It is November. November of NaNoWriMo fame. November of Adoption Awareness fame.
Over the past few years, I have stood on the sidelines watching Adoption agencies turn it into an advertising blitz. I have seen tearful paeans being sung to the institution of adoption by parents like me. I have seen angst filled posts by first mothers. The adoptee voice has largely been suppressed under the din unless you choose to go digging around, which I did. #FlipTheScript trends among the circles I follow on Twitter. I read, absorb and try to make sense of a viewpoint that largely paints people like me as monsters. But I am not, I want to say. Yet, I demur, let the feeling pass and inspect my own thoughts.
It took me back to 2010 when adoption came into my radar following a burning need to parent. As I sifted through the various means to adopting a child, I circled back and fixated on private domestic adoption. I argued with myself that foster adoptions are hard. I dig down deeper and find that the reasons are selfish. I had missed out on carrying a child to term. I had missed out on giving birth. If I were to adopt, I wanted to start at the very beginning. I wanted in on all those things new mothers do with their children. I wanted the exhausted nights, the sleep deprivation, the drool and spit fueled days. Most importantly, I wanted what I could not have.
Yeah. I read what I just wrote and despise myself.
Eventually when we did adopt, our children came to us as toddlers. I have since learned that adoption is not a one time event. Done, dusted and put away never to be visited again. I have learned that it is something you live. Day in. Day out. You deal with your children’s’ loss and you hurt when they hurt. You realize that they have two families and always will. You try to bridge the gap. You do the best you can knowing their lives will always be fragmented.
So, year after year when I look at the way media scripts adoption I find it harder to stay silent. I want to raise my voice and say stop. I know there are people doing fabulous work out there. I want to piggy back and say s/he said it better. Then, I look at my children. I look at them years from now wresting with a decision they had no say in making and realize I need to exercise that voice and speak for them till they can do it themselves. I want to #flipthescript so to speak. I want my children to know that I acknowledge their loss. I want my children to know that I respect their mother. Most of all I want my children to know they have two families and that it is their normal and it is OK. They should never have to choose. Most of all, there is nothing lucky about being adopted.
This month, I will be talking about adoption more than I normally do. If there is something you would like for me to talk about or if you have questions you would like to ask, please do. If I cannot answer anything, I will let you know.