National Adoption Awareness Month

November is National Adoption Awareness Month and today I’m thinking of ways adoption has affected me personally.

I was completely under-prepared to be an adoptive mother. Even if someone had tried to tell me what to expect—and no one did—I would not have understood adoption’s complexity until I was inside it, and inside it for many years.

Adoption is the most complicated relationship I’ve ever been involved in. And every year, as my children grow and move into the world more independently, it becomes more complicated.

I never imagined that the country of Guatemala—its history, politics, people—would inhabit my brain the way that it has. Maybe I should have anticipated this, but I didn’t.

At its root, adoption is loss. Loss is within, behind, beneath everything in adoption. It never goes away. Understanding that at a bone-deep level has helped me evolve in my role as mother to my children.

Adoption is also trust, hope, effort, and steadfastness.

Adoption is family, close and distant. Adoption is love.

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2 Responses to “National Adoption Awareness Month”

  1. Kathy says:

    Jessica, Thank you for your genuine understanding of the complexity of adoption.I only wish this was communicated during National Adoption Awareness Month…

  2. Jessica says:

    Kathy, I think (hope?) many adoptive parents feel as I do–their understanding of adoption’s complexity has evolved. But as you say, this understanding can get lost amid one-dimensional, sound-bite messaging.
    Thanks for commenting.

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