There are few things more life- or soul-destroying than clinging to the feeling that you are a victim of your life experiences, and that the world owes you something for the pain it caused you. And there are even fewer things more life- or soul-destroying than not allowing yourself the space to really feel your loss, fear, and longing.
When my older daughter, Jessica, was in kindergarten she love to attend birthday parties. However, one day she came home from a birthday celebration very sad and very quiet. She wanted to be left alone and didn't want to talk about the party.
Carey Elliot* has a close relationship with her four adult children, a long and happy marriage, and a successful career. She also has two grandchildren: a two-year-old boy, and a six-year-old girl. The little girl was placed for adoption at birth.
When Carey's daughter Danika became pregnant at 25, she told her mom that she was considering an adoption plan for her baby. Though other members of the family found this idea hard to accept, Carey was supportive: the birth father was not involved, and Danika very much wanted her child to have siblings and a two-parent family.
All over the world, people are using the Internet to seek out information about their roots. It’s now the norm for adoptees and birthparents to use social media to search for missing pieces of their biological puzzle without any need for detectives, red tape, agencies, or intermediaries.
A ritual, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is “a prescribed order of performing religious or other devotional service.” Rituals take place on occasions like Hanukkah, Easter, the Lunar New Year, birthdays, and Thanksgiving. They don’t have to be religious in nature; baking Christmas cookies with your mom and sister is as much a ritual as attending Mass. The simple daily things you do can be can be rituals, too.
In recent years, over 40% of adoptions in B.C. have been completed by foster parents who adopt their foster children. To find out more about this unique path to building a family, we interviewed a mom who’s been there and done that--more than once!
Jane and her husband have been foster parents for more than a decade, and are also parents to twelve children (seven biological and five through adoption).
Open domestic adoptions, where the birth family and adoptive family get together regularly for visits with the child, are the norm in British Columbia. In between visits they stay in touch through emails, phone calls, and text messages. If this is what an open adoption looks like, how can openness be possible in an international adoption where time zones and geography create barriers and birth parents may be unknown?
Noah sits tall in his booster seat, and I catch a glimpse of his messy curls in the rearview mirror. My eyes are on the road ahead, so he can talk to me and tell me things, but not see my facial expression. It’s a safe place to test out hard questions.
Last week’s booster-seat confessional was an open discussion between my seven year old son and me. He began matter-of-factly. “So, you’re not my real mom....”
Knowing adoption, knowing love
Sometimes I feel like there’s nothing going on--with adoption, that is. Life is full with school, friends, soccer, baseball, work, field trips, family gatherings, and the endless parade of birthday parties. For us to just stop talking about adoption would be easy, but that would be a shame.
“Adopted Voice” is our response to the #FlipTheScript campaign, which promotes the importance of making space for and listening to the voices of adopted people. If you’re an adoptee of any age who’s interested in writing a column for “Adopted Voice,” we’d love to hear from you! Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.