A Transracial Adoptee’s Perspective on the Transracial Adoption Facebook Group and Fake Allies

“Bitch, I’m back.  By popular demand.”  (Messy Mya)

Some of you who read my blog, know that I have been part of a group on adoption where ideally Adoptive parents, Adoptees, Birth parents/family and other members of the adoption constellation were supposed to come together and discuss the intersection of race and adoption.  More or less that is what the Transracial Adoption Group on Facebook was all about.

Two weeks ago I left all the groups that were affiliated with this group, except the group that was specifically for adoptees only.  Then last weekend, the entire Transracial Adoption group was placed on a pause (iow, imploded) while the admins in that group “regroup” and “redesign” the group.

Before I left TRA, I was in the admin group.  Before I left, I was told by one of the Founders (the male one) and a White Adoptive Parent that I should “just leave” the group.  As a matter of fact, the White Adoptive Parent told me twice.

My crime:  Speaking my mind and questioning blind obedience.

Let me just note that this same adoptive parent who attempted to silence me is raising children who are the same race as I am.  Apparently she thinks she knows more about raising Black sons than I do.  I might just also like to note that she writes about racial injustice in America.  Check out her FB page here.  Ask her how many Black friends she has or how many Black people live in her neighborhood.  You know, the one where she is raising Black children.

Hypocrite.

Maybe she forgot that she ain’t my daddy when she reacted to my attempt to tell my side of a story by claiming that I was “being argumentative.”  The intimation was clear, and tacitly approved by the Founder of the group.  “Be Quiet or you will be silenced.”

Ummm. in case you haven’t noticed, I am not your child, you do not get to “shush” me up.

So, I left.  Because I didn’t want to go off and really tell her how I felt about her words.

But then something beautiful happened and I remembered that I should NEVER let them silence me.

Beyonce dropped Formation.

And in case you have been under a rock for the past week, Beyonce’s affirmation of Black femininity reminded me that WE own our narrative and we should never allow anyone to silence us.

Because this is what I wanted to say then was: “Bitch, don’t you ever come at me like that – I am NOT the one.”  But instead, I stayed silent

But, I am speaking out again.  And I am saying this: “Bitch, don’t ever come at me like that. I am NOT the one.”

I don’t give a damn who thinks that my telling my truth is “Drama” or how many people unfriend me and tell me that my behavior is “alarming them” (which yes, ANOTHER White Adoptive Parent raising Black children sent me a PM saying this), Imma do me.

I speak my mind. and I don’t give a damn who don’t like it.

Let me just put it out there and say that BOTH of these White women are part of the plan to create a “new” Transracial Adoption Group.  Do either of these ladies sound like someone who you want teaching other White Adoptive Parents how to raise Black children?  The one had the audcaity to recently post about the Black tax in their blog page.

Ummm, you think, Bitch?   We already know, but thanks for perpetuating it further in your treatment of me.

I can see it now.  “Be quiet child!  Don’t speak your truth if it disagrees with mine!  If you don’t be quiet, we will silence you!”

Never mind the fact that one of the things that I found objectionable about being part of TRA admin group was that the Male Founder frequently would call Women of Color  that he didn’t like, out their name and would demand blind obedience rather than critical thinking.

Never mind the fact that this Founder would intimate that there was a “physical threat” to keeping the group open, yet produced not one shred of evidence – but AGAIN asking the entire group for blind obedience when he shut it down.

Hundreds of adoptee voices silenced.  Hundreds of our stories taken from us.

Dissenting voices actually squashed and deleted rather than address them directly.

After watching this all play out for a couple weeks, a few things occurred to me:

#1 – you can’t be an ally and silence voices.  That makes you a FAKE ally, so you just need to be honest with yourself and be a REAL ally or take a seat and just stfu

#2 – that adoptees in these spaces are being used.  Yes, that’s right – used.  When I proposed paying adoptees for their work at a conference, it was met with resistance by the TRA FB Group Founder and other White Adoptive Parents.  They were glad to lap up all the free advice that adoptees give.  In even some cases, demanded that adoptees give.  But the minute it was introduced that adoptees should be getting paid for a conference, “hell no!”

