Tuesday, 18 February 2014

yeah, I said it...

I'm a member of several Facebook groups for Korean adoptees, and for some reason some of them have been extremely active lately.

obviously, I'm a member by my own choice, but it can be really emotionally draining to see post after post in my news feed because it obviously brings matters to my attention and triggers feelings.

one of the posts was a woman musing over, and asking for people's thoughts on the reason why it - in her point of view - seemed like there was a rough division within the KAD community of either "the angry" adoptee (against adoption, bad adoptive parents/family, bad life etc.) and "the happy" adoptee (good adoptive family, happy with his/her life etc.), and why the KADs weren't capable of/interested in supporting each other more since we're all KADs.

as much as people disagree, that is also roughly my experience. granted, human beings are complicated creatures, and nothing is as cut and dry as that, but in broad terms. you know, shameless generalization.

at least I have yet to meet an avid adoption opponent who has had a happy life. and by happy life I mean a life with all the struggles and heart aches that life entails in general, and with a family situation with issues that doesn't go beyond what child/parent issues could be expected in any homegrown family. someone like me.

don't get me wrong, I'm not saying adoption is a perfect system anywhere. I know there are unspeakable tragedies committed in the name of adoption every day around the world, and lots of adoptees and birth parents suffer on a daily basis. 
there are flaws and room for improvement, no doubt, but instead of going along with those who just thinks adoption should be banned, period, I think the way to create a more responsible system, is to change the cause of the system.


..I dunno this was not my point with this post. I think..... 

my thoughts are really jumbled right now cos everything is just mushing around in there, and at the moment I don't really have anyone to talk to about these things so everything just slushes around, tangents everywhere..

one thing she said, though, that really resonated with me, is the way some (several?) adoptees seem to think that if you're happy with your adoption, and don't harbour particularly ill will towards anything, you just haven't seen the light yet. 
you're still blind and naïve, and that right there sums up perfectly why I extremely rarely choose to engage in random group discussions about adoption because that condescending attitude just pisses me off. HOW. FUCKING. DARE. YOU.

a second thing that struck a chord with me, was people's responses to her "why can't/shouldn't we all just get along since we're all KADs" part.
because yes, I might agree about the generalizing two main sides, and yes, in general I definitely agree about being annoyed at the rudeness a lot of people often seem to show during discussions among KADs, but her reasoning that the fact that we're all KADs should make us band together..? nah.

I get that if you just look at it briefly, you might think that here's a group of people you have lots in common with, who understand you like no non-adopted person could, but while that might be true to some small extend. it can never be enough to unite as many people as the KADs of the world make up. I mean, come on.

at the end of the day we're all still just people with different personalities, experiences - both adoptive and in life in general - cultures, and other influences. 
how on earth should it be possible to unite a group as large as ours. I mean, that whole idea of people automatically bonding or feeling loyalty or closeness towards others simply because of a label is utopia. hell, I have family members I'm super awkward with cos I have no other relation to them other than them being "family". labels don't mean anything.

and today I read this article. yes, fair warning, it's in Danish.
it's called "I am not your brown friend". it's written by a 27 year old PH.D-student and mother-to-be, adopted from India. she addresses the way she feels adoptees constantly get defined by their skin colour (almost) before anything else, the subtle, often unintended ways racism gets to be part of our society, and how she hopes one day she can be "your friend" and not "your brown friend". 

again, while I do see her points, articles like this one always make me part excited because I do like adoption debate, but also part very tired cos they so often actually make me feel more alienated from other KADs.

and I feel like 90% of all KADs would jump me if I dared to speak my mind.

because I think a lot of KADs seem to be hyper sensitive about racism and appearance issues. I'm not saying they don't have reason, but no one ever seems to agree or admit that that's what they are.

but why can't questions like "where are you from?" just be a form of genuine interest? maybe a tiny hope for a more interesting answer than "this small town outside of whatever" that is mostly the reply.
sure, that hope might be based on a difference in skin colour, but why does it have to be a derogatory thing? 
isn't it at least also just going with the odds? the odds that say that there's a bigger chance of a non-blond having a more unusual personal story to tell than your neighbour.

it irks me that having a curious mind is so often being turned into something rude.

and why can't asking where someone, who differs racially from the norm of your country, is from as one of the first things never just be an ice breaker? like asking someone with a cast on what happened? you know, using the obvious visuals instead of the weather or sports. 

and if asked politely, the way the other person answers should make it obvious if this is something they wish to talk more about, regardless if it's about race or cast.

wouldn't asking someone where they're from also be a way of getting to the inner points of a person? why do there have to be right and wrong ways of approaching a person? again, of course if asked in a respectful manner. 

and why is she and lots of other people of the perception that it's more racist to mention the visual appreciation of mixed kids than to compliment anyone else of their outer appearance?

it's like outer features should just be completely ignored, and I don't get that. 

it's stuff like this that makes me scared to talk to people. 
and I get tired when there have to be so many unspoken rules and hidden ways to get judged and labelled as insensitive and/or racist /sigh

but then again, me being "one of them" might get me perceived as an insider so not rude and racist...?

1 comment:

  1. it irks me that having a curious mind is so often being turned into something rude.

    I love you ok. I mean I always did but you get my point! A lot of what you said had me nodding along to it in agreement.

    And as for the beginning of the post, of course, I can't know what it's like to be adopted, but I still love how you speak about it in such an ...adult manner? Not at all like many people who are just blinded by their chosen opinion.

    Just. Ilu.