Recensione del libro antologico adottato dalla Bolivia

I was really excited when I heard there was a book created by a global network of Bolivian adoptees! I LOVE that we are hearing from them because although they are not as numerous as the Colombian or Chilean cohorts of intercountry adoptees, they are part of the large numbers who have been sent out of South America as children. Their voice, like all groups of intercountry adoptees, is really important!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Communal Histories of Displacement and Adoption. It covers a wide range of 20 Bolivian adoptee experiences adopted into adopting countries in Europe (Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Norway), the USA and Canada. What I immediately responded to was the beautiful artwork that draws you in visually, providing a sense of the colourful, vibrant Bolivian heart and soul within these lives, despite the effects of displacement and adoption.

I feel the choice of the word “displacement” in the title is very progressive, a reflection of the wider adoptee journey of awakening. It has taken the global community of adoptees many decades to come to terms with and find our own voice about being the products of forced adoption, i.e., being removed from our countries against our will. Adoption is something that happens to us, never at all our choice and not always in our best interests as many of us attest to decades on, and some of these voices include this sentiment in this book.

What I also love is that this book is funded by the Belgium Adoption Support Centre – Steunpunt adotta, a non-profit organisation subsidised by the Belgium government. They are mainly responsible for post adoption services and in the past few years, they support adoptees via their annual call for adoptee led projects. The Network of Bolivian adoptees twice received funding: for the first Bolivian adoptee meeting in Brussels in 2019; and then for the book in 2020. Let’s hope this encourages other countries around the world to provide funding for adoptee led projects like this anthology!

The book is a nice short read (98 pages) with a wide range of writing styles. If you have a spare hour or two and want to better understand the lived experience of Bolivian adoptee voices, I highly recommend you grab a copy!

You can purchase the book at this collegamento.

risorse

Facebook group for Rete di adottati boliviani

Related resource: Colombian Adoptee Anthology Book Review

Dove appartengo?

di Charisse Maria Diaz, born as Mary Pike Law, cross cultural adoptee born in Puerto Rico

Pote de leche are Spanish words for “milk bottle”. Where I was born, this is how someone is described when they are too white. Yes, too white. That is what I was called at school when bullied. In my teens, I spent many Sundays sunbathing in the backyard of our home. This was one of the many ways I tried to fit in.

My tendency has been to consider myself a transcultural adoptee and not a transracial adoptee, because my adoptive parents were Caucasian like me. Recently, I realized their looks do not make my experience too different from the experience of any transracial adoptee. I was born in Puerto Rico from an American mother and English father and adopted by a Puerto Rican couple. Puerto Ricans have a mix of Native Taino, European and African genes, our skin colors are as varied as the colors of a rainbow. The most common skin tones go from golden honey to cinnamon. For some, I looked like a little milk-colored ghost.

My adoptive mother told me that an effort was made by the Social Services Department, which oversaw my adoption process, to make the closest match possible. She said the only things that did not “match” with her and my adoptive father were my red hair and my parents’ (actually, my natural father’s) religion. I was supposed to be an Anglican but was going to be raised as a Catholic. This was part of the brief information she gave me about my parents, when she confessed that they were not dead as I had been told at 7 years old. She also admitted that I was not born in Quebec, which they also made me believe. I was born in Ponce, the biggest city on the southern shore of the island. She gave me this information when I was 21 years old.

So, at 21 years of age, I discovered that I was a legitimate Puerto Rican born in the island, and also that my natural father was an English engineer and my natural mother was Canadian. I was happy about the first fact and astonished about the rest. Suddenly, I was half English and half Canadian. At 48 years old I found my original family on my mother’s side. Then I discovered this was a misleading fact about my mother. She was an American who happened to be born in Ontario because my grandfather was working there by that time. I grew up believing I was a Québéquois, after that I spent more than two decades believing that I was half Canadian. All my life I had believed things about myself that were not true.

I learned another extremely important fact about my mother. She was an abstract-expressionist painter, a detail that was hidden by my adoptive family in spite of my obvious artistic talent. I started drawing on walls at 2 years old. My adoptive parents believed that art was to be nothing more than a hobby, it was not a worthy field for an intelligent girl who respected herself and that happened to be their daughter. This did not stop me, anyway. After a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and a short career as a copywriter, I became a full-time painter at the age of 30. To discover that my mother was a painter, years later, was mind-blowing.

Identity construction or identity formation is the process in which humans develop a clear and unique view of themselves, of who they are. According to Erik Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development, this process takes place during our teen years, where we explore many aspects of our identities. It concludes at 18 years old, or, as more recent research suggests, in the early twenties. By that age we should have developed a clear vision of the person we are. How was I supposed to reach a conclusion about who I was, when I lacked important information about myself?

My search for my original family started when there was no internet, and it took me more than 20 years to find them. I did not arrive in time to meet my mother. A lifelong smoker, she had died of lung cancer. I connected with my half-siblings, all of them older than me. They were born during her marriage previous to her relationship with my father. Two of them were old enough to remember her pregnancy. They had been enthusiastically waiting for the new baby, just to be told that I was stillborn, news that hurt them so much. Before she passed away, my mother confessed to my siblings that I was relinquished for adoption. Through them, I learned what a difficult choice it was for my mother to let me go.

During my search, well-known discrimination against Latinos in sectors of the American culture gave me an additional motive to fear rejection. I didn’t know I had nothing to worry about. My siblings welcomed me with open arms. Reconnecting with them has been such a heartwarming, comforting, life-changing experience. We are united not only by blood, but also by art, music, literature, and by ideas in common about so many things, including our rejection of racism. It was baffling to learn that my opinions about society and politics are so similar to my natural parents’ points of view, which were different, and sometimes even opposite to my adoptive parents’ beliefs.

My siblings remember my father, their stepfather, fondly. With their help I was able to confirm on the Internet that he had passed away too. His life was a mystery not only to me, but to them too. A few years later, I finally discovered his whereabouts. He lived many years in Australia and was a community broadcasting pioneer. A classical music lover, he helped to establish Sydney-based radio station 2MBS-FM and worked to promote the growth of the public broadcasting sector. His contributions granted him the distinction of being appointed OBE by the British government. My mind was blown away for a second time when I learned that he had dedicated his life to a field related to mass communication, which was my career of choice before painting. My eldest half-brother on his side was the first relative I was able to contact. “Quite a surprise!”, he wrote the day he found out that he had a new sister. Huge surprise, indeed. My father never told anyone about my existence. Now I got to know my half-siblings and other family members on his side too. They are a big family, and I am delighted to keep in touch with them.

