Monday, July 27, 2009


The recent rally in Philadelphia IMHO was an embarrassment to the adoption reform movement. The pictures indicate there was lack of organization and no one with leadership skills overlooking the making of signs or how those in attendance were holding them. There should be ways that some of us can get legislators to realize that the group in Philly did not speak well for our cause.

This has been one of the saddest events to occur during the more than 30 years that I've been an advocate for open records.


Grannie Annie said...

I too watched the video of this "march" and I agree with everything you say. It did not look as if it were very productive at all. I wonder if the marchers even had any hand-outs telling about their cause.

Grannie Annie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mary Lynn Fuller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Lynn Fuller said...

jimm has left a new comment on your post "PICTURES SPEAK A THOUSAND WORDS":

What's the matter with your comments - did you get some you don't agree with?
You were not there so you don't know jack shit about what took place, including the communication inside the convention center.
Unlike you and certain other individuals / groups, the ARC will not condemn innocent adoptees and their supporters for honest efforts to make their views known.
Your efforts at restoring OBC access are, in comparison, pathetic at best.

Mary Lynn Fuller said...

I had rejected Jimm's comment but after careful consideration I decided that I had made a mistake. So I have posted what he had to say.

It has been a while since I placed my blog site on moderation - it had nothing to do with Philly.

As I said in my original post regarding Philly, pictures speak a thousand words. Many pictures of the event are all over the Internet. No, I was not in attendance but it does not take a rocket scientist to read the wording on some signs. Obviously those in attendance thought the signs were great. Some might have been but there were some that I saw in pictures that made me cringe to wonder what legislators might have thought. There are pictures showing the signs being held upside down and just any old way. Now what type of impression does that give?

I know of no one who is condemning adoptees or their supporters. There is disagreement among the Internet adoption community and there always will be because this is not a perfect world. Freedom of speech can lead to someone learning from their mistakes.

Some of us have been advocates for open records longer than some among the Internet adoption community have lived on earth. We have learned along the way so I do consider it only natural to cringe when we see things that we wonder how legislators will look at. The adoption reform movement has already taken many years. We need all those we can get to help with the fight but it needs to be in a professional manner.

Grannie Annie said...

Jim, where is it written that if you are adopted, you must always agree with all other adoptees? Surely not in America where we all have freedom of speech!

Where is it written that if you are an adoptee, you must always keep your mouth shut if you don't agree with another group, even tho you disagree? You seem to think that all adoptees must "stick together and never criticize each other - no matter what."

I have found myself disagreeing with other adoptee reform groups for many years now because as I wrote on my blog page, their goal is not necessarily my goal, and I'll add here that also their way of "doing business" is not necessarily my way of "doing business." Let's face the FACT that we just don't all agree on what is the best way to get our records unsealed. And why should we?

In her blog, Mary is disagreeing with what she saw and read. That is her right.


jimm said...

Thank you for your responses. I do have much to learn.

Good point ladies, our freedoms are something to be cherished and I will fight for yours as well as mine. I, too, have recently disagreed with a rather large and well known OBC advocacy group though not because of their goals, but their methods, or lack thereof.

And so, we shall agree to disagree.

Many, if not most, of this year’s protest participants were not seasoned activists but “regular Janes & Joes” from the general area. Most had never before attended such an event. Suggestions were made as to desired signage but, unlike some groups, no one was turned away because their sign did not adhere strictly to the suggested verbiage. Suggestions and reminders were made as to how to march, but no one was evicted for not holding their sign at the proper angle. All were welcome. Every participant I spoke with told me they thoroughly enjoyed the event and felt empowered to attend future events in the name of OBC access.

The subsequent bashing by the armchair-quarterback “experts in the field” has had the effect of souring the enthusiasm of these newcomers and this is what has raised my hackles. It is difficult to make them belive that, though the pit of OBC activism contains some vipers, it is essential to maintain an upbeat attitude and to continue to believe you are doing something positive for the movement. They obviously have much to learn but I hate losing them anyway.

I know that no one can do anything without being criticized by someone; you can’t please everyone all of the time. Personally, I don’t care what anyone says. I know the goals of the Adoptee Rights Coalition and their strategies to achieve them; most of the activity is, of course, outside of the public protest. I know the strengths and capabilities of the organizers and supporters and this is why I choose to offer my resources to them. It is my personal choice.

To splash such negativity about a very open, all-inclusive, passionate assembly of citizens voicing their opposition to sealed OBCs (for whatever reason) is your choice.

And you are certainly entitled to your opinion. My opinion is that this demonstration was excessively panned only because the Adoptee Rights Coalition was the group that organized and advertised it. Methinks I’ve smelled spite here and there on the web since working with the ARC. I am at a loss to explain. I know BN pulled support late in the game last year and left those organizers scrambling, but the tide's running the wrong way.

Mary Lynn Fuller said...

Life is a continuing learning experience IMHO.

Activists do learn from their own experience and from others. I do understand although some people will be advised on how to make a sign that might not be the end result. Just as some might be instructed on how to march but then turn around and do their own thing. I would hope that those who did not listen to instruction and advice would regret how their photo looks. But then they might be so excited about seeing it over the Internet that they will fail to visualize what might have looked better if they had done something differently.

Although not all of us will ever agree I do hope any criticism the new protestors read or hear will not make them feel that they should never participate in activism again. I have been an advocate for open records for over 30 years and criticism has never turned me away. But I've never been closed to any criticism that I've felt to be justified. Instead I have tried to learn from it.

I agree whole-heartedly with you that we can't please everyone all the time. It is our personal choice as to what groups we support and those we choose to distance ourselves from. There have been troublemakers among the Internet adoption community almost since the time it became popular. But this often happens in neighborhoods, a social group...

For one to make a negative or positive statement falls under Freedom of Speech. We all have choices to make but I do think we agree on that! Just as we agree on our being entitled to our own opinion!

Any individual or organization that pulled support late in the game last year certainly held that right and obviously had a reason(s). That really does fall under someone or a group having a right to make a choice IMHO. I chose to not be supportive of the Philly rally nor do I intend to be supportive of the rally in Louisville in 2010. I definitely support all adopted adults having access to their OBC with no conditions but I will show it in other ways.