Unseen Bonds In Families English Literature Essay

SS119- introduction to psychology

Shari TO Megreos

Palau Community College

Unseen bonds in families

SS119- introduction to psychology

Everywhere in the world there is always adoption. There is a worldwide history of adoption for so many centuries. Base on a research, adoption first started in the book of Exodus, about the story of Moses. This was the time where Egyptians were killing the Israelites because they were getting over populated and the Egyptians where afraid that the Israelites would increase in number and kill them all, so the Egyptians enslaved the Israelites and tried to kill all the newborn baby boys. At the time Moses was born, the mother of Moses didn’t want him to be killed so she hid him for 3months and then she couldn’t hide him anymore, so she put him in a basket and let it rift down the river. He then drifted in a basket to the King’s palace, where the sister of the King found the Baby and adopted him and named him Moses. The sister of the king knew that he was a Hebrew baby but she adopted him anyway.

In focusing adoption in Palau, there are two ways palauans describe adoption. One term is obengel and the other term is omerodel. Obengel is like fosterage, in United States it is like foster care, taking in a child who is not blood related or natural parents. And omerodel is adoption, which also taking in a child who is usually blood related but not your own, either related to either one of the couple, husband and wife. There is slightly no different in both of them but in Palau it is very different. This is only in Palau. It varies in different areas.

Unlike the whole world, Palau has six types of adopted. The six ranked categories of adoption are: (from highest to the lowest) ngalek ulaol, rrodel el ulechell, uldars er a keai, chetekellel a chelbechiil, ultechakl, and teruaol.

A ngalek ulaol is a form of adoption through the father’s side of the family, like the child of his sister or another female relative. And when it comes to the strength of power in the kebliil or family the females are more powerful than the males, whether or not they are adopted. A rrodel el ulechell is a child of a male who is the child of a women in that kebliil. It sounds very confusing but it means something to palauans. To them there is a difference when you are a child of a female or a male to that clan. A uldars er a keai is a form of adoption where a baby is offered for adoption and or given to a family that is not your relative. It can also mean that another family heard that someone is pregnant and so a couple went to their house with a keai, a thick betel nut fiber that was used to carry baby and where babies sleeps on, to ask for the child to be theirs. A chetekellel a chelbechiil is a form of adoption where if a single or a widow mother or father married into a family and they become step families. That is what chetekellel a chelbechiil means, they became family through marriage. Another form of adoption in Palau is ultechakl el ngalek. In US it means a drifter, in Palau it means that the person was adopted from nonrelatives and or foreigners this usually when a person has grown up so they know that they are getting adopted. And lastly, there is teruaol, this form of adoption is the worst type of adoption because they just found a person and took them in to take care of them because they were seen as incapable of taking care of oneself. This form of adoption is usually when a person have grown up and knew what was happening.

They all are interrelated to each other but the true meaning to a Palauan is different. A ngalek ulaol, rrodel el ulechell, and uldars a keai are adoption where the infant baby is being adopted. A ultechakl and terual are form of adoption where they are adult and are adopted. Chetekellel a chelbechiil can be either infant or can be adult and be adopted. Ultechakl and teruaol were believed to have been treated like slaves when they were first taken in to the family but as time goes by they can rise in rank in the kebliil but their true rank will never be forgotten.

In an interview of a women whose child was adopted in the ngalek ulaol category. The child was adopted through the father of the household from his relative. The natural mother was still very young when she got pregnant, so she searched for someone in the family who could take in her child and be the child’s parents to before she put the child into adopted in the United States. She got lucky because her father’s brother told her that he wanted the baby. She wanted to take care of her own child but she had no support from her family to help her look after her baby. She felt that this was one of the hardest decisions she had to make at the age of 17. She knew she would be able to take care of the child but her parents didn’t approve of her boyfriend and so they couldn’t accepted the baby too.

