For the last three days I keep going back to a post on AFC but couldn’t find the words, so I’m bringing it here to talk about. It’s a post by a Former Foster Youth (FFY) that is in no way problematic and, was meant to help foster parents and foster adoptive parents understand what may be in the child’s mind.
Predictably, while not horribly overt, the reception wasn’t all that welcoming in the responses. I’ve read her post three times now, it makes perfect sense to me on what a Foster Child may feel, something I have no first hand experience with, and offering that perspective should have been taken as a gift. The title of this post is what one of the commenters said to her, as well as noting that there aren’t many FFY or Adoptees on the site which is sad (can’t imagine why anyone would subject themselves over and over to being told in so many words that they aren’t welcome).
“I’m sorry you had such a negative experience” is a comment far too often leveled at adoptees that comes with many connotations and none of them supportive. So, as a thought experiment, I’d ask you to consider how that comment would feel if someone said that to you if you struggled with infertility before you adopted, or any of the other hard life experiences people live through that they had no control over. Would you feel uplifted. Would you feel supported and heard. Or would you feel like there was an unspoken your experience is not the norm because I know people who are grateful for whatever hand they were dealt. Then ask yourself, if you can struggle with something hard and still appreciate what you have now (which I’m sure you’ve done), please know, adoptees can and do as well. If you are ever tempted to offer that comment to an adoptee, perhaps just offer, “I’m sorry you had to go through that” which has no judgement or deflection, just compassion.