My early childhood photo

With each new piece of information about my parents and my heritage, adjustments had to be made to the concept of who I am. To be an international, transcultural, transracial adoptee can be terribly disorienting. We grow up wondering not only about our original families, but also about our cultural roots. We grow up feeling we are different from everyone around us, in so many subtle and not so subtle ways… In my case, feeling I am Puerto Rican, but not completely Puerto Rican. Because I may consider myself a true Boricua (the Taino demonym after the original name of the island, Borikén), but in tourist areas people address me in English, and some are astonished to hear me answer in Spanish. More recently, I have pondered if my reserved nature, my formal demeanor, my cool reactions may be inherited English traits. And getting to know about my parents, even some of my tastes, like what I like to eat and the music I love, has made more sense. But in cultural terms I am not American or British enough to be able to wholly consider myself any of these. Where do I belong, then? And how can I achieve completion of my identity under these conditions? It is a natural human need to belong. Many times I have felt rootless. In limbo.

A great number of international adoptees have been adopted into Anglo-Saxon countries, mostly United States and Australia, and many of them come from places considered developing countries. The international adoptee community, which has found in social media a great tool to communicate, receive and give support, and get organized, encourages transracial and transcultural adoptees to connect with their roots. My case is a rare one, because it is the opposite of the majority. I was adopted from the Anglo-Saxon culture to a Latin American culture. I never imagined that this would put me in a delicate position.

Puerto Rico has a 500-year-old Hispanic culture. I am in love with the Spanish language, with its richness and infinite subtleties. I feel so honored and grateful to have this as my first language. We study the English language starting at first grade of elementary school, because we are a United States’ territory since 1898, as a result of the Spanish-American war. We are United States citizens since 1914. We have an independentist sector and an autonomist sector which are very protective of our culture. Historically, there has been a generalized resistance to learning English. In my case, I seem to have some ability with languages and made a conscious effort to achieve fluency, for practical reasons but also because it is the language of my parents and my ancestors.

In 2019 I traveled to Connecticut to meet my eldest half-brother on my mother’s side. That year, a close friend who knew about my reunion with natural family told me that someone in our circle had criticized the frequency of my social media posts in the English language. Now that I am in touch with my family, I have been posting more content in English, and it seems this makes some people uncomfortable. But the most surprising part is that even a member of my natural family has told me that I am a real Boricua and should be proud of it. I was astonished. Who says I am not proud? I have no doubt that this person had good intentions, but no one can do this for me. Who or what I am is for me to decide. But the point is some people seem to believe that connecting with my Anglo-Saxon roots implies a rejection of Puerto Rican culture or that I consider being Puerto Rican an inferior condition, something not far from racism. Nothing could be farther from the truth! I was born in Puerto Rico and love my culture.

Puerto Rico’s situation is complicated, in consequence my identity issues became complicated. I am aware of our island’s subordinated position to a Caucasian English-speaking country; that this circumstance has caused injustices against our people; that our uniqueness needs to be protected and celebrated. Being aware sometimes makes our lives more difficult, because we understand the deep implications of situations. There was a time when I felt torn by the awareness of my reality: being Puerto Rican and also being linked by my ancestry to two cultures which for centuries dedicated their efforts to Imperialism. I am even related through my father to Admiral Horatio Nelson, a historical character that embodies British imperialism. How to reconcile that to my island’s colonial history and situation? Where I was going to put my loyalty? To feel that I was being judged for reconnecting to my original cultures – something every international adoptee is encouraged to do – did not help me in the task of answering these difficult questions.

Even when they were not perfect and made mistakes, my natural parents were good people with qualities I admire. The more I get to know them, the more I love them. The more I know them, the more I see them in me. If I love them, I cannot reject where they came from, which is also a basic part of who I am. Therefore, I have concluded that I cannot exclude their cultures from my identity construction process.

To connect to these cultures until I feel they are also mine is a process. I am not sure if I will ever achieve this, but I am determined to go through this process without any feelings of guilt. To do so is a duty to myself, to be able to become whole and have a real, or at least a better sense of who I am. And it is not only a duty, it is also my right.

Ricerca e Riunione nell'adozione internazionale

Ricerca e riunione: impatti e risultati

Nel 2016, l'ICAV ha compilato la prima risorsa al mondo di voci sulla nostra esperienza vissuta condividendo gli alti e bassi della ricerca e dei ricongiungimenti, specifici dell'adozione internazionale. Nessuna risorsa del genere esisteva prima e tuttavia, in quanto adottati, una delle nostre più grandi sfide nel corso della nostra vita, è contemplare se vogliamo cercare, cosa è coinvolto e capire come farlo. Volevo fornire un modo per rispondere a queste domande, quindi ho chiesto agli adottati dell'ICAV di condividere le loro esperienze, concentrandomi sulle lezioni apprese dopo aver guardato indietro con il senno di poi. Ho anche chiesto loro di condividere ciò che le autorità e le organizzazioni potrebbero fare per sostenerci meglio nel nostro processo di ricerca e ricongiungimento. Ho pubblicato il nostro documento prospettico in inglese e francese ed è finito per essere un documento di 101 pagine (libro) che copre le esperienze degli adottati da 14 paesi di nascita, adottato in 10 paesi adottivi.

Dato che uno degli argomenti centrali di discussione alla recente Commissione speciale dell'Aia è il supporto post adozione, ho ritenuto opportuno condividere nuovamente il nostro documento e fornire un riepilogo di ciò che cattura per coloro che non hanno il tempo di leggere il 101 pagine ea beneficio delle autorità centrali e delle organizzazioni post-adozione per imparare dalle nostre esperienze.

Riepilogo dei temi chiave da "Ricerca e riunione: impatti e risultati" di InterCountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) 2016

Problemi e sfide affrontate utilizzando i servizi di tracciamento:

  • La necessità di una consulenza specializzata è un tema ricorrente nella maggior parte delle storie, in particolare per preparare gli adottati al primo incontro, fornito da qualcuno che ha capito ed è specializzato nell'adozione internazionale
  • Le ricerche sono spesso condotte attraverso siti di social network che possono lasciare gli adottati vulnerabili e non adeguatamente supportati per impegnarsi con le famiglie di nascita
  • Problemi e barriere della privacy
  • La necessità di accedere ai documenti di nascita per aiutare con la riconnessione delle nascite
  • Diversi casi hanno menzionato problemi con passaporto e visti
  • L'agenzia di adozione non rivelerebbe informazioni identificative sulla loro famiglia natale a causa della privacy
  • Trasparenza dei servizi e dove accedervi
  • Presupposto che i documenti di nascita siano accurati, nonostante la corruzione
  • Il senso di "ricostruire la tua storia"
  • Sfida a mantenere una relazione con la famiglia natale a causa di barriere linguistiche e culturali
  • Hai bisogno di leggi e processi più standardizzati che le agenzie di adozione devono seguire quando gli adottati cercano le loro informazioni
  • Leggi approvate per consentire agli adottati l'accesso ai loro file
  • È necessario un maggiore supporto per gli adottati nella consulenza e nella traduzione durante la ricerca
  • Servizio di consulenza facilitato che ha assistito nel processo di ricerca e ricongiungimento dall'inizio alla fine
  • Elenco degli adottati come mentori che hanno seguito il processo
  • Le storie di ricerche degli adottati e la loro riconciliazione di tali ricerche fornirebbero supporto emotivo ad altri adottati che pensano di iniziare la propria ricerca

