me b zola
me b zola's Journal
Member since: Thu Nov 11, 2004, 09:06 PM
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Number of posts: 18,138
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Transracial is a term to describe interracial adoptees and is commonly used in organisational and academic contexts. Simply put, a transracial person is someone raised in a culture or race different from their own. Having been raised by her white parents and choosing to identify as a person of another race, Dolezal does not get to use this term.
I am a transracial adoptee. I was born in South Korea in the late 80s and I am ethnically Korean. My birth family, struggling with sickness and poverty before Korea’s economic boom in the 90s, put me up for adoption. I was adopted to Australia and raised by Australian parents. The people I call Mum and Dad are white. They are of Irish, German, Scottish and English descent and grew up in inner-suburban Sydney. They do not speak any other languages apart from English and some long-forgotten high school German. People would ask my mother if she had an Asian husband. When I was older, neighbours thought I was an exchange student. A creepy man in our neighbourhood with a mail-order bride asked my father, when I was 14, if I was his wife.
I don’t regret my time in Korea, but I am constantly reminded that no matter how hard I try, I will never truly be Korean – every time I open my mouth and my Australian-accented Korean comes out, when I forget to take off my shoes or hold my right elbow when I give something to someone and all these little rules that I never knew about until 2013. The worst is when I am reduced to communicating with my own family with English and Korean baby talk and exaggerated hand movements. I’m torn between berating myself for not getting my own culture “right” and seeing it through a privileged Western lens, as well as the frustration that I was cut off from it for 25 years through no fault of my own.
This confusion over racial identity is a very common experience for transracial adoptees, and something that I would not wish on anybody.
Being transracial is hardly similar to “feeling black”, like Rachel Dolezal claims. It’s not like gender dysphoria either – the politics of race and gender are not interchangeable in this context. Unlike many black Americans, Rachel’s family background does not carry the trauma of slavery and institutionalised racism. Unlike people who really are transracial, Rachel has not been physically torn between two cultures and denied intimate knowledge of her birth culture. Unlike people who are black and transracial adoptees, Rachel has not had to deal with both of these life-affecting experiences at the same time.
~~~~more @ link~~~~
For clarity, I am not the author of the post that I linked to. I am not transracial, but I follow Kevin Vollmers' Land of Gazillion Adoptees (LGA). The true transracial community is quite large and it is very sad that with so many adoptive families on this board no one has stepped up to say that yes, there is a very real thing called transracial. There are dozens of transracial groups out there, creating a space where adoptees can share experiences and come to a place of empowerment and educating adoptive families on the unique issues that their transracial child will face.
There is an excellent web show Adoptees In The Wild that interviews transracial adoptees. I highly recommend it to anyone connected to a transracial person.
on edit: I would like to thank the two DUers who have made reference to the correct usage of the word transracial on another thread. DU is a wonderful tool to inform and become informed. On issues like this where there is very little known to "outsiders" it is important to inform our community members.
Posted by me b zola | Tue Jun 16, 2015, 07:54 PM (10 replies)
The Fitzgerald Bible Bruff award is a new award that has been instigated by Bruff Heritage Group in recognition of the connection between the Fitzgerald bible and Bruff, and the role it played in the Fitzgerald Kennedy family.
Ms Lee, 82, is receiving the award for her work in setting up the Philomena Lee Project which helps adopted people find their birth parents. The project also campaigns for a change in legislation which will given adopted children the right to access their original birth certificate. She has previously been awarded the Eleanor Roosevelt Award in the Unites States for her project.
Philomena, which stars Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, tells the tragic yet often uplifting true story of Ms Lee who was forced to give her infant son up for adoption in 1952 when she was just 19. Her lifelong search to trace her son Anthony, who was effectively sold to an American couple by the convent where she lived after giving birth, was initially turned into a book and was then adapted for cinema.
The last high profile guest at the Thomas Fitzgerald Centre was Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of the 35th president of the United States of America, John Fitzgerald Kennedy. She visited Bruff in the summer of 2013 to see where her ancestors, the Fitzgerald family, came from. The Fitzgerald family bible which was brought to the US from Bruff was used in the inauguration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1961, confirming Bruff’s close links to the Fitzgeralds.
