National Adoption Month. Do we celebrate? No.
I’m not big on sugarcoating. It does no one any good, especially the child. Parenting is the biggest, most callenging “job” a person will ever have. Parenting adopted children can be even more challenging due to the complexities in adoption.
It should come as no surprise that I’ve never been a proponent of “Gotcha Day,” “Forever Family Day,” “Adoption Day,” or any other day deemed significant that focuses on the adoption of the child. I’ve never been a fan of “celebrating” adoption.
Such celebrations can be triggers, calling forth emotions, and sometimes-painful awareness, tied to what having been adopted means. These celebrations—created to emphasize that the child is loved and was wanted—commonly gloss over the imbedded loss and, often, trauma that is part of adoption. Focusing on the gloss can cloud the lens of parenting.
I propose promoting mindfulness and advocating on behalf of the child, birth parents and adoptive parents. Educating others about adoption, including addressing stereotypes and misrepresentation. As a matter of course, for the whole child, his birth parents, culture of origin (is this applies), and his adoptive family. Not just in November, but yearlong.
As parents who are in the process of or have adopted, adults who have been adopted, and professionals who support adoptive families we can correct the misnomers and share the bad, ugly and great about adoption. Perhaps then more children will be welcomed home into permanent families, by parents who have the tools to parent them…
Discussion: What do you think? When and where are you going to begin?