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Old 09-19-2012, 07:11 AM
 
203 posts, read 199,867 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJulia View Post
I think the insistence that Sheena must be doing something wrong is played out. Can we please keep the threads from coming back to Sheena and her daughter? She has stated very clearly that she is not interested in your advice, and I am tired of cleaning up arguments, personal attacks, and gossip parties. Please just drop it and focus on something else.
Sheena (and JustJulia), my post was made in response to your question:

"My daughter is at sixteen,wants nothing to do with Korea, her Korean name or the culture. What exactly am I supposed to do?"

I've reviewed my response and cannot pinpoint anything that might come across as implying that you have done anything wrong. It is my feeling that I offered some thoughts and encouragement based on the question you posed here. This was my intent anyway. Apparently, you did not want anyone actually addressing your question or offer a response. My apologies for misunderstanding.

For clarification JustJulia, how are board participants supposed to know if a question posed is not really a question to be addressed by other participants?

 
Old 09-19-2012, 07:27 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 36,195,563 times
Reputation: 42502
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcm7189 View Post
Sheena (and JustJulia), my post was made in response to your question:

"My daughter is at sixteen,wants nothing to do with Korea, her Korean name or the culture. What exactly am I supposed to do?"

I've reviewed my response and cannot pinpoint anything that might come across as implying that you have done anything wrong. It is my feeling that I offered some thoughts and encouragement based on the question you posed here. This was my intent anyway. Apparently, you did not want anyone actually addressing your question or offer a response. My apologies for misunderstanding.

For clarification JustJulia, how are board participants supposed to know if a question posed is not really a question to be addressed by other participants?
Given that Sheena has stated many times that she does not want to discuss her daughter in that manner, I would take it as a rhetorical question or one posed to the person she was talking to.

From the Terms of Service:

Quote:
Be civil, no personal attacks, flaming, or insults. We may attack ideas (politely) but we do not attack the speaker of the idea. Be careful with your words, there is a point where being direct crosses a line into blunt, in-your-face hostility. Please, report bad posts instead of engaging in flame wars on the boards. Insulting another member or a moderator will not be tolerated anywhere on this website.
and

Quote:
Our opinions on a location or issue are just that, opinions. Highly subjective. Personal preferences. Quirks, even. Leave wiggle room for dialogue, others may not see things the same as you, or been there as long as you, and any one of us can be wrong. Pouncing on someone you disagree with runs contrary to the spirit of this board and its members. We are here to help each other.
There has been a lot of pouncing over the last week. Your post to Sheena sounded respectful, and I thank you for that. But--as you point out, many people here are adult adoptees--can't you simply talk about your experiences without making it about Sheena and her daughter? Your advice may be irrelevant to her, but it's probably relevant to others. Speak to those people.
 
Old 09-19-2012, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,472 posts, read 43,558,753 times
Reputation: 47208
Thank you Julia for your last several posts. Sheena has bent over backwards trying to explain what she and her husband feel is appropriate for their family and she has been disrespected for doing so.

The bottom line here is that each family has the right to choose how to handle the name issue and should not feel compelled to explain to others. Discussion is great and I have learned a lot of new information from this adoption forum in the past few weeks. However when discussion turns to berating and accusing we all tend to put up defenses.

Our Korean daughter is a full fledged adult at 29. We too tried all the PC things Sheena and I have explained in previous posts and our daughters were not interested, in fact protested Korean anything being referred to. It was not a teenage temporary thing for my daughter. Today she is concentrating on her career, her SO and that important relationship and in general life as she knows it to be---not some imaginary life it could have been. I think she has a very healthy outlook on life.
 
Old 09-19-2012, 08:20 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,035 times
Reputation: 834
Yes, there has been much disrespect & personal attacks made against adoptees & our biological families here as well. It has gone both ways. So let's not blame one group of people for all the inflammatory dialogue that has taken place here. If you do not want to discuss something, do not mention it in a public forum.

Last edited by thethreefoldme; 09-19-2012 at 08:32 AM..
 
