Holt adoption baby

sell by 12/19/66

Family Geometry

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Thinking about papercraneprayers’s comment about being uncomfortable in family photos got me to thinking about my own family photos…

One time, in an art class, the instructor was talking about composition and how people groups almost always form a “circle of love” and she demonstrated how you could overlay a circle connecting them – how hands held, arms entwined, heads positioned towards each other, etc. completed these circles physically drawing out the circle of their relationships.

Thinking about this and papercraneprayer’s comment, I realized then that there is NOT ONE photo of me and my parents in anything resembling a circle of love or even close enough for anything resembling affection.  There aren’t even any photos of me being held.  And people wonder why I have intimacy issues…I mean, come on – look at the lack of circle in this photo!  In every photo I have.  In every photo of my siblings with my parents as well.

And of course the adoptive parents are okay with the skin color difference:  they’re not the odd man out.  But ask the dark little girl in the photo above how she feels about it.  Her answer will be affirmative because her parents are within earshot and she feels fear and obligation, but every cell in her body will be squirming in discomfort.

I wonder if adoption agencies bother to look at people’s family albums?  I bet they don’t.  Would you send a child to a family that has NOT ONE candid photo of fun or affection?  No of course not.  But adoption agencies only look at income, criminal background checks, health records, letters of recommendation, and inadequate social worker home studies.  All of which any psychopath with any skills at all or socially inept and maladjusted person could pass with flying colors.

People have said to me in the past that this fate of mine had nothing to do with adoption – that these things happen in non-adopted families too, that some children are born into bad families and also don’t have any choice, that it is the luck of the draw.

To this I vociferously disagree:  adoption is an opportunity to do better than chance.  A half dozen entities, coordinated by my adoption agency, all were guilty of negligence in their duties.  Adoptive parents are too often just processed and not really screened – and they complain about the hoops they have to jump through.  Well, there aren’t enough hoops.  There isn’t a magnifying glass big enough.  And nobody’s really looking through one anyway.  Not in any meaningful way.

Apart from being sent to a dysfunctional family, just being displaced and forced to assimilate to a totally foreign life took its toll.  “Young Sook is a bright, happy child and makes friend easily.”  (paraphrase from orphanage report)  Note there is no post adoption report.  It would have said, “Leanne is a very shy child that behaves well.”

The real me was crushed.  Something terrible happened.

And it was called international adoption.


Written by girl4708

May 25, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Posted in Scattered Seeds

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2 Responses

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  1. On my report, it says: “Gets used to adults well, answers their questions easily and a little shy with strangers at first, but easily familiar with them” and “Gets along with other children well, takes part in any kind of plays together, but rather passive way.”
    (I didn’t see the Holt staff more 4 times which includes the 2 times for the Holt photos, but what they wrote was true, except the “rather passive way”. I played very actively when I liked a game)

    The aftermath of international/transracial adoption report would be: ” doesn’t know how to make friend and she has no friend, she is always alone, she is asocial.”
    (This was said by my Aparents. According to them, my asociability came from my Korean gene. Sheesh. You saw me on my photos of the orphanage,Can you believe it? I was one of the most cheerful child before being thrown in an all white area.)


    June 13, 2009 at 6:05 am

  2. These vocabularies, the syntax which structures them, and their set of speech sound units, differ creating the existence of many thousands of different types of mutually unintelligible human languages. ,


    October 22, 2009 at 8:16 pm

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