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For once, the Washington Post has a very touching, insightful narrative from an adoptee that outlines the emotional downsides of international adoption. Shaaren Pine opens up about her very complicated and demoralizing feelings on growing up as a lone Indian child in a predominantly white community as well as the condescending white people who tell her she should feel "lucky."

I sometimes imagine what my life would have been like if I had had her confidence. If I had felt safe enough to claim my story and the pain of being an adoptee. If I had felt secure that I could share it openly. And if I had believed people would support me when I did.

I probably wouldn't have wished to die so often starting when I was 11.

And I probably wouldn't have started cutting myself when I was 12.

I've always been slightly uncomfortable with international adoption for a variety of reasons, but Pine's essay takes it further than the stats. She didn't have the time to be "confident" and "beautiful" because she was too busy wishing she was petite and white as a direct result of her environment.


Every seemingly good deed — no matter how selfless — is going to have a downside to it. In Pine's case, her emotional struggles made a lot of commenters uncomfortable. Rather than acknowledging Pine's very real feelings, she was ironically reminded that she should feel lucky and that she could have ended up being aborted — as if those are always two clear cut options.

In this case, I don't know that it's just her gender that's causing people to write her off and lash out, but whatever it is, it's unfortunate. Pine never criticizes her adopted parents or her upbringing, but she does an excellent job of letting us know that international adoption isn't always a saving grace.

Despite this wonderfully written and unfamiliar perspective, here's a sampling of the shitty comments:

One more point I want to make. Your daughter says she was "taken from her brown grandma", which is extremely unfair and inaccurate! You are putting a victimized point of view on your life and now she has adopted that! Why don't you acknowledge what you GAINED instead of focusing on what you think you lost?

Happiness is always based upon being present in the moment. I'm not sure you really understand what you actually "lost", so simply stop thinking about it and walla...pain gone.

Sadly what I am reading here is a treatise on the compulsive need by too many in this culture to be a victim. So you believe you are not "lucky" and that the adoptive parents some how won a "prize" and that the prize is victim. Please - please get a grip.LIfe is not for pansies and the anger felt over a "lost history" and lost relatives, while it may => may be justified is self destructive and in the end, a huge waste.

Here's a crazy thought: Stop saying don't tell me I'm lucky to have been adopted. Go to India, or where ever it is that you were abandoned, and do a life search on some of the little girls who weren't adopted by American families. See where they are today. Ask them how many times they have been brutalized for being unwanted. See how many of them are living an affluent life, like the one you apparently have now. And yes, do stay away from the alcohol and drugs. In your state of mind such encounters will end very badly for you. Oh, and stop teaching you kids that their grandma was "brown". You don't know what her grandma looked like.

Here is another thought for you to ponder. If your mother had believed in abortion you might not even have a story to tell.


I guess there is one benefit to the jerky commenters: they certainly prove her point.

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