Some thoughts on adoption

I strive to view adoption from multiple perspectives and sometimes focus too hard on the negative. And by that I mean the loss experienced by my children, the inequality that exists in the world, the basic unfairness of life. These issues haunt me.

I sometimes discuss adoption with a long-time friend, an adult who is adopted, and she sometimes ends our conversations with, “You need to get over your liberal guilt.” If you’re reading this blog, you probably understand what she means by this statement.

Recently I read this Huffington Post essay by adoptee, Madeleine Melcher, and while my first reaction was to think, “Too positive!,” I later reflected that the perspective of Madeleine Melcher is as valid as the perspective of anyone else. Madeleine Melcher also deserves to be listened to. This one line especially spoke to me: “Parents: There is no voice on or about adoption that is more important than YOUR ADOPTEE’S.”

And I took that to mean: I need to listen more to my own my children and their experience of adoption–and a little less to other, louder voices that sometimes drown my children’s voices out.

Today, to myself, I say: Yes, remain aware of adoption’s complexity. Yes, keep my eyes open. But don’t allow the negative things that I know and I’ve seen, prevent me from embracing the good stuff that’s right in front of me.

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2 Responses to “Some thoughts on adoption”

  1. Nina says:

    I loved this reminder Jessica. When I asked TJ if she wanted to read some more of my book on adoption she said “not right now mommy”. A bit wounded I asked, “I thought you liked it,” to which she replied, “I do mama, but it’s about adoption, and I hate adoption.”
    I sometimes forget when I feel how much I love her, even in the tough times, that her relationship to our story as a family is one of both deep loss and pain, as well as love and happiness. I too need to listen for both!

  2. Jessica says:

    I love how you have created an atmosphere of honest communication that allows TJ to name and express how she feels.
    And as you point out: the coexistence of deep loss and pain, along with love and happiness. There’s our work–to hold, simultaneously, those two things in our hands. xo

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