Old 09-19-2012, 08:24 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,906 posts, read 36,195,563 times
Reputation: 42502
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethreefoldme View Post
Yes, there has been much disrespect & personal attacks made against adoptees & our biological families here as well. It has gone both ways. So let's not blame one group of people for all the inflammatory dialogue that has taken place here. If you do not want to discuss something, do not mention it in a public forum.
I agree on both counts. Let's get back to the topic, please.

Were you adopted? If so, did your changed name affect you at some point? How did you deal with it?
 
Old 09-19-2012, 08:50 AM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,855,336 times
Reputation: 1462
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Thank you Julia for your last several posts. Sheena has bent over backwards trying to explain what she and her husband feel is appropriate for their family and she has been disrespected for doing so.

The bottom line here is that each family has the right to choose how to handle the name issue and should not feel compelled to explain to others. Discussion is great and I have learned a lot of new information from this adoption forum in the past few weeks. However when discussion turns to berating and accusing we all tend to put up defenses.

Our Korean daughter is a full fledged adult at 29. We too tried all the PC things Sheena and I have explained in previous posts and our daughters were not interested, in fact protested Korean anything being referred to. It was not a teenage temporary thing for my daughter. Today she is concentrating on her career, her SO and that important relationship and in general life as she knows it to be---not some imaginary life it could have been. I think she has a very healthy outlook on life.
I grew up with a lovely girl who was adopted from Singapore who was very much like your daughter in that she hated Singapore anything being referred to. The only concern I had was that not only did she hate anyone referring to her being from Singapore, she hated other Asians and didn't want anything to do with them. Hopefully, she was able to find a happy medium (haven't seen her since school days). Her feelings might have been to do with growing up in the 70s in a very middle class suburb and hopefully today's transracial adoptees don't feel that way.

I'm fortunate with my own parents that they have been pretty good and the one thing I appreciate about is that I always did feel truly comfortable about whatever course I decided to take. It probably did help that my abrother's bmom contacted him and my APs were pretty fine with that so that I knew that my parents weren't just talking the talk, they were walking the walk - they weren't saying one thing but sending mixed messages otherwise which is something that can happen (I know a friend of mine once said that her amom said she was OK about my friend searching but my friend knew keep down that she wouldn't be - so in the end, she looked and didn't tell her aparents).

Sometimes mixed messages can also happen when an aparent takes pride in their child not wanting to know more because they interpret the lack of interest as a sign that their child has totally bonded to them, whereas usually the lack of interest is just a lack of interest - some children are curious and others aren't. I remember on another forum that a few aparents did this and it actually made other aparents who had more curious children quite upset because they felt that the other aparents were implying that their child's curiosity was due to them not bonding.

"not some imaginary life as it could have been"

Just with this, if by "imagining some imaginary life as it could have been", you mean sitting down and having a good look at one's adoption experience, looking at the situation and the possible outcomes and learning from it, I see no harm in that. No-one is saying one should dwell on it forever but there is nothing wrong at least looking at it. In fact, if it hadn't been for adoptees and bmoms doing so in the past, a lot of the changes that have been made for the better wouldn't have been made.

Also, many of us adoptees on here are in reunion with family so of course looking at how things could have been is part of the process and it is not an unhealthy one.

There seems to be a misunderstanding that because many of today's adult adoptees are sorting through their emotions that they must have spent every day of their life sorting through their emotions but I suspect that a lot of adoptees are like me, in that it wasn't until reunion that I've really "faced" my adoption and thus it has been a real rollercoaster. "Facing" things is something though that I've never regretted doing and am glad that things are not longer "tucked away in the cupboard". Things are out of the cupboard and they look good lol.

I am at present in a good relationship with both my afamily and bfamily and though feelings are often paradoxical (eg I feel a deep sadness about my bmom (she died quite young), yet feel enriched by knowing more about her and also knowing the rest of the family), I don't regret the move I made. I do think my life is more a different life than the alternative rather than a better life (because how would I know) but that is my own reality and is more an observation than a "whine". As I've said before, I'm not going to sell either of my families down the river.

Btw I would just venture to say that the majority of us adoptees on here are also living good lives with a healthy outlook on life. IRL you probably couldn't tell the difference between many of us and your daughter.
 
Old 09-19-2012, 08:59 AM
 
1,879 posts, read 1,855,336 times
Reputation: 1462
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJulia View Post
I agree on both counts. Let's get back to the topic, please.

