Before we were an adoptive family, I could not have dreamed there could be so many opinions on adoption. You either get adoption, or you don't, right?
But as with any issue, there are a myriad of opinions about this subject. Adoption is....complicated. You have your "adoption is child abuse" folks. Countered by "adoption is the biggest miracle there is" people. There are those who have infertility issues who often had not previously considered adoption for their family. They are often at odds with preferential adopters who intentionally chose adoption.
There are those that hate agencies and consider it a form of child trafficking. And others who uphold the works of agencies. Some absolutely decry interracial adoption, denouncing the practice that removes children from their birth country and culture. And others who feel that having a home is the most important factor, and if a home is not available in their country, why not another?
And let's not forget the foster care (U.S.A.) vs. international adoption debate.
All that, and we haven't even yet talked about adoption's specific players---first family, adoptee and adoptive family.
Complicated, right? There is no one truth about adoption. Everyone's experience with it is uniquely their own, though it may mirror other's experiences at times.
That's why it's so critical for anyone touched by adoption to hear a wide variety of viewpoints. Specifically, adoptive parents can gain great insight by listening to adoptees and their first family's experiences.
Those opinions may not be comfortable for us. It would be much easier to just read things that affirm our personal beliefs about adoption. But it's vital for adoptive parents to understand that this adoption journey belongs to more than just us. Adoption is something we chose. For the adoptee, adoption is something that happened to them without their control. I don't believe they are victims, but they definitely bear the brunt of dealing with the choices that other people made for them.
While adoption brought the joy of children to our lives, it also is born of a tragic heart-shattering loss of our children's first families. Adoptees process and accept that loss on a spectrum. And there is no right or wrong on that spectrum. All viewpoints are valid and important. Check out #flipthescript to get more viewpoints from adoptees who are taking a stand on National Adoption Awareness month, and making sure their voices are heard.
Another important viewpoint is that of the first families. Regardless of the circumstances that led to our children's adoption, they ARE their first families. That connection will always live inside them and can we know our children fully if we do not know their first family? So, the stories and experiences of first families that we can read and explore can go a great way in helping us to help our children.
OK. Soap box rant over.
Here's some of my favorite reads so far this month:
- "Did you ever mind it?": On Race And Adoption: (The Toast)
- National Adoption Awareness Month: A Thought Experiment in Korea: (Rok 'n Roll Radio)
- Interview with Joy Lieberthal Rho, adopted from Korea at six years old: (KoreanAmericanStory.org) ---powerful moments starting at minute 11 of interview where she describes meeting her first mother and her viewpoints on being an adoptee.
- 27 Breathtaking Photos of Adoptive Families Uniting: (HuffPost Parents)
- Abandoned: Heartbreaking pictures of parents leaving their children in China's notorious 'baby hatches': (South China Morning Post)
- 'Gotcha Day' isn't a Cause for Celebration: (HuffPost Teen)
- AKA Dan: Korean Adoption Documentary: (YouTube)
- Adopted: (Now watch for free on YouTube!)
- On celebrating adoption and recognizing loss on #WorldAdoptionDay: (RageAgainstTheMinivan.com)