"The study done in Palau likewise revealed signs of serious discrimination among children. In the case of Palau, however, the discrimination--and the neglect that stemmed from it--was shown towards adopted children rather than natural children. One non-Palauan who was adopted into a Palauan family was so poorly treated in comparison with the others in the family that he eventually ran away and became a "drifter." Two other children adopted by a widow were taken in by the widow's mother when their adoptive mother suddenly became sick and died. Their new adoptive mother never liked them, however, because she felt they were an additional burden for her and her other children. There is another case of a boy and a girl adopted into a family with children of their own who were often beaten harshly by their adoptive father " (Mariano Marcus, child abuse and neglect in Micronesia).

This article above could be an example of uldars a keai adoption, which means the Palauan family adopted the foreigner’s child because they didn’t have a child and after a while they started mistreating him. What’s troubling about this is that it’s so not fair, some people can't have kids and are trying very hard and some are just adopting just for the hell of having children and end up treating them badly. The feeling of unwanted is never a good feeling a child should experience. It is cruel and against the law of the lord. It is said in the bible that our whole life is planned for us whether we want it or not, so the question there is that if our days are written and numbered why was our plan for this earth planned that way?

Another example on that article is omerodel ra chelbechiil. The widow adopted the children, maybe his husbands, and treats them well until she got sick and died and her mom took them in to take care of them. She mistreats them because they are not her own, the main reason is that when the women was still alive and was a widow she took in the children and treated them as her own.

In observation of a father who adopted his wife’s child, there is love. His family treats the child as their own because their brother loves that boy so much. The fathers love is the connection between that boy and his family. The article above was a 90’s articles so I believe that we all have learned to love one another as we are all God’s children and we see children as God’s children too.

It is not only infertile couples who want and can adopt children. Also, single people who want a child and not ready to be married adopts, older people adopts to help assist them as they get older and need assistant to do daily routines, gay or lesbian couples, and also other couples who have biological children want to adopt because they feel that they need to balance the sex ratio of their children.

In Palau, when a child is being adopted the child will usually go to the nearest relative or a long lost relative and or usually the grandparents, either the father or the mothers, will want to adopt the child. But it is usually the father of the mother of the newborn will want to get the baby. For example, if I were to have a baby my father wants to have my firstborn child whether if it’s a boy of a girl, but that will all depend if the father of the baby wants to take responsibility of the baby. But no matter what the child will always remain in the family.

In Palau, to be adopted doesn’t mean that you are or were an unwanted baby. It can mean that that your birth parents were still young and couldn’t take up the responsibility of caring for you, so they gave you away to be watched over by someone who can and will love you as they go and finish their education and can become something important in the future. They wanted what was best for you. They didn’t want you to suffer as they are suffering to taking care of you and themselves as well. I mean they didn’t give you to a totally stranger as they do in other parts of the world.

It can also mean that they have other family members who are infertile and or can't conceive children on their own and want to have a baby so bad. It doesn’t mean that they didn’t love you so they just gave you away. Think of it as that they loved you so much that they were able to give you away to be loved by someone else they love too much to know that they will care for you just like the way they would have.

Even at the height of enthusiasm about confidentiality and sealed records, the ritual of telling children about their adoptions acknowledged that adoptees were different than their non-adopted peers. Adoptees’ family romances were more like nightmares than daydreams, and they had the potential to produce deep sadness and distress. Knowing that they had indeed been given away, and feeling that their very selfhood was divided and incomplete, adoptees were at special risk for a range of psychopathologies. Freud’s developmental theory implied that adoptees faced emotional challenges inseparable from the adoption process itself, hence anticipating and helping to bring into being more recent concerns with loss and attachment. (http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~adoption/people/SigmundFreud.htm)(Source: Sigmund Freud, Collected Papers 5, ed. James Strachey (New York: Basic Books, 1959), 74-78.)

