Adopting Yourself – By: Jason C. Cushman

The ironic part about adoption is that for an adoptee the first and final steps of their lives are the same. Ultimately we must all adopt ourselves and accept who we are and where we came from. Or where we did not come from. The life of an adoptee is complex and unique because we are all uniquely complex in being singular as human beings. Never allow someone to tell you that your life is a statistic or that you fall within a group. Break that stereotype by showing people that you are not a group, you are a fucking person.

There is a war being waged in the adoption world. This war is not between two sides, it is not between “evil” and “good,” and it cannot be quantified by numbers as so many try to. The war on adoption is a personal battle fought by people within the struggle. The opinions of those on the outside are rarely worth much. The reason for this is due to how sensitive the topics are. You have adoptees that hate the world, adoptees that hate their birth parents, adoptees that hate foster parents, adoptees that hate nations, adoptees that hate their past, and adoptees that just want to forget that they are adopted. On another side, not the “other side,” you have birth mothers that were coerced into giving up their children, you have birth mothers that were forced into giving up their babies, you have birth mothers that hate adoption, you have birth mothers that advocate for adoption, and you have birth mothers that think abortion is a better alternative to adoption in every case. The extreme nature of these sides is due directly to their own lives and the opinions those lives have formed.

When I was two years old my mother left my sister and I on a street in Pusan. She returned days later to get my sister only after a change of heart. I spent ten years trying to reconnect with them only to have her shut me down and out continuously. My personal story, my personal experience, formed my hate for my birth mother and many people call me a “true adoptee.” I don’t accept that label. There is no “true adoptees” or “fake adoptees” in this world, there are simply children that weren’t wanted or loved by their parents and those that were. Do some young women get tricked, forced, or coerced into giving up their kids? Absolutely this happens, I was raised in the bible belt here in America and know what that culture can be like. It is also not hard for me to imagine such pride and shame being used in Asian countries where shame plays such a large daily role. Although I allow my past to color my feelings towards my birth mother, I do not allow it to shape my opinion of adoption as a whole. That is the difference I think between me and many birth mothers who appear to be overly reactive towards adoption due to their personal past and pain.

Adoption is a GOOD thing. No one can change that opinion in me. Sure, I’ve seen the statistics that adoption causes suicidal tendencies and that it isn’t really helping. It amazes me how often people use stats that include “X out of 5” because using 5 really makes the scale tip right? I hate when people throw statistics at me without basis. I don’t care if “Sally Adoption Advocate” is the top adoption writer in the world. If Sally didn’t interview EVERY FUCKING ADOPTEE IN THE WORLD then Sally cannot make the statement “70% of adoptees in this world do ____.” What adoptees did you interview? Far too often these anti-adoption sites will state such facts and it annoys the shit out of me. Samples are just that… samples, you cannot write a factual report on adoption without taking a HUGE international sample and still that won’t be accurate. Otherwise your facts are shit and I don’t buy them. Adoption isn’t a movement or a focus group… it can be the gift of love given by a humble heart.

Recently I entered into a discussion on a board that was full of birth mothers that were against adoption. They advocate for empowering the “mother” into keeping her child. The funny part is I agree that is a great thing! But in the same voice I will NEVER bash adoption or put it down. Many of these women do because they had bad experiences. Well, as I discussed, so did I, but I wouldn’t allow my personal experience in this matter to change my heart as a whole. That is not fair to adoptees stuck in hellish orphanages receiving two bowls of rice a day. I wonder if people that are against adoption have actually visited these places. Sure, someone will advocate for adopting foster kids or ADOPT AMERICAN like people are a product. That shit makes me angry as well and honestly it all comes back to my main point. In the end you must adopt yourself because acceptance of one’s self is the first and last step in life. There is nothing wrong with walking a road less traveled. The only thing ever wrong in life is to stop trying at life altogether.

-Opinionated Man

Jason Chandler Cushman

Ahn Soo Jin – Adopted 1983 from Busan, South Korea

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63 thoughts on “Adopting Yourself – By: Jason C. Cushman

  1. It took years for my children to gestate inside their bio-mothers. When my children FINALLY came to via the adoption route, I can’t tell you how happy and wonderful my life became. I have a friend, that I’ve know since I was zero, who found both of her birth parents. She hated both of them and never communicates with them. I have told both of my kids I would support them if they wanted to look up their birth parents. At one point, my daughter was interested but when she turned 18 a few years back, she changed her mind and said it wasn’t important to her. My son has NEVER wanted to look them up, in fact has never wanted to see the photo I have of his bio-mom (or as my friend calls, the incubator-mom). Personally, I can’t see why anyone would be against adoption.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As you know, my wife and I adopted two children. They were three and four at the time. The usual process was for us to gradually get to know them and then spend increasing amounts of time with them. Not with my kids. They were placed with a rich family in Miami. The Dad was quite a bit older. The mom discovered they weren’t the perfectly behaved children that she wanted. We were called for emergency placement. 16 years later, we’ve had many ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade the experience or the shot that we took at giving these kids an opportunity to have a better life.

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  3. There are so many wonderful families that are created through adoption. We are lucky that you arrived here to join a US family so that we have a chance to read your thoughts that you choose to share with us. I am very lucky to know many other people who grew up as part of an adoptive family and I’m grateful that each of them entered into my life.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I understand your feelings on this, I am also adopted. I am also blessed to have been adopted by really great parents, and I am repaying my mom 29 years later for everything she and my father did for me.

