Archive for March, 2015

I had started to talk to my adoptive parents about my life and family in Korea as soon as I had learned to to speak their language. It was a year after my arrival, but I would have talked sooner if we hadn’t moved  to Quebec seven months after my arrival to the USA, which forced me to learn their mother language, French, and forget the little bit of English I had learned in the US.

I would tell them how and when my mother died (in a bus accident when I was six years old) and they would usually listen without saying a word. When there was any response,  my adoptive father’s  response was something that came out of his twisted or pervert imagination, “hmm, maybe she commited suicide?” or worst he would imply that my biological mother could had been a prostitute.

Maybe that was the reason why I talked more to my adoptive mother than to him, although her reaction was not better than his.  Her usual response was, “No, your biological mom died when you were four.”  When I told her how I lost my father, she replied, “No, it’s not true. He abandoned you to his landlord, and after three or four days he was gone, the landloard took you to a home for abandoned children.” I could feel the anger and the frustration rising in me, but  I would control myself and patiently repeat my story again or explain her how things really happened or what age I was when they happened. I felt that she wasn’t listening to me  or that she believed I was a liar. She even asked me a few times if I hadn’t imagined everything.

She would sometimes say, “I see that from what you’re telling me, Korea is late by thirty years” or “from what you’re telling me, Korea is like Canada was thirty years ago.” The latter response encouraged me to talk about my childhood in Korea.  I realized  many years later  that she listened to me and believed me only when I talked about my life or general life in Korea without specifically talking about my family, otherwise she treated me as a liar. I didn’t know then that that she believed the lies the adoption agency had told her or wrote on my adoption papers. She loved their lies.

A few years later I was in deep depression.  The only thing that made me hold to the life was my little hope of being reunited with my family. The nun of my former orphanage (from which Holt processed my adoption) put me in contact with a Qubecoise nun who had worked with her in Korea.  I brought my memoir (which I had began to write  to search my family when I was teen and that I resumed as a therapeutic mean encouraged by my doctor) and I read her a part of it. My intention was to ask her to help me find my family after reading her that part of my life growing up with my siblings (I had thought she could help me with the searching since she had lived in Korea recently), but she suddenly cut in with the question, “are you sure you didn’t imagine or invent everything?” I swallowed my anger and sadness and I said calmly, “of course not, how could I?” and again she asked, “are you sure you didn’t invent this story?” She loved their lies too.

Adoption agencies’ truth is made up with lies. And adoptive parents love their lies.

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(While Quebec adopters are complaining about the long wait to buy a child abroad….)

In the video above,  Joël Legendre (a Quebec celebrity who adopted a Chinese boy in 2004) wishes  international adoption to be much easier. He thinks it has became too complicated to adopt, for example in China. He doesn’t understand why, when they are millions of children who are only waiting to have parents. He wants it to be much simpler and easier to adopt children all over the world because there are endless lists of parents here and around the world who want children, and children who want parents …

En Chine, un père continue à chercher son fils enlevé il y a huit ans…

(In China, a father continues to search for his son abducted eight years ago…)

et des milliers de parents souffrent l’agonie de Xiao [le père sur la vidéo ci-dessus] chaque année

(and thousands of parents experience the agony of Xiao [the father in the video above] every year)

father vanMore details on/Plus de détails sur BBC News.

“Le gouvernement chinois  ne fournit pas de chiffres mais le Département d’État des États-Unis estime que 20 000 enfants sont enlevés chaque année, ou 400 par semaine. Les médias chinois avancent que  le chiffre réel pourrait même être 200 000 par an, quoique la police rejette  cette estimation plus élevée. — Un petit garçon peut se vendre jusqu’à 100 000 RMB (16 000$US), il est indiqué, le double du prix pour une fille. — Une fois enlevés, les enfants sont le plus souvent vendus pour l’adoption mais certains sont obligés de travailler comme des mendiants pour les gangs criminels. La grande majorité de ceux qui sont enlevés sont tout simplement perdues à jamais. — Le trafic d’enfants a d’abord reçu une grande couverture médiatique en Chine il y a 12 ans, lorsque la police dans la province de Guangxi a découvert 28 bébés à l’arrière d’un bus qui avaient été drogués pour les faire taire et ensuite bourrés à l’intérieur des sacs en nylon, où l’un est mort de suffocation. — Mais tout comme les autorités ont intensifié la lutte, au cours des dernières années, les trafiquants d’enfants sont devenus plus sophistiqués.”

