Posted by: manyblessings | 04/20/09

Almost there… and On Negativity

We are soooo close. This is starting to get ridiculous… or comical, depending on my mood.

We are on site and safety inspection NINE sometime this week. Basically, old houses do not work well with the site and safety requirements. A gate that cannot hold back a 60-year-old woman is apparently also not strong enough to hold back a 2-year-old. I’d like to see these behemoth 2-year-olds coming through CPS if that is the case. But I digress…

So now that the gate has been basically mounted to the wall, we are set. Or should be. But then we’ve been saying that for WEEKS… and they keep coming up with new issues. So I guess we’ll see!

On negativity:

We have received many comments from various people in our lives on the subject of adoption. Some people are totally supportive of our plans. Some people are nervously hopeful that this will all turn out okay.

Then there are THE OTHERS.

These people have had adoption experiences in their families that could be described as difficult at best and horrible at worst. Many of them are biological children in families that also contained adopted children. Some of them are people who adopted children themselves.

ALL of them are people who were involved in the adoption process in what was probably its darkest time, the 1950s through 1980s. From women who were institutionalized and then knocked out during labor only to wake up and find themselves no longer pregnant and with no baby around (most were told the babies had died) to the concept that love will fix everything, this era was not good for healthy adopted adults. In fact, much of the anti-adoption literature and presence on the Internet come from people who were adopted during this era.

I give people who adopted back then some credit. They really had no idea the emotional trauma adoption can–and many times does–have on adopted individuals. They really believed that blind inclusion in the family, not talking with the child about his/her adoption, and certainly not telling anyone outside the family about the adoption were the best ways to handle adoption. Adoptees who found out only in adulthood that they had been adopted have written on how detrimental this was to their overall emotional health, and adoptees who knew they had been adopted but whose parents never really dealt with that glaringly obvious portion of their history before joining their adoptive families have dealt with myriad issues as well. Just google or check your local library for more information.

The problem is, the negative situations of the past color people’s perceptions of modern adoption. And while modern adoption is not a perfect system–and if we’re talking about foster-adopt or the overpriced faction of the private adoption industry–it is a solution to a problem: children who have no biological parents to care for them, for whatever reason, need parents. So what should we do?

What we should NOT do is assume that our past negative experiences are the way things are now.

We should NOT discourage healthy and able couples from adopting by telling them all of our horror stories. Should they get a realistic picture? Yes. But throwing negative situations at them that were borne out of an entirely different time and overall social consciousness is useless.

There are more resources now for issues that come up in adoptions. There are books, counselors, support groups, you name it. Does that mean that everything will be rosy and we will truly be one big happy family? No. But issues that arise with adopted children that lead to utilizing support services are no worse than issues that arise with screwed up members of one’s biological family. Most people do not have to go back very far in their family tree to find people like this; the black sheep of families are just as often biological as they are adoptive, and who’s to say that for every maladjusted adopted person there isn’t a maladjusted person who was raised in his or her own biological family? To assume that adoption is the main issue does not count for issues in genetics and parenting.

I appreciate the “feedback” we’ve gotten, as it has been very helpful–though perhaps not in the way it was intended. You see, every one of these experiences and journeys into friends’ and acquaintances’ experiences with adoption has taught me that no matter what happens in our foray into foster care and adoption, I hope I never make another person with plans and dreams and goals for his or her family feel as small and unnecessary and stupid as I have been made to feel by the well-meaning “concerns” of others.


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