Yes folks, it’s that time of year again when everyone is talking about adoption, National Adoption Awareness Month. Originally, NAAM was started to raise awareness about children in foster care who “needed” to be adopted. It soon devolved into an adoptive parent based adoption love fest. There were blogs about gotcha days and RAD breakthroughs and babies growing in hearts as far as the eye could see. There was even a “Best Adoption Blog” started by a particular site that was exclusively made up of adoptive parent blogs for the longest time. Now, adoptees and natural mothers had been speaking up during NAAM but were largely ignored until the “Best Adoption Blog” was crashed by a couple of adoptees and one natural mother in particular. Of course, the competition wasn’t crashed as such, it’s just that a bunch of informed people decided to turn the tables and vote for these other, non-adoptive parent blogs, and lo and behold, they actually did really well. In fact, when it looked like one of the natural mother’s blogs was going to win the competition, the host site shut it down with no explanation. And so the worm had turned.
I have been absolutely delighted to see the #flipthescript campaign this year. For those who don’t know, #flipthescript was started by adoptees as a way to get their voices heard above the clamour of rainbow farting unicorns. Every day on Facebook I have seen new posts and articles written by adoptees about the challenges of being adopted. Alongside that, I have seen several adoptees who have felt the need to spew forth their own skittle-laden “Why I love adoption” rhetoric in response to their fellow adoptees’ opinions. Honestly, this wouldn’t bother me as much if they just said “This is how I feel, adoption was great for me”; instead they feel the need to label the rest of us as bitter, angry, negative, ungrateful and having had a bad experience. The whole point of #flipthescript is to get the whole story told. It is entirely possible to love your adoptive family and still have abandonment issues from being relinquished in the first place. And the fact that we are talking about it doesn’t mean that our whole life sucks and that we wallow in self pity, it just means that there is a small part of our lives that has impacted us greatly but for some reason society chooses not to recognise it and we want to change that for adoptees in the future.
Several weeks ago, I was interviewed for an article about daughters reuniting with their birth mothers. I didn’t know how to tell my adoptive mother that I was doing the interview so I chose not to and just crossed my fingers that she wouldn’t see the article. Big mistake. I have not spoken to her yet – the article only came out yesterday – but I have heard through the family grapevine that she did see it. I’m hoping that this will not be a big deal but we have had a bit of a rough year and NAAM plus doing the interview has left me feeling extremely triggered. Earlier in the year, my adoptive mother chose not to attend my wedding because I had invited my natural family. She informed me then that she will never be in the same room with my natural family. I accept her decision but it niggles at me, she has so much hatred for the very person who gave birth to her supposedly beloved daughter. And so, here I am, 14 years into my reunion with my natural family, in my early 40’s, and still being triggered and tied up in knots by my adoption. Yay for National Adoption Awareness Month! Is it over yet?