The times, they are a changing.
In terms of our openness about adoption and all things adoption related. I do believe that we are becoming more and more open about the challenges of being adopted and raising adoptive children. Obviously, with the WWW and the advent of social media, more and more people are having access to relevant and personal experiences and information and I believe this is a good thing.
For far too long, for too many generations, we just assumed that adoption was this beautiful, miraculous thing, without ever acknowledging that adoption is also loss and grief and so many complex emotions. Often times forcing adoptees to hide their true emotions, to live a lie and causing immeasurable additional pain to them.
Acknowledging another’s pain, doesn’t take it away, but it does lessen the burden. It gives them the freedom to share their pain with you, it gives them the freedom to feel heard and acknowledged. And this is incredibly important to me.
But I won’t lie, it also hurts me.
My husband and I have worked hard to create a safe environment for our children, where they are free to express the full pendulum of their emotions surrounding their adoptions. But it isn’t always easy and sometimes it’s downright painful.
Last week I came across this video on Facebook and it really spoke to me. The weekend before, Ava and I had been talking about her birth mother and in her 7 year old dialogue, she expressed exactly what Ryan is expressing here as a 30 year old man.
Children are not stupid.
I think it’s a giant mistake to believe you can shield them or protect them from their adoption story. Because they are intuitive and they will know something is up. We have chosen instead to play open cards with both our daughters and at times it hurts, but it’s such an important part of maintaining our trust relationship and allowing them to feel secure, that they can talk to us about their complex feelings without fear of rejection.
The Tummy Mummy
Two weeks ago, Ava and I were talking one Saturday afternoon about Mother’s Day and what it all means. Of course, the topic of her Birth Mother came up and she told me that she wishes she never had to leave her tummy mummy, she wishes she could have stayed with her tummy mummy forever.
I wont’ lie, it hurt like a biatch to hear that. But at the same time, I understand that this is the complexity and the contradiction of her situation and her emotions. This is her reality. I don’t believe it means she loves me any less, I do believe it means that she feels conflicted and confused.
On Mother’s Day, my husband overheard our girls talking about their Birth Mother’s and they were telling each other how when they are grown up they are going to go and live with their Birth Mother’s but they want us to come with them.
Adoption is a life long struggle with the complexities of it all.
I think about what my children say and I think about what Ryan shared in his video and there is no doubt in my mind that adoption is very very complicated for everyone in the triad, but most especially for the adopted child. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to live with this lifelong struggle, this two and frowing of emotions, the contradictions of it all.