Adopted Children the Double Aught Accessory

I was waiting in line at K & F Coffee the other day to get a couple of drinks, and the white forty-something woman in front of me was holding her three year old asian baby. After she gets her order she holds up the line, completely oblivious to the increasingly agitated people waiting behind her, so her precious could finger all the free samples on the counter. It was bad enough that she already had her order and was holding up everyone else, but letting her kid handle all the samples with her gooey hands was just gross and irresponsible.

I keep seeing more and more of these women toting their obviously adopted children around like they’re some sort of new handbag, or expensive yappy dog. It’s become a status symbol to let everyone know that yes you spent $10,000 to go buy a kid in a foreign country. I understand at their late age they probably aren’t able to have their own kids, and that’s fine, but it’s starting to get ridiculous. The other weird thing is these kids coming over from impoverished countries only to be completely spoiled and overindulged by their new parents.

I am just curious to see how these kids will turn out as they go through the tricky teenage years. Will the parents lose interest when they go through the awkward and rebellious stage? They’ll be in their fifties and possibly sixties by then. Will the kids be complete jerks because they’ve been raised that they’re the most important thing on the planet and the world revolves around them? I know I might be overgeneralizing, but it concerns me that these parents see it as perfectly fine. I guess it’s just a matter of standing back and watching the potential train wreck.

Update: I know that this post has touched on a nerve with alot of people, and having seen my cousin go through the whole adoption process that took them years to finally find a child I understand how painful and tenious it can be. My point is that children are not accessories. It angers me to see parents use them as such, and unfortunately there is a small group of women who are treating their kids the same way they would if it were a toy poodle they’re carrying in a bag. It also seems more prevelant with a certain age group who are feeling the need to “save the planet one child at a time”.

27 Comments so far

  1. anon (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    Wow, this one ranks up there in the top five most retarded posts category. No offense, but those are some of the most asinine comments I have ever read. Did you think those up all by yourself or did you have to go to some kind of hater blog to get help?

    Yes its gross to let your toddler handle free samples and yes it is inconsiderate to hold up a line. But what the hell gives you the right to judge whether or not people love their kids regardless of where they come from?

    You just need to shut the hell up on this topic I think.

  2. Quantum Peep (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:05 pm

    Well, I must put in my 2 cents.

    I’ve seen and dealt with this first hand on a couple different levels.

    First with my dad. Trying to fix what (he thought) he effed up and comply with his present wife’s wishes, they adopted a beautiful girl who’s mother made the mistake to have relations with a man of color. Grandpa would not allow a “child with ni**er blood in my house!” His words, not mine, welcome to Tennessee.

    She is now 14 and bright (26 years my junior), with both (regrettably divorced) parents raising her jointly. I truly believe she will be an awesome human being in her adulthood as she is now in her preparation.

    The second has to do with a couple who adopted a couple of Romanian boys. Inadvertently, the couple doted on, spoiled, and raised a couple of assholes. They are now up to their armpits in trouble with the date raping pigs they failed to raise. Nothing to slight them personally, but they just shouldn’t have been parents (not unlike the asshole you mentioned, KAI).

    I’m curious as to what other people have experienced.

    I’m not down on the deal; all children need homes, families and love. When my babies are out of the house, I am not adverse to adopting and sharing my love with even more little human beings, but I know the difference between a child and a novelty. Not all do.

    Take that “I want a baby” stuff and really think about it. What areyour reasons? And why not adopt from your own country? Does a child need a passport to be cool?

  3. Quantum Peep (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:10 pm

    S’not about loving your kids squidbreath (I mean “Anon”, if that is your real name), it’s about raising them and the environment around you.

    Seems like somebody rung your bell.

  4. Richard (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

    “I know I might be overgeneralizing . . .”

    You’ve got that right. I’m not sure I’ve ever read anything in which such a small incident was blown up into such a huge piece of thoroughly unsupported cultural criticism and psychological speculation.

    This was a truly amazing piece of, as the first commenter said, “retarded” writing. Did you bother to think at all before you started typing?

  5. Kai (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:25 pm

    Quantom Peep that’s exactly my point. Why aren’t people adopting kids in America. I’m sure the parents who adopt outside of the USA love their children very much. My cousin is an excellent example of this. She and her husband tried to have children and it just didn’t work out.

