I adopted a little girl about 6 years ago. I feel conflicted sometimes even now since sometimes I feel like I "took her" from someone else. (It was an international adoption which sometimes are considered/assumed to be done unethically. I have no idea, for certain, if mine was completely ethical or not.)
I'm going to assume that it was ethically done, and extend my congratulations, albeit 6 years late.
Obviously I am "pro-adoption"
but I am aware that "adoption is a permanent solution to sometimes temporary problems" (a saying I've read many times on adoption forums)
You know, I've only seen that recently myself. I've heard it before, but in connection to abortion, not adoption. I find it rather unsettling that it's being used on adoption forums to be honest with you - one of the perceived problems with adoption is concern over the potential impermanence should the birth mother, at some point in the future, "change her mind". I realize that it may happen, but my recent research indicates that it's far more rare than common assumptions would imply.
so it is difficult. There is a bit of cognitive dissonance.
This is the kind of thing I'm hoping to shed some light on. With such a strange push me-pull you attitude about adoption in this country it creates really unique challenging circumstances for anyone involved in the triad that are almost impossible to explain to someone who has never been involved. The sense of needing to validate your family as a legitimate unit, even if only to yourself, is such a common experience.
We always call my daughter's birth mother her "first mommy." My daughter is aware (as much as a seven year old can be) that she has three mommies. "First," Foster, and Forever.
That's the sweetest thing I've ever heard about an adoption!
If it's not too personal or uncomfortable, can you tell me a little bit about the reactions of other people to your decision to adopt? What has your experience been like? I've noticed an increasing level of "no big deal" as the age of the other person decreases - in other words, the older the other person is, the more likely they have been to say something really judgmental (or worse, pitying) or to make assumptions about my birth mother. The line appears to be right around the mid-40's by my experiences. Of course, that's a sweeping generalization not meant to be applied to individuals by any means.
I've also noticed that as international adoptions have become more common (well, as common as adoption can be said to be), adoptees have become less ... well, stigmatized. There's been no change of that nature for birth mothers though.
Thank you for sharing Betelnut. I appreciate it.
I'm going to fill in a few details to clarify why I chose this topic. I rarely talk about being adopted, not because I'm uncomfortable with it, but because it makes other
people uncomfortable. Again, the younger the other person it, the more likely they just shrug it off, but I've had enough thoughtless remarks directed my way to just avoid the topic all together most of the time.
The other reason has become a bigger deal as I've gotten older though. I'm pretty openly pro-choice - I've participated in lots of events and am quite willing to speak about why I'm pro-choice when it's appropriate*. I don't acknowledge that I'm also an adult adoptee however - I only made that mistake once, an accident that I won't let happen again. Being both adopted and pro-choice apparently makes me an even worse human being than a birth mother, as far as abortion opponents are concerned. Heck, some of my friends
can't quite parse it. Apparently being adopted is supposed to be a defining characteristic about my personality so there are people who simply cannot figure out how I can be both an adoptee, and still support the right to chose. To me, it's the most reasonable position I could
take, but most people see it as dissonance.
The assignment that I'm working on is my first step toward formulating an active work of advocacy to address the social
problems that result in fewer adoptions than most of us would probably like to see happening. The shitty way the people who push adoption treat the people who choose it needs to be addressed, and I'm beginning to think I might want to be involved in addressing it. if I'm going to call people out on their hypocrisy, it might as well be over a matter that has a measurable effect on real people. Who knows? I might even crack open a mind or two along the way.*edited to clarify: when it's appropriate to discuss it.