Thursday, July 17, 2014

Not a Blank Slate

For Andrew and I adoption = happy excitement and not-so-patient waiting, as well as some new-parent jitters. But happiness is not the only emotion that comes with adoption. With all adoption there is loss. Adoption is a solution to give parents to a child who is parentless because of death of parents, a mother not able to parent a child, children being removed from their birth family from neglect and abuse, and child abandonment. Well meaning people tell children how lucky they are to be adopted. And in a sense, I know what they mean. They mean that the child is lucky or blessed they aren't still in the orphanage or in fostercare or living on the streets. Because for every child that is adopted, there are thousands who don't get adopted and continue to struggle living in fostercare, orphanages, or on their own on the streets. I don't consider a child who has suffered the loss of birth parents for whatever reason (death of parents, choice of birthmother to make an adoption plan, abandoment, neglect, abuse) to be lucky or blessed.

Listen to these stories of adoption and fostercare and hear the real loss that these children have gone through:

As I think about M., I feel empathy for him. He isn't coming to us as a blank slate. He has a story. A story that involves the loss of his birth family, living in 2 different orphanages and even loss from when he left those orphanages, and now a foster family. When M. comes to us, he will suffer more loss. The loss of the familiar, the loss of his birth culture, the loss of his foster family. It will not be easy for him. I want Andrew and I to be understand of all the emotions he may feel as he joins our family. He could feel overwhelmed, confused, sad, angry, misunderstood, and so much more. We continue to prepare for the emotional needs of our son when he joins our family.

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