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New Series: Flip The Script – Adoptee’s Voices

I have written about adoption extensively on my blog over the years and when I go back and read some of those posts, I want to cringe at how naive I was. How uninformed. How cruel and selfish my words and thoughts must appear to the other corners of the adoption triad. 

I want to say it’s not my fault. 

But that wouldn’t be true. The simple fact is that I wanted to believe in the fairy tale that is woven and spun by society and the adoption fraternity. We are constantly being told what a beautiful thing adoption is. Adoption is a selfless act of love. Adoption is a gift. Adoption is a miracle.  And for one corner of the adoption triad, this is true. 

But what about the other narratives that make up the full story?

My “awakening”, as I call it, started slowly. Painfully. When I was diagnosed with post adoption depression syndrome about a year after Ava’s placement. When I researched it, I discovered it’s actually fairly common among adoptive parents and yet, when we’d been through our screening, no one had mentioned it. When I inquired as to why we weren’t informed, I was told that it’s such a negative thing and nobody likes to dwell on the negatives.

The Primal Wound

Then I read The Primal Wound and I hated it. I didn’t want to believe it. I didn’t want to think about my children being so traumatized by an experience that was so beautiful to me. I didn’t want to acknowledge or even hear that what had been the most beautiful day of my life, was the polar opposite for my children.

And so began my awakening 

In my search to find truth, I started researching and reading. Following blogs of birth mothers, adoptive parents and adoptees. And at first, I didn’t want to hear what they had to say. It hurt me. It hurt and devastated me to know that my children could be, most likely would suffer because of a choice, a decision that was made about and for them, before they could verbally make their own voices heard.

I put it all down to “the angry adoptee” and tried to move on. It was easy to pigeon hole adoptees as angry and ignore their voices. I didn’t want that to be my truth. And so I chose to search harder for “positive” adoption stories from adoptees. And there are those stories, but they’re few and far between when compared to the number of adoptees sharing their pain, their search for identity, their search for belonging. And after a while, I started to listen, to really listen, to what they had to say.

For my own children.

I went on this quest for my own children. When I started to accept that adoption wasn’t sunshine and roses for everyone in the triad. When I acknowledged that there were other narratives in the triad that needed to be heard in order to understand the full story, my children’s story. When I began to realize that by listening to these narratives, without trying to force them to fit into my pretty box, I could actually learn from them and better prepare myself to mother my children through their own search for identity and healing.

Then trauma knocked on my own door.

Almost a year ago now, Ava openly showed me her primal wound.  And I knew in my heart, I could no longer ignore the voices of adoptees, I needed them. I needed to hear them. I needed to acknowledge them. I needed them to help me understand my own child. To help me, help my child on her journey. I don’t want to be the kind of parent who sweeps her child’s pain under the rug. I want to be her safe place. I want her to know she can always come to me. I want her to know she is safe to show ALL her emotions to me. I want to be the best mother I can be.

Flip The Script

And then I discovered Flip The Script. Which is a movement that gives a voice to adult adoptees in an attempt to improve adoption, our understanding of adoption and perhaps help us parent our adopted children better. 

The goal was simple: for adult adoptee voices to be represented during National Adoption Month.
#flipthescript sought to create a welcoming space on Twitter for adoptees to express themselves; to reach out to adoptees new to public discourse; to promote acceptance of all adoptee voices as important whether they express happiness, ambivalence, grief and loss, or anger—or all of these themes at once; and to unlabel adoptee narratives as “happy” or “angry” by accepting and expecting complex conclusions from complex life experiences. Read where Rosita first introduced the movement.

And so here I am today…… I want to be part of the Flip The Script movement. I believe that adult adoptees have important lessons to impart to adoptive parents. I believe adult adoptees stories, their narratives should be the most important in the adoption story. 

Flip The Script: Adoptees Voices

Is a new feature I’d like to start on my blog. The reason is twofold:

  1. Their narratives are important and deserve to be acknowledged and heard without labels. 
  2. Their narratives give important lessons to adoptive parents that can, if we strip away egos, better our parenting of our children.

I get that there is still stigma and shame attached to adoption for adoptees, so you are welcome to participate as openly or as anonymously as you’d like. But I’d love to hear from you. I’d love to hear your narrative. I’d love to acknowledge you and to learn from you.

If you’d like to participate, complete the interview here: Flip The Script – Adoptees Voices

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4 Comments

  • The Blessed Barrenness
    Reply The Blessed Barrenness

    Thanks Mands, it’s exhausting though, so I need to pepper my writing with frivolous pieces to balance my own sanity & emotional well-being

    November 14, 2017 at 6:53 am
  • Tracey Monique Grammer-Porter
    Reply Tracey Monique Grammer-Porter

    Ian Baugaard ,would you be willing to share? ❤️

    November 14, 2017 at 5:16 pm
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