Dear people adopting or even have already adopted – I watched one of the thousands of adoption video’s this morning. This is how I feel after watching it. Please listen to my words and consider them.
I understand you’re excited to adopt a baby. I get wanting to memorialize it on video, that’s what most families do for special moments in life. But you don’t need to share it to the world on social media, keep that as your special memories, reserved solely for your family.
With adoption comes the responsibility to treat it with a great deal of awareness of all that adoption is, how it affects each party differently throughout life. You as the adopting parents can’t pretend that everyone comes out a winner in adoption, because they don’t, the other two parties to adoption deal with loss, different degrees and ways, but loss there is that ebbs and flows throughout life. I know you also had your fair share of loss before you adopted and understand you now just want to celebrate your joy, do that, but not at the expense of your new child’s privacy, or your child’s other family’s privacy.
The older I get – the more aware of how much suffering there is in adoption, how far the tentacles of grief spread through the family that lost a loved one, one they never got to meet, watch grow, create memories with over the years. We need to honor and respect that loss and try to understand that even with reunion or an open adoption – it can never be the same as if they were always there.
If you are on the adopting side, regardless if you’re doing voluntary domestic infant or through foster adoption of a baby, you aren’t saving that baby, you aren’t being rewarded by your faith in God, or deserve to have that baby because of what you’ve gone through, you are the beneficiary of one of life’s most tragic events – the loss to a baby when they lose their entire family just after birth, and their family losing them.
That baby didn’t do anything to deserve losing their entire clan within moments of entering the world. It’s up to you to recognise and honor that tragedy in how you act, what your share, the words you chose to use about that great loss. A loss you can’t understand or quantify if you’ve never experienced it, nor understand how that loss contracts and expands across the lifetime for the one adopted. A loss that appears when the one adopted least expects it, a loss that can take them to their knees in an instant and leave them reeling for days if not weeks, a loss seldom shared with those they love for good reasons.
Parent with adoption awareness, educate yourself on how your child will process being adopted at different life stages – that’s what’s important when you adopt. What’s not important now or later is whether your adoption video went viral, that your adoption blog or FB page is widely followed, that your story made the news, or the affirmations by church members. Its how you chose to parent the child you adopted, how you protect their private story, your preparedness for all added elements adoption brings to regular parenting. Do create memories all of you will remember, smile at, recount till you’re long in years, that’s what families do, but those aren’t memories meant to be shared, they are to be held dear. So ditch the savior language, decide not to share that adoption video to the masses, or recount to others the details of the day your baby lost their entire world.