Tag Archives: fear
Very short talk compared to the very long title but worth every second…
From the Ted website:
Developmental disorders in children are typically diagnosed by observing behavior, but Aditi Shankardass suggests we should be looking directly at brains. She explains how one EEG technique has revealed mistaken diagnoses and transformed children’s lives.
Aditi Shankardass is pioneering the use of EEG technology to give children with developmental disorders their most accurate diagnosis.
Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.
Pioneering online organizer Eli Pariser is the author of “The Filter Bubble,” about how personalized search might be narrowing our worldview.
For the last while I have wanted to talk about “Echo Chambers” in adoption, the different groups, thoughts, attitudes. When Eli Pariser talks about the internet doing that, without us realizing, may actually be part of the reason for it. When I hear someone say they have never heard about an adoptee who doesn’t love all things adoption, I automatically shake my head in amazement, thinking how could you not know adoptees want changes? I see adoptees everywhere - so how come you can’t see them too? You can apply that to every disagreement on adoption, both within positions, and between positions.
I do think it is very easy to self-select and stay within your own comfort zone. There is comfort in being within a group, that while having some minor difference of opinion, generally agrees. It is empowering and necessary to know you aren’t alone in your journey. It is also disempowering if you only converse with others of the same mindset. You aren’t challenged to prove your position, when everyone agrees with you. I fall into that trap of wanting only familiarity, but it also becomes self-limiting.
The bottom line though, if we want to continue to improve ourselves, and particularly how adoption is practiced, we have to talk to those we disagree with, whatever the degree. We have to exchange points of view, and honestly listen, absorb, understand. We need to have the conversations that will initially make everyone’s defenses go up, but eventually they will come back down, and just perhaps, we can all meet on a common middle ground.
The picture below was taken many decades ago when I was only a toddler…I cropped it to only show the pebbles on the beach, each one a different size, shape, color, texture. It reminds me that everyone is different, we have our own thoughts, and feelings, shaped by what we have experienced - but we are all human beings.
I’m willing to listen and try to find the common ground – are you?
This link is so touching and has nothing to do with the post above, but I wanted to share it anyway. I love animals, and believe they make the world a much better place, and while babies are cute whatever species, I tend to migrate to the animals that aren’t the babies….Out with the old…
Lorraine at First Mother Forum has a great post up on semi-open adoptions and the real risk to both parties to adoption. That the risk of semi-open can abruptly be closed due to agency closures. It’s a topic that does not get talked about enough – what happens if an agency closes its doors and the communication between parties is facilitated by the agency only.
Please read the post and then start a conversation within your circle – both sides are affected and at the end of the day the child also loses. The post also highlights how one small agency Abrazio stepped up to the plate to do whatever they could to keep those communications happening when ASA closed the doors in Texas, and has details and quotes from a conversation between Lorraine and that agencies director. Please go read that post now.
Agencies have closed all over the states in the last few years. I can’t find statistics, because like any statistics in adoption, they are limited and scarce. The problem is further complicated by each state licensing adoption agencies – instead of federal. Even the biggest adoption agencies that have been around for decades are in trouble, and just last summer Children’s Home Society and Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota merged. Included in that article is this mention that should make everyone take notice “The merger is among dozens occurring across Minnesota as nonprofits struggle with the economic downturn”.
My hope is that the adoptive parent community starts challenging the industry to set up some protections and rules, and that each parent asks their agency what happens if they close the door. Your child’s records are held there. Agencies have set themselves up as the middle man/conduit and if that is broken, like it has for so many others – how will it affect your child and you.
Did you read Lorraine’s post? I hope so.
For further info on the ASA closure this article may help make you even madder that no thought has been put into safe-guarding all the parties to adoption. Lawsuits claim adoption agency did not intend to deliver.
Update 16 Sep 2012: Amanda at The Declassified Adoptee and Claud at Musings of the Lame have each posted about this situation. Go read these posts to and consider speaking up
I have thought about the “choice” aspect of choosing adoption many times over the years, and wondered about how the current generation of adoptees will feel now or when they grow up. Specifically, about the choice to make an adoption plan, choosing adoption over parenting.
Of course there will be many mothers who didn’t really have a choice. Whether they were coerced by family, or the counselling, or both, or even just complete utter lack of resources. I do believe the lack of resources for mothers in the US vs say Canada shows why mothers may feel they have no choice in the US. In Canada, if you are employed you get a combination of a years maternity leave through unemployment insurance, and you have a job to go back to. Plus many other benefits including a baby bonus (not sure of the correct term), and depending on the province, day-care subsidy. You also have health insurance at little to no cost - depending on the province you live in.
But specifically, those who had choices and yet chose not to parent. Those who could have tried and chose not too. How is that decision going to affect the feelings of worthiness, rejection, abandonment that are real risk factors for adoptees.
I ask this because even though I knew realistically my mother did not have a choice – I still felt rejected, not good enough, that something was flawed in me others could see but I couldn’t. Knowing my mother did not have a choice kept me from being angry at her, or blaming her, despite the feelings I had.
What do you think?
Will it be better or worse if the parents had a real choice to parent?
Will open adoption be enough to overcome that risk for feelings of low self-esteem, rejection, something wrong with me feelings?
If it will be enough, what happens if the adoption closes – either by the mother or father who made the choice, or by the parents who adopted?
I did not write this post to make anyone feel bad – this is about how the adoptee may feel and something I think needs discussing…
I admit I don’t like conflict and prefer to not step out of my comfort zone. Talking about the hard parts of adoption is tough. I go over my words countless times before I hit publish, trying to ensure I don’t paint everyone within a group with the same brush, or come off totally angry. And I am deeply angry at times and have failed more often than I have succeeded, but those successes – in getting people to think and step outside of their comfort zone means I have made a difference, even if it is only one or two people. It means I have done what I set out to do.
I would like you to listen to this TED Talk by “Margaret Heffernan [as she] explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead managers and organizations astray.” It is a very short talk and starts off with a story about the doctor who figured out what was causing so many children to have cancer, she found the answer but it took 25 years of disagreeing with the mainstream medical community to make the change.
“A fantastic model of collaboration: thinking partners who aren’t echo chambers.” (Margaret Heffernan)
To me that is what happens in adoption today. People jump on the bandwagon whether it is the current Christian dogma they listen too, or because of their journey of infertility that leads them to adoption, or other personal reasons. They self-select to only hear those who believe the same thing. They choose to believe the sound-bytes without researching to confirm the reality and truthfulness of the statements. They choose to not hear those who say something isn’t right.
We all have to talk to those we disagree with, and keep talking and thinking critically, to make sure we do better. The current and future generations deserve it.
I try to listen and think hard about what has been said, and search for more information to broaden my mind and understanding - do you?