Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday Find(s): Embrace your inner girl

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I have two sisters and a brother. Until today I didn't know that. I'll explain when my mind starts making sense of things.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

What this discussion needs to be about...

I'm just going to come out and say it. I'm fucking pissed off as hell right now. I have just discovered that a certain womanist has been on my blog and posting links on hers to a previous post I did about adoption. A few months back, I got into it with this womanist when she made some rather vulgar comments in a post about white adoptive parents (namely Angelina Jolie). To be honest, I didn't stick around for long enough for a second response from her (the first response she gave when I confronted her just came off as arrogant and uninformed) nor have I visited her blog since. For all I know she may have talked her way out of looking like an ass, but I really wouldn't know.

It troubles me that she decided to post this specific link. It troubles me because my post if misconstrued and twisted could be seen to support the arrogant assumptions she made about white adoptive parents.

Let me go on record right now so that there is no question where I stand: I do not believe that adoption is in the child's best interest. I believe that especially when it comes to those within the African diaspora, that because of an already colonized identity, an additional erasure of ones past history can be incredibly traumatic. This is not to say that all adoptees don't too struggle with a seemingly lost identity when entering into an adoptive family, just that colonial histories are uniquely disruptive to diasporic Black African adoptees.

However, as traumatic as this additional colonial baggage can be this does not mean that white adoptive parents can't parent and love their adopted children in a way that both seems natural and just plain right. I have only personally witnessed this on two occasions. The first being the love I received from my grandmother:


My grandmother was family. No matter how she came to be in my family, to me she will always be the "real" thing. At the end of her life, despite Alzheimer's disease robbing her of the ability to speak let alone recognize most of her family members, she still remembered me. I was the last person whose name she forgot (she referred to my amother as her sister) and when she no longer could speak her eyes would light up when we would look through picture albums of her and I from years past. She would point me out in those pictures, her eyes alight, smiling in recognition as she looked at me, as if to say "this is you, I know you still, I haven't forgotten my granddaughter".

The second occasion I witnessed how natural a white adoptive parent raising a child of colour could be was this past October. My kindergarten teacher (who has several adopted children) shared the pictures of her youngest son's reunion with his biological mother with my amother and myself. She was so genuinely happy for her son. She had fully supported him finding his mother, sending him, and even going as far as being the one to first suggest that he go to his country of birth. I will admit, seeing those pictures and seeing how supportive she was made me feel a little green.

I was envious, because my amother was not at all like that. But that's just my one experience...and not even my complete experience as an adoptee. Every adoptees experience is unique, and I most certainly do not speak for all adoptees. Making broad assumptions about adoptees, or their adoptive parents is ignorant.

On the other post, a commenter (whom I have tremendous respect for) made a comment about making the distinction between dysfunctional vs functional families as opposed to adoptive vs biological ones.

They got half of the equation correct.

It is imperative that adoptees speak up about the dysfunction resulting from their adoptions. I believe that dysfunction in adoptive families runs a separate course many times, than it does when it comes to dysfunction produced within a natural biological family structure. My amother repeatedly using the threat of surrendering her parental rights to the state was not only cruel because it was a constant reminder of being abandoned once already, but also because it reinforced the powerlessness adoptees feel in their new adoptive environments (I was the recipient of this woman's charity that could at any moment be withdrawn).

The nail the commenter did manage to hit squarely on the head was the fact that there needs to be some distinction between what is dysfunctional and what isn't but not opposed to anything, but rather in relation to adoptive families.

Had the womanist, who felt the need to post my link on her blog took the trouble to comment and clarify her intentions, I would not be so upset at the situation. The fact remains that the last time I had a conversation with this woman, her views were terribly one-sided. As it stands, it would appear that the view she has of adoptees and their adoptive parents is one which is only of dysfunction.

As much as I like the free promotion of my blog (I personally think everyone should be reading it!) I don't support those who would only limit themselves to a single story (refer to the second video in my featured videos in the sidebar for more on the "single story"). I don't want anything I write to be used to promote a single story, especially when it isn't even fully my own.

I never intended for the focus of this blog to be about adoption, but there will probably be more of my adoption story to be written down in the distant, and not-so-distant future. Because story needs to be told! (the parts sitting in my draft box waiting to be finished and published, the other parts being written in my mind...waiting to transpire into print). I just hope people realize mine is just one of many stories, and should not be used to affirm conclusively any negative misgivings one has surrounding adoption, transracial or otherwise until they have taken the time to actually understand the delicate nature of this issue.

Right now I'm listening to:

The Healer - Erykah Badu

Monday, January 04, 2010

6 ways mushrooms can save the world

Ok, so you're probably reading the title and thinking WHATtheFUCK. I saw this in class today, and just had to share. I am constantly telling people that I am going to save the world, except I haven't figured out how to do it yet! But this guy (whose name is Paul Stamets btw) may actually be on to something. I never realized how fantastic mushrooms were!