Les parents chinois sont en concurrence avec les candidats étrangers pour adopter des bébés en bonne santé

(Chinese parents compete with foreign applicants to adopt healthy babies)


More details on/ Plus de détails sur Global Times.

  “Il leur faut de 9 à 10 ans en moyenne pour adopter un enfant en bonne santé à partir des orphelinats de Shanghai — Pour les familles qui sont confrontées à des problèmes de fertilité, l’adoption est désormais leur seul espoir d’avoir un enfant en santé — Des orphelinats dans certaines provinces ont même été accusés d’accorder une priorité spéciale aux familles étrangères sur leurs homologues chinois. — En raison de la pénurie d’enfants adoptables en bonne santé, beaucoup de gens se sont tournés vers un marché clandestin pour trouver des enfants des trafiquants.”

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I lost my Mother tongue when I was a little girl.

Transported to a foreign land, I was colonized, emptied of every word you taught me and forcefully penetrated by foreign words.

I feel guilty for speaking their language as if it was my mother tongue.
I feel dirty speaking and thinking in the language that took the place of our Mother tongue.

My ‘mother tongue’, as defined by Statistics Canada, is the language I speak now, the language that was forced upon me.

I feel guilty and dirty for using their twisted definition of a mother tongue.

Our life together, I remember vividly.
The words you told me, I remember them as if you had told them in the language I speak now. The things I said or thought, I remember them as if I had said or thought them in my ‘mother tongue’.

I feel raped in my soul thinking of our life together in my ‘mother tongue’ that forcefully penetrated me leaving no space for our Mother tongue.

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Stockholm syndrome is when a hostage, kidnap victim or abuse victim develops sympathy and empathy and have positive feelings towards their captor or abuser. It was named after a bank robbery in Stockholm when a group of a bank employees were held hostage and developed a strong sense of empathy towards their captors. When this traumatic event was over, they even defended their captors by not wanting to say anything that might endanger their captors freedom. This usually happens because when the victim sees the smallest act of decent behavior as an extracted event which makes them see their captors as essentially good. This way they leave aside all the negative behavioral distinctions of their captors and focus on the positive ones. This syndrome is also called “traumatic bonding” or “victim brainwashing”.

What is Stockholm syndrome?, in BBC News Magazine.
Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an abuser, in Counselling Resource.

I didn’t want anything to do with my adopters, especially my male adopter.  When I first saw their picture at the orphange, I had named them “the American woman with yellow hair and her fat husband.”   I didn’t know what adoption meant. I’d been told they would be my American parents, but  I believed I would stay with them only temporarily.
The American woman looked strange to me with her yellow hair and pale face.  The American man’s face looked coarse and scary like most of American men’s faces. I hated the smell and  the perfume of the yellow-haired American woman. I hated her touching me and being kissed by her at the airport. I accepted her after she offered me a watch and other trinkets the following day, but I still hated her smell. She introduced herself and her fat man as “mommy” and “daddy”. That’s how I called them but I didn’t know the real meaning of these words, I thought they meant uncle and aunt  equivalent of Mr and Mrs in my language (which I lost and became a foreign language).  I wouldn’t  let her fat man approach me for a few days.  I finally accepted to follow him to run errands only because he kept some cookies in his car, but I didn’t want to be near him when we were alone.  And then I accepted him after a few weeks  when he brought me to Mass, because the only thing familiar to me in this foreign land was the way Catholics pray. After a few weeks of stay I wanted to go back home (my country)…

A year later  I was thinking of those days (I remembered there was then no love between them and me. Despite everything my mother was repeatedly claiming– that the love for an adopted child being not different than for a biological child or that there is no difference between adopting and giving birth to a child–, I knew she didn’t love me as a mother loves her child) and I wondered how I ended up considering and loving them as my real parents.

When I first heard about Stockholm syndrome a few years ago in an adoption forum, I recalled those days and it made some sense. But I firmly believed that, in my case,  my love for my adoptive parents was a genuine love. It took some times, healing and maturity  to realize and finally admit (appraching my 50) that it was not love but a strong attachment that began with a traumatic bonding.

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Schadenfruede: a German word meaning a pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others; pleasure taken at someone else’s misfortune; delight in another’s misfortune. This word can be translated to “harm-joy” or “malicious joy”.

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