along the canal and Alex was no where to be seen. I sat there in the heat staring at the TV, the paused screen of my video game. I was loosing to Middlesbrough 2-0. Again I prayed to God maybe a little more loud this time, hoping that he would heed my call, nothing. So I did the only thing that seemed sensible at the time, I smoked. I walked out to my car lit up another cigarette, took a deep inhale and let go.

As I watched the smoke float upwards towards the evening sky, the sun still peeking over the tree tops, the warm summer breeze tossing my now longish hair, I prayed again. This time to RJ Reynolds, the manufacturer of Camel cigarettes. For all the piss that people take out of smoking and smoking related death, I figured who other than RJ Reynolds to heed my call for death. I hoped that this one cigarette would be the one to do me in. But alas it was not to be, as it turns out a lifetime of smoking is needed before it actually kills you. FUCK. What a shitty product. For all the lobbying and all the campaigning and all the studies and commercials that claim smoking kills, This product comes up short when I need it most. Why then does this product not perform as advertised. Bullshit I tell you. Oh well one more disappointment, per the norm.

God, Mr. Reynolds, Magic Genie, if your listening………….could you hook a brother up.

Now I have never been a friend of “man’s best friend”; dogs and I just don’t seem to get on very well. I tried, I mean as a child we always had a dog or two and I was more than obliged to try and befriend them, but it just never happened. I guess some people just don’t get along with dogs very well. But try as I might there was always something in my subconscious that made me feel as if I really didn’t like dogs.

I think it is the idea of dog ownership and aquisition that has always rubbed me so wrong. I have come to equate dog ownership to that of adoption. I know they are our loyal compainions and they are our so called “best friends” but when I look at owner and their dogs I become sick.

Most often we take these young pups, right fromm their litter, ripped from their mothers care and nourishment and for a fee we place them in our homes. We train them to “behave” in a certain manner and they are expected to oblige, because we provide for them, we feed them, we give them a place to live. But what was so bad about living with the creature that gave them birth, what is right about placing these pups in an environment so alien to them, without any sort support of recognizable presence. To force these young creatures to adapt and conform to their master seems somewhat wrong.

Now I know there are people out there who will take my equation to human adoption and dog ownership as a bit harsh. But this is how it feels to me. We fill a need by going out into market and finding a body to occupy the empty space within us. But scared puppies long for the love and nurture from their mother, these wrinkled little masses shiver in fear of being somewhere that is so unknown. And when they don’t accept their new “masters” and act out of accordance to our standards we put them in shelters, or worse we put them down. We think these “naughty” dogs are the bad picks of the litter and wish that we had chosen a different one from the breeder and maybe we should have done a bit more homework as opposed to picking based on the cute cuddly face that sat before us.

I guess it is just no wonder adoption still exists in this manner when as a society we perform a similar level of it with dogs.

note: this post is an evolving line of thought.