Thursday, November 1, 2012


Today begins the annual National Adoption Awareness Month or as some of us call it Adoptember.  I will attempt to post everyday and looking forward to reading others posts throughout the month.  I like that it coincide with the elections.  Makes perfect sense...your vote is your voice and vice versa.  I'm not going to go into a political blog post, but wanted to talk about having your own voice, speaking your truth and about stereotypes (a tip of my hat to Lost Daughters for the NaBloPoMo prompts...I'm hoping to follow these as best I can, throughout the month).

What I find most disheartening about adoption is the stereotypes, which I like to call stereoHypes.  These labels get "hyped" up in our community/media and leads some to getting hung up on using them without really listening, learning and empathizing.

The Webster's definition of stereotype is "something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially: a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment"
The adoption world is full of these stereotypes.  Prejudging, preconceived notions, oversimplification of roles and judgment.  All roles in adoption are stereotypes.  We are all labelled...ALL of us...anti, pro, good, bad, bitter, happy, compliant, rebellious, crazy...adoptee, birth/first/natural, adoptive parent, etc.
Here on my blog and in real life, I try to stay away from speaking in stereotypes...I wasn't always this's a daily the beginning, I don't think I did a very good job...I fell prey to stereotypical thinking, especially in the throes of my difficult reunion.  It's too easy to stereotype.  I came to learn that anger, unresolved feelings and insecurities feed stereotypical thinking and adds fire to the already heated world of adoption discussions, debates and reform.  I believe I am getting better about it.  I try not to jump too quickly and instead sit quietly with thoughts and feelings before I speak.  I have to constantly remind myself that I can never really know what it's like to live in others shoes, especially birth/first/natural mothers and adoptive parents, but what I can do is listen fully, try to empathize and have compassion...educate myself...strive for awareness of myself and others, which is what this month should be about.  Besides, who am I to judge any one's story, how they felt, the decisions they made, what they have gone through, their struggle?  No one is judge and jury.
I wouldn't want anyone to stereotype me, so I try to practice what I preach.  How I do that is to listen...really beneath facades..try to see through insecurities and get to the heart (my own included) realize that we are all human, we all have our own stories, we all don't have to agree (same as politics), we all deserve to be heard, we all deserve the right to speak our truth and tell our stories without stereotyping.  We all deserve compassion...adoption is hard on a good day, no matter which side of the adoption fence you reside.
So here's to a great month of awareness, education, compassion and creativity.  I'm joining all of you in speaking, listening, educating and learning.

Oh and in case you're wondering about my shoes, they're red (!)...because life is hard and who doesn't love to wear a little magic?

See you tomorrow...

Stay true to you,

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