Friday, June 28, 2013

Some days I'm not so sure

I don't normally like to post negatives because I truly do believe that negative energy begets negative energy and I'm trying to be positive, move forward in my beliefs, thoughts, wishes, etc and to not get bogged down in the inertia of everyone elses "stuff".  However, there are some days that are not so positive and wish-filled (as much I as I would like them to be, I do still live in the real world). I felt compelled to post this and really have hemmed and hawed about posting.  For the record, I am not anti-adoption...I believe it can be done well, open and honest, without any secrets and lies, without shame.  I believe it can be a beautiful thing, but it's a hard road, with ups and downs, loss and grief, happiness and sadness.  It's a hard road full of compromises for anyone to have to go down, no matter what side of the adoption fence you reside.  I have known and watched several open adoption families do so with grace, humility, love and complete openness and with that being said, they will also tell you how strong you have to be and how hard it truly can be.

My goal for this blog is to create a place of comfort for all of us to breathe & reboot, but in doing so, I have to remind myself that it is also a place of comfort for me...a place to get things off of my chest, for me to breathe and reboot, so here goes....The following is a post I wrote as a draft awhile ago and never posted...I went back and re-read it and it still gets me to my very core and I'm trying to wrap my head/heart around still stings and I'm curious as to what you think about it all...


Sometimes you can be minding your own business, turn the corner and BAM! Adoption smacks you in the face.  I was innocently following home decorating/design blog links and stumbled into a very beautiful blog.  I was enjoying reading the posts about design and family until.......RECORD SCRATCH.......I realized this was an adopted family blog...a few posts in and there it was...their adoption story wherein the blog author (adoptive mother) posted the following (see below in red) about how excited she was to finally be able to stand before a judge, finalize the adoption and legally CHANGE their names (NOTE:  these children were NOT infants by any means, so they KNEW their names and ANSWERED to this point, they already had pretty strong identities!) and obtain illegal "amended" legal birth certificates with their "new" false names.

I felt like I was in a timewarp reading....that somehow I had just been transported back to the 1950s for a minute and it was in fact not 2013.  Why are we still there....still? This was written only a year ago and, lo & behold, times haven't changed at all.  Not one bit, it seems.  It was heartbreaking to read the entire post and see pics of the judge smiling smugly and posing with the family he just "created by law"...hello pomp, circumstance and illegal legal practices which apparently are still going strong today.  This is the same judge that will be playing God again when these children become adults and want their original birth certificates and he will deny them access to their own Original Birth Certificates (they do not live in an "open access" state).  My hope is that the adoptive mother was at the very least thoughtful enough to obtain their original birth certificates prior to legally changing them and the judge sealing them away forever.  One can only hope.

So yesterday our kiddos were named (old name) and (old name). Today they're (new name!) and (new name!).*

And officially, unquestionably, in the eyes of everyone, they're what we've known them to be all along -- ours.

*I've heard mixed thoughts about changing an adopted child's name. In our case, it was what we felt was right. Because of their stories, and because of some arguments made in Adopted for Life, it just made sense for us to give them new names. I understand there are good reasons for keeping kids' names, but this is just what we chose to do.

The "Adopted for Life" reference is apparently a hardcore Southern Baptist based book on adoption.  I can only imagine what the "arguments" were in that book.  I have not linked to the blog or the book because I do not want to drive traffic their way or cause any harm.  I don't want to engage as I do feel everyone is entitled to their opinions, to say what they want to say on their own blogs, everyone has a right to their stories and feel the way they feel.  I actually liked the blog and I'm sure she is a very lovely person, but because of my visceral reaction (my heart physically feeling kicked and that it leapt out of my chest toward those children), I felt strongly about posting about it here because I'm curious if anyone else in the adoption community has any thoughts on this...on changing names in this day and age...or is it just me?

Okay, stepping off soapbox now....
xo Two


  1. Good post - as all of your posts are!

    I don't know enough to have a strong reaction to it as I react with more questions. I feel differently about this if the "we" she references was a we = parents and individual child together "chose" the new name than I would if the we = just parents. I do think for older child adoptions, some kids want a new name - and with many (not all, I know!)older child adoptions, often the families do have the original birth certificate. My other questions are why she was posting this as positive news to share - because the entire family has expressed positive emotions/reactions and she wanted to share that through her blog OR is it only her feeling positive that it's done with no recognition that a positive day for her might have felt conflictual or negative for her I have those questions before I can really have a reaction to it.

    But I do understand and can certainly recognize why you reacted to it as you did...I think if I didn't always have my multiple hat adoption brain always on, I'd be right there with you!!

  2. AnonymousJuly 13, 2013

    If it wasn't the adoptees choosing to change the name, I find the name change in 2013 perplexing. It should, IMO, be the adoptees' choice. From the way it's worded, it sounds like "it made sense for us to give them new names" means that it was the adoptive parents driving the decision. I don't feel comfortable with that. And even if the adoptees were asked, would they have agreed to please the adoptive parents? There is always that concern to please, and that fear of rejection to battle. In this case, given what you've shared, it's not enough information to go on.

    I do hope that the adoptees have copies of their OBCs, and I feel sad that such smugness on the part of the some members of the judiciary remain: I heard a story recently of an adoptee told to "live up to her adoptive parents." Not very heartening. What about the corollary? Why should the adoptive parents not live up to *her*?

    I am an adoptee, 60's vintage, only wearing the one hat. I have greatly disengaged from discussions and debate because I see very little change in the past umpteen years. It gets exhausting and sad to see the same old tired arguments trotted out by people who treat adoptees like chattel, even when they seem to mean well, and don't take politely to other possible points of view.