The reason why, the reason why it is different

24 Nov

Some, perhaps even many adoptees grumble about hopeful and adoptive parents grabbing onto the latest happy domestic infant adoption story, sharing it widely, making sappy comments, and I know for me, it always triggers an immediate reaction that starts with ugh.

That ugh has nothing to do with the actual story, it’s all in how it’s portrayed.

I also get the underlying reason why many share those stories.

They hurt.  They’ve been hurting for a long time, or they remember how they hurt when the news they wanted to hear was replaced with the news they’d heard many times before they turned to adoption.  So, when a good news adoption story comes along it makes them feel better, it gives them hope their dreams will also come true, or reminds them it did come true.

Many of us get it, and understand why you so need to hear a happy adoption story.

We also get that it is also a surface level story that leaves other characters out of the story being portrayed, the ones not included in the story that at the same time are dealing with a pain so deep, so stark it takes away your will to continue on.  A loss that not only lasts a lifetime, that also visits on the next generations as well in different ways.  It leaves out all the complicated and contradictory feelings that happened to, and will happen across the lifetime of everyone affected by that adoption, including that baby in the story.

That’s why you will find reactions that tell you they aren’t thrilled to see or hear the story you needed to hear and share right now.

Adoption is complicated, some day you may even find it hard to be happy about stories you see that are just like the story you needed to share way back when.

Adoption is a lifelong complicated journey with highs and lows for all, treat it with respect for what it is.



Posted by on November 24, 2017 in Adoption, adoptive parents


Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 responses to “The reason why, the reason why it is different

  1. zoozig

    November 24, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    Good analysis of why those Happy Adoption Stories are so aggravating to others in the triad of adoption. thanks, Tao.


    • TAO

      November 24, 2017 at 11:05 pm

      Any time, any time.


  2. Sheryl

    November 25, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve written. It’s true that losing a child to adoption is so painful you loose the will to live. Especially when you loved and wanted the child, but for religious reasons, believed you had to let him go. I’ve had him back nearly three years now, it has been a wonderful reunion story. Waves of grief and pain still wash over me for all that was lost to our family.


    • TAO

      November 25, 2017 at 2:53 pm

      I appreciate you telling me that Sheryl.


  3. cb

    November 26, 2017 at 10:04 pm

    Well said.

    I think part of the problem with the media/society is that they tend to see adoption as a branch of “reproductive medicine” rather than the bigger picture of what is already happening. In a way, I suppose, that is a fault of our Western form of adoption because post-war, the emphasis has been more on adoption being an answer to people’s childlessness than being the auxiliary service for children who need homes that it really was meant to be. Thus, the media sees these pictures through this lens rather than through the wider picture.

    As for the baby in all these happy DIA stories, they never really seem to the centre of the story – they are more a representation and culmination of someone else’s desire. I think also we adoptees are supposed to love those videos too because we are supposed to be going “wow, isn’t it wonderful how much someone wants *us*?” as if it is something remarkable rather than what we should expect.

    There is something else also with them that I can’t put a finger on but there seems to be a rise in stories/testimonies etc by all parts of the triad in adoption where the centre of the story is the APs/HAPs. I see emoms talking about making HAPs happy, adoptees talking about how happy they are that they made the parents parents and somehow somewhere the adoptee themselves seems relegated to the edge of the adoption (even by the adoptee themselves sometimes). I suppose it shouldn’t really have surprised me when I saw this on an adoption agency page “All adoptive parents know that without you, the birth family, they would not be parents. So if you ask “Will my baby love me if I place him/her in an adoptive family?” The answer is YES, YES, YES! “. Apparently the response to “will my baby love me if I place them with an adoptive family” is “if the parents are happy, the child will be happy” and in a way that seems to the feeling that the media sends – when the APs are happy, everyone else in adoption will be happy that they have made the APs happy – win/win/win, yay.



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