Lately, I’ve been comparing being adopted to being kidnapped. I read a book, “The Real Lolita, The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World”. It was a good book.
The girl who was kidnapped was abused by the kidnapper, and I was not abused by my adoptive parents, but the same sense of being taken against my will has been with me all of my life. I have always felt like I was not where I was supposed to be.
I was the 6th generation born in my little corner of NYC, but I have no ties to the place where my ancestors lived. Their bones are buried there, but I’m a stranger to that place.
Like the young girl in the book, I had to comply with my kidnappers , in order to survive. Unlike Sally, my family was not looking for me. There was no joyful reunion, when I finally was reunited with them. Their lives were fine without me in them.
I am the only one who felt I was kidnapped. The rest of the world thinks everything is fine.
Spinabifida, cleft lip, or other specific condition
Has disability or is physically challenged
Normal or grade level
Separated from parents or rejected
Deserted or abandoned
Is taking Ritalin
I can’t stand positive adoption language, or PAL.
It is a tool used by the adoption industry to normalize the act of giving you child away to strangers. That sounds horrible, because it is!
How much nicer to think a loving mother made an adoption plan, and lovingly placed her newborn in another’s arms, then went on to live a happy, carefree life, sans baby. What could be better?
Who want to hear of a desperate woman, convinced she will never be good enough for her own child. Who wants to hear her cries as she walks away from her newborn, breasts still leaking milk, body still battered by childbirth? The months and years of grief, for both mother and baby?
Much better to use PAL. No pain in that story! Whitewashed by new, better language.
How about changing murder to involuntary termination of respiration? Rape: Unplanned sexual intercourse. We can make anything palatable, if the language is right.
I was given away, surrendered, relinquished. It was cruel, brutal and very ugly. My language reflects that. Real adoption language reflects the truth. The horror.