Not everyone agrees with me that the New York Times post by Tama Janowitz was offensive. Some adoptees found it funny; I didn’t but I don’t speak as the representative of all adoptees.
But my big gripe is that when I and several other people I know went to comment, we were censored. I’m estimating that based on all the emails I’ve received that at least a good 20 people have not have their comments published and I’d guess it’s a lot more than that considering me and my compadres are a small little group of people over here. I have to wonder what the editors of the New York Times are afraid of. This is not the first time they’ve censored adult adoptees in their paper or online. I think that the bias here falls squarely on the shoulders of the editors – namely, one editor (whose sister had just adopted internationally) re-wrote an article that was published last year that was to have prominently featured adult TRA’s and reduced us down to one singular quote, despite a several-hours-long interview with six fairly well known adult transracial adoptees, two of whom work in the adoption field (and yes, I was one of them) – and now, with an adoptive parent as gatekeeper of the "Relative Choices" blog.
And now, strangely, several of us have noticed that some comments are "appearing" out of order (and so my numbers following this are now going to be screwed up). I think maybe they’ve "reassessed" some previously withheld comments.
Anyhoo – I also noticed that none of these "new" comments were from the more than dozen adult Asian adoptees who contacted me, also saying their comments never made it online.
I’ve noticed a few adult adoptees were able to comment, and hmmm, some of these comments seem very similar to what people have shared with me. Especially #80 which I swear I didn’t see earlier (and it makes me wonder, as DIASL queried, whether it had been "added in" later):
Paula (#55) was one of the few that managed to get in:
To be honest, I’ve never understood the seemingly insatiable need that many fellow adoptive parents have to declare themselves the “real” mother or the “real” father. To invoke the familar litany of qualifications that supposedly make a person more “real” as a mother or father doesn’t make the argument any more convincing to me, but instead leaves me wondering “What are they so afraid of?”
When people ask me about our son’s “real” mother, I tell them that he has two moms, both of whom are real. Just because his Korean mother is unable to partake in the daily events and happenings of his life does not make her any less of a mother in our eyes. Honoring our son in his totality means recognizing and appreciating his entire history, which includes acknowledging that he is a child of two people who deserve to be called mother and father, without any qualifiers.
As a Korean adoptee myself, I’m appreciative that my mother and father were secure enough and wise enough to let me know that all four of my parents are very, very real and that I am who I am today because of each one of them.
And then there was Phil (#62) who wrote:
While it certainly is true that biology doesn’t guarantee a smooth, problem-free relationship between parents and children, there seems to be a certain unwillingness here to recognize that adoption brings with it unique challenges for all involved.
I’m struck by how few comments from adoptees are showing up here. [We tried, Phil, really we did!] As an adult adoptee, I have two real moms. Neither one gets any realer. Neither one loves me any less. And though the one that raised me and cared for me is my mom, that doesn’t mean I didn’t notice something missing in all of that. It isn’t because we didn’t bond. It’s because I was missing a piece of who I am.
Amidst all the jokes, I hope the loss your daughter has experienced isn’t forgotten.
So what would be your response to the NYT series, "Relative Choices"? Those of you who were censored, if you want to share your thoughts here, fill out the comments box.
I promise I won’t censor (- unless you threaten me!)
For more thoughts on this whole mess:
Here are some of the blogs who covered this: