November 3rd prompt…Blogging Adoption and Everyday Life.
How is blogging about adoption different from blogging about other topics? Do you maintain an non-adoption blog on top of adoption blogging? If so, how do they differ?
I seldom stray from adoption on this blog because I feel it is important that all of us (adoptees) to keep sharing our feelings, each one unique and different, yet a collective of adoptee voices and the underlying themes similar at the core. To have conversations and push for more conversations.
For far too long, the adoptive parent voice has been the dominant voice and the results are primarily – happily ever after – adoption is all wonderful. While that may be their story – there are always two sides to every story, and of course the story in the middle. When only the adoptive parent and/or adoption advocacy groups or agencies tell the story of adoption – that stereotype is reinforced and the flip side (the adoptee) is expected by those within the community, and the public at large, to not have any emotions, or feelings about their own story that are not super happy all the time, and proclaim adoption is always the best thing ever.
It appears to me lately – that any gains made in acceptance of the losses in adoption for the adoptee, are being reduced to mere lip service by those who don’t hold the adoptee role. I used to watch real hard discussions by parents about the feelings their children have and how best to walk along side them – change in recent years to a display of piling on by parents discounting that being adopted is, or may be, the cause of the any feelings or acting out of the child by the original poster. It bothers me to see what was a concerted effort by parents (not too many years ago) to understand and accept the full realities (good and bad) of what being adopted can mean to the child, teen, adult, – throughout their life – now spun into not everything is about being adopted (which it isn’t), but when every concern brought forward is said to be normal for a bio too – then the choice has been made to revert back to the original thought – the blank slate theory – being adopted makes no difference.
I see this (above) happening all the while the mindset is still that adoption today is different from the past and allows you (general you) to believe that what the adoptees say is irrelevant because you know better now, and your children won’t have those feelings. That belief makes you comfortable and is reinforced by your peers in post after post – adoption is all beautiful – always. You want to believe that (who doesn’t) – but yet feelings of abandonment, self-identity, self-esteem, self-worth will still be there in varying degrees for the adoptees of today – it just means the parents won’t be there for whatever feelings their children have.
Rebecca from Love Is Not a Pie said this on twitter yesterday – and it identified the difference:
This November please remember that “awareness” is not the same as “celebration.” #adoption
I originally posted this Ted Talk by Steven Pinker back in 2010 – I think it’s time to repost it. This is what I said back then.
My era of adoption the Blank Slate Theory was widely accepted. I think there is less acceptance of it today but I believe it still exists in Adoption. The video and link above are so worth the time. The video is over 20 minutes but I was fascinated. Steven Pinker does delve into the subject of adoption and of course the studies of identical twins separated at birth and raised separately as well as how different adopted siblings are after growing up in the same family. Well worth the time…
Steven Pinker – Human Nature And The Blank Slate