It seems to me that issues pertaining to adoption have been in the news a lot these days – from the heartbreaking story about the Russian woman who sent her adopted child back to Sandra Bullock’s surprise adoption announcement. As usual, there are stories that break my heart, stories that make me smile, and other stories that leave me shaking my head wondering what were they thinking?
A positive trend that I’m seeing as I read about adoption though, is the focus on truth. There can come no good out of deception in any circumstance, adoption included, and so I’m thrilled when I read things like a recent post on Judy M. Miller’s The International Mom’s Blog because she respects the ethnicity of her children and, more than that, allows her children the freedom to be who they were meant to be.
There are some who were adopted in a closed adoption like I was, who don’t even know what their ethnic background is, let alone have the opportunity to celebrate who they are. Some adoptees are angry about the secrecy and the shame it cast over them. I understand their anger, but I am choosing a different response. Rather than dwelling on what was, I choose to rejoice in what is.
We, as a society, have made great strides in the way that we look at adoption in 2010. We understand more about the effects of adoption on children and we are trying to do a better job of ensuring that they grow up to be emotionally strong and healthy people.
Those of us who were brought up afraid to ask questions about who we were and where we came from were hurt by the shame that we perceived to be upon us. As we have grown and found the courage to stand up for ourselves and speak out about the way that we were affected by closed adoption, others have listened.
Today I celebrate that there are loving parents who have been blessed by adoption, just as I celebrate for those children who are blessed to call those parents “mom” and “dad”. At the same time I celebrate that we are telling the truth to our children and allowing them the opportunity to celebrate for themselves the beautiful and unique individuals that they are.
I call that progress.