    It’s the type of parents who treat their new “acquisitions” like spoiled dogs that gets to me. Even if they were their children from birth the behavior would still be the same.

  6. montag (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:28 pm

    Couple of things:
    1. Who are you to judge these people? They probably went through an emotionally painful process of discovering that they couldn’t have children, yet they still wanted to be able to raise a child. They opened up their homes to these kids and you’re treating them like they are Paris Hilton carrying around her little doggie? People spoil their kids. It doesn’t matter if they gave birth to them or not. Would you think the same if they had adopted a kid of the same race as theirs? (the answer is: nope, you wouldn’t know it was “because they’re adopted” because you can’t tell!)

    People who want a kid just because its a fashion accessory are not people adopting internationally. You should probably do some research on the actual vetting process that most agencies put these people through – it can take years and cost a lot of money (and real yuppies would just go buy a BMW instead).

    Okay, on to point number 2:

    2. How do you know that these kids are not their biological kids? How would that make a difference? You’re making an implicit racist assumption if you see a mother with a child of a different color/race and assume that they’re adopted.

    I read this blog all the time, but I have to ask – does this have anything to do at all about Portland? All I’ve read is just some racist and classist rant.

    Someone very obviously close to the situation,

  7. divebarwife (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 3:31 pm

    I think among celebs there is a bit of that stigma, but there are many people who just feelit’s te right thing to do – kind of like going and doing mission work or joining the Peace Corps and going to another country even though there are man y places here in the US that could use that aid as well. Sometimes it’s just what’s right. And honestly I think some of the international adoptions are easier that through agencies here.

    We have friends that are currently in the process of adopting from Ethiopia – this is from their blog they stared to document the process:

    Over the last 8 months we have been in deep discussion and prayer about expanding our family through adoption. We want to provide a home and loving family to one of the millions of children that may otherwise not have either.

    We made our final decision in April 2007 after attending an informational meeting at Childrens Hope International….We have learned that there are roughly 5 million orphans in need of homes in Ethiopia, and that the culture is such that, though the people are very poor and ill, they value their children and try to treat them as kindly as they are able, even in the orphanages.

    Everyone who decides to adopt is faced with many decisions (above and beyond the first big decision to adopt); such as the country from which to adopt, age range of the child etc…and ultimately this feels best for our family. It has been difficult to explain every thing involved in our decision to pursue Ethiopian adoption, but once we did, there was no turning back.

  8. Richard (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

    “My point is that children are not accessories.”

    How about just apologizing and admitting that your original post didn’t contain a defensible point. It came across as racist and classist, but it was probably just a thoughtless, mean-spirited and utterly presumptuous rant inspired by your having to wait too long in line at a coffee shop.

    Yes, you’re right, “children are not accessories.” But how did what you witness lead to that conclusion, and why do you think a truism so obvious needs stating?

  9. Kai (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

    Let me address some of the comments people have made. I knew that the woman’s baby was adopted because she had to make a point of talking to her friend loudly about the new child she just acquired. I could give a damn about where her child came from. It’s wonderful that she was able to adopt a child, she just didn’t need to make it sound like she’d done the world a favor.

    I keep running across this disregard for other people as far as making people wait so they can indulge their kids, or block aisles at the grocery store so they can chat about what country they adopted their child from and what a difference they’ve made by doing so. I find it self-indulgent and get tired of standing around waiting for them to wake up and notice there are other people around.

    If I should have expressed this in a different way then I apologize if I’ve offended anyone. I just find it ironic that someone who’s apparently making some sort of grand gesture by helping out a child from another country has to make sure that everyone within hearing distance knows about it. And as far as classist I don’t see a lot of less-priviledged people acting this way. I don’t know if it’s my neighborhood or what.

  10. Himself (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

    “I know I might be overgeneralizing…”

    Ya think?

  11. Stephanie (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 6:20 pm

    It sounds like you simply don’t like tots sticking their dirty paws in the food samples…

    If you had been behind a white woman with a white kid or better yet a white dad with an asian kid I suspect your post would have been entirely different or likely just a rant against bad manners generally. Why is it that women who adopt raise your hackles?

    I think you’re really just annoyed at Angelia Jolie and the recent spat of celebrity adoptions. Instead of opening the discussion to wider issues related to pop culture you made the poor decision to personalize your opinion and direct your frustrations to some poor woman and her child at a coffee shop. Not so impressive. My advice: think before you speak.

