De-Lurker Day

Although I keep track of referrals, and I can see from typepad and other tracking programs that this blog has an international readership, I'm often curious who reads the blog and how you found out about Harlow's Monkey.

A few blogs I read regularly have a "de-lurk" day – I've never done one.

Here's your chance (and mine) to see who is reading.

Please let me know 1) if you are an adoptee, adoptive parent, adoption professional, social worker, etc. etc., 2) how you found out about the blog, and 3) feedback on things you would like me to address more specifically and/or other format issues.

I don't have as much time as I'd like to write longer original posts, which is why I link to other articles and blogs so often. However, if you have an issue you'd really like to see addressed, leave that in the comments too. It will help me when I'm trying to figure out what to write. Also, I changed the format of the blog, taking out some of the links on the sidebars and posting them on pages accessed by the navigation bar at the top of the blog. I moved some of those back, but I'm always concerned about the blog being user-friendly and un-cluttered (Mr. HM has greatly influenced me on usability design). If you have comments on the accessibility of the content, leave that feedback too.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

73 thoughts

  1. I’m always curious about who reads my blog too, so I’m happy to delurk. 1) My mom is Korean, I’m half-Korean, and all my siblings (one sister, two brothers) were adopted from Korea. My husband and I are currently looking into adopting from Korea as well. 2) I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now; I think I found it from Mama Nabi’s site. 3) I don’t really have any suggestions, but I really enjoy your blog. I think you have a viewpoint that needs to be out there.

  2. I am about to be an adoptive parent, I just accepted a referral for a toddler girl from Ethiopia and am waiting to travel to her. I am white, so I am particularly interested in issues of race and adoption, but I really find something useful in just about everything you write about. I’ve been reading for awhile and don’t remember exactly how I found you, but I think it might have been through Anti-Racist Parent.

  3. I’m an adoptive mom of two – both transracial. I’ve been reading your blog (usually from google reader) for a year or two now and I can’t remember how I found it. As a parent of younger adoptees (3 and almost 9), I really appreciate your viewpoint as an adult adoptee regarding issues and feelings that my kids will someday face.

  4. My husband and I are potential future adoptive parents – probably five years down the road. I found your blog as a google reader recommendation. It has been enlightening to learn more about the wide range of adoptee issues you highlight here.

  5. Hi,
    I’m an adoptive Italian-Canadian mom of a 7 year old boy born in Ethiopia and living in Italy. I found your blog a few years ago when my son was experiencing grief and loss of his birth/first mother. I found you through Mei-Ling’s blog.
    I read your blog and many others on transracial adoptions as my son is also a visible minority in a country that presently is governed by a government that is very hostile towards immigrants and non-white Italians (yes, believe it or not, Italy!).

  6. I have thought since I was a child that adoption seemed like such a rational, logical choice–a kid who needs a home, and an adult who wants to be a parent? 1+1=2! I appreciate this blog for highlighting the fact that it is not even close to being that simple.
    I have always seen myself as a potential adoptive parent, and though I would theoretically be very far away from that, I am still trying now to gain a better perspective on adoption as a whole, particularly from the perspective of the adoptee. I am trying to determine if it would truly be the best, most ethical choice for me.
    You give me much to think about, which is very appreciated!

  7. I have two family members adopted from Korea, and I want to be more aware of the challenges they continue facing as they grow up. I was surfing adult adoptee blogs and found Harlow’s Monkey. I’ve learned a lot here.
    The only thing I can think for ‘improvement’ is that when you pass on links, even a sentence about your thoughts is valuable– I’m here to read your thoughts and opinions, after all!

  8. I’m a white adoptive mother of a toddler Korean daughter. I can’t remember how I found your blog–just searching around online, I guess. Much like Melody, who posted above, I appreciate your skeptical attitude toward the simplistic stereotype of adoption as a win-win solution. I hope that learning about the ideas and feelings of yourself and other adult adoptees will help me be a better parent.
    I also agree with Persia that it would be great to have even a brief comment from you on the links you mention.
    Thanks for your blog!

  9. I met Jae-Ran at a Rainbow Families conference about 2 years ago, and I really appreciate your perspective as an adult adoptee, the thoughtfulness and perspective you bring to the topics. I check HM at least 3 times a week. I have 2 teen daughters from India, and the recent exposures of inappropriate adoptions, possible child trafficking, in many countries, bring me grief, guilt, and confusion. I really need conversation with other AP’s about the potential injustice issues in the lives we have created, and don’t know where to find that. Please keep writing.