~more @ link~
I really, really loved that film. It exposed the reality of forced adoptions of the Baby Scoop Era which most people want to ignore and pretend didn't happen. It happened to my mother here in the States, and it happened to millions of women.
But I thought what made the film exceptional was that it addressed the emotional complexities of it all. The only person in her son's life who knew that he was searching for his mother was his husband. Countless people who were "close" to Philomena's son had no idea.
The film also did a wonderful job in showing how the shame continued to haunt Philomena, like countless other mothers of loss. It showed how she had to work through all of the emotional knots in order to work through the courage to find him.
If you care about women's issues, then please watch this film, and then watch it again.
Posted by me b zola | Mon Jun 8, 2015, 01:44 PM (11 replies)
On this date, 4/17/1963, Adults entered into a contract that limited my rights without my permission
Fifty-two years ago today I was born and immediately removed from my mother. My mother, and an adoption agency entered ==>>ME==<< into a legally binding contract without my permission but yet affects me for my entire life. Today I am going to not speak about how this contract affects my son and my four grandchildren, as well as the human rights issues in how my mother came to be involved in this contract to begin with. Today is about me. Today is about my rights.
I am a fifty-two year old woman who is not legally entitled to my own birth certificate. My own birth documents were sealed away upon my birth, and the contract signed by adults at the time of my birth say that I am not entitled to them. Lets skip past the part that I am in reunion with both sides of my family and of course my advancing age. What other infant can be the object of a legal contract that will affect them for their entire life? How can this odious practice begin to even meet the lowest of ethical standards for any institution?
Do parents have the right to obligate their infant into a contract that will last a lifetime? How about a parent who is offered assistance if they sign their infant up for military service? If that crazy analogy makes you say 'hell no!' then how can it be okay for the crazy circumstance that I was born into?
For those who want to dismiss any adoptee for demanding the right to their own birth documents, I would only say that privilege makes it difficult to see beyond your own circumstance. You have yours, so its no big-deal that others have no access to theirs. As far as you are concerned my water fountain is lovelier than yours so I should just STFU...right?
This is a civil and human rights issue. No one has the right to impose their legal contract on me, no one gets to say which of my own personal documents I have access to.
If you say that you support adoption, then please, support adoptees. Support equal rights for adoptees. Only 20% or so of our lives is spent as children. We are human beings and deserve the same rights as other citizens.
Support adoptee rights, no "mother may I', but true legislation that allows us the same rights as you.
Posted by me b zola | Fri Apr 17, 2015, 01:30 PM (68 replies)
**THIS** is the answer and the way. "Adopt" young mothers who are in need of help and stop the un-necessarily separation of
A 23-year-old Sunshine Coast university student has spoken about taking his pregnant teenage cousin under his own roof to care for her and her newborn.
“I became the legal foster parent for her to make sure she’d keep the baby, stay off the streets and have a better life,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I became the legal foster parent for her to make sure she’d keep the baby, stay off the streets and have a better life,” he wrote on Facebook.
“When bad things happen, it's your family that supports you,” he wrote.
“It means no one gets left behind or forgotten.
“I've had my family pull my head out of the gutter before... It was time to pay it forward.”
~more @ link~ http://www.9news.com.au/world/2015/04/15/11/46/queensland-university-student-adopts-homeless-and-pregnant-teenage-cousin#gig_comment_id=041c9ce8d860415885030a7a9d69f4dd
Respect children and their mothers. If you say that you care about the poor and those in difficult situations, then support keeping families together.
Posted by me b zola | Wed Apr 15, 2015, 01:35 PM (4 replies)
Dear Adoptive Parents: The Burden of Adoptee Loyalty
Dear Adoptive Parents,
I want you to listen. I want you to read this and truly consider it. For the sake of the ones you love and call your own.
You have no understanding of the burden of Adoptee Loyalty that your adopted child bears.
You do not realize that he will sacrifice his own feelings and desires for your sake--and that he does this subconsciously, because you also have no idea how easily, how quickly the unspoken thoughts and emotions inside of you, the silent and passive cues you communicate are internalized by your adopted child.
The burden of Adoptee Loyalty will compel your adopted child to remain silent on the things closest to her heart because she can sense these dark things scare you, make you uncomfortable, threaten you.
When she hears you talking about how you ultimately think she will be fine and won’t have many issues because adoptive parents today know so much more about adoption and birth families than did adoptive parents of yesterday, she will internalize your words and teach herself to be fine and to ignore her emotions and questions, because the burden of Adoptee Loyalty is not easily set aside. She wants to please you so that you will want to keep her. She wants you to see her as you want to see her because this will assure her position in your family.
She will be loyal to you above all else because this is what you have taught her is most important to you. By both your spoken and unspoken cues. Because she realizes deep down, at a subconscious, instinctive level that what matters to you most is that this adoption work out the way you want to work out--that you are desperate to see this adoption be what you always dreamed it would be:
That happy ending of a doting, grateful, happy child eager to sing your praises, eager to thank Almighty Adoption and Almighty Adoptive Parents for giving her such a wonderful life.
And so, she knows that if she shows anything other than that, if she departs even a little from that narrative, if she comes to a different conclusion, she may cause you pain and hence, face rejection again. And that is more than she can handle.
She must cling to Adoptee Loyalty so that her fragile world does not fly apart.
Your children will never genuinely feel free to be their true, unfiltered selves as long as they carry the burden and guilt and obligation of Adoptee Loyalty. They need to understand and trust that they can have their own thoughts, emotions, ideas, perspectives, conclusions about adoption and know that you will not take it personally or feel threatened or freak out if they happen to diverge from you. If you allow them to continue to carry the burden of Adoptee Loyalty, they may never allow themselves to acknowledge and much less pursue the deeper parts of themselves.
There are profound and beautiful parts of your adopted children that you, that the world will never see as long as they feel their existence, their lives, their experience of love is contingent upon their loyalty to you.
As their parents, it is your responsibility to recognize this burden they bear. And to help them unpack and unload it. It is your responsibility to empower them to let go of the heavy load of Adoptee Loyalty. If you allow your adopted children to continue to carry such a burden, you are demonstrating that your comfort and ego are more important to you than the well-being and self-actualization that you promised to give to the children you are supposed to love above yourselves.
~more & http://www.thelostdaughters.com/2015/04/dear-adoptive-parents-burden-of-adoptee.html
This has needed to be said for a long time. End the fantasy and fairy tales of adoption and look at the reality.
Posted by me b zola | Sat Apr 4, 2015, 04:55 PM (53 replies)
Adam is an American of Korean ancestry.
Please, please watch:
And BTW, Kevin Vollmers is a fearless advocate for social justice and someone who should be followed and listened to.
Posted by me b zola | Fri Apr 3, 2015, 07:43 PM (0 replies)
#KeepAdamHome: Stop Adam Crapser's Deportation Now
In 1979, Adam Crapser arrived in the United States as a Korean adoptee. Accompanied by his older sister, Adam’s life in this country quickly became a nightmare.
First adopted by the Wright family in Michigan, Adam found himself the victim of physical abuse. In 1986 and without completing Adam’s naturalization papers, the Wrights relinquished their parental rights to county services in an effort to “rehome” the adopted siblings. As wards of the state, the county separated Adam from his sister and sent him to live in a group home.
One year into life in the group home, Adam was adopted the by Thomas and Dolly-Jean Crapser in Oregon who – along with their biological children – subjected Adam to unspeakable physical, emotional, and sexual abuse and torture. Four long years later, the Crapsers were arrested, charged, and plead guilty to multiple counts of child abuse, child sex abuse, and child rape.
No doubt, Adam Crapser is a survivor. And like many survivors of abuse and violence, he bears the life-long marks of trauma. Despite this, Adam is building a life as a married father of three children, with a fourth due this spring. Now, he’s focused on living a healthy, productive life in the country he calls home.
But the federal government isn’t so quick to let Adam call America his home. In January, the Department of Homeland Security slapped him with deportation papers. Just a few short weeks from now, Adam will begin the proceedings that will determine whether or not he’ll continue building a life with his family in the only country he’s ever known as home, or if he’ll be deported to Korea – a land to which he has no connection.
