My wish for 2016 is that this would be the year adoption sayings that are created to be shared, simply disappear. You can’t go anywhere online and not see some foolish one-sided simplistic sentiment highlighted on a colored background, or even just stated as a fact that everyone must agree with. It’s time for adoption service providers (and others) to stop creating and promoting these sayings.
Adoption is Beautiful!
The above is one example, and there are many which are truly horrible. This one may be true for whoever posted it. It may be true to many others as well, across all sides. The flip side, though, is that it may be an arrow through the heart for a mother who had no real choice in keeping her baby, or felt she had no choice or was lied to. Even mothers who stand by their choice, may feel pain because it dismisses all the heartache involved in doing what they felt was right. For fathers who were cut out, adoption certainly isn’t beautiful. And, adoption certainly isn’t beautiful for the adoptee who got abusive parents, was rehomed, sent away. It might not be beautiful to adoptee’s at different points in their journey. It may cause pain to some adoptive parents as well. It’s just to simplistic and dismissive of the wide variety of experiences and conditions that lead to adoption.
Simplistic sayings don’t work in adoption. They may have worked in the past when only the adoptive parent voice was heard, times are different now. It’s time for the adoption professionals to adjust to the new dynamic of all voices being heard in adoption. Adoption is too complicated, and has too many sides, to be using such simplistic one-dimensional adoption messaging.
As adoption service providers, you shouldn’t need me to be telling you this, yet, apparently you haven’t been paying attention, or listening. You are causing people pain, and causing dissension instead of coming together to make adoption more holistic, and less traumatic, for every sector in adoption. Time for you to do better, even if you just want more adoptions to happen, why pour salt on open wounds.
As adoptive parents, I’d ask you to think carefully about sharing these simplistic sayings that broad-brush stroke adoption messaging. Think about how each side may feel reading it from their point of view, their experience that caused the adoption to be needed. What it may be telling your child if they are struggling. Would it tell them you are safe to turn to, or that they should just keep their struggles inside. If I posted a saying that said Infertility is Beautiful! and then tried to dismiss the obvious pain that saying elicited, by responding, if mom and dad didn’t have infertility I wouldn’t have been adopted by them, so infertility is beautiful to me, and I’m sorry you had a bad experience – would that make it okay? I doubt it, because it would still be an incredibly hurtful, horrible, and stupid thing for anyone to say about something that devastates so many, let alone create a saying to be shared by others.
Adoption is complicated, let’s treat it that way…