  10. I’m an adoptive mom-to-be of a little boy from China. I don’t remember exactly how I first found your blog, but it was back when I was just starting the process and wanted to get the perspectives of other members of the adoption triad.

  11. I have already “de-lurked”! But I’ll answer anyway. I’m the wife of an adult adoptee. I found your website because you have the post about being married to HM, it was a hit on a google search. I like the tweaks to the blog. And I guess what I’d love to see more about is how the identity evolution affects the family of adult adoptees (not only the APs or first family, but the spouse and children). My family is in a good place now, but other people going through the really hard parts may appreciate the information.

  12. 1) I profile myself as: “a multiracial adoptive mother in an interracial marriage raising a transracially adopted multiracial son. I’m also the non-adopted daughter of an Asian adoptee (non-transnational).”
    2) I don’t remember how I found this blog years ago! Other than briefly dating a KAD when I was 15, and knowing a few international adoptive families currently, I really have no connection to international adoption. But since I’m interested in Asian-American identities, this blog came up when I was looking for blogs on that topic.
    3) Hmm… personally I would love to see anything on intraracial adoption, Asian children and Asian parents in the US foster care system, relationships between adopted and non-adopted Asian-Americans, intra-Asian issues, Asian/black issues and so on. This blog is a great resource anyway, so those are just suggestions for added seasoning.

  13. We are a mixed family. I’m an adult adoptee (a tangled path, like many, a causcasian, adopted as a teen, and by a family member by marriage). My husband is Chinese American. And my son is adopted from China. We chose adoption, for multiple reasons.
    As my son ages (he’s 7 now), the differences in our paths become so real. And my ability to help him is . . . complex? difficult? limited? Perhaps that is true for all parents. But I seek what resources I can find.
    I’m not sure how I found your blog.

  14. My preschool son (only child) is a Korean adoptee, who came home three years ago. I believe I found your blog through an international adoption Yahoo group.
    While sometimes it’s hard to read, I’m so thankful for your insight. And I know that your blog isn’t intended to be a resource for adoptive parents, but I would appreciate any ideas and suggestions you can give us that will help us on our journey as adoptive families.

  15. I am an adoptive mother of an almost two year old from Ethiopia. I don’t remember how I found your blog, but I’ve been reading it for a long time. I find your perspective very valuable…if at times heart breaking and very hard for me to read. I would really love more information on what I can do to be a better mother to my daughter. I have an extensive ‘what not to do’ list, but it leaves me confused about what I SHOULD do.

  16. Oh, and the best post (for me) was the PACT exercise about the beads. (I think it’s worth repeating every now and then, for what it’s worth.)It really highlighted how we (white AP’s) construct our day-to-day choices for our adopted children (of color) with our racial decisions. So, more along those lines would be great.

  17. I’m the adoptive mother of five daughters adopted from foster care. I appreciate your blog’s perspective, including the fact that I’m NOT your ideal reader–those would be my kids, not me! I found you by accident when I was helping one of my daughters research the “real” Harlow’s monkeys–been reading you ever since.

  18. I found your blog through the Anti-Racist Parent blog and have loved hearing your perspective. I am a white adoptive mom to 2 black girls so I like reading about transracial issues. I also am an adoption home study caseworker and I have used a great deal of what I have learned from you in assessing and educating my clients. And I have lots of love for MN, since that is where I am originally from! 🙂

  19. I am a mom of one bio kid with another one on the way. For almost two years we were considering adopting from Ethiopia and in fact came very close to signing with an agency. The things that I have read both here and on other blogs has really transformed how I think about adoption (particularly international adoption) and the role of mainly white Americans in perpetuating many of the stereotypes and ethical issues surrounding adoption. While we are still interested in expanding our family through adoption, it was some of the red flags that you and others have raised that has made us put the adoption stuff on hold for a few years (among other reasons as well).
    A lot of what you post not only helps me think of race and adoption in terms of how we need to parent our future adopted child, likely to be trans racial, but also how we parent our white children. I am still in the area of floundering – how best, as a white adult to be anti-racist without being condescending or having a louder voice than those marginalized members of our society; how best to raise our children to acknowledge how privelege impacts their world view.

  20. This is the second comment I’m sending. Somehow my other one didn’t make it on here. I am an adoptive mom (China) and I am interested in hearing as many stories of adult adoptees as I can, to listen and learn.
    Not sure how I found you as it was a long time ago.

