In the news

As an adopted person, I have heard my fair share of how people use the word “adopt” or “adopted” to suite their fancy in the most egregious ways.  Is there no other way to define the acquisition of things like dolls, antiques, laws, roads and the like without using the word “adoption”?  Every time I hear the word not related to children and families I find myself irritated.

Actually, today, I am eating my words.  I saw an article linked on Huffington Post titled “Controversy Alert: Is Bobbi Kristina Dating Her Adopted Brother?”  Aside from the admission that I am an entertainment gawker and a fan of HuffPo as my source for all things entertainment, I admit this pissed me off.  This fiction made the national circulation?  “Unofficially adopted”?  And highlighting the tag word “incestuous”?  I am trying to make sense of this as I am sure there are a ton of young girls and boys reading this article and maybe some of them are adopted and wondering, what the hell?  What is this reporter’s definition of adoption?

What is ticking me off more than anything is that this story gets posted and seen by millions only to confuse the public yet again about what adoption really is about.  And yet where are the mass eyeballs and outrage of the case of Paul and Paula Dunham of St. Cloud, MN, a story passed around among my adoptee friends but not read anywhere else?  So, I am passing this along again for those of you who have not seen it.  The idea that this continues to exist in the adoption world is far scarier and worrisome.  This is worth my time to think about, I hope you do too:

2 thoughts on “In the news

  1. So, not having read any of your past posts, I’m wondering – are you pro adoption? Are you pro large family? Or against either or both of these?

    The heart of the issue with the Dunham family is this – foster and adopted children usually have greater emotional and behavioral needs than other children. Their lives have been difficult (HUGE understatement). Even in-utero, there are many, many times that the bio mother is doing things that are detrimental to her developing fetus (maybe not even knowing it consciously). Poor diet, medication overuse or drug/alcohol use, ambivilance about the pregnancy, stress – all of these things can affect their unborn child emotionally mentally and cognitively. Then the child is born and may be surrounded by stress, trauma, neglect, etc. which leads to cps referrals – more stress, eventual removal from all things familiar to them and on and on it goes. The foster care system is a whole other story. Some kids are neglected in foster care – or abused – or moved around dozens of times – and their emotional needs and behaviors get worse. Everyone assumes that love will fix all of this. The fact is that extreme trauma and stress can literally change the brain. How do you undo this? Kisses and hugs and trips to the park? These kids NEED a family who will advocate for them and help them access the services that will help them heal. The Dunhams were those people. Now, the main problem is this – most of the services that would truly benefit these kids are few and far between whether you have one special needs child or 20. Most of the “professionals” hired to help these kids are underpaid, overworked and simply not educated about RAD and PTSD and other stress related disorders that cause the kids to function fine in one setting and go balistic in another. So, yes, they need that family – but they also need intensive therapy, not the once a week or once a month services that you can get if you’re lucky. Also, we are completely overlooking the genetic component with some of these kids. We all think that if we take a child out of a toxic, neglectful environment, that they will someone just be fine. We think they will be grateful and cooperative and forget their other life. It doesn’t really happen that way most of the time. There are kids who are taken from extreme poverty, given a high middle class life with adopted parents and return to that life of poverty (and all of the negative behaviors that can be attached to that) the day they turn 18 (or shortly thereafter). It seems like it’s hard-wired into their brains to live a specific lifestyle, in spite of all the love, positive role models and opportunities they’ve been given by the adopted family. It doesn’t HAVE to happen like that, it doesn’t always, but it does enough to be note worthy.

    The stuff about Bobbi Kristina was media sensationalism. It was published to catch your attention (which it did). Nobody needs to know about garbage like that, even if it’s true. It seems like no one has a “personal life” any more. Everything is speculated on and analyzed to death.

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