I’ve tried every which way to help people, specifically adoptive parents in the adoption community to move on from labelling an adoptee as having either a positive or negative adoption experience. I’ve failed in all previous attempts and I don’t like admitting defeat, so here’s one more try…
And no, I wasn’t the one labelled that sparked this post…
This is for adoptive parents who’ve reduced the adoptee experience to an either/or positive or negative, and those who stay quiet and/or quietly like the comment by your peer or soon to be peer.
Do you have any idea how dispiriting it is to still see some adoptive parents labelling an adoptee as having had a positive or negative adoption experience? No nuance allowed for the adoptee’s story, no recognition that an adoptee can have complicated, contradictory feelings that continue to evolve over time either way. Just either/or judgement applied.
Do you really believe this will be good for your child in the future if they dare to talk about their adoption or feelings about being adopted, critique the industry, the practices, or the laws when they’re adults? Or do you believe that you will offer the most magical and amazing life that your child will never once question, or feel anything less that positive in respect to their adoption?
I’m fed up with adoptive parents and those still waiting to adopt who make those snap judgements about an adoptee’s experience, an experience that has spanned decades while you’re still a newbie to this life. And, to a lesser degree, to their peers who keep allowing others to get away with this without even a whimper of protest. You are raising the current generation of adoptees. They will face the same labelling that you apply to adoptees or watch happen in any mixed adoption group.
So tell me, what is it that defines an adoption experience to be positive for the one adopted? What defines it to be a negative one? Is there a definitive definition and a criteria list where you can check boxes off and based on your limited interaction with the one adopted can decide whether that adoptee had a positive or negative adoption experience? Or does it just come down to the adoptee said something you didn’t like or want to hear – so you judged them to not be worthy of hearing because they didn’t have a “positive adoption” experience?
I refuse to have my experience of being adopted labelled in such a shallow way by others and certainly not by those who’ve only been part of adoption for a few years or so.
Do better. Start a conversation in your group on the ridiculousness of either/or, positive/negative labelling applied by others to adoptees in adoption land. Talk about how there can, and likely will be, both positive and negative feelings in an adoptee throughout their life, and how they feel about anything and everything interconnected to their adoption is what it is, and oh, to stop being an ass.