  21. I’ve been reading your blog for years now (I’ve lost count). I’m a multi-racial momma (that looks white, thus privilege) raising kids who are also multi-racial. All of my kids were adopted as older children from foster care in MN. I have a lot to learn!

  22. I’m white and trying to adopt through foster care with my black same-sex partner, so any adoptive placement will be transracial for at least one of us.
    I’ve been reading for years and years, just not commenting much. And I love posts that merge your experience with a social worker with your experience as a transracial adoptee. I learned a lot from your post about choosing the “best” family for a child, and it’s kept me calmer through some of our questioning about what it will take for workers to think we might be “right.”

  23. I am a Korean who has been living in the US since the age of 3. I have no ties to adoption but reading your blog has been an eye opening experience. I grew up in an area with very very few Asians so on some level, I can understand alienation and not fitting.

  24. I have posted in the past but not recently. I am an AP–my five year old was adopted from China. We have met her first family and are trying to navigate that relationship.
    I don’t remember how I found your blog, it has been a couple of years, but I am so grateful to have your perspective.
    Lately my interests lie with reunion and how to explain the lack of communication to my daughter–it is their decision to keep it one-sided at this point (us updating them) and dealing with cultural superstitions; however, I love all of the insight I receive here and elsewhere.

  25. I am an adoptee that appreciates you very much. I am irish/norwegian and adopted by a very sicilian family. I always stuck out as unusual. I always have to preface my perspective from an Italian cultural perspective and explain that I’m adopted.

  26. I am a Chi-Am woman who adopted from China three and a half years ago. My daughter is 4.75 y.o. I found you through Kimchi Mamas and I come here to read not necessarily about adoption issues (though they often offer me food for though) but because I enjoy your writing and the the articles you post.
    I am curious to know if there have been any studies/articles (?) done about the issues of self identity, fitting in, etc. between adoptees and just being a teenager/young adult/20 something searching and finding oneself? I ask that b/c there have been times when I’ve read or heard an adoptee talk about how they felt growing up and not fitting in and wondering who they were, etc and I have felt that way myself in the past and have done my own inner search to see what and who I am. And I know many of us go through that at one time or another, but I know there is a fundamental difference but wonder how much is one over the other. Or maybe it shouldn’t make a difference because the feelings are valid regardless of the reason.

  27. Well, you know me. *wink* Transracial Taiwanese adoptee, long-time reader… well, it feels like it’s been a while. Honestly, I can’t remember where I came across your blog because it’s been around 2-3 years. Likely through Ungrateful Little Bastard. (I love your blog, particularly all the Pages you’ve written. I’ve spent hours reading them.)
    Thanks for the support you gave me while I was in Taiwan; it so helped to know I wasn’t the only one dealing with such confusing emotions.

  28. I’m a white (bio) mother of a mixed-race child (Chinese + Caucasian), and I found this blog when I was pregnant. (There aren’t a lot of blogs that address specifically this topic – white parents of mixed-race kids – so I read blogs about transracial adoption as kind of the closest window I have to what my son will experience as he grows up.) I don’t even remember where – Racialicious, maybe? I’ve been reading it ever since because I appreciate both the perspective on being Asian in the U.S. and what I’ve learned about adoption. (I’m not an adoptive parent, and I don’t plan to be one, but I’m still interested in the topic.)
    I’d love a little commentary on the links you post – if nothing else, to prepare me a little more for what those links may contain. (Some of those links, I want to be braced and ready before I read them, you know?)

  29. I have been reading your blog for a looooong time, but I rarely comment. I am a white woman, married to a Chinese American guy. We have one bio daughter and one daughter who was adopted from China.
    Since we became parents, the intersections of race, culture and parenting have been very interesting to me. Right now, we are diving directly into the somewhat controversial choice of searching for our daughter’s family so I am also interested in topics related to reunion and/or birthfamily searches. I generally enjoy your blog and I don’t really have any suggestions for change.

  30. I’m a clinical social worker and a pre-adoptive parent (infant from Ethiopia). Found you through Anti racist parent maybe. thanks for all you do!!! really enjoy your blog.