Were you adopted? If so, did your changed name affect you at some point? How did you deal with it?
Going back to the original topic, I have a name on my OBC but according to my non-ID, they say it could have been some nurses or my bmother who gave it to me (I couldn't be adopted for 3 months for a minor medical reason). I really wish I knew whether it was my bmother that gave it to me as it would obviously mean more than if it had been nurses.

My original first name is a rather classical name and when I think of it, I think elegant women (to give you a clue, a very classy older English actress has the same first name) or studious girls. Also, if I did know the name was from her, I would also know that she knew I was a girl (because some girls back then weren't even told the sex of their babies).

So no, I'm not "fretting over it" but it would just be nice to know.
 
Old 09-19-2012, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,472 posts, read 43,558,753 times
Reputation: 47208
I take no pride in my daughters attitude about her adoption. it just is what it is. I don't think I have parented particularly better than a lot of other parents, adoptive or birth. I think it is just her nature to be realistic.

There is no way she or anybody else could ever trace her family of origin. I let her know as much as we knew from a very early age. This may have contributed to her attitude. At one point we even played "what if" about her life. When she groused about pulling weeds in the garden in the hot muggy Georgia summer, I told her "Hey you could have been adopted by a family in South Dakota or Wisconsin and you could be milking cows in 20 below zero at 4 in the morning so get back to work". It was all done in good humor. We wondered if her birth mother was a college student struggling with exams and an unplanned pregnancy or a peasant woman who could not face the hardship of one more mouth to feed. I encouraged her to explore her feelings as much as she wanted. I certainly was not threatened by her musings.

The one area she has expressed curiosity about is what it would be like to be in a sea of her same race. When I came back from my 4 trips to Vietnam I told her about my feelings of being the only white person many times in restaurants, government offices, etc. And if I wasn't the only white person i figured I was the only American. I thought often of her over there and asked her if she ever felt "outside" or "other" and she told me not really But she has wondered how it would feel to be in such a situation. Her brother now lives in Singapore and he has invited her to come for a visit. She has the money and could get the time but she is not chomping at the bit to get there. I thought she would jump at the chance but it has been 1.5 years and she hasn't done anything about it. She's saving for a new car, bought lasik, gone on some fun trips with her friends but apparently this isn't her priority. Whatever.
 
Old 09-19-2012, 09:30 AM
 
203 posts, read 199,867 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJulia View Post
I agree on both counts. Let's get back to the topic, please.

Were you adopted? If so, did your changed name affect you at some point? How did you deal with it?
Nice segway JJ.

I already answered this question earlier but I will do so again in the spirit of re-engaging in a more respectful manner.

It is my feeling that adoption industry (Please note that I wrote "adoption industry" and not "adoptive parents." The two are quite different.) purposefully robbed me of my original name, heritage and ancestry. My legal birth certificate--the only one I'm allowed to use--lists my adoptive parents as the people who created and gave birth to me. The hospital is listed. The signature of the doctor who supposedly "delivered" me from my adoptive mother's womb is listed. The "previous live births" of my adoptive mother who was unable to have children are listed. There is absolutely no indication on my amended birth certificate that an adoption had even taken place. This is how it is for EVERY SINGLE adoptee born and adopted in the United States. We are issued amended (fake) birth certificates. Our original birth certificates featuring the names of our original parents and the names they gave us are sealed away. Currently, only a handful of states allow adult adoptees access to their original (factual) birth certificate. And even those who are allowed to access it still have to use the amended birth certificate as proof of citizenship. Years from now when my descendents attempt to trace their ancestry, they will end up at my fake birth certificate and start tracing ancestors to whom they are not actually related.

