Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tagged for Life

It won’t come as any surprise to regular readers that I am hooked on teh YouTube, especially when it comes to adoption videos.

I’ve got a few different automated bots running that alert me when a new adoption video gets posted. They work with varying degrees of success. For the most part, the majority of videos I find the old fashioned way – searching.

Wading through adoption related videos gets tiresome. Videos that get added to one of my playlists are few and far between. Mostly what comes up are:

Animal adoption videos – I’m cool with that. I love teh Petfinder just as much, so getting a video up is a-ok with me if it means one less animal in shelter.

Public hearings where some resolution is adopted – yawn

Bizarro fan fictions – What the fuck?

Adoption Agency Promos - Boo

Mislabeled porn – I’m not kidding. I’m also not linking, go search for yourself. Pervert.

And sprinkled in there, are the actual videos that have actual people who were actually adopted. But very few of them are actual adults.

I’d guess that maybe 1 out of every 25 adoption videos get into my playlists. I’m being generous here. Because, as anyone who looks on YouTube knows, the overwhelming majority of adoption videos on YouTube are posted by adoptive parents.

Dear God Whom I Sort of Believe in This Week: Thank you for not allowing anyone to invent video and the internet during my era, so I don’t have to worry about 50+ videos of my private childhood online in the public domain forever. Thank you.

Here’s what gets me sometimes: when do you stop tagging your child with ‘adoption’?

The trips overseas to pick up: OK, I can see tagging that with adoption. I’d rather see it tagged with adoption than gotcha. Unfortunately gotcha usually is used in conjunction with these videos.

Homecoming: Yeah alright. Still adoption related, so the tag applies.

Gotcha Day Parties: Insert vomiting emoticon here. But still adoption, OK

But then there’s this other thing I’ve noticed with some of them. Every single aspect of an adopted child’s life is tagged with: adoption

Video of some child waiting for the school bus: adoption

Video of some child eating ice cream: adoption

Video of some child doing gymnastics: adoption

Some child opening Christmas presents: adoption

Same child, 4th of July picnic: adoption

Looking in a mirror: adoption

In the bathtub: adoption

On the potty: adoption

Horseback ride: adoption

Singing: adoption

At a restaurant: adoption

School play: adoption

Soccer game: adoption

Kindergarten graduation: adoption

Eating pizza: adoption

Eating tacos: adoption

If adoption is just another way to build a family, if someone loves their little adoptling just as much as a real kid, why tag them ‘adoption’ when the video has nothing to do with it? Would they tag a video of their real kid striking a home run at baseball with ‘vagina’?

Do they think ‘adoption’ every time they look at their child?

So I get irritated and angry, as I am wont to do, when I see adoption tagged on a video where adoption isn’t part of the subject. Deep down here’s why: because I do feel tagged for life. I do feel adoption is in the undercurrent of everything. Yeah adoption was there when I was waiting for the bus, because I couldn’t stand to be separated from my adoptive mom. And adoption was there during gymnastics class because I couldn’t do gymnastics to save my life, while everyone else in my adoptive family could. Adoption was there at holidays because I felt out of place with my relatives. Adoption was there when I was looking in a mirror, because the face in the mirror was the only thing that looked like me. Adoption was there during school plays because no one in my adoptive family was theatrical, but as I found out later, many in my natural family were. Ditto with the horseback riding. Ditto with the real estate investing.

Sometimes people post videos of their beautiful gardens. I’ve never had a garden. I kill flowers. I’ve got lots of bushes out front because bushes don’t need any care, other than the landscape guy coming to trim them every now and then. After seeing mom’s house, and her lack of flowers, while all of her neighbor’s porches looked like Martha Stewart lived there, I felt damn good.

My adoptive sister, who has beautiful gardens, did a drive-by when she was in Philly last summer. She called me from her car: “She’s got no flowers outside, and everyone else does”.

I gotta tell you – that was the best thing I ever heard in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt closer to mom than when I heard that. Word.

I think I’ll post a video of a flower pot that’s in my back yard. It’s got a dead plant in it. I meant to take care of it, but I just never got around to it.

I think I’ll tag it adoption.

16 complaints from ingrates:

Anonymous,  March 29, 2008 at 9:29 PM  

I definitely hear you on being "tagged" for life, and also on the frustration that I feel when it's anyone other than me doing the tagging.

Adoption and being adopted has had an immeasurable impact on who I am and how I have experienced life thus far, but *I* need to be the one to state and share that. If my parents were to "tag" me with adoption by, say, introducing me to others as "their adopted daughter" (since they have no idea what YouTube is) then I would have a fit.

And I hear you also on the killing plants thing -- I can't even grow a lawn. :-(

Unknown March 29, 2008 at 10:01 PM  


i too have no gift for gardening.My neighbors are aghast because I dont own weeding and gardening tools..

i say when the weeds in the back get almost as tall as me - they get their yearly chop. Hey weeds are plants too!

