I subscribe to them via my blog reader and, quite frankly, they aren’t always the “feel good” kind of reading. But I believe they are necessary and relevant. I’m speaking of blogs and blog posts written by adults who have been adopted.
Here are a few that I read:
The event of having been adopted and all that it encompasses lasts a lifetime. Inherent issues in adoption, often not recognized and/or addressed, are still the same: loss, rejection, guilt and shame, grief, identity, intimacy, mastery/control. There are many adults who have been adopted who still struggle to pick up the pieces of their lives, deeply impacted by the loss of birth family, history and culture. And, sometimes, by the veil of secrecy.
Many have found their voices and are speaking up. They write to heal, to purge, to teach, to advocate for a better “system” than is currently in place. They write for openness and ethical practice. They write to refute adoption and adoption-related stereotypes, like unwantedness and gratefulness, and stigmas against adoption and birthmothers. For those of you who have adopted transracially, they also write on the issues of race, ethnicity and differences.
There are lessons for adoptive parents to take to heart and incorporate in parenting and supporting their child, being proactively open about their child’s unique story—painful truths and all, and encouraging frank discussion in sensitive and age-appropriate language.
In fairness, there are reasonably as many adults who have been adopted that are well-adjusted, most likely due to supportive and open parents, who intuitively offered their child “more” by:
- Being aware that their child was dealing with more than childhood “ages and stages”
- Understanding that what their child was going through, accepting that their child had legitimate reasons for feeling as they did and telling their child
- Educating their child on how understand their emotions and encouraging them to express them
- Embracing the process of healing by giving their child permission to talk and express their feelings and be mad at his/her adoptive parents, if need be
- Advocating for their child in every social setting
Parents who have adopted can learn a lot by reading these posts and “listening” to the genuine voices. They can learn of how an adoptee feels when silenced—shame, confused, alienated, angry—and what they felt they needed to be “whole.” These adults have lived through what your child is heading into. The have history and can often provide great insights about what worked and didn’t for them. Adoptive parents should “listen” and thoughtfully consider what these adults are saying, why and examine how they parent their child.
Parents: Do you already read blogs and posts written by adults who have been adopted? If so, do you feel they offer you, as an adoptive parent, insight into parenting the child who had been adopted? What are your feelings about the perspectives you read?