Suggerimenti per un migliore supporto per gli adulti adottati durante la ricerca di famiglie nate:

  • La documentazione è la chiave e l'adozione aperta è il modo migliore per fornire supporto
  • La necessità di interattivo gruppi di supporto e per sapere dove trovarli
  • Un'istruzione completa per i genitori adottivi per aiutarli a gestire i problemi per tutta la vita degli adottati e una consulenza economica per tutte le parti nel processo di adozione, e in particolare per avere accesso a questo supporto indipendentemente dalla fase del processo di adozione
  • Avere un assistente sociale che "controlla" le persone che vengono adottate per tutta la vita
  • Mantenimento di una banca dati per consentire di condurre la ricerca con accesso ad altre banche dati come nascite, adozioni, decessi e matrimoni in ogni paese
  • Alcuni adottati vogliono che le famiglie adottive abbiano una formazione obbligatoria che li aiuti a gestire le problematiche degli adottati fino all'età di 18 anni – educazione alla lingua, storia della cultura, l'importanza di avere tutti i documenti, il valore di fare visite regolari insieme al paese di origine
  • Includere il test del DNA dell'adottato fatto, S o N nel file di adozione

Citazioni chiave degli adottati sulla loro esperienza di riunificazione:

“L'adozione è un viaggio lungo una vita e ancora oggi ho nuove rivelazioni della mia adozione. L'impatto "generale" è stato di un profondo potenziamento che è nato da una grande angoscia".

“Anche se ho avuto una sessione con un ottimo psicologo prima della mia riunione, sento ancora che c'era molto di più di cui avrei dovuto essere informato. Vorrei essere stato indirizzato ad altri adottati disposti a condividere la loro esperienza del loro ricongiungimento con suggerimenti, consigli e supporto.

"È stato devastante per me rendermi conto che la mia famiglia natale è fondamentalmente estranea e se volevo una relazione con loro, avrei dovuto sacrificare la vita che ho costruito dopo che mi hanno rifiutato e alterare nuovamente l'identità che ho lottato per sviluppare, solo per adattarsi alle loro aspettative”.

“I maggiori ostacoli per la ricerca e il ricongiungimento nella mia esperienza hanno incluso:

Essere un "turista" nel mio paese di nascita. Ho trovato sorprendentemente difficile e difficile che persone della stessa nazionalità presupponessero che fossi uno di loro e poi dovessero spiegare la mia situazione di adozione.

Dopo il ricongiungimento, vale a dire, affrontare le conseguenze dell'apertura della porta al passato: è irreversibile! Avrei dovuto essere più preparato e supportato meglio per gli aspetti e le conseguenze del dopo ricongiungimento”.

“Ci sono voluti molti anni per venire a patti correttamente e per capire la mia adozione dopo il ricongiungimento. Ha indubbiamente influenzato in meglio la mia identità e il corso della mia vita. La mia adozione è diventata qualcosa che ho imparato ad apprezzare ed evolvere con. Imparare che la mia vita sarebbe dovuta finire prima ancora che io nascessi, mi ha reso incredibilmente grato e motivato a fare qualcosa con la mia vita.

“Le prime ferite quando si è separati dalle madri sono esacerbate dal mistero delle domande senza risposta”.

Per leggere il Documento Prospettico ICAV completo: Ricerca e riunione – Impatti e risultati in inglese o francese, guarda la nostra collezione di Documenti prospettici.

Abby Forero-Hilty alla Commissione speciale dell'Aia

di Abby Forero Hilty, adopted from Colombia to the USA; Co-founder of Colombian Raíces; author of Decodificare le nostre origini
Speech for Day 3, Session 1: Introductory Post Adoption Matters Panel

Artwork by Renée S. Gutiérrez, co-author of Decoding Our Origins

Top 3 Areas of Concern based on the Post-Adoption Services Discussion Paper with excerpts in italics.

1. (2.4.2. Raising awareness of post-adoption services)

Points to Consider:

The best way to ensure that adopted people are receiving relevant, targeted, and high-quality post-adoption services is by having trauma- and adoption-informed adult intercountry adoptees working with the adoptee community to compile a list of such services. These adult adoptees would be PAID for their services. Intercountry adoptees, especially those who are trauma- and adoption-informed, are the only true experts in the needs of intercountry adoptees. Their expertise must be recognised, financially compensated, and required in the provision of any and all post-adoption services. We recognise the paucity in the number of trained, licensed, and qualified intercountry adoptee providers and therefore acknowledge that qualified non-intercountry adoptee providers can also be beneficial (with significant trauma- and adoption-informed training).

Recommendations:

  • All post-adoption services should be provided free of charge to the adopted person (and family of birth) throughout their lifetime, recognising that each adopted person is different and that some individuals may request/require support starting early in life, while others might only start on this journey decades after their adoption.
  • Adoptive families should be assigned a trained, trauma and adoption-informed intercountry adoptee who can serve as a single point of contact for the adopted person, to ensure they have confidential access to these services when they need them.
    – The State should ensure that the adopted person knows how to – and is able to – access this person
  • Access to full birth records and identifying information on the adopted person’s mother and father
    – Birth records must be easy and confidential for the adopted person to access at any point in their lifetime
  • Assistance in translating and understanding the birth records and other associated adoption paperwork (as each country is different, this must be country-specific assistance)
  • Preparation and education on race and racism (in cases of transracial adoption, the White adoptive parents cannot equitably provide the necessary social and cultural preparedness to adopted children of colour as they are not members of the adopted child’s racial and cultural community. White adoptive parents in White dominated spaces do not have lived experiences of being targets of micro-aggressions and racism.
  • Reculturation, or the process by which intercountry adoptees reclaim their original cultural heritage, should be supported through education and immersive experiences such as birth country trips to their country of origin.
  • DNA testing and databases are models of adoptee support in several countries with problematic adoption practices. DNA testing and country sponsored databases should be promoted, supported, and maintained at no cost to adoptees or first family members.
  • Citizenship (country of birth) re-acquisition support and processes should be offered to adoptees who desire to become dual or full citizens of their countries of birth.

Psychological, emotional, and mental health support via psychotherapy and counselling modality/modalities as chosen by the adopted person and offered by trauma and adoption-informed providers.

2. The right of the adoptee to obtain information about their origins is well established in international law, in particular in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC, Arts 7 and 8) as well as in the 1993 Adoption Convention (Art. 30).

