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Similar and different…

06 Dec

Dear Adoptive Parents and those waiting to adopt,

I just had a thought on something adoptive parents and adoptees have in common, and it’s something I don’t think people get, but lets back-up and start with the basics. 

I know many of you came to adoption due to infertility and loss.  I’ve also heard many of you, both before and after adopting speak of how it feels to see someone pregnant, the pregnancy announcements, the ultra-sound pictures, the baby announcements, and showers you are expected to attend with a smile on your face, not to mention the church services honoring mothers, and yes, the poorly thought out pregnancy jokes.

I’m sorry for that.

I also know you don’t understand the reactions an adoptee can have when you guys talk about being matched, being at the birth, the adoption, and all the rest.  Nor, the reaction to those stories about the paramedic adopting the baby they delivered that you think are so amazing.  I know you think an adoptee should be thrilled at the news, we’re adopted after all, so if we aren’t over-the-moon thrilled we must be anti-adoption, an angry adoptee, or just plain old have the proverbial bad experience.

But here’s the deal; being adopted is complicated.

We are both; the adoption family side and the first family side.  In order to be adopted, one side of us, our first family lost us, and the ramifications that reverberate in our family that may not be seen by others.  We know few (if any) mother truly doesn’t want their child, nor grandparent to lose their grandchild.  Loss of a child is unquantifiable.  We also know decisions were made by (or for) our mothers, we know grief is (can be) the overwhelming experience on that side.  We also recognise the joy on your side, even the mix of your dream coming true and the twinge (or more) of the loss you still have and always will.

But celebrating a baby who’s lived a minute loosing their birthright (for good or bad) and will live with the complexity, and the complicated life being adopted can bring, is hard.  We’ve lived it; the good parts, the bad, the laughter, the tears that fall unseen by our family, the love we have for family we grew up in, the loss we feel for our family we’ll never know, or barely know, because we are adopted and don’t have the lifetime of memories that create those bonds that endure, make you comfortable.

So, when you post those miracle adoption stories, or your adoption pictures, talk about how beautiful it was to be at the hospital, court, all that stuff, in a way, it’s the same way you felt, likely still feel, when you see the pregnancy, birth, shower announcements, and everything else that made you (makes you) want to hide away.

It’s different, but same.

 

 

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6 Comments

Posted by on December 6, 2017 in Adoption, adoptive parents

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

6 responses to “Similar and different…

  1. Sheryl

    December 6, 2017 at 6:46 pm

    Great post! You are right on. I’ve had my son back nearly three years now. Our reunion has been amazing, my family has been restored, but there is still pain in all that was lost to us, because his adoption shouldn’t have happened. The pain of loss is not as raw but it doesn’t fully go away either. Complicated is right. I try not to let myself dwell on the past, but the hardest thing to accept is that I walked away from my own baby, a baby I wanted to keep….

    Liked by 1 person

     
  2. mguebert

    December 7, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    As an adoptive mom I love reading your blog. While our baby is still tiny, I really appreciate your point of view.
    Adoption is messy on all sides. But we do the best we can. We will honor our openness with the birth family. I hope that with our openess of all that has happened, our daughter will be comfortable with her situation. Life is hard, but with love, honesty, and openness I hope it will be the best it can be. For us, her, and the birth family.
    Thank you again for your honesty and understanding of the difficulties of all sides of adoption. While the journey to our daughter was not how I had originally imagined it, I have no doubt that God has brought us together.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      December 7, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      Welcome.

      Like

       
    • TAO

      December 7, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      I should also warn you that I rant from time to time…

      Like

       
  3. Tiffany

    December 7, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Such an interesting post for me to then share the post I promised I would write for you. I will copy it below, and please let me know if you would like me to make edits or changes.

    Like

     
    • TAO

      December 7, 2017 at 7:33 pm

      It’s beautiful, perfect. I’m going to post it as a long-read because I think people need to read it in one go to get the full impact. You are no longer on moderation. I’m going to do a quick blurb at the start and then it’s all you. THANK YOU

      Like

       

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