Every time I see a new Facebook Group for adoptive families that includes the term support (or SUPPORT), I cringe inside. When it is further described as a POSITIVE group, it makes me want to sigh, and when I go read the description and it makes it clear that it is really just for Adoptive Parents (not adoptive families) – then I shake my head, and acknowledge that for some, adoption hasn’t changed since my era.
Positive only adoption groups can’t fully explore what adoption is, which is incredibly complex with many layers of both loss and gain for everyone involved.
I think about all the future adult adoptees who may be raised by parents who can’t deal with the complexity of adoption, or the challenges being an adoptee brings, ones who flee any group at the first hint of disagreement. Those who use words like Haters (rolling my eyes). Complex, challenging discussions are the pathway to growth. Conversations between those holding different positions in adoption can be enlightening – if you open your mind. Those conversations give you a chance to see where you agree and where your feelings and beliefs diverge. Disagreement is not a bad thing. When you have many different views talking it leads to better understanding and empathy and that’s important, even if you don’t get it at the time.
If you can’t hear diametrically opposed views, experiences and feelings – how will you ever understand the feelings your child may hold being the child of both?
I understand why some want a safe place to talk, and if you are someone who needs that, by all means, join them. Just don’t limit yourself – we all need to be challenged. We all need to be uncomfortable. Having said that, I don’t hold with piling on (although I’m sure I’m guilty of having done that). I don’t hold with people using absolutes like ‘all’ or even ‘most’ as I don’t think they exist in adoption. I do like; some, may, potential, possible, even the word ‘many’ will work in some contexts. I don’t hold with being mean.
How can we all get along? Anything I missed that would improve conversations?