Questions:

  • How is the collection of true and accurate information on the identities of the natural mother and father ensured?
  • When and by whom is that information checked and confirmed in both the sending and receiving countries?
  • What procedure is in place to absolutely ensure that that information is preserved and can be given directly to the adopted person – without having to go through the adoptive parents?

Recommendations:

  • There should be no barriers in place (such as minimum age requirement, consent of birth and/or adoptive parents, etc.) in order for the adopted person to easily and confidentially access their own familial information.
    – Some central authorities require adoptees to provide a psychological referral and proof of ongoing counselling (presumably paid for by the adoptee) when the adoptee contacts the central authority for birth family information and search. This practice is unfair and must end.
  • The desire for confidentiality on the identity of the birth parents, either by the birth family or adoptive family, should never be a reason to deny the adopted person their identity. They have the right to their identity. That right should supersede any other party’s desire for secrecy. The secrecy in adoption must end.
  • Central Authority websites must have a clearly marked section for adoptees of all ages to access information on birth family search and reunion:
    – There must be a transparent and simple procedure for accessing this information that is clearly presented on the website;
    – This information must be presented not only in the language of the country of origin, which most transnational adoptees will not be able to read and understand, but also in a language the adoptees themselves can read and understand, e.g., English or German;
    – This information must be made accessible to adoptees with vision and/or hearing impairments
  • What is truly in the “best interest” of the adopted person must be prioritized.
    – Denying someone the truth of their identity is never in anyone’s best interest.

3. Regarding the professionals involved in the post-adoption services, some States arrange for the same professionals to prepare prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) and provide post-adoption services, 30 while in other States the professionals are different ones. 31 For other States, the professionals involved depend on the region and / or the case at hand

Questions:

  • What qualifications do “professionals” have?
  • Who determines who a “professional” is?
  • There is a major conflict of interest when the “professional” is “preparing” the Prospective Adoptive Parents AND providing post-adoption services to those displaced by adoption.
    – How can the “professional” who is responsible for facilitation adoptions also be providing adoptees with post-adoption services? There is substantial mistrust in the adoptee community of “adoption professionals” who facilitate adoptions – and rightfully so.

Recommendations:

  • In some instances, professionals who both facilitate adoptions and also provide post adoption services may be engaged in dual roles with adoptees and their adoptive families, creating an ethical dilemma. Hence post-adoption services should be provided by separate parties and entities than the adoption service providers.
  • Intercountry adoptees, who are often transracial as well, who have undergone training in the social service field and or are licensed mental health providers, are poised to be in the best position to lead and guide post-adoption services given their lived experiences and extensive training. Ideally, post adoption service providers will represent a broad array of birth/first countries to better serve adoptees from various sending countries.
  • Although we strongly recommend that qualified intercountry adoptees are at the frontlines of facilitating and providing direct post-adoption services, we recognise the need for quality post-adoption services exceeds the potential numbers of professionally trained intercountry adoptees available. Therefore, we would be supportive of non-intercountry adoptee post-adoption service providers if they are licensed mental health providers, have evidence of adoption-informed training to include significant education and understanding of culturally responsive strategies as they apply to intercountry adoptees.

Read our previous post: Adottivi presso la Commissione speciale dell'Aia

Colin Cadier alla Commissione speciale dell'Aia

di Colin Cadier, adopted from Brazil to France, President of La Voix des Adoptés
Presentation at Session 1, Day 1: Voices of Adoptees Panel

Mesdames et messieurs les représentants des Etats signataires, les délégués et représentants d’associations, d’autorités nationales ou internationales,

Je salue cette espace d’expression ouvert aux acteurs de la société civile, et notamment nous Personnes Adoptées, concernés directement par le sujet qui nous mobilise aujourd’hui et les jours à venir. Je tiens à remercie particulièrement Lynelle LONG (InterCountry Adoptees Voices) pour avoir invité La Voix des Adoptés à se joindre à sa délégation, et également le Bureau Permanent, en la personne de Laura MARTINEZ avec qui j’ai eu l’occasion d’échanger de nombreuses fois, notamment ces dernières semaines pour nous aider à préparer ce panel.

Je m’appelle Colin CADIER, je suis né en 1980 à Recife (Brésil), adopté à 15 jours par un couple Français dits “expatriés”, je réside aujourd’hui à Marseille (France) où je travaille dans l’administration territoriale en lien avec l’international… Je suis binational (franco-brésilien), tricullturel (franco-sudamericain) et quadrilingue (si je me permets de compter l’anglais). 

Depuis 2019, je suis le Président de La Voix Des Adoptés, une association de droit français, existante depuis 2005 qui agit sur tout le territoire (avec des antennes à Paris, Lille, Lyon, Tour, Marseille) en lien avec de nombreux pays (Brésil, Colombie, Guatemala, Roumanie, Vietnam, Bulgarie ) qui participe aux réunions collégiales d’un organe consultatif traitant particulièrement des sujets liés à l’adoption internationale (aux côtés d’autres associations) et intervient par les témoignages de ses bénévoles auprès d’associations partenaires qui accompagnent notamment les parents/familles candidates à l’adoption. Outre les Groupes de Paroles, et les événements culturels ou conviviaux organisés par la quarantaine de bénévoles investis, nous animons une WebRadio, développons un Jeu pédagogique sur l’adoption et nous travaillons conjointement avec notre Autorité Centrale qui a participé à notre récent séminaire annuel de formation de nos bénévoles, l’Association Racines Coréennes (de 10 ans notre aînée), le SSI France, l’AFA, la Fédération EFA et bien d’autres associations nationales ou locales, en France ou à l’étranger.

Au regard des nombreuses demandes que nous recevons des personnes adoptées faisant des recherches sur leurs origines, force est de constater qu’en l’absence d’un référentiel mondial reconnu par les autorités des Etats concernés, un certain nombre de personnes nées dans certains pays puis recueillies dans des foyers d’un autre pays – au cours des dernières décennies du siècle passé, rencontrent des difficultés à accéder aux informations sur leur famille de naissance, ou sur les circonstances de leur naissance jusqu’à leur arrivée dans leur nouveau foyer… Rédiger et adopter ce nouveau texte en 1994 qui a été ratifié progressivement par un très grand nombre d’Etats soucieux d’établir un cadre structuré sur les conditions spécifiques pour “donner une famille à un enfant” (tout en veillant à respecter le meilleur intérêt de l’enfant), a constitué une avancée majeure. Quant aux modalités d’application dudit texte, chaque Etat signataire en la responsabilité au regard de sa législation et de ses politiques publiques en matière de protection de l’enfance… La diversité des situations socio-politico-économiques des Etats, du rôle des différents acteurs publics ou privés, impliqués, démontrent qu’il demeure encore des points à améliorer.