  31. 1) I’m a former social worker (now teacher) who was legally adopted by a step-parent but was raised (13 of 18 years) by my grandparents. I’m also Mexican-American married to a Caucasian man and we have three Ethiopian-born, adopted children. Phew.
    2) I don’t even remember how I found your blog. I’m going to guess that it was through another blog related to transracial adoption. I keep coming back because you offer a different perspective. I like to consider all points of view on important topics and yours is one that I do not have from my own personal experience.
    3) I think your format is fine. While it’s personal, it’s also professional. Please continue to address the issues that are affecting/will continue to affect children who were adopted and who lost a culture in the process. It’s so crucial for adoptive parents (like me) to understand the whole picture.
    Thank you for sharing your information with the world.

  32. I’m a potential future adoptive parent with cerebral palsy. My fiance is nondisabled. I have been reading the blog, which I love, for a few weeks now, and probably found you through a link from The Eyes of My Eyes Are Opened.
    I have/need to consider the realities of transracial adoption. That’s even more important in our case if we are approved to adopt, since my disability means that both my child and I will be seen as the Other (in different ways).
    Thank you for inviting us to examine and discuss.

  33. I am a trans-nationally and trans-racially adopted Korean-American woman, adopted to a white family from rural, northern Iowa. I no longer speak to my adoptive parents. I was adopted at the age of 3 in 1977. I am currently in a same-sex relationship with a white woman and we are looking at adoption as a possible avenue to parenthood, though I have trouble with adoption from all perspectives. I am also a clinical social worker who works with children, so have all kinds of troubling ideas and worries about foster care adoption. I am engrossed by your blog and constantly intrigued. I am interested in reflecting on how my perspective has changed over the years (I, too, was on pro-adoption panels as a child) and all the feelings and thoughts I have about adoption. Your blog makes me examine all these. Thanks for being thoughtful and thought-provoking!

  34. I don’t remember how I got here – possibly Twice the Rice or Anti-Racist Parent? My partner and I are moms to a fantastic almost-3-year-old from Guatemala and are also beginning the process of domestic adoption. We recently connected with our son’s firstfamily in Guatemala and have been spending a lot of time thinking about what that relationship will look like and how we help him foster a meaningful connection to Guatemala and to Latinos here in the U.S.
    Your posts about Korean adoptees and their relationship with Korean culture are really interesting to me. I feel a certain knee-jerk “but we’re not ALL like that” to the links highlighting abuses among adoptive families, but those stories do need to be told.

  35. I’m an adoptive mother for 2 1/2 years of our 3 1/2 year old daughter from China. I was born in Mexico from an Irish-American mother and a Hungarian father. We moved to the US when I was 3.
    I can’t remember exactly how I found y our blog. I’ve been reading you for several years now. My best recollection is that I clicked a link on the Twice the Rice site.

  36. Hi everyone,
    Thanks to everyone who took the time to “de-lurk” today! I really appreciate it. Your feedback is so helpful. I’m very happy to see the diversity of readers! Some I definitely was not expecting. Thank you all again for your comments.
    I definitely hear that more of you would like me to offer some more commentary and explanation to the links I post. While I would really like to be able to offer more in-depth commentary like yesterday’s piece on homeland tours for Chinese adoptees and tomorrow’s post (wait and see), the reality is with my job and my graduate studies and my family, I don’t have time!
    However, I definitely will at least try and give a short explanation of the linked article or post.
    It also seems like people like the variety of content I post here. As much as possible I will continue to write about adoption, race, social work, and child welfare.
    Again, thanks for the comments!

  37. TRAP to a child from India, my husband is an NRI. Not quite de-lurking, as I’ve been a faithful reader and occasional commenter for some time now. I can’t quite remember how I found you – most likely through Twice the Rice or through My Life Postponed, as these were the first two blogs I began reading.
    I have a blog navigation issue for your consideration: as much as I love reading your blog, something that makes me crazy is that every time I click on another blog post it opens a new window. So if I were to click on the link at the top of this entry which says “Adopted Chinese Daughters Seek Their Roots” it wouldn’t take me directly there in the current window, but open a new window with that post. There are times I’m reading your blog and I find myself with half a dozen different Harlow’s Monkey windows open simultaneously! As I haven’t had this happen while reading other blogs, I’m assuming there’s something in how your blog is set up that creates this. Any possibility that this can be changed?
    Hope year 2 of the grad school journey is going well…

  38. Psychobabbler, yes, I was having the links open in a different window on purpose. Interesting how people like things differently. Personally, since when I’m reading multiple blogs, I’m always going back and forth between links and sites, and if a link replaces the previous page I was on, I always seem to inadvertently quit the window I want. I’ll think about that issue though, and if others find it problematic too, I’ll change it.

