There are a lot of birthdays around here, not to mention the anniversaries of when our kids arrived in our home to stay. This day last summer was the adoption placement date for our youngest son. I remember it well. I often tell adoptive parents (all parents, actually) to keep a journal. It's a great way to keep track of memories, and good for all sorts of recrod-keeping of familiy activities, too. And, in the case of children who are adopted as older children, it can really remind you of where you've come from.
By looking at adoption in other places, other cultures, and other times we hope to open our minds and develop a deeper understanding of ourselves, each other, and our roles in the world of adoption. In this post we visit Japan with Sophelia, an Australian expat and adoptive mother to one Japanese son.
I have a right to feel confused.
Who wouldn’t? After all, I have two sets of parents, one of which was shrouded in mystery.
I have a right to fear abandonment and rejection.
After all I was abandoned by the one I was most intimate with.
I have the right to acknowledge pain.
After all, I lost my closest relative at the youngest age possible.
I have the right to grieve.
After all, everyone else in society acknowledges strong emotions.
I have a right to express my emotions.
After all, they have been shut down since adoption day.
Seven years old, but still just a baby
One of my father’s most ridiculous parenting lines was “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” As if children are just crying for no reason. As if their spontaneous emotional eruptions need to be stopped immediately for their own good.
Romance, a ranch, and raising kids
Like so many children, I grew up on stories of Dick and Jane and Spot. I imagined I would fall in love with Prince Charming and have perfect children and live happily ever after. My youthful adventures took me across Canada to Yukon where I met my Prince, a commercial pilot who later morphed into a rancher. Between us we had twelve siblings and naturally assumed we would have at least half a dozen children to run wild on the ranch.
What is occupational therapy and what qualifications do OTs need?
Occupational Therapy (OT) is the art and science of enabling individuals to participate in meaningful activities or occupations by using evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning. Occupations vary: a child’s occupation may include playing on the playground, a young adult’s occupation may include attending school or working, a mother’s occupation may include looking after the household and her children, and a retiree’s occupation may be that of a golfer or grandparent.
Celebrating life’s big moments
When people hear about the work of Celebrants, their excitement reminds me of the importance of stepping intentionally into life’s big changes. People who participate in a Celebrant-led ceremony (such as a homecoming or a baby blessing) experience joy, tears and deep gratitude for the opportunity to respectfully celebrate life’s meaningful moments. Adoptive families, because of the lengthy and sometimes difficult process they have walked through to bring their children home, are primed and ready to share their stories with those they love.
A strengths-based approach
Everyone begins a new adoptive placement with high hopes that a “forever” family has been created. Sadly, about 15% of adoptive families find their dreams shattered as they realize that despite everyone’s best intentions, the adoption isn’t going to work.
Within our first year of being married, my husband and I knew that building our family may come by way of adoption.
I suffered from debilitating but undiagnosed pain, and doctors raised the possibility of a hysterectomy. It took another 14 years of pain and failed attempts to conceive before I found a doctor who finally diagnosed me with endometriosis.
The history of Aboriginal adoption
The history of the colonization of Aboriginal peoples in Canada can be a difficult and complex topic. The term Aboriginal is used in BC legislation to encompass First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples. Aboriginal people were subject to laws, policies, and programs designed to assimilate them into Euro-centric mainstream culture. In the area of child welfare, this culminated in the “60’s scoop,” where many Aboriginal children were removed from their families and placed for adoption with families of European descent.