La convention de La Haye prévoit bien des dispositions concernant les informations détenues par les autorités sur les origines de l’enfant et leur accès avec des conseils appropriés (articles 30 et 31), mais un certain nombre de personnes adoptées devenues adultes recherchent des informations sur leur origine et se heurtent à des fins de non recevoir. Les motifs peuvent être très variés, selon la date, le lieu de naissance et les conditions dans lesquelles la procédure d’adoption s’est déroulée, il existe souvent un écart voire un fossé entre les informations disponibles et celles recherchées par les personnes adoptées dans leur enfance.

C’est pour cette raison que nous, association d’adoptés et EFA (association de parents adoptants/adoptifs), avons adressé un courrier aux trois ministres de tutelle de l’autorité centrale française pour demander la mise en place d’une commission d’experts indépendants dans le but d’éclairer sur des pratiques qui malheureusement laissent AUJOURD’HUI des personnes sans réponses à leurs questionnements. Et pourtant, ces adoptés n’ont d’autre choix que de se tourner vers les autorités compétentes (les autorités centrales et celles intervenant dans la protection de l’enfance) pour tenter d’obtenir des clarifications ou des explications.

Il est vrai que dans le cadre de la récente réforme engagée par le gouvernement français concernant les structures en charge des politiques publiques de protection de l’enfance, notre association a été invitée à prendre part aux instances de gouvernance de la nouvelle entité en cours d’installation. Nous sommes très reconnaissants de cette place qui nous est accordée d’autant plus que nous comptons apporter notre savoir “expérienciel” sur les questions liées à la Recherche des Origines et la mise en place de dispositifs d’accompagnement (administratif, socio-psychologique) ou d’assistance juridique pour les personnes adoptées, et idéalement avec des mécanismes (ou instruments) de coopération avec les autorités compétentes (centrales) des pays dits de naissance.

Nous espérons voir la nouvelle structure se doter des moyens nécessaires pour pouvoir répondre à la demande des personnes adoptées. Il est à noter que de nombreuses personnes adoptées (aujourd’hui adultes, majeures révolues) correspondent à des adoptions qui ont eu lieu avant 1993, comme en témoignent les statistiques (puisque le nombre d’enfants nées et adoptées à l’étranger a diminué de façon progressive mais plutôt significative au fil des années jusqu’à nos jours – passant de plusieurs milliers par an à quelques centaines). Même si pour la plupart des adoptions qui ont eu lieu à partir des années 2000, les données sont disponibles et accessibles, il n’en demeure pas moins un besoin d’accompagnement au moment notamment où la personne adoptées exprime son souhait éventuel de retrouver les membres de sa famille de naissance… Certaines autorités centrales se proposent de faire le nécessaire, d’autres sont démunies ou ne disposent pas des moyens légaux, humains, matériels ou financiers nécessaires… Enfin le paysage des structures privées lucratives ou non lucratives n’en n’est pas moins varié : des personnes peu scrupuleuses ou malveillantes, aux bénévoles dévoués mais pas forcément “préparées” ou outillées pour faire face à des situations humaines complexes voire dramatiques, sans oublier la barrière de la langue… Tout cela nous conduit aujourd’hui à attirer votre attention Mesdames et Messieurs sur cette réalité: Comment orientons nous les personnes adoptées qui sont notamment plus âgées que vos respectifs organismes (créés à partir des années 2000), ou celles qui rencontrent encore, dans certains cas, des difficultés à trouver les informations sur leurs origines ? 
Dialoguer, coopérer et proposer des actions conjointes, constituent un moyen possible et positif pour permettre d’avancer, de répondre aux besoins des personnes adoptées ou des associations qui comptent sur le pouvoir d’intervention des autorités compétentes.

Je Vous remercie pour votre écoute et vous souhaite des échanges riches au cours au cours des prochains jours.

Traduzione inglese

Ladies and gentlemen, representatives of the signatory States, delegates and representatives of associations, national or international authorities,

I welcome this space of expression open to the actors of civil society, and in particular to us Adopted Persons, directly concerned by the subject that mobilizes us today and in the days to come. I would like to thank in particular Lynelle Long (InterCountry Adoptees Voices) for inviting La Voix des Adoptes to join her delegation, and also the Permanent Bureau, in the person of Laura Martinez with whom I have had the opportunity to exchange many times, especially in the last few weeks to help us prepare this panel.

My name is Colin CADIER, I was born in 1980 in Recife (Brazil), adopted at 15 days by a French couple called “expatriates”, I now reside in Marseille (France) where I work in the international territorial administration. I am bi-national (Franco-Brazilian), tri-cultural (Franco-South American) and quad-lingual (if I allow myself to count English).

Since 2019, I am the President of La Voix Des Adoptés, an association under French law, existing since 2005, which acts on the whole territory (with branches in Paris, Lille, Lyon, Tour, Marseille) in connection with many countries (Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Romania, Vietnam, Bulgaria ), which participates in the collegial meetings of a consultative body dealing particularly with topics related to international adoption (alongside other associations) and intervenes through the testimonies of its volunteers with partner associations that accompany in particular parents/families applying for adoption. In addition to the discussion groups and the cultural or social events organised by the forty or so volunteers involved, we run a WebRadio, develop an educational game on adoption and work jointly with our Central Authority, which took part in our recent annual training seminar for our volunteers, the Korean Roots Association (10 years older than us), ISS France, AFA, the EFA Federation and many other national or local associations, in France and abroad.

In view of the numerous requests we receive from adopted persons researching their origins, it is clear that in the absence of a worldwide reference system recognised by the authorities of the States concerned, a certain number of persons born in certain countries and then taken into homes in another country – during the last decades of the last century – encounter difficulties in accessing information on their birth family, or on the circumstances of their birth until their arrival in their new home. The drafting and adoption of this new text in 1994, which has been progressively ratified by a very large number of States anxious to establish a structured framework on the specific conditions for “giving a family to a child” (while taking care to respect the best interests of the child), constituted a major advance. As for the modalities of application of the said text, each signatory State is responsible for its own legislation and public policies in terms of child protection. The diversity of the socio-political and economic situations of the States, and of the role of the different public or private actors involved, show that there are still points to be improved.
The Hague Convention does provide for provisions concerning information held by the authorities on the child’s origins and their access with appropriate advice (articles 30 and 31), but a certain number of adopted persons who have become adults seek information on their origins and are refused. The reasons may be very varied, depending on the date and place of birth and the conditions in which the adoption procedure took place, there is often a gap or even a gulf between the information available and that sought by the adopted persons in their childhood.

It is for this reason that we, the adoptees’ association and EFA (adoptive parents’ association), have sent a letter to the three ministers in charge of the French central authority to ask for the setting up of a commission of independent experts with the aim of shedding light on practices which unfortunately leave people without answers to their questions. And yet, these adoptees have no choice but to turn to the competent authorities (the central authorities and those involved in child protection) to try to obtain clarifications or explanations.