  12. Lolita Creampie (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 7:01 pm

    Well, Kai, that’s what you get for going to a coffee house. I bet every one of these people beating their drums pays $3.50 or more for a cup of coffee or, excuse me, a double skinny soy mocha with organically whipped South American alpaca milk and a dark chocolate coated capybara turd (it’s the socially conscious energy drink for todays aspiring adoptive parental unit).

    You people need to take a chill pill. Sheesh. Everybody’s so god damned serious and haughty these days.

    Of course I feel left out. Maybe I should adopt, too. I heard there’s plenny of them chinese babies up these days. I could stand in front of Kai at the coffee whorehouse and just piss h(im/er) off.

    Oops. That doesn’t take into account the fact that I can’t stand any of you assholes in any coffee place, regardless of your brats’ adoptive or cultural status.

  13. Joe Garagiola (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 7:08 pm

    Hey Kai?

    Next time say “Ahem. Excuse me? Could you get out of the way please? Old Wive’s Tales is on 13th and Burnside, if you didn’t know. They overcharge as well. You’ll be quite comfortable there with all the other middle aged, new agey parents without clues. Oh and I just adore your $1000 pram, it’s super.”

    Then, you wouldn’t have all these crackpots putting their laser sights on your third eye.

    Just an Idea.

  14. GL Rockwell (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

    What’s wrong with a little racism and classism every now and then?
    I dunno, I’m just asking….

  15. Adopted (unregistered) on July 27th, 2007 @ 8:34 pm

    I wish more people who wanted children enough to go through the expense, waiting, and pain of adopting a child could have them instead of the redneck trash that seem to crap them out every 9 months because they’re too lazy to use birth control.

    Guess which category I picture you in?

  16. jen (unregistered) on July 28th, 2007 @ 7:30 am

    I’m hoping to adopt a child that matches my couch. The one that matches my purse didn’t turn out so well.

  17. YIKES! (unregistered) on July 28th, 2007 @ 6:18 pm


    I just… I mean… I read what Kai posted, and…


    Honestly, girl, I’m embarrassed for you.

    What did your first paragraph have to do with the rest of the post? You waited a minute longer in line and it turns into a rant about being against the adoption of children from third world countries? And how sad is it that being held up in line for a minute or so is so offensive that it sticks with you for days.

    Your update only makes your post all the more pathetic because you try to justify your remarks rather than apologize for them. And then you have the nerve to ask “Why aren’t people adopting kids in America” Why AREN’T they? Are you kidding? They ARE. Do you know what the wait is like? How do you know the Asian baby you saw isn’t an American? Oh, right. All babies born here are white. I forgot.

  18. boricua (unregistered) on July 29th, 2007 @ 6:58 pm

    A few weeks ago I remember a discussion about perhaps bringing a “person of color” or someone from another country as a nifty little accessory to this blog. You know, to tell you guys what we minorities think of things like Black or Hisopanic History Month. Not as regular additions, you see, but as, ahem, color commentators. That idea was shot down for various reasons (the condescension of it all being one of them), but one that was mentioned several times was that this is a blog about Portland, and people from other countries or ethnic backgrounds would not necessarily be blogging about Portland.

    Thinking of that whole brouhaha while I read this gem of a post makes me laugh and shake my head.

    For one, news-flash – non-white babies are born here and given up for adotion quite often. For two, even if you did hear the woman talking “loudly” to her friend about the adoption, sounding as if he’s “done the world a favor”, judging by the general tone of your post I am more inclined to believe that your characterizations lie more within your own skewed and clearly jaded POV and not within reality. In other words, based on your tone, I ain’t buyin’ that this lady sounded the way you portray her. For three, the issue of being inconsiderate has nothing to do with the differing ethinicites of mom and baby – you are tying two separate things together and, as a result, it’s not whitey-mom who comes off looking foolish.

  19. Hula (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 9:18 am

    There will always be people who treat their children as accessories or personal achievements. But I’d rather have 10 yuppies adopt from Wherever than see 10 ignorant dopes crap out kids, which is a much bigger problem if you’re looking toward the future. Who’s going to the biggest draw on our ever-dwindling resources, adopted “ethnic” kids raised by rich yuppies or someone who lives in a trailer and get beat daily by their mom or dad?

