Useless Thoughts Running Through My Head

various musings of a generation x kad

Let’s talk about the non-adopted POC for a moment

Posted by thoughtful1 on May 4, 2007

Or, maybe the title should be “Let’s talk with the non-adopted POC for a moment.”

Here’s why:

I recently became acquainted with a UU group for People of Color. It is the only POC group I have ever been apart of, not including KAD (Korean adoptee) groups. I think sharing the same religion is what makes it easier for me to be part of this group. There’s something other than our non-whiteness holding us together. I find joining groups based solely on race makes me feel even more self-conscious and awkward about my identity. At least with UUs of Color there’s other stuff to talk about. And, many of them are also American, which also makes it easier for me to feel comfortable. They’re Westernized, like me!

However, I’ve been thinking that even though they are welcoming to adoptees, there is more they could learn. And I think they need to know more if they want transracial adoptees to feel comfortable approaching their birth communities. I think it would be helpful for them to know about things like loss, identity, and that our insecurity around our racial and ethnic identity may not be the same as theirs. I think many of the non-adopted POC think they have the same issues we have. While I cannot know exactly how another person is feeling, I suspect that it’s not quite the same. For starters, after spending the day in school with white kids I went home to… white people! I didn’t have Korean relatives who looked like me, or could tell me about Korea or Korean culture. Nothing. Inside, I am WASPy girl. Hell, some of my white friends have said I am whiter than they are. (I find this funny, not offensive, btw. They’re very good friends, and it’s kinda true…)

And, for loss, I think it’s important for that to be addressed. I’ve heard of things said to other adoptees that may (or may not) have triggered pain surrounding separation from the birth family. These things were said in jest, and said in friendship. I just think that the people saying them may not have realized the potential impact those words could have had on someone who’s adopted. I attended some sessions at UU General Assembly on transracial adoption. Mostly people talked about racism. The discussion touched on loss, but no one named it! No one said the word, “loss.” I found it surreal. After years in the KAD community listening to people talk about loss as well as race, I found it bizarre that in a discussion about transracial adoption no one was talking about loss. A few people did express feelings related to loss, but no one explicitly addressed. And I think some of the adoptees in the session needed to talk about it, or have it named for them to help them identify some of things they were feeling.

I think it’s necessary to bring this up with UUs of Color because our denomination has quite a few transracial adoptees, and I know from my own experience how hard it can be to join a group of Koreans/Asians. To make it easier for transracial adoptees approaching their birth communities, we need our various groups of UUs of Color to know about adoption issues, and how to be more welcoming to them and more sensitive to adoptees’ needs.

So, if you’re a transracial adoptee, or depending on your politics, a transracially adopted person, what would you want non-adopted people of your race/ethnicity to know about you and your adoption experience? What would help them help you feel welcome and comfortable among them? What have any of them done that’s been hurtful? (I know plenty of KADs have stories of what Koreans have done wrong!!)

What say you all?

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One Response to “Let’s talk about the non-adopted POC for a moment”

  1. m said

    I was completely unaware that this group existed. I am the amom to a little girl adopted from China. DH and I attended a UU church for sometimes before adopting her and we found it a very “white” environment. We’ve recently been thinking about going back to a UU church since we’ve moved. I’m hoping to find more people of my DD’s race/ethnicity.

    I think I’ll link the group on my blog.

    m

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