It is true that within the framework of the recent reform undertaken by the French government concerning the structures in charge of public policies for the protection of children, our association has been invited to take part in the governance bodies of the new entity currently being set up. We are very grateful for this place that has been granted to us, especially since we intend to contribute our “experiential” knowledge on issues related to the Search for Origins and the setting up of support mechanisms (administrative, socio-psychological) or legal assistance for adopted persons, and ideally with mechanisms (or instruments) of cooperation with the competent (central) authorities of the so-called countries of birth.

We hope that the new structure will be equipped with the necessary means to be able to respond to the demand of the adopted persons. It should be noted that many adopted persons (now adults, past the age of majority) correspond to adoptions that took place before 1993, as the statistics show (since the number of children born and adopted abroad has decreased gradually but rather significantly over the years until today – from several thousand per year to a few hundred). Even if for most of the adoptions that took place from the 2000s onwards, the data are available and accessible, there is still a need for support, especially when the adopted person expresses his or her possible wish to be reunited with the members of his or her birth family. Some central authorities propose to do what is necessary, others are deprived or do not have the necessary legal, human, material or financial means. Finally, the landscape of private profit-making or non-profit-making structures is no less varied: from unscrupulous or malicious people, to dedicated volunteers but not necessarily “prepared” or equipped to deal with complex or even dramatic human situations, without forgetting the language barrier. All this leads us today to draw your attention Ladies and Gentlemen to this reality: How do we guide adopted persons who are notably older than your respective organisations (created from the 2000s onwards), or those who are still encountering, in some cases, difficulties in finding information on their origins?

Dialogue, cooperation and proposing joint actions are a possible and positive way to move forward, to respond to the needs of adopted persons or associations who rely on the power of intervention of the competent authorities.

I thank you for listening and wish you rich exchanges during the next few days.

Read our earlier post: Adottivi presso la Commissione speciale dell'Aia

Adottivi presso la Commissione speciale dell'Aia

La prossima settimana, dal 4 all'8 luglio, i 104 paesi firmatari del Convenzione del 29 maggio 1993 sulla protezione dei bambini e la cooperazione in materia di adozione internazionale si riuniranno online al Riunione speciale della Commissione discutere Dopo l'adozione e Adozione illecita/illegale importa. È un evento significativo che accade di solito ogni 5 anni e questo segna la prima volta che ci sarà ampio rappresentanza degli adottati internazionali presenti come Osservatori. Storicamente dal 2005, International Korea Adoptee Association (IKAA), la rete che rappresenta gli interessi degli adottati coreani è stata la solo organizzazione adottata a partecipare. Nel 2015, Brasile Baby Affair (BBA) è stata la seconda organizzazione guidata dagli adottati a partecipare con IKAA. A causa del COVID, l'attuale riunione della Commissione speciale è stata posticipata e negli ultimi anni posso dire con orgoglio di aver contribuito a diffondere la conoscenza tra le organizzazioni guidate dagli adottati su COME applicare e incoraggiato organizzazioni di esperienza vissuta come KUMFA (l'organizzazione delle madri coreane) a rappresentarsi. Quest'anno, ce l'abbiamo con orgoglio 6 organizzazioni guidate dagli adottati che rappresentano se stessi e le loro comunità. Siamo progrediti!

Nel 2015 ho scritto il blog intitolato Perché è importante avere voci adottive internazionali su questo sito. Molte volte nel corso degli anni ho sostenuto l'importanza di includere le nostre voci ai più alti livelli delle discussioni di governo. Quindi ripeto, le nostre voci sono estremamente importanti a questi livelli più alti di politiche di adozione, pratiche e discussioni legislative.

Alcuni critici potrebbero dire che non cambiamo nulla nell'adozione internazionale partecipando a questi incontri, tuttavia, vorrei suggerire che il semplice vederci rappresentare i nostri sé adulti in numero aiuta i governi e le autorità a realizzare alcuni punti chiave:

  • Cresciamo! Non rimaniamo bambini perpetui.
  • Vogliamo avere voce in capitolo su ciò che accadrà ai futuri bambini come noi.
  • Aiutiamo a tenerli concentrati su "chi" siamo veramente! Non siamo numeri e statistiche senza nome. Siamo persone vive con sentimenti, pensieri e una miriade di esperienze reali. Le loro decisioni contano e hanno un impatto su di noi per la vita e le nostre generazioni future!
  • Li aiutiamo a imparare le lezioni del passato per migliorare le cose per il futuro e rimediare ai torti storici.
  • Siamo gli esperti della nostra esperienza vissuta e loro possono sfruttare il nostro contributo per ottenere informazioni per svolgere meglio i loro ruoli e migliorare il modo in cui vengono accuditi i bambini vulnerabili.

Uno dei vantaggi del quadro della Convenzione dell'Aia è che crea opportunità come la prossima Commissione speciale in cui gli adottati possono avere visibilità e accesso alle strutture di potere e alle autorità che definiscono e creano l'adozione internazionale. Gli adottati domestici mancano di questo quadro su scala globale e sono svantaggiati nell'avere opportunità che li uniscono per accedere alle informazioni e alle persone che è importante nel lavoro di advocacy.

Sono davvero orgoglioso del nostro team di 8 persone che rappresenterà l'ICAV alla riunione di quest'anno. Mi sono assicurato che copriamo una vasta gamma di paesi adottivi e di nascita perché è così importante avere questa diversità nelle esperienze. Sì, c'è ancora spazio per migliorare, ma sono stato limitato dalla disponibilità delle persone e da altri impegni dato che tutti facciamo questo lavoro come volontari. Non siamo pagati come governo o la maggior parte delle ONG partecipanti a questo prossimo incontro. Ci impegniamo perché siamo appassionati nel cercare di migliorare le cose per le nostre comunità! È essenziale dotarsi di conoscenze sulle strutture di potere che definiscono la nostra esperienza.

Un enorme ringraziamento a questi adottati che stanno offrendo volontari 5 giorni/notti del loro tempo e dei loro sforzi per rappresentare la nostra comunità globale!

  • Abby Forero Hilty (adottato negli USA, attualmente in Canada, nato in Colombia; Autore dell'antologia colombiana adottata Decodificare le nostre origini, co-fondatore di Colombian Raíces; Rappresentante internazionale ICAV)
  • Ama Asha Bolton (adottato negli USA, nato in India, Presidente di Persone per la riforma dell'adozione etica PEAR; Rappresentante ICAV USA)
  • Colin Cadier (adottato in Francia, nato in Brasile, Presidente di La Voix Des adotta LVDA)
  • Jeannie Glienna (adottato negli USA, nato nelle Filippine, co-fondatore di Adotta Kwento Kwento)
  • Judith Alexis Augustine Craig (adottato in Canada, nato ad Haiti; co-fondatore di Rete di adozione per adulti Ontario)
  • Kayla Zheng (adottato negli USA, nato in Cina; Rappresentante ICAV USA)
  • Luda Merino (adottato in Spagna, nato in Russia)
  • Me stesso, Lynelle Long (adottato in Australia, nato in Vietnam; Fondatore di ICAV)

Ci rappresentiamo insieme ai nostri colleghi adottati che rappresentano le proprie organizzazioni guidate dagli adottati come Osservatori:

Non mi aspetto grandi cambiamenti o eventi monumentali in questo prossimo incontro, ma sono le connessioni che creiamo che contano, sia che siano tra noi adottati e/o con i vari governi e organizzazioni di ONG rappresentate. Il cambiamento in questo spazio richiede decenni ma spero che le piccole connessioni che crescono nel tempo si accumulino e diventino un'influenza positiva.

