Thursday, November 10, 2011

To Adoptive Parents...

I'm quite perplexed when adoptive parents say "help us understand what it's really like to be adopted; how can I help my child?" and then don't like what they hear, shut down and go on the attack.  Is it fear or ignorance or both?  I just don't get it.  If you're going to adopt a child, pull your boots up, find your backbone and do the work, help your child do the work, find support (and I don't mean a "faux" cheery blog..that's not support, that's pandering to your intelligence and doing nothing but enabling your own rose-colored glasses).

Listen to those who have walked the walk...we KNOW what we are talking about.  Think about it, would we make up these stories for fun, some of them are downright horrible, but we tell them to anyone who will listen because we don't want to see them repeated.  It's hard for us to tell our stories but we do, over and over in the hopes of making changes for the better.  We can't stop adoption, but we can change how the world views adoption, how adoptive parents "parent" successfully and help young adoptees following in our footsteps navigate successfully. Adoption ain't pretty, but it can be navigated by parents who listen and adoptees can survive and thrive, but you both have do the work, there's no shortcut, there's no "maybe if we don't talk about it & just throw enough love on it, it will go away".  It won't and by doing that you're adding more fuel to the fire and more hours to the therapy bill down the road.

There are some adoptive parents that listen, heed our wisdom and become pro-active in the well-being of their adopted child and that is an amazing thing...those are the courageous adoptive parents willing to get into the trenches with us.  And then there are some that just shut down and refuse to listen, spouting off about how we are angry and pitiful and take on a "what do those angry adoptees know??" attitude.

What do we know??

We know it ALL. We know what works, what hurts and what doesn't...because we are living it...daily...relentlessly.

All you have to do is take a deep breath, set aside your pride for a minute for the sake of your child and LISTEN.


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  1. Amen. The funny thing is that even the ap's who DO get it and try to be advocates for adoptees are dismissed and belittled. It's mind boggling, really.

    Take Nancy Verrier for example. I really think she is the most hated ap in the world, because she dared to tell the truth- that adoptees suffer a profound and life lasting trauma the day they lost their natural Mother. Ap's dont want to listen, because they cannot stand the idea that their child is and will always be connected to their first Mothers in a way they will never be.

    Keep telling your story- the more of us who do, the better. If people get mad it's from fear and ignorance.

  2. Linda,

    "...their child is and will always be connected to their first Mother..."

    This very well could be the absolute best definition of what adoption really is underneath it all.

    If AP's balk at that definition or can't handle what that really means as a lifelong issue/process or if they are thinking quietly in their heads "well, that may be true but not my adopted child", then they have no business adopting. It's the very core of adoption. Adoption is not for the squeamish or the weak heart.

  3. Thanks for this. It got me thinking...

    When my two raised kids were very small and would ask about their belly buttons, I would tell them that is where they were attached to mommy. Thinking about it now, I realize it was very important to me to let them know that we were connected even before they were born. Perhaps this was so important to me because I had lost my first born daughter to adoption when I was only 16. She and I were connected, too, for 9 months. She still has her belly button as proof of that. Not to mention her physical traits, many personality traits...and we are forever connected in a much deeper way. No legal falsification of her relationship with adoptive family members...will ever change that!

    I wish more APs would follow the path of Nancy Verrier and recognize it is not about is about the child they are raising or the adult they have raised.

  4. Too right! It's often fear that prevents listening and fear that causes the bullying and abusive behaviour towards adoptees who tell it like it is.Keep going all!!