With Adam’s hearing bearing down on April 2nd, there is a way to bring the threat of deportation to a full-stop. Raphael Sanchez, the person at the helm of the Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC), has the power to completely end these legal proceedings against Adam. The OCC is the office that prosecutes immigrants before the Immigration Court. In an act of prosecutorial discretion, Sanchez could call for administrative closure – essentially walking away from the case and having it closed by the court. Once this happens, Adam can renew his green card indefinitely.
Even more, legislative efforts are underway to grant retroactive citizenship to all international adoptees whose naturalizations were not originally covered by the Child Citizenship Act (CCA) of 2000. An amendment to the CCA would allow Adam to stay home with his family and finally receive the citizenship that was promised to him – but this can only happen if he isn’t deported.
Adam’s children need him. His wife needs him. This country is his home, and he should not be deported because his abusive adoptive parents failed to complete his naturalization paperwork.
Demand that Raphael Sanchez #KeepAdamHome by enacting administrative closure on Adam Crapser’s deportation case.
Sign the petition @ link http://action.18mr.org/crapser/
Posted by me b zola | Tue Mar 31, 2015, 10:22 AM (0 replies)
A new law that took effect yesterday unseals the adoption files of some 400,000 adoptees whose Ohio adoptions were finalized between Jan. 1, 1964, and Sept. 18, 1996. Advocates had long pushed for the change, decrying a three-tiered statute whereby records access depended on when the adoption took place.
Now, adults adopted between 1964 and 1996 — the group that had been barred from obtaining their records — can request their files. Such records usually contain the adoptee’s original birth certificate.
The law that kept Ohioans from learning their personal and medical histories was cruel, Vercellotti said, and hollow in its attempt to shield birthparents who didn’t want their identities hidden.
“I don’t know anything,” she said. “But I have no bitterness. I’m just happy that I might be able to get at least a part of me — a piece of my heart that’s been missing for a long time.”
The Ohio Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics at 614-466-2531 or go to www.odh.ohio.gov/en/vitalstatistics/legalinfo/adoptfnl.aspx. Other information: Adoption Network Cleveland, 216-325-1000, www.adoptionnetwork.org; Ohio Birthparent Group, www.ohiobirthparents.org.
Posted by me b zola | Sat Mar 21, 2015, 10:55 AM (0 replies)
An excellent article from Gazillion Voices about baby boxes in general, and the horrible rw movie about them:
“Imagine a large river with a high waterfall. At the bottom of this waterfall hundreds of people are working frantically trying to save those who have fallen into the river and have fallen down the waterfall, many of them drowning. As the people along the shore are trying to rescue as many as possible one individual looks up and sees a seemingly never-ending stream of people falling down the waterfall and begins to run upstream. One of other rescuers hollers, “Where are you going? There are so many people that need help here.” To which the man replied, “I’m going upstream to find out why so many people are falling into the river.” – Saul Alinsky, in Shelden & Macallair
On March 3, 2015, The Drop Box, a documentary film, was released in select theaters for three days throughout the United States. Directed by American filmmaker Brian Ivie and presented by Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian group, this film tells the story of Korean Pastor Lee Jong-rak who built a “baby box” outside of his home. This baby box makes it possible for anyone, specifically unwed mothers, to anonymously abandon their children. The Drop Box celebrates Pastor Lee’s efforts by presenting a narrative of his life, his rationale behind creating the baby box, and the work he is doing to care for his own adopted children and others he temporarily fosters, mainly children who face mental and physical challenges. As described on The Drop Box’s official website, this film explores “the physical, emotional, and financial toll associated with providing refuge to orphans that would otherwise be abandoned on the streets.” The website points out that this “is also a story of hope—a reminder that every human life is sacred and worthy of love.”
That being said, I also believe The Drop Box presents a limited, distorted, and strategically contrived perspective of the baby box. The baby box is a temporary band-aid fix for systemic problems, and the film does little to address these. The Drop Box glorifies the baby box and, in doing so, exacerbates these problems by presenting child abandonments as inevitable while demonizing unwed mothers. What concerns me is that the film does not examine nor even acknowledge any of the economic, cultural, or social factors that have forced many unwed mothers and vulnerable families into relinquishing their children. What is even more alarming is the film’s inaccurate and harsh portrayal of unwed mothers as potential baby killers or selfish women who will recklessly abandon their children on the side of the road.