I prossimi post condivideranno alcuni dei messaggi chiave che alcuni membri del nostro team hanno messo insieme in preparazione per questa riunione della Commissione speciale dell'Aia sul supporto post-adozione e ciò che la comunità attraverso questi leader desidera condividere. Rimani sintonizzato!

Un Adottivo condivide la terapia EMDR

di Gabriela Paulsen, adopted from Romania to Denmark.

EMDR Therapy Changed My Life!

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy for me, involved the therapist moving 2 fingers in front of my head so the eyes are moving side to side, while I was thinking about a trauma event. The stimuli can also be something I hold in my hand which is vibrating or it can be tapping done by the therapist. The eye movements help the brain to take up the trauma and reprocess it again, so it does not disturb me in daily life. During the eye movements, I sometimes had different reactions such as crying or maybe some body sensations like getting hot or fast breathing because my body experiences the trauma event again. There can many kind of different reactions and the tricky part is that I had no idea how I would react until I tried it!

In my case, I wanted to work with a trauma I had from my time in Romania as an orphan, I think it was from the orphanage, but I am not completely sure as it could also be a memory from my time in hospital.

My trauma was a memory I only got when I was sleeping and when the trauma was about to occur it felt like I might pass out and loose control. In that moment I knew that I would relive the trauma event again. I experienced the nightmare quite often as a teenager. The last time it happened, was around 10 years ago, just before I turned 17-18 years old. The trauma event felt extremely real. I was very scared and after I woke up, I was completely paralysed with fear. I had always thought this was something real, so when my therapist recommended EMDR therapy for me, I said yes and we started to work with this trauma. I only have my nightmare to work from, so it was not much. I had absolutely no idea whether I would react or not and it was actually quite difficult to think about such an old memory during the eye movements!

Session 1
On my first session of EMDR, it took a while before I started to react. I started to sit as if paralysed, I could only look straight forward and talked more slowly because it felt like I was put into a hypnotic state of mind. I then started to remember more of the trauma and I starting to breath faster even though it felt like I was holding my breath. My body was definitely starting to prepare for the trauma event memories and I felt very alert.

After that session, my brain continued to work with the trauma, which is expected. I could feel it because I was very alert, I was scared of being in a dark room and of some gloves I had because they are a symbol of a hand. During a work day, there was a potentially dangerous situation of a woman who was very threatening towards one of my colleagues, who reacted with aggression. I got extremely tense because of that and I was breathing like hell because I was ready to fight. It was a huge and shocking reaction I had and I couldn’t talk properly because of my breathing, so I had to take 5 minutes break to calm myself.

Session 2
I had problems getting my mind to go back into the trauma so my therapist and I had a short break from the eye movements to relax and help me get back into it. After a while I started to react with the paralysed / hypnotic state of mind and quick breathing but within myself, it felt silent and it appears like I am not breathing. After a while, I wanted to move my arm but directly afterwards I regretted this because I immediately felt like I did something wrong. Later, I started to remember more, it was like a part of me was revisiting the traumatic event. It was very interesting to explore because I got new information about my trauma. After going deeper and deeper into the trauma my breathing got faster and faster and suddenly I felt like I was about to break down into tears. I continued for a few minutes more and then I stopped doing the eye movements because I got very sad, I was crying and then my breathing was changing to be very big and deep, from within my stomach. I could feel my bones in my back so much from the heavy breathing. During this, I experienced the most insane feelings inside of me whilst my tears were running freely.

I didn’t understand at the time what happened because my brain was in the present and yet my body was reliving the trauma I had experienced. It was very hard to feel the trauma again. I thought that I must have looked like a person getting raped or tortured. It was a completely insane experience and afterwards I felt very confused about what happened and I asked my therapist to explain it to me.

Afterwards, I was extremely tired and my whole body felt very heavy. My muscles in my arms felt like they had lifted something way too heavy! I was also very alert and the rest of the day and the next 3-4 days, I was in this stressful state of mind. I would feel suddenly deep sorrow and tiredness several times a day without knowing why. It was literally like something was hurting inside me several times a day and like something wanted to come out of my body but I was with family, so I worked very hard to not break down and at the same time, I felt like I couldn’t get the emotions out either. It was very confusing. I also started to not like high noises and I felt scared if there where many people too close around me, like when I was on public transport. I usually do not have such problems. I was still scared of darkness and sometimes I got scared without knowing why. One of the times I was scared I was thinking about the woman who had caused my trauma.

I felt like I didn’t want to sleep after I have my nightmare about my trauma, because I was so scared!

Session 3
After 3 weeks, I was going to do EMDR again and I was very nervous and exciting about what would happened. The night before therapy I had a very short nightmare again which had not happened for around 10 years! This time, it was like I was further in the trauma event as compared to in the past, I had only ever dreamed as if I was at the beginning. In the nightmare some people were about to do something that I definitely didn’t like and I was thinking “stop”, so the nightmare ended extremely short. It felt like a few seconds but it was enough for me to feel again how I actually felt during the trauma event from years past. The next day, I was very stressed and actually scared.

During EMDR therapy session after this, I felt like my eyes were working against me, not wanting to participate. So I talked with my therapist about how I had completely closed down because of the nightmare. I didn’t have huge reactions during that session nor the next 2 sessions. In the last EMDR session, I could nearly get the image of the trauma event in my mind and I no longer felt scared – it was as if the trauma no longer affected me as powerfully as before. Between the sessions, I have felt very bad mentally but one day, it was like gone completely and I felt much happier, more relaxed and not as chronically tense. I also stopped having problems sleeping in a dark room – in the past, a completely dark room signalled that the re-lived trauma would occur.

In the past and prior to doing EMDR therapy, I would get anxiety from the outside getting dark, or having many people around me and high noises. Now all of these things are no longer a problem so I feel like I can go on living as myself once again. My friends have also told me that I seem more relaxed and most importantly, I feel a huge difference in my life!