This is at the crux of the name issue for me. My original name and identity were literally deleted and taken from me as though I didn't exist prior to adoption. And I was raised by adoptive parents who wanted it that way. *Who* they adopted was never of any concern to them. They wanted me to be who they wanted me to be and that was that. I was expected to the fit the mold of whatever child they wished I was. I was told that they "tried and tried" to have their own child and then ended up having to get me instead. They wanted to be my *only* parents. My adoptive mother put her medical history on my medical forms. My adoptive father insisted that I was Scottish "through him." As a child, they told me that if I ever wanted to know where I came from that I would HURT THEM. Their insecurities were more important than my needs. Always. It is still this way today. I searched for my original parents at the age of 28-years-old and discovered that I'd been placed for adoption against my original father's will. He and my paternal grandparents fought the adoption agency and my maternal grandparents. But fathers had no right to raise their own child in 1971. He spent YEARS trying to find me. Because of losing me, he decided that he could not bring any more children into the world. I'm his only child by birth.

All of this occurred because of how the adoption industry is allowed to operate. And it operates today exactly as it did back then--issuing fake birth certificates and erasing our original identities.

After finding my original parents, I finally knew my original name. And my ancestry. And my heritage. My original mother did name me. It's a beautiful name and the first thing she gave to me before her parents made her give me away. That name is the one thing that represents the short amount of time that my mother and I were together before we lost each other. My original surnames are also beautiful and connect me to my ancestry. I am not Scottish through my adoptive father. I'm actually not Scottish at all. And I should not be expected to give up my original names because my adoptive parents might have issues with that. Adopting is not the same as giving birth. I came into my adoptive family with an identity. I came into my adoptive family with a name. And this should have been respected. I legally changed my name several years ago to incorporate my original paternal surname. I'm now interested in legally changing it again to incorporate the first name given to me by my original mother. My adoptive parents don't know anything about it because I go by my married surname. Telling them would only result in me being told *again* by them what I'm about to mention next.

JustJulia, when I mentioned this last part in a previous post, another board member responded to me directly, informing me that "your parents who you call your adoptive parents also had dreams. They dreamed of having children of their own. You are their own child to them. Naming a child is the first thing most parents ever get to do." This board member took my experience and made it about him as an adoptive parent. This board member also spoke FOR my adoptive parents TO me. This board member also responded to me directly. All things that were apparently okay to do on this board until being recently deemed unacceptable. Wonder what the responses will be to this post of mine. And if you will have others adhere to the comment you made to me earlier:

There has been a lot of pouncing over the last week. Your post to Sheena sounded respectful, and I thank you for that. But--as you point out, many people here are adult adoptees--can't you simply talk about your experiences without making it about Sheena and her daughter? Your advice may be irrelevant to her, but it's probably relevant to others. Speak to those people.

I have only spoken about my own personal experience here. I have talked about MY adoptive parents and not ALL adoptive parents. And I am not asking for advice. And I am not asking anyone to make excuses for the actions and behaviors of my adoptive parents--two people nobody on here know personally. And I would appreciate it if any response or reaction not reference my adoptive parents, me, or my personal feelings because I am entitled to express my own personal feelings without having to justify or explain myself. It's my life and this is what works for me even though it might not work for anyone else. As such, everyone should respond with general comments not directly related to what I have shared here. Because this is response to the topical question you posted to adoptees.

Last edited by gcm7189; 09-19-2012 at 09:49 AM..
 
Old 09-19-2012, 09:37 AM
 
1,024 posts, read 984,035 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustJulia View Post
Were you adopted? If so, did your changed name affect you at some point? How did you deal with it?
I was adopted & my records were sealed, so I did not know what my original name was until my sister found me later in life. It's difficult for me to feel connected to the first name now, as I'm obviously accustomed to being called something else. I have considered reclaiming my last name, however.

According to my sister our mother still calls me by my original name, which brings up some very sad & conflicting feelings for me. Growing up I found it difficult to connect to my adoptive name, too, although I was used to it in a way I didn't really understand why it could also feel alien to me...

After a certain age I started to keep my questions/negative feelings of adoption to myself, but I can remember when I was first learning how to write my name, staring at it for what felt like hours wondering why it felt like it was someone else's name. The sad thing is now I look at my original name & feel exactly the same way about it, too.

If we had open records the information would have probably helped me resolve some of those feelings growing up, but I think the problem with the name change is it can contribute to that splitting feeling many adoptees get, like you are two different people (one before adoption, one after). I also remember wondering if my adoptive parents wanted me to be a different person & the mere knowledge that they changed my name definitely contributed to that feeling for me.
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