Last week was the 4 year anniversary of Hannah’s placement with us. We don’t celebrate Gotcha Day, I’ve actually written about the reasons why here: http://www.theblessedbarrenness.co.za/one-year-anniversary-why-were-not-celebrating-gotcha-day/
So I’m not going to revisit why I we don’t celebrate Gotcha Day, but I did want to you about another common adoption sentiment that I wish people would stop using…
Your children are so blessed to have you.
I know when people say this, they mean well and they say it with the best of intentions, but here’s why it’s a problem for me:
For my children to be truly blessed, their original family unit would still be in tact. They would not be living with the burden (and ask any adoptee, there are a lot of complex thoughts, feelings and identity crisis’s) that go hand in hand with being adopted. A child placed for adoption, is in my opinion, a tragedy. There is so much loss in placement.
The only people blessed by adoption are adoptive parents.
I know I must be sounding so incredibly negative about adoption right now, and it’s not my intention to be negative, but I do want to present both sides fairly to you, readers. The only people in the adoption triad (birth parents, child & adoptive parents) are the actual adoptive parents, we are the ones that gain EVERYTHING while everyone else loses a little in the process. While adoption is so very joyful for us, it is also bittersweet knowing that there is an incredible amount of loss and heartbreak woven into the process.
The other sentiment I wish people would stop expressing to adoptive parents is…
Your children are lucky, you love them unconditionally.
I’ve never had a biological child, but I kind of assumed that that was what parenting involved, loving your child unconditionally first and foremost. And my children, my adopted daughters, are first and foremost JUST my children, I don’t think of them, on a daily basis as adopted, the only time I think of them as adopted is when complexities surrounding their placements come up and I have to act in their best interests, but first and foremost they are my children, as if my own flesh and blood and I can’t imagine any other way of loving them or parenting them without loving them unconditionally first.
At the end of the day, adoptive parents, like biological parents, are simply just parents.
Striving to give the best to their child, to raise them in a loving home with thought, care and discipline, growing them to adulthood where they can go on to be a legacy for who and what we are and contributing members of our society. Isn’t that what every parent wants for their child?
Disclaimer – this is in NO WAY a dig at anyone, simply and observation and some thoughts and feelings shared on how I feel about adoption. My primary reason for writing this was for our friends and family and perhaps if you have a friend or family member who has adopted, to simply be mindful of the messages sent while using adoption jargon.