Adoptees have been known to discuss the weird tension between active adoptive parents/adoptive parent groups and adoptee organizations. At times adoptee organizations feel that adoptive parents always want something “for their kids,” but are never willing to give anything back or listen to anything adoptees have to say. Conversely, some adoptive parents and organizations feel as though adoptee organizations are standoffish and difficult to approach.
Definitely not a healthy or productive dynamic. I, for one, believe that adoptees/adoptee organizations and adoptive parents/adoptive parent organizations need each other.
At any rate, below is an example of the tension. A friend, who is a part of an adoptee organization here in Minnesota and also a huge proponent of good adoptee/adoptive parent relations, forwarded the following e-mail exchange that she had with an adoptive parent, who recently published a book. A lot can be lost over e-mail, especially since my friend (and I) don’t know anything about this parent. However, my friend (and I) feels that this adoptive parent was being a bit pushy. Was she? Or did my friend (and I) misread the adoptive parent and her intentions? She’s clearly frustrated by the end.
You make the call.
*Note: All identifying information have been removed.
I received your name through my work with (employee) at chsfs. My picture book, (book title), is my rendition of the adoption journey that led us to our daughter. When we adopted her in 1997, almost no one had computers, so I’m something of a foreigner to all the website resources like yours that have sprung up over the years. Nevertheless, I might be of some value to you. I know my book, once people discover it, is turning out to be an important asset, not just to very young children, but to older children as well who are drawn to the sweetness of the story. After I presented the book at a (city) school where my husband is (position), an adopted kindergarten girl stepped into his office to announce; “I’m the REAL (book title).” I was deeply touched that the tale spoke to her so vividly.
I would always be delighted to give you autographed copies for fund-raisers. I can sit with your organization and sign copies at events, something I’ve done with (bookstore). If you have a suggested reading list and would like to see the book first to determine if it’s suitable, you can contact my PR rep (name) at (e-mail) for a review copy.
I’ll be doing an author event at (location) in July and wonder if you have connections there as well to help with promotion.
I hope (CHSFS employee) is right about the potential for our working together. Adoption has been the blessing of a lifetime to me.
Your book sounds great, sorry we are an all volunteer organization and have our plate full for the next two years, as we are conducting a (program). We would love to have an event for your book, but at this time we are unable to do so. Thank you.
No, I’m not asking for you to host an event for me at all. I’m suggesting that my book could be a resource going hand-in-hand with what you do. At the Mall of America, there was an event honoring China and several adoption-related tables. Perhaps you were one of those tables. I would have been happy to sit there with your group and sign my book. Sometimes it’s easy to make arrangements for books through (bookstore). I’m volunteering my time, just like your other volunteers. I don’t expect you to pay me. If your hope is to mentor younger adopted children, you might find my book is a lovely connection to read to them and engage them in activities inspired by the book, something I’ve done with children. I’m afraid you’ve read my email quickly and have missed the point. I’ve given you the contact at (publisher) to receive a review copy free of charge. I hope you’ll re-consider what I’m attempting to offer you.
I’m on your side, (name), and trying to volunteer, not just for myself, but possibly for my Chinese daughter, too, who is now fourteen.
(name) at this time we are not able to assist you.
I’m sure you know best about the kind of help you need. Thank you. I’ll let (CHSFS employee)…