Remember that Circle of Mom's contest that I was nagging you all to vote in? Well, they ended it.
The reason? The contest was named Top 25 Adoption Blogs by Moms. Blogs written by moms about adoption. But which moms were Circle of Moms referring to?
Evidently they only wanted to hear from adoptive mommies who blog. Or, at the very least, bloggers that talked about how wonderful adoption is.
Enter the Adoption Truth blog. It's written by a first/natural mother (her description) named Cassi who "gave up my baby" (her words, not mine). Cassi writes, "My situation was not a loving, selfless act. It was an act of fear and desperation." Her blog was among several on the list that were written by the non-adoptive parent in the adoption triad. This blog was sitting strong at #2 in the contest.
Until...Circle of Moms removed it from their contest. They chose to maintain the warm, fuzzy, sugar-coated view of adoption, citing that they only wanted to have blogs in the contest that addressed adoption in a "supportive, positive way" (as described the rejection email Cassi received from Circle of Moms).
As much as I wish the Disneyland version of adoption was true, that's not the whole truth of adoption. Adoption is emotionally complex and has sides that many would rather not acknowledge. There are sides of adoption that are so painful you don't want to imagine them. And sides that leave children confused and angry. And sides that make your heart hurt for a woman you might not have met, nor will ever know except through the amazing person that she brought into the world.
Each person's perspective on adoption is shaped by their role in it, their experience, and even what part of the process they are at the moment. Each experience and perspective, no matter how disparate, are equally valid and deserve to be heard, and paramount to understanding adoption as an institution.
I won't ever know what it feels like to have a baby and place it for adoption. Nor will I understand how it feels to be adopted or raised by non-biological parents. Absolutely, my experience with adoption has been amazing and wonderful. We are parenting an incredible child and are thankful each day that we were given this privilege. If you only look at adoption from my perspective, it does look pretty Disneylandish.
But I know that Little Man's perspective on adoption might be a whole lot different. No matter how much we love that little guy, his perspective will be as the adoptive child. The child who may have questions about why he was placed for adoption. The child who might be angry and hurt. The child who might be mad at us for taking him away from his homeland.
Reading blogs by people who share his experience is vital to helping me gain the understanding I'll need to help him work through those feelings when he begins to understand adoption. Yes, these blogs can be difficult to read, but if I truly want to connect to my son's needs in the future, it's important that I step out of my comfort zone. To be a good adoptive mom, I believe I must acknowledge that adoption has not been the gift to everyone that it has been for me. Blogs like Cassi's are my education.
By opening up dialogue between everyone involved in adoption, we might be able to find middle ground and solutions to improve on adoptive practices. (Of course, this is assuming that you agree with the idea that adoption practices---such as accountability from agencies, accessibility to records and personal history, support for birth mothers, etc.---need improvement.)
Change cannot happen without understanding of what other perspectives exist. Which is why the Circle of Moms contest was a good thing. Birth moms, adoptees and adoptive mommy bloggers were all in the same place. I found blogs that really made me think and consider what it's like to be another member of the adoption triad. I guess not everyone was ready for that though.
If you are interested in learning about other perspectives on adoption, I'd encourage you to check out some of these blogs:
The Declassified Adoptee
I Will Pull This Blog Over
*Chopsticks Not Included
John Raible Online