After disclosing all that, I’m kind of at a loss for words. Ever the spazz, my feelings swing from “Ahhh, it feels good to get that off my chest” to “Oh my god, I can’t believe I just did that!” There’s this feeling of embarrassment that closely resembles the same feeling one might have after being busted walking naked out of the bathroom.
Forgive the analogy, it’s the closest thing that comes to mind. Writing about my experience was no accident, but the awkwardness that follows feels very similar. I’ve been thinking of where to go from here and decided to just get on with it. I’ve come this far so why not see where it all leads?
When I first began writing about my adoption experiences, my blog felt more like my own cozy corner where I could think out loud and share with my small group of friends. That has changed over the last few months. It’s like looking out your window and seeing a bunch of faces staring back at you. I’m not complaining but it is a little intimidating. The question becomes, “Where to go from here?”
I’ve always been hesitant to write about adoption from Vietnam specifically because my knowledge was limited due to my isolation. There were adoptees more capable than I who were doing great things to bring Vietnamese adoptees together and get their perspective out there. My experience as an adoptee kind of puts me on the fringe.
Most adoptees I’ve come into contact with are from Operation Babylift. You’d think it wouldn’t make much difference but I think it does in ways that are difficult to describe. I’ll have to save that one for another day. Needless to say, I have a difficult time relating to many other Vietnamese adoptees.
When Vietnam closed its doors to intercountry adoption, I kind of felt “released” from having to think about it. I could concentrate on my own experiences and those of the adoptees of my generation. Even after my birth country reopened its doors, intercountry adoptions seemed minimal from my isolated corner of the world. That too is changing which forces me to turn my mind outward. Some of the things I’m seeing are disturbing to say the least.
My generation is over-shadowed by a war which dilutes everything else, thus upping the gratitude factor. I’d be lying if I said my own perspective wasn’t similarly affected. It’s difficult not to let the “miracle” of having escaped and my feeling of being “lucky” negate everything else. To do that though would be just plain dishonest and an injustice to those who follow.
Times are different now and I know I have to adjust my thinking to fit the times. The new generation of Vietnamese adoptees will be in circumstances similar to those in China. Social and economic factors will take center stage as the Vietnam war fades into history. The baby market side of adoption is as strong as ever and Vietnam is once again bleeping on the radar.
Both the US and Vietnamese governments have taken important steps to protect the children but is it enough? I think its imperative that there are people out there letting the baby-merchants know that, whether “state-approved” or not, they are being watched…very closely. Again, it’s those exploitable grey areas and the loopholes they provide that worry me.
Still, it doesn’t end there. Adoptive parents no longer have “the war” to use as a gag. With the new generations, it is my hope that we don’t see a repeat of the deception, denial, cluelessness, hidden racism and ethnocentrism I’ve seen with my generation and among some AP’s adopting from China and Korea.
All that said, I’m still playing catch-up so no conclusions yet. Heh, does anyone ever really catch up? For now, all I can do is hope, educate myself and do what I can when I can.
Added note: To those curious AP’s who’ve sent me subtle inquiries as to my “official position” on adoption and anyone in general who may be wondering, I don’t have one. So there.