A Dialog Between an Adoptive Parent and an Adult Adoptee
Dear Adult Adoptee Bloggers:
When I read your blogs or your comments where you complain about adoption it scares me. No, actually it terrifies me. You see, all I really want is my child’s love. I want so much to be this child’s mom forever and ever, and have this child be my child forever and ever. I don’t mind sharing with his first family—really I don’t, but I want a forever place in his heart. I want to believe that he is not doomed to a life of dissatisfaction and unhappiness because of the circumstance of his birth or how he entered our family. I want to, no, I need to believe that if we love him enough, hard enough, well enough, that this will be enough. And when I read your blogs sometime I get so scared that I can’t breathe, much less listen to what you are trying to say. ~ A Loving Adoptive Parent
As you know, we’ve been having quite a discussion between adult adoptees and adoptive parents in the comment section of the last couple of blogs and on the Creating a Family Facebook Support group. This discussion has continued offline via email as well, and I want to share some of that with you. An adult adoptee active in the online community, The Adopted Ones, and I came up with the idea to try to put ourselves in the position of the generic adoptive parent (me) and adoptee (her) and have a dialog of our deepest feelings about the tension that exists. It’s our hope that this exchange will help increase the understanding between us.
An Adult Adoptee Responds:
“You see, all I really want is my child’s love. I want so much to be this child’s mom forever and ever and have this child be my child forever and ever. I want so much to be this child’s mom forever and ever and have this child be my child forever and ever. I don’t mind sharing with his first family—really I don’t, but I want a forever place in his heart.”
We have two families and both matter – we are part of both, neither can replace the other, regardless of the flaws or actions of either, both have shaped who we are in unique ways, and will always be our family to us. Remember that love is limitless and not shallow, add to that a lifetime of memories that can never be erased; it makes us who we are. Why do you think we get so mad when we are told “I’m sorry you had a bad experience” or are asked “what did your parents do wrong”. One of the reasons those statements makes us mad is because we love our family, specifically the family that raised us and they are being slammed. Wouldn’t you be upset if someone said something nasty about your parent’s parenting?
“I want to believe that he is not doomed to a life of dissatisfaction and unhappiness because of the circumstance of his birth or how he entered our family. I want to, no, I need to believe that if we love him enough, hard enough, well enough that this will that be enough?”
How we feel about “adoption” or the “adoption industry” has nothing to do with how we feel about our family, completely different subjects, and one has no bearing on the other and are as different as night and day. That our feelings and understanding of adoption and the industry have changed and matured and like anything that touches you personally, you want to make sure it is fixed when broken. When “adoption” is done wrong or for the wrong reasons, it touches and triggers us, adoption must only happen when there is no other good option, and we expect you as parents or future parents to the current generation of adoptees to agree with this premise. Trying to make a difference for the future, may be something you want to participate in now that you too are touched by adoption. You can look at reform as something negative or something that should be embraced to make it better.
“And when I read your blogs sometime I get so scared that I can’t breathe, much less listen to what you are trying to say.”
Try to remove your personal story from the topic at hand, and remember that speaking about adoption or adoption industry has nothing to do with family, and ask what needs fixing, and then go and do some unbiased research and see if we are right. If we are, then stand beside us and make a difference, changes to the system will be of benefit to all future adoptees, including your own children. Don’t just talk the talk, walk the walk.
There are so many different parts of adoption that need reformed that everyone can get behind at least one, and speak up and fight for: from restoring adoptees rights, to creating a mandatory best practices for updating family health history, to ending corruption by creating tough harsh laws for offenses that require mandatory jail time, to just requiring ethics, morals, and fair play to all parties, to requiring more information, education, and post adoption services.
The Adopted Ones and I hope this dialog broadens the understanding of both adoptive parents and adopted adults. Please share your thoughts in the comments. I strongly recommend dropping in on The Adopted Ones’ blog or other blogs by adult adoptees listed in my blogroll to the left, and I hope adopted adults will continue to read and participate in my blog. We need more opportunities to talk and especially to listen.
Image Credit: supercoco__