Anonymous,  March 29, 2008 at 11:14 PM  


I love your blog. My question for you is: don't you think you're giving genes a huge amount of credit? Lots of biological kids feel out of place in their families, aren't able to do things that everyone else in their families can do, need to join up with others (drama geek!) who make them feel like they fit in.

What about all the bio kids who have fantasies that their "real" parents are going to show up someday and take them away from their humdrum and irritating family?

I'm not trying to invalidate (as if I could) your anger over the adoption process, but to point out that your feelings about your adoptive family seem normal to me. Don't your kids have any feelings like that about you or your husband?

Sunny March 29, 2008 at 11:56 PM  

I was laughing my ass off until I read the tripe above. Arrgggghh.

T, I am, and always will be tagged adoption. I will hate it until I die. Even with my OBC, I will always have a phony birth certificate.

The only good part about adoption is other smart, perceptive bastards like you.

Thanks for another insightful post.


Anonymous,  March 30, 2008 at 8:17 AM  

Honestly? I read this and then just had to go and see what I tagged my youtube videos with. I didn't think I tagged them all with "adoption," but wondered if I had any momentary lapses of judgement. I am very happy to say that none of them were tagged with "adoption," thankfully, because well, none of them had anything in the least to do with adoption.

They were tagged with things like "Nate," "outside," "Playing." Really nothing very helpful either but more to the point of the silly videos, silly videos that I have to take more of -- I love seeing and hearing that adorable kid's inimitable little voice.

But this isn't about me and I'm making it so. Sorry, my bad.

I'm sorry you felt tagged your whole life. I have a feeling that no matter what I/we do, Nate will feel some of that.

Crap. :(

Unknown March 30, 2008 at 3:09 PM  

This is a really great post.

Like Sunny said, it is the other bastids that make this bearable.



elizabeth March 30, 2008 at 8:01 PM  

As often happens, I was too moved by your post to say anything until now. My bad.

Theresa you are one beautiful and smart bastard.

To the anonymoron above, take your tripe about real kids and shove it up your arse.

Ungrateful Little Bastard March 31, 2008 at 7:45 AM  

Sang-Shil that's exactly it. I want to be the one tagging, not someone else.

Erika you're a gal after my own heart. Weeds have a right to live too, you know.

Sunny you know my husband and I were doing some final planning, you know that just in case sort of stuff, and I said I wanted my original name put in my obit in the Philly papers. So yeah, tagged to death and the immediate afterwards.

Judy I'm not surprised that you'd want to check, nor am I surprised that you didn't tag. With your beautiful heart and soul, of course you wouldn't.

Thank you xoxoxoxxxoxoxo Joy xoxoxoxoxxox it is the other bastards, and thank you Elizabeth, smart and beautiful yourself.

And anonymous, the answer is no because..... oh nevermind. Keep reading. Reading being the operative word here.

Tina with much2say March 31, 2008 at 11:20 AM  

Hiya I thought you might like to check my attemps at doing videos haha... try not to be too harsh.

Anonymous,  March 31, 2008 at 11:52 AM  

hi. I have read your blog for a long time now. I sent a message through myspace to one of my biological first cousins. I'm waiting to see what happens and I'm very nervous. In my family, it is not ok at all to even acknowledge that we are adopted. I won't go on and on here but your blog helped me realize that I am not the only ingrate out there.

Ungrateful Little Bastard March 31, 2008 at 12:55 PM  

Tina I gotta double check my Youtube account to make sure I got these playlisted and queued up... I thought I might have but YouTube has been weird sometimes with favoriting/playlisting/friending/etc. I'm pretty sure I had 2 of yours queued, and if I'm remembering it right one was dolls that I adored. I'll check later tonight after work.

And Anonymous 10:52 - good luck. You are so not alone. Please come over to AAAFC at

You don't have to wait this out alone. Nor should you. That's so scary.

Anonymous,  April 1, 2008 at 10:56 AM  

I went there and registered and posted. Thank you for the link...I hope that I do belong somewhere.
thank you again

Anonymous,  April 2, 2008 at 10:44 AM  

Great post, as usual, T!

And now, I am going to go take a crap and tag it "adoption".

Ungrateful Little Bastard April 2, 2008 at 6:03 PM  


That's beautiful, so beautiful.

Lindsay April 2, 2008 at 8:41 PM  

Great post....funny but sad at the same time. I will never get these selfish self-centered lots of adoptive (or DC recipient) parents.

My gripe is that they only tag you when you're doing something they don't approve of, or they don't like. I guess since it's coming from my bio mom, she blames anything that "not normal" about me on donor daddy rather than her pathetic attempts at parenting!!!

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