A piece I wrote for Adoption Voices Magazine struck a raw nerve last week with some readers.
Perhaps I should have expected that a piece called “No Angry Adoptees Here” would elicit a response from those adoptees who are angry. Maybe I should have even expected that their response to my piece would be angry and even insulting.
I was angry in the past–not with a venomous and insulting anger–but still, anger is anger. I worked hard to deal with my anger and I found my way to the other side. I don’t expect everyone else associated with adoption to be in the same place as I am; I accept that there are hurt and angry people out there and my heart aches for them.
Have you ever been in the presence of a quiet and calm individual who had something important to say? Did you find yourself quieting and listening intently to their words?
Conversely, have you ever been in the presence of an individual ranting and raving in an attempt to make a point? Was the rant effective in winning you to their perspective or did you find yourself tuning out the rage at some point?
The majority of those who made the laws of the past that we now know caused harm did the best they could with the information they had. They did not intentionally set out to cause harm to adoptees, birth parents, or adoptive parents.
Were mistakes made? Absolutely. Was damage caused? Without a doubt. Were lives unalterably changed? Sadly, yes.
All of the rage and disrespect in the world won’t change any of that.
What it may do, I’m afraid, is cause people to stop listening to the message calling for change.
Change will come through respectful and constructive conversation, not through rage, alienation, and name-calling.
We can allow ourselves to be consumed with anger and become bitter or we can choose to rise above and become better.