    I was also 17 when I got pregnant with my oldest daughter and I really considered placing her for adoption. In the end of things, I couldn’t do that. I have tried my best with her and her sister.

    Since I couldn’t give my child up, I do plan on adopting a child when the baby is a little older, I want to give another child a part of what I had.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You know OM, having been a follower from your very first post…this post is one of my favorites of yours. It’s your personal opinion and emotions.. .yet so inclusive and tame. You should write for journal about this. The tone you achieved in this piece is accepting and inclusive, it’s a powerful piece that will have a far reach.

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  6. It is good that you can let your feelings and your life be known. It can hopefully help let out any good and bad feelings. I pray this post will help someone else with their struggle in being adopted, or wanting to adopt. It doesn’t always go well as you say, but there are many lives who have benefited from being adopted, and for those who have adopted. We have a wonderful nephew, (my husband’s brother and his wife’s) oldest son was adopted as a baby after not being able to have one of their own. And then getting pregnant after he was adopted. They are all blessed to to have each other and be a big happy God loving family. Two boys who are really brothers, and two sons who are really sons. They are both happily married noq and the younger brother is a proud parent of his own son. The older and his wife are trying to have a child. Have a great week. Thinking of you around these holiday months. God’s love to you and your family.❤

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  7. I really appreciate this post as a fellow “adoptee”

    “What does it feel like to be adopted?” <— This question enrages me.

    I also agree, I hate being a statistic. Don’t try and tell me how I feel, I can’t even put words on it and I’m a writer.

    Just wanted to say I’m enjoying your page!🙂

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  8. Jason I appreciate how honestly you talk about your adoption. I have an almost two adopted nephew. He has four older adopted siblings and one older biological sibling who the parents didn’t put up for adoption (but will likely be going into foster care). Is there really any good way to explain that to a little boy? Does the whole “Your biological parents may not have wanted you but we chose you” help or only hinder?

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  9. Pingback: My Article Read (9-9-2015) | My Daily Musing

  10. Couldn’t agree more. I am all for adoption too. Statistics on suicide? Come on. All depends on how lucky one is, and how healthy are his/her genes. Same with those who were born and raised. If parents/adoptive parents love and want a child, this child will have a good start in life.
    Adopted children are wanted and chosen, right? It is even more special, to be chosen. Am i wrong?

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Chandler eh? Niiiice…

    Also; This; ‘If Sally didn’t interview EVERY FUCKING ADOPTEE IN THE WORLD then Sally cannot make the statement “70% of adoptees in this world do ____.” What adoptees did you interview?’ –

    I feel like kicking people in the shins while wearing steel capped boots when they come out with a contemptuous stereotype or generalised statements based on the LIMITED experience of a few – AND SPEAK LIKE IT IS FACT…. Hissing

    I think you and I have had conversations about generalised statements before.. lol

    ML
    x

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: Adopting Yourself – By: Jason C. Cushman | Creative Energy At Its Best

  13. I had to be “adopted” into my birth family because my Mom and Dad had me when my Mom was married to someone else. The divorce did not come through til I was 7. I guess I don’t know adoption in the sense you are discussing here, though there was teasing from other children in my school to contend with, because their parents knew the situation. It was unkind and unfair.

    In our 40’s my late husband and I adopted a child who needed a home. I told him the story as he grew up. He’s a young man of 25 years now, and though he has talked about his birth parents, he has not located them yet as far as I know. He’s my son and I’m his Mom. I know he must have struggles as I read what you write about it from the angle of being adopted. He must have questions, feelings and desires and I hope he finds resolution and answers at some point in his life.

    My final thought on this is that we are “adopted” into the family of God as His children when we put our trust in Him. This is a happy
    “adoption” for me. My own Dad is gone and my Mom lies bedridden unable to really communicate, so I appreciate my relationship with my Heavenly Father in the absence of my birth parents.

    Thanks for sharing your story. It gives me a lot of food for thought and some new insights. I appreciate it!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. My daughter got pregnant at 17. Her father demanded abortion. She said no! I agreed with her so I became the enemy too. Then he tried adoption. She said no, I want my baby. She gave birth to a boy who is now 17 and papa dear forgets all the shit he pulled in the beginning, but my daughter hasn’t forgotten.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I hate my birth mother. She could have given me to my father who wanted to keep me… but nope. Mom gave me up to CAS… or Child services in the States. I got into a horrible home, terrible drunken “parents”. Abusive too. I hated it. My foster dad died of AIDS, and 10 years ago my foster mom had a stroke. I was never adopted but it’s either sink or swim. I tried to swim but sank more than I would liked.

    But I’m in a better place now.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Jason, that is terrible what your birth mother did to you and your sister in the beginning. Even further when she refused to reconnect with you. I think you have to find forgiveness somehow in your heart for healing. You actually had a good thing happen when you were adopted by American parents. You are that much better off and very fortunate. Some orphans are never adopted.🙂 Anne

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  17. Keep in mind, not all opinions are formed due to bad or negative experiences. Yes, I believe best case is that a mother and her child stay together but I also recognize that’s not always possible.

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  18. There was a time in my life when I hoped I was an adopted child. To me then it was the only explanation I could find why my parents treated me the way they did. I knew it wasn’t possible -I look like my father- but still, I daydreamed about it.

    As for my parents, they should have give me up for adoption right then when I was born. Who knows what would have happened to me, if my Grandmother wouldn’t have taken me in.

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