Most of you know I came on-line after I got sick. It was the catalyst for a huge change in my life in many ways, one of those changes was exploring my adoption, delving into the history, and how many others had similar stories, and/or feelings surrounding adoption. I didn’t start on-line intending to focus on adoption, that came later, rather, to learn about my disease, what it meant, how others were affected, and I found an amazing group of women just like me.
That support group of women helped even out my feelings, it helped calm my fears, it provided a relatively small community. As I gained more strength, I began to work on my ability to read, absorb, and retain what I’d read, and how to write again. That is when I really got involved in adoption on-line. It was a very useful tool, I learned, I also delved into the many feelings I’d continuously pushed to the back of my mind/heart. The best part though, is the on-line friendships that I appreciate, even when I don’t answer, and go into my silent mode. I’m still listening.
At the same time, my on-line community disease support group grew bigger everyday, too big, knowledge about the disease as well. I struggled to read so many of the downright scary stories that they’d experienced. It made my disease scarier. Reading posts would cause my stress-levels to sky-rocket. Fear based stress is harmful, so, I stopped reading, commenting, and being there for newbies.
All of that is to say is that recently there have been a series of posts over the last few months by an adoptive mom pushing back against the adoptees who are #FlippingTheScript, and raising the voices of adoptees who’ve BTDT and whose voice needs to be heard. I’m guessing her pushback is because of fear, she doesn’t want to hear anything negative, and advises you read it once, and that’s all you need to know(?), and then, to go back to the positive that adoption is. I get it, no one wants their child to feel what other adoptees have felt. That’s a perfectly natural desire. But, and you knew there would be a but, is that type of fear I experienced that could do me harm based on my condition, or is that fear – something to embrace? That’s the question. I say that type of fear is good fear, because it should galvanize you to learn what your child may feel at one, or many points, in their journey called life. Or they may never feel that way. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot better though, that the parent is aware, and prepared with knowledge, so they will pick up on any subtle clues from their child, and be able to understand why those feelings are happening? Wouldn’t that be far better than to have your child try to sort out any of those feelings, all by themselves?
Final point, not all adopted children who have those big feelings will tell you about them, that’s your job as a parent to know when something is not quite right. I’m sure you conquered the fear that your child may be bullied, face racism (if applicable), peer pressures that aren’t good, and all the other harms your child will be subjected too. You learned the clues about bullying, how it presents, how it may make your child react, you did the same for every other potential harm. You also learned what those feelings are like, how they can harm your child, how to help. Being adopted makes us susceptible to big feelings that are harmful, and hard to work through alone. Your fear about adoption feelings, which is likely insecurity, may tell your child that you aren’t secure enough to hear those feelings, so they will travel that path alone. That’s why adoptees speak up, why you need to hear many different voices, so you have a wealth of knowledge, and will spot the clues, if your child needs you to walk along side them.
Have a good week, and yes, I’m in a silent mood, but I’m still listening.