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Adoption No Nos and Yes Yeses

My attitude and opinions on adoption have changed since first considering adding to our family by adopting a child. Most of my changes have occured since our son. I was going over some old posts recently to stir memories of my journey and it was an eye opening experience to see where I was then vs. where I am now. I felt like such a jerk-ass-nincompoop at some of the things I said and thought THEN. Blech.

nutsSome of my greatest friends are adopted adults and parents who have relinquished. Some I ‘talk’ to daily on internet forums. Not always about adoption but since that is what we have in common it is often discussed. I find it ‘easy’ to learn from their experiences as we have a shared respect for each other. Sometimes they say things to me that I really take to heart whereas the very same thing can be said from someone else in a ferocious manner and my ears close as an involuntary defense mechanism, I suppose. I think the difference for me is the energy involved. My friends can say whatev, with respect in their voice and I’m all ears. Someone else, may seemingly want to guilt trip me for being an adoptive parent with rather harsh words and it zaps the energy right out of me. As much as I want to hear and learn from everyone I just can’t subject myself to personal insults and directed guilt trips anymore. It hurts. Not what is being said but the mean-spirited embellishments that are sometimes used to express a passionate opinion. Often I don’t think hurt it intended consciously, but rather unconsciously.

Still, I have learned alot over the years and come a long way.

My list of then (no nos) and now (yes yeses)

THEN: Adopted children are unwanted which is the reason that parents relinquish parental rights. NOW: An overwhelming majority of adopted children are wanted by relinquishing parents but for various reasons they choose to relinquish. Lacking parenting resources is a common reason. Self esteem and confidence another common reason.

THEN: Relinquishing parents heal and move on with their lives. NOW: Relinquishing parents often have regrets and struggle to heal. In my opinion they never simply ‘move on’ even those who do not experience regret. They carry feelings about relinquishment throughout their lives.

THEN: If you love an adopted child enough they will grow up happy in their home and never have adoption issues. NOW: Love is not enough especially when the child is either adopted at an older age or is adopted transracially. I now believe it is the norm for an adopted child or adult to at least be curious about their adoption and biological family. This does not necessarily reflect their feelings for their adtopive family. It’s a completely seperate issue in most cases. Adopted children and adults can profoundly love and respect their adoptive parents and siblings while still feeling normal curiosity, pain, and other adoption related issues. It is essential that they are supported by their parents and that their parents not take this personal. It’s most often not about the parents, but the child/adult and what comes natural to them.

I have also grown to realize how important it is and will be to my son that we embrace his race and culture. As he was adopted transracially/transnationally among the normal feelings and curiosities that I expect him to explore are that of his culture, race and country of birth. I welcome that and I’m glad that I do as I didn’t even consider this at one time, early in my exploration of adoption.

Live. Learn. Grow.

transracial international adoptive mom
bio mom

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