Apparently, I just can’t stop this bad habit of reading the comments in an article about adoptees. I try, I really try, and eventually I go back and read the comments. Each time I do, I feel compelled to do a post on it. Hopefully, this post will spark some conversations, it is sadly needed in some circles.
The first line of this woman’s comment in response to the article 3 Black Adoptees on Racial Identity After Growing Up in White Homes her words were sadly a predictor of things to come…but this line is what sparked this post…”First, you have to remember that these three people were adopted in the 70’s, a lot has changed since then”.
I’d like to challenge you to dig deep into your own past, did you have the ability to speak to something really hard at twenty? Would you even be mature enough to think that deeply then? How about thirty? Maybe some of you did. Forty? Now more of you probably would speak up if you saw a need. If the challenges you went through then, didn’t still exist today there wouldn’t be anything to speak up about, and you wouldn’t feel the need. If you thought that what you experienced then, was, and is still part of the landscape today, you’d speak up too. How would you feel when you did, and someone responded:
“First, you have to remember that these three people were adopted in the 70’s, a lot has changed since then.”
I’m guessing that you’d feel dismissed, perhaps even a little angry. That is what anyone, even an adopted person can feel, whether it is speaking about the transracial adoptee experience, or any adoptee experience. Your lived experience that could have been made easier with more awareness has just been invalidated with ‘we know better now’ attitude. Sure, you might have learned from the knowledge gained from adoptees of the past, but just because you read a book, or two, and took classes, doesn’t mean you know it, or even believe it, let alone put it into practice in your daily life.
These adoptees have looked around, talked to adoptive parents today, and likely, also had adoptive parents seek them out. I’d guess that what they found was that just like when they were growing up there were parents who got it, tried really hard, and parents who didn’t.
I look around today, and it’s really easy to see clueless adoptive parents, and those that get it, or at least want to get it. If you as an adoptive parent gets it, it doesn’t mean that every other adoptive parent get it too. Even if you get it, a refresher course never hurts, you may find you missed or forgot something really important that could make a difference for your child…