  20. michael (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 11:22 am

    Who are you to say that “these people” are parading their children around. Maybe you just happened to notice but there are many, many children around all the time. If the race matches the parent does that make your interpretationj of the situation different? Wow. You probably didn’t make many friends with this post and highlight what Portland needs to work on. Diversity. Building it, learning from it, sharing it and respecting it. You really haven’t done any of that with this post.

  21. Gerry Van Zandt (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 12:25 pm

    You are *WAY* out of line with this post, pal.

    Using phrases like “obviously adopted children” “impoverished countries” “spent $10,000 to go buy a kid in a foreign country” are so far beyond rude and insensitive. They are mean, hateful and the sign of a person who has not a clue as to what is going on.

    Do your comments only apply to “obviously adopted children”? Or also to “non-obviously adopted” and “genetic” children as well. Are obviously adopted children more likely to act like kids, than genetic children? Do parents of adopted children spoil their children more than parents of genetic children?

    I’m not talking about celebrities and what they do; that’s none of my business, and I can’t comment on anything I don’t know anything about.

    But I will comment on what I do know, and that’s the two children that God gave my wife and me (Antal, from Romania, now age 8; and Sofia, from Russia, now age 3 1/2), and how proud I am of them. These children are both bright and beautiful lights in our lives, and have brought us more joy than I ever imagined.

    My wife and I are lucky to have them in our lives — something you’ll NEVER understand.

    Your so-called apology was a non-apology, so filled with qualifiers that it is utterly meaningless. If you truly meant to apologize for your reprehensible comments, why don’t you apologize directly.

    I.E. If I offended you, dear reader, in any way by my post, I sincerely apologize. My intent with this post was NOT to single out adopted children and their parents, but rather to decry the fact that children in general are misbehaved, parents don’t do a good job in policing them, and that my perceptions are that parents of adopted children — celebrities and normal parents alike — try too hard to show them off so they feel better about their own lives.

    The URLs below will give you a little inkling of what it was like for my wife and I to travel TWO TIMES EACH to two distant “impoverished” countries to “buy a kid” (quotes are your words, not mine). Do note, that $10,000 is only a fraction of what this actually costs.

    Remember the Golden Rule.

    And remember karma. What goes around, comes around.

    Gerry Van Zandt
    (503) 805-9316

  22. Kai (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 8:52 am


    Thank you for saying what I was trying to all along. My cousin had to go through what many of the commentators have. She and her husband have spent a lot of time and money to adopt and finally have a hispanic son who’s two, and have just adopted an east indian baby.

    That said she doesn’t act in the way that the woman in front of me did. I was making an observation about behavior and I do apologize if I offended you.

    “I.E. If I offended you, dear reader, in any way by my post, I sincerely apologize. My intent with this post was NOT to single out adopted children and their parents, but rather to decry the fact that children in general are misbehaved, parents don’t do a good job in policing them, and that my perceptions are that parents of adopted children — celebrities and normal parents alike — try too hard to show them off so they feel better about their own lives.”

    Thank you.

  23. Adopted by bumble bees (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 11:50 am

    Hey guys, head on down to Sak’s!

    Calvin Klein’s Obsession For Adoptees is on sale and comes with a designer diaper. Apparently, they’re coming out with Obsession For Religious Boobs, too.

    I mean, where does it end?

  24. Annoid (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

    I’m waiting for Betsy the captain’s post where she reacts the same way that she did when Rusty posted some generalized thoughts that offended people.

    Of course, then he quit. Is Kai on the way out?

  25. adam (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 1:38 pm

    i certainly hope so, after shit this ugly and hateful.

  26. Adopted by Adam an annoid (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 1:56 pm

    I tried to adopt a ’61 Dodge 1 ton, but the owner was ugly and hateful.

    Then Frank Langella and Ted Danson told me secrets about Whoopi Goldberg.

    And then My dog talked.

    He said “Drop it”.

  27. Captivated (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 2:36 pm

    You know I visit this site fairly often and it’s usually a lot of wishy-washy whatever. OOh- it’s thundering – did I miss the weather report? Mrs. Jones’s chickens are loose.
    Thanks Kai for stirring people up. For getting people to think and voice. That’s what blogging should be all about.

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