Recently a friend of mine discovered that her colleague is an adoptive parent and is currently in process waiting for their second daughter from China. He had seen my film clip at the Race exhibit, due to their work, and knowing we were friends asked if I’d provide some resources. He was referred to Outsiders Within and after reading the introduction, he told my friend, "They are some angry adoptees."
This is nothing new; many of us who speak up about adoption as differing from the "sparkles and sunshine" are often called "angry." It has been my experience lately that anything that is critical is mistaken for angry. I’ve been called an angry adoptee many times. And what I think is humorous about that label is I’m far from being "angry." Critical, yes. Unsentimental? Absolutely.
I proudly consider myself to be critical but to me, critical and angry are two different things. Anger, according to the American Heritage dictionary, is "a strong feeling of displeasure or hostility," while critical is defined as "a critical review or commentary; a critical discussion of a specified topic."
One can be angry and critical, for sure. But being one doesn’t necessarily equate that one is both. I’ve known many people who are critical about a certain issue but not angry, just as I’ve known plenty of people who are angry but not critical. And sometimes you do find people who are both.
Calling people who dare to critique something that has long been presented in one way – no matter what that issue is – as angry is an easy cop-out. It’s the lazy person’s way of dismissing what might be very valid moral, ethical or social problems with an institution, practice or policy.