The film cites that 60% of the mothers who abandon their children in the baby box are teenagers. They will kill their own babies or leave them on the side of the road if it were not for the baby box.
This citation inaccurately describes, dehumanizes, and demonizes unwed mothers in Korea. According to Dr. Helen Noh of Soongsil University from the Department of Social Work, the average age of unwed mothers who are raising children is 25.1 years, and 77.3% of adult unwed mothers have college degrees. Moreover, according to a New York Times article in 2009, nearly 96% of Korean unwed pregnant women choose abortion. Among the 4% who carry their babies to full term, about 70% are believed to give up their babies for adoption. Though illegal, abortion is widely practiced in Korea. Therefore, it is possible to deduce that a woman who carries her baby to full term has considered the possibility of raising it herself. I want to emphasize that abortion is rarely an alternative to abandonment. Relinquishing a child to adoption or leaving it in the baby box is an alterative to parenting. Baby box abandonment is certainly not the best solution. But to some who are unaware of their rights, options, and obligations, it may seem like the only viable one.
Reclaiming Abandoned Children
According to an article published by SBS (2014), 383 babies or children were left in the baby box between December 2009 and February 2014. Of these 383 babies and children, 120 of their parents returned to the baby box to reclaim them.
The Drop Box highlights the number of children who have been abandoned since the creation of the baby box. However, it makes no mention of parents who returned to reclaim their babies a day, days, or any period of time after leaving their child in the baby box. The fact that 120 parents changed their minds, returned to the baby box, and brought their babies home to raise them, suggests these parents did not have the intention of killing or leaving them on the streets to die. To put it another way, if you build it, they will come. The baby box provides women, who are most likely in an emotionally vulnerable state, with a quick, easy, yet illegal solution to parenting struggles. I believe that many mothers would exercise other options if the baby box did not exist, such as legally giving up her child for ethical adoption or choosing to raise her baby. The baby box facilitates and encourages illegal abandonments. Abandonment is illegal in Korea. A more constructive action would be to educate expecting mothers on their rights, options, and obligations to their children. Additionally, there will always be mothers who are unwilling or incapable of raising their own children. In this case, I support legal relinquishment at adoption agencies, hospitals, police stations, etc., and legal and ethical adoptions.
In Korean adoptee Susan Cox’s essay collection, Voices from Another Place (1999), she writes: “Adoptees are usually identified and defined as children. That we mature, grow up and come into our own wisdom is often not acknowledged. We can and wish to speak for ourselves.” I am a Korean adoptee who has struggled for ten years to obtain my adoption records from Holt, my Korean adoption agency. I have never even been allowed to touch my file. I spent eight years searching for my Korean mother, only to stumble upon what may or may not be her burial site last year. I recognize the challenges she faced as an unwed mother, and the mental health issues that affected my Korean family. I know that I was never an orphan that needed to be saved.
The babies who are left in the baby box are not orphans. Moreover, the baby box is creating a population of people who will never have access to their own information, including personal and medical histories. It is a human right, not a luxury, to know this information. For adult Korean adoptees, birth family searches can be filled with multiple challenges. Some searches may take just a few weeks before adoptees and original families are reunited, while others may span years or even decades and yield few answers. Restricted access to adoption records, incorrect information, and falsified records are some of the obstacles that hinder the reunion process. Children who are anonymously abandoned in the baby box will never have access to their information. Pastor Lee’s intentions are sincere, but the baby box is a temporary solution that facilitates illegal abandonments and grows the population of Korean adoptees who will never have access to their personal histories.
~more @ link~
Although an outstanding article, I cannot understand the respect given to the creators of this film and their horrible ideology. I certainly would never. The baby market craves infants and young children with no history, no link to their family, and to human traffickers baby boxes are a gold mine.
Posted by me b zola | Thu Mar 19, 2015, 01:34 PM (1 replies)