  39. I’m an adoptive mother, our son was born in Ethiopia and is now almost 2 1/2 years old. I found your blog via a link from another blog somewhere along the way, sorry I’m not sure which one. I’d just request that you keep doing what you’re doing, which seems to be an honest conveying of perspective, one our family values and learns from and will continue to reference.
    Quick note on the new window thing – I really like that you add the “_blank” html to your tags because often I’m not finished reading what’s on your blog when clicking on your links and would rather just X out of the new window instead of having to click Back multiple times. Just my opinion though.
    Cheers.

  40. I’m a adult Korean adoptee, raised in rural MN. I have three siblings who are the bio kids of my parents, but I’m not the youngest or the only girl; I’m #3 of 4 and 1 of 2 girls. I believe I found your blog via Made in Korea a few years ago when I was at the beginning of examining how adoption fits into my life – I had always thought they were separate and that adoption was a finite experience! Your blog (and others) are such a helpful guide for me, as I think about the hard questions and come to the even harder conclusions. Every time I think about how your blog helped relieve me of my isolation about race, adoption and other related issues, my eyes well-up with tears of appreciation. I loved the being married to HM. It was a very helpful reference for my husband. Adoption is definitely integrated into my life. Check out the org I now work for http://www.adoptionmosaic.org. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  41. Long time reader and commenter here. White father to two Korean adoptee sons, now 5 and 7. They are half-bio siblings. Our younger son not having been planned on our part. So far as we know their mother was a teenager at the time of their births. We live in Northern California.
    I have also experienced the influence of adoption in that two of my bio siblings were adopted to other families. I have reunited with one of them.
    I keep myself in a fairly constant state of at the minimum intellectual turmoil about adoption in the hope that it improves my parenting. Your input has been an important asset and greatly appreciated. My perspective is very different than it was when this began.
    I don’t remember how I found your blog. Probably via Google.
    I have no suggestions as to format or subjects. I’d rather you chose them.

  42. I’m a mental health social worker from London – I’m also a foster carer, mostly fostering short-term emergency placements and often foster children with very different backgrounds from myself and my partner. I think you might have found me before I found you but I love the thoughtfulness and insight that your posting gives me on many different levels.
    As for the content – whatever you find interesting and stimulating works best, I think!

  43. I’m a mom of one bio child and two adopted Ethiopian kids.I was born in Argentina and I come from a very mixed background (my mom is Mexican, my father was Italian) Even when I’m white, here in the US I’ve been labeled as “latina”. I’m an immigrant with immigrant children and come from parents that immigrate to my native country, same as my husband…
    I’ve been reading your blog for a while, but I don’t remember how I got here… Sometimes I agree with your posts, sometimes I don’t, but they always make me think for which I’m grateful.
    I’m more interested in transracial adoption.

  44. Hi–I’ve been reading here for quite a while. I’m an American, living in Australia. I have no links whatsoever to adoption, but I’m a sociologist of race and ethnicity so I’m curious about transracial adoption in particular. I appreciate you sharing your experiences as an adult adoptee, and I enjoy your links. As an African American who grew up in a White community, I also appreciate your discussions of racism. I can’t remember how I got here, but I’ve been reading for a long time now. 🙂 Hope you don’t mind!

  45. Hi, I am a adoptive mom of a 5 yo little girl from Korea and 2 biol children as well. I am also so a psychiatrist. Been reading for several yrs, so can’r remember how I initially found the blog. I enjoy your perspective and have learned so much from your writing

  46. I work at a non-profit, non-partisan research organization on topics related to child well-being, especially child welfare. I’m also the white adoptive mom to a 4-year-old who is part white, part Latina whom we adopted at birth domestically through a private agency. It’s an open adoption. I have also been a foster parent for my county’s child welfare agency for just over a year. So far we have had 2 placements, both pairs of siblings, both emergency placements.
    An acquaintance who had a “waiting adoptive parent” type of blog had linked to you.
    Re the window issue: Could expanded, commented posts appear in the same window, but could external URLs pop up in a new window?
    I am interested in all kinds of ethical issues related to adoption. I’m also interested in books, including fiction, related to adoption and foster care. (I’ve been trying to track the books I’ve read at: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/970714-sharon .) Thanks for your thoughts, links, and book suggestions!

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