I’m thankful for having parents who stood up and said no this is wrong when they saw it. I’m not saying they were perfect, they were strong in what they believed in, strong in speaking their minds. They taught us that it was good to stand up for what is right and push back when you saw something wrong. I wish I was as strong as they were, I’m not, and I’m not thankful for that lack of strength, moral character, clarity that made them who they were, but I try to speak up when I see something I find egregious happening in adoption.
I’m thankful mom and dad didn’t mince words, nor ply us with sayings common today about how our mothers loved us so much they wanted us to have a better life. Nor try to paint any of our other parents as either saints or sinners, or that our mothers didn’t want their babies (us). They believed they wanted us but lived in a world that condemned them (and by extension us) for having sex outside of marriage.
I’m not thankful for the societal mores (see above) that caused me to be adopted. I’m thankful though that I was adopted by them, and not some other couple. I’m also thankful for people within the adoption community that don’t take offense at the first sentence of this paragraph because they are able to remove their role, feelings, bias, and just use logic that says no one would want society to dictate whether you got to stay with your mother or not. I’m not thankful for those who would only hear second sentence of this paragraph instead of sitting with complexity of all that is part of being adopted, the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the hard, the joy.
I’m thankful that my sibling (who has challenges) can call her mother every day like she used to with mom. She wouldn’t have been able to do that if 45+ years ago mom and dad hadn’t pulled in favors, and then opened her adoption so she could visit, spend time with her mother, build memories across her lifetime. She needed that connection then, needed it throughout the years, she really needs it now mom and dad are gone.
I’m not thankful that I never met my mother, never spoke to her, never heard her voice, never read a note from her. I’m not thankful she had to endure, live through being pregnant with me, birthing me, walking out the hospital door without ever seeing me. I’m thankful that she continued on, had children society allowed her to parent because she was married.
I’m thankful that the court unsealed my adoption records and original birth certificate for good cause. I’m not thankful for what happened to me that led to the court granting mom’s petition to unseal.
I’m thankful for the online adoption community and all the friends I have made despite not being thankful I needed to be adopted in the first place.