A picture of squirrel was in my FB feed today. It made me smile. So what does a picture of a squirrel have to do with adoption?
That picture reminded me how easy it is to be distracted everywhere you look on-line. I can’t imagine what it would be like coming into adoption as a newbie, especially a newbie hurting or in very tough spot. You’ll face buzzwords, clever memes meant to sway you to one side or the other without anything to back up their validity. Headlines designed for click-bait with more buzzwords – did you stop by here because of the title? I would have, squirrels are cute.
For any adult going into adoption…
You need to do your own research in adoption, from the oh-so-hard-to-read stories to the oh-my-word-could-it-be-any-more-beautiful story to find the truth, listen to many voices to find the common threads running through all the stories. Know the common threads, they’re what’s important, may be important to your adoption. Take the time to learn first rather than regret later.
Know the laws, not just what the professional says. Things like the “birthmother” signs 48 hours after birth doesn’t mean she must sign then, just that she can sign then if she wants to. Understand them, question them. Always look deeper than the one-liners.
Know what is ethical, what isn’t. Your morals matter. Ask others that are farther out – what they wished they’d known before they adopted or placed. What they regret, what they’d do differently with hindsight to guide them. Hear them. Don’t dismiss it as it couldn’t happen to you. It can.
And you and your child will have to live with the choices you make. If you wouldn’t want someone to do that to your child, sister or brother, don’t do it. Choices your child will live with their entire life – make them wisely, there aren’t any do-overs in adoption for the child.
I can say my adoption was done right – that’s what matters.