I can highly recommend EMDR therapy for adoptees especially when it comes to trauma that the body remembers. I feel like I have healed my body and let out a terrible experience. Before EMDR therapy, I didn’t understand that my body was reliving such huge trauma all the time and how much it was impacting me.

risorse

Trovare la giusta terapia da adottante

Screening for an adoption competent therapist

Il trauma inerente alla rinuncia e all'adozione

Abbiamo ancora molta strada da fare per raggiungere il grande pubblico ed educarlo sul trauma intrinseco e sulle perdite dovute alla rinuncia e all'adozione. Per aiutare con questo, sto cercando di connettermi in spazi che non sono specifici dell'adozione e condividere il nostro messaggio.

Ho recentemente inviato il nostro Video per professionisti a un'organizzazione Stella che fornisce cure mediche per il disturbo post traumatico da stress (PTSD) chiamato Blocco del ganglio stellato (SGB). Chissà, forse potrebbe essere efficace per alcuni adottati? Il nostro trauma da abbandono spesso non ha un linguaggio perché ci è successo da bambini piccoli o neonati, quindi sono costantemente alla ricerca di nuovi trattamenti o opzioni che possano aiutare a dare sollievo al campo minato emotivo in corso che vivono molti adottati. SGB lavora sulla premessa di smorzare la nostra risposta di lotta/fuga che risulta da un trauma in corso.

Il capo psicologo di Stella, La dottoressa Shauna Springer e il capo delle partnership, Valerie Groth, hanno entrambi chattato con me e guardato i nostri video. Fino ad allora, entrambi come clinici non avevano idea dei traumi inerenti alla rinuncia e all'adozione. Sono ispirati a unirsi a me per aiutare a educare il pubblico, quindi ecco la breve intervista al podcast di 30 minuti che hanno condotto per facilitare questo. Clicca sull'immagine per ascoltare il podcast.

Se conosci già i traumi inerenti all'adozione, nulla in questo sarà nuovo, ma se desideri un podcast che aiuti gli altri a capire dal punto di vista del primo studente, forse potresti considerare di condividerlo con loro.

Abbiamo anche il nostro elenco compilato di risorse come punto di partenza per chi è interessato a saperne di più sulla connessione tra trauma e adozione da esperti di tutto il mondo.

Cosa c'è in un nome?

di Stephanie Dong Hee Kim, adottato dalla Corea del Sud nei Paesi Bassi.

Un nome è solo "ma" un nome?

Il significato delle parole e del linguaggio è molto più di una raccolta di lettere, segni o suoni.

Parole e suoni hanno un significato, questi sono simboli, riflettono sentimenti e pensieri. Un nome esprime la tua identità: chi sei, da dove vieni e chi e dove appartieni (a)?

Domande che non hanno una risposta ovvia per molti adottati e per ogni persona che sta cercando entrambi o uno dei loro genitori naturali.

Sono stata concepita e cresciuta fino a diventare un essere umano nel grembo di mia madre coreana, come quarta figlia della famiglia Kim (김), ei miei genitori mi hanno chiamato Dong-Hee (동희) dopo la mia nascita.

Sono stato adottato da una famiglia olandese e ho avuto un nuovo nome e anche un nuovo cognome. Ultimamente, per me questo ha iniziato a sembrare come "sovrascrivere" la mia identità e non mi sento più senang per questo.

Mi vedo sempre più come una donna coreana cresciuta nei Paesi Bassi e di nazionalità olandese. La mia identità coreana è il mio background e costituisce una parte importante di ciò che sono, anche se non sono cresciuto in quella cultura.

C'è una leggera differenza tra come mi sento riguardo al mio nome e come mi sento per il mio cognome.

Sono grato che i miei genitori adottivi non mi abbiano mai portato via 동희 e abbiano appena aggiunto Stephanie in modo che la mia vita qui fosse più facile. Al giorno d'oggi è ancora più facile avere un nome occidentale, dal momento che la discriminazione non è scomparsa nel corso degli anni.

Sento sempre di più che la mia parentela e il mio background coreano sono dove voglio che il mio cognome si riferisca, sono orgoglioso di essere un membro della famiglia 김.

Sento meno legame con il cognome olandese, perché non condivido alcuna storia familiare culturale e biologica con questo nome e le persone che lo portano. Inoltre, non ci sono mai stati molti contatti o legami con nessuno di quei membri della famiglia, a parte il mio padre adottivo ei miei fratelli.

Ecco perché ho deciso di abituarmi a cosa vuol dire farmi conoscere con i miei nomi coreani, a cominciare dai social. Solo per sperimentare cosa mi fa, se mi fa sentire più me stesso e al suo posto.

Vorrei che le persone iniziassero a sentirsi a proprio agio nel chiamarmi con uno dei miei nomi. Penso che mi aiuterà a capire quali nomi mi ricordano di più chi sono veramente, mi fanno sentire a casa. Forse è uno di loro, forse sono entrambi. Sto bene con tutti i risultati.

È in qualche modo scomodo per me perché mi sembra di togliermi una giacca e con ciò sono un po' esposto e vulnerabile.

Ma va bene, dal momento che mi identifico con i miei nomi olandesi da più di 42 anni.

Questo è stato originariamente pubblicato su Instagram e redatto per la pubblicazione su ICAV.

risorse

Cosa c'è in un nome? Identità, rispetto, proprietà?

Il mio viaggio di adozione

di Anna Grundström, adottato dall'Indonesia alla Svezia.

Non molto tempo fa pensavo alla mia adozione non come un viaggio, ma una meta. Sono finito dove sono finito, ed era chiaro fin dall'inizio che non ci sarebbero mai state risposte al perché. Le mie domande sono passate in secondo piano e sono rimaste lì per anni, osservando una corsa a cui non mi legavo, i miei inizi.

Circa due anni fa, in qualche modo sono passato dal sedile posteriore al sedile del conducente e ho messo entrambe le mani sul volante. Anche se non c'erano ancora risposte alle mie domande, mi sono reso conto che potevo ancora farle.

Sono arrivato a capire che chiedere non significa sempre ottenere una risposta sbagliata o giusta, o addirittura una risposta, in cambio. Chiedere significa riconoscere me stesso, i miei pensieri e sentimenti. Dare il permesso di chiedersi ad alta voce, di essere sconvolti, arrabbiati e frustrati. Per riconoscere la perdita di cose, luoghi e persone. E a volte ci sono risposte, così sottili che quasi mi mancano: come notare come mi lamento quando il sole sorge per la prima volta al mattino, o come un particolare senso di desiderio mi pervade la schiena quando inalo un profumo casuale.

C'è qualcosa nel riconoscere la perdita del nostro passato come adottati, nominarlo, incarnarlo, anche se non sappiamo perché o come. Da qualche parte all'interno del nostro corpo lo sappiamo. Da qualche parte nel corpo è tutto ancora lì. Festeggiare, soffrire e accettare: fa tutto parte del mio viaggio di adozione.

Anna offre laboratori creativi e di movimento guidato per gli adottati: dai un'occhiata a lei sito web per vedere cosa sta succedendo!

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