April 2011 Archives

Flying to Conference

The American Adoption Congress Conference in 2008 was the first adoption conference I'd ever attended. I was swept away by the kindness and inclusion I experienced, especially among the other artists and the women I roomed with, strangers who became friends in no time. Most of the year, the Adoption Nation is invisible. You can't tell who we are. We can't even identify each other. In April, we emerge like rare butterflies and congregate, hundreds of us, in meeting rooms and coffee bars, arms round each other, indigo and emerald wings draped and fluttering.

- njb, 12 Apr 11 | link | 0 comments

Adopted People Are Not Blank Slates

"Physiologically, we are virtually identical to our ancestors who painted images of bison on the walls of the Lascaux cave in France... If one of their babies were to be dropped into the arms of an adoptive parent in twenty-first-century New York, the child would likely grow up indistinguishable from his or her peers....
... the child born today enters the world just as much a blank slate as the child born thirty thousand years ago..."
From Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
Untrue. None of us are blank slates. Foer has a three-year-old child but has yet to learn that his child came encoded with Foer characteristics - talents, tendencies, mannerisms, preferences, habits, and of course, appearances. The myth of the blank slate, popularized by criminal adoption brokers such as Georgia Tann, allows adoptive parents to justify transferring the human children of resource-less women to wealthy and "needy" adults in developed countries. Except we're not "transferable" blank slates. As we mature to adulthood, we either become who we always were or unconsciously grieve the loss of that person.
- njb, 3 Apr 11 | link | 0 comments