Palau is very fortunate to have loving families that are willing to adopt and care for children as their own and not like other countries where if you are a young mother or an unfit mother and can't care for your own child, so your only decision is adoption, that once your baby have been adopted or they take away your child the chances that if you get to see that baby again is slim to none. Not unless the adoption was an open adoption so you can see your baby and that the family tells the infant as he/she is growing up, about you and your story on why he/she was taken away. And or as Freud mentioned above that it is up to the adopter to tell his or her adopted child that he or she was adopted.

In Palau, there is not an agreement on whether a child can never meet the birthing parents that is sealed and well protected; I believe it is because we are a small island so the chance that is you get to meet your birthmother is very big. But, not all children are the same, some will see it as a blessing that they got adopted to such loving families and some will become resentful to both the birthmother and the adoptive mother.

One starting point for Freud’s approach to development was the belief that becoming an individual required escape, over the course of childhood, from the absolute power and love of parents. In order to accomplish this liberation, he argued, children invariably called upon fantasies—acted out in play and daydreams—and imagined that their "real" parents were much better, kinder, and more exalted than the imperfect people who were actually raising them. Freud called these comforting but entirely fabricated fairy tales the "family romance." The fictional stories that children told themselves about their origins mattered because they linked Freudian theory directly to adoption" --- "The family romances of adopted children pointed toward unanswered and sometimes unanswerable questions. Who were my birth parents? Why did they give me away? Was there something wrong with me? Such painful dilemmas were deeply implicated in the problematic self-images and flawed relationships that some adoptees manifested.(http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~adoption/people/SigmundFreud.htm)(Source: Sigmund Freud, Collected Papers 5, ed. James Strachey (New York: Basic Books, 1959), 74-78.)

The examples below, shows that Sigmund Freud was right about a lot of things. Adopted children are always wondering "what if". It is not wrong to think that way, these are just thinking mechanism. It just shows that we are human; we all have that doubt inside all of us.

On another interview the adopted child, who is now the age of 24, found out that she was adopted by the age of 14. She was still young when her father told her that she was adopted. She felt unwanted, unloved, left out, and she had a hard time finding out who she really was, what reasons was there for her to be given away. And lastly she felt betrayed. She said that she had all this mixed emotions inside her that she wanted the answers too but unfortunately she had to wait another time to have her questions answered. But in her heart she still loved her adoptive mother as no other person she just hated her birthmother. She didn’t really hate her but no matter what there is that feeling of betrayal and rejection inside her. That is something that can be erased overnight it needs time to heal that wound.

I was adopted. It is still the hardest thing that I have experienced. I haven’t talked to anyone about all these mixed emotions that I experience. I hated myself, I hated everyone around me. I stayed in my room for over a month just by myself, crying about what could have been if I weren’t adopted. My mother unfortunately can't have children so she adopted both me and my brother; we are her only two children. I became her daughter through my father and my brother through her side of the family. I started thinking about all the times that my mom’s family treated me badly as child and would cry more, I felt unloved. I hated my life. Don’t get me wrong, I'm only human. I was bummed when I was told that I was adopted. I was young and naïve. I mean try waking up one day after 15 years and hear the words, "I'm sorry rungalek but I have to you the truth about yourself, I adopted you when you were born?" those are some scary words. I was going crazy. The one thing that kept me moving forward was something that my grandmother said to me. She said that "if your dad didn’t adopt you e rungalek, I wouldn’t have met you. I also wanted to take you as my own but your father wouldn’t let me. (I'm not her biological child.) I was so relieved when I heard those words I took her words as a blessing; it was something that has kept me alive. It was something that made me want to stay alive. It was my true reason to stay alive. I had a purpose when I heard those words.

In Palau there are six types of adoption. They are ngalek ulaol, rrodel el ulechell, uldars er a keai, chetekellel a chelbechiil, ultechakl, and teruaol. Palauans have a way of signifying adoption unlike Sigmund Freud, but they are all interrelated. The meaning and behaviors of an adopted child are somewhat always the same.