Now, a caveat, if adoptees want to give up their stories and share and teach for free, that is their choice, but I think they should also know that when opportunities arise for adoptees to get paid, such as at a conference, the group’s founder told me that “presenters don’t need to get paid.”

#3- some White Adoptive Parents literally lose their minds when adoptees speak their truth.  Some of them claim to be allies and that they support our voices 100% – but behind the scenes, there was silencing and shaming going on.   Some White Adoptive Parents were PISSED at me for daring to speak up, which resulted in the shutting down of “their” group where they were learning from adoptees.  How DARE an adoptee speak up and take away THEIR group?

Yep.  They were acting like we belong to them. At their demand.  At their beck and call.

So, I blame Beyonce, but I ain’t having it no more.  My story belongs to me and I was kind enough to share it with you.  But no more.  You do not own me and you should have never tried to act like you do.

If you thought you could silence me and shut down a group and  delete my words, did ya forget I blog, bitch?

Update (10/31/16) – the TRA Group linked above is now reopened under adoptee only admin.  The group that was once the one talked about in this post has become a different group entirely.

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About sjwoods318

Mother of six children - five girls and one boy; wife; community organizer, family chauffeur, philosopher, trans-racial adoptee, Deadhead, person of mixed racial heritage, artist, poet, writer who loves to swim, read, and run around with my family.
This entry was posted in Biography. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to A Transracial Adoptee’s Perspective on the Transracial Adoption Facebook Group and Fake Allies

  1. Maline says:

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have plenty of WAPs who don’t really want to hear the truth about adoption either. Like you, I am strong, and nothing will stop me. I have a book coming out soon called Rainbows But not Unicorns (My Adoption Truth) and it is going to shock a bunch of people because I touch on topics that they ignore. I hope that these people open their eyes. You have been such an asset to the group and to my life. Thank you for being you.

  2. Peace and solidarity, sister. I know the sh!tshow that led me to leave that group as an admin and as a member. I’m here if you ever need me (not that you necessarily do- we WAPs need you about a million times more than you could ever need us). Peace and Love.

  3. Kristie says:

    Thank you for writing this Sara. I’m sorry for your pain in this process. This group definitely was not what it was supposed to be. Thanks for still blogging. I still follow.

  4. Ann-Louise says:

    Thank you Sara

  5. Maree Bradshaw says:

    Girl, Slay.

    “Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper.” -Beyonce

  6. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for your voice and your experience.

  7. I’m sorry this happened. I can see how triggering and awful that might feel as an adoptee to be silenced by the APs who run that group. Fuck em, you’re better than that.

  8. Andrea says:

    Sara, I loved hearing from you in the group. Glad I can still hear your voice in your blog. Thank you!

  9. Melynda says:

    You, Sara, are fierce with the truth. And I love you all the more for it. Keep speaking – we are listening.

  10. Jeanne Brumbaugh says:

    Why not start your own group and only have transracial adoptees be admins? WAPs could join but not have any ability to “govern”? You all sound like you have a lot of insight as well as information and advice.

    • sjwoods318 says:

      There is an adoptee working on this very idea right now – but a word of warning – the “new” TRA opening back up March 8th IS NOT it. This adoptee is working and taking their time to put my thought and energy into this group so that adoptees will be protected.

  11. Mary A. Coyle says:

    Wow, Sara, that was powerful. As a WAP, I’m sorry that you were silenced in this group. You have so much wisdom and knowledge to share. I’m glad that you blog about it. Thanks for being an honest resource for all people.

  12. Jules says:

    Ah, thank you for bearing your soul. I’m so very sorry for any hurt that you have had to incur. As the WAP of a TRA daughter, I have shut friends, family and strangers down when they are ready to speak to her, or to me about her by telling them “We will never know how she feels. She has every right to feel her own emotions.”

    Can’t wait to read the book of Rainbows but not Unicorns. I often use similar words of rainbows and butterflies when I talk about how that’s not what it is, but agencies (especially) lead APs to think that’s what it’s all about…

    I truly value ANY adoptees words, so I can learn, and try to understand.

    Keep staying true to yourself.
    Xoxo

  13. Frances Lavender says:

    Well, i’m late to this game, but i’d like to be a part of the new group being formed. I am a WAP of 2 TRAS (brother & sister). Could you please keep me posted about the group? Oh, and I loved your blog post! Thanks!

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