Four Things

One of my favorite blogs is Production, Not Reproduction, home of the Open Adoption Roundtable. Open Adoption Roundtable #29 (in which I did not participate) was to link to your favorite post. Heather chose the post Four Things. I thought it was a great idea, so without further ado, here are my Four Things…

Four things I thought about adoption when I was a child:

  • I thought that a building down the street from our house was an orphanage. My mom said something about children going there to be adopted. When I grew up, I found out it was a building for county social workers and the like.
  • I thought anyone could adopt a child if they wanted to.
  • I thought it was stupid not to tell kids they were adopted. (There were at least four adopted kids at my school, two who knew it, two who didn’t.)
  • I thought it would be cool to be adopted.

Four things I’ve learned since then:

  • The media hardly ever gets adoption right.
  • Adopting a child is hard, but so worth it in the end!
  • For me to build a family, someone else has to subtract from hers.
  • Adoptions are like snowflakes – no two are alike.

Four silly things people have said to me about adoption:

  • “You should become a foster parent first, to see if you can love a child who isn’t yours.”
  • A family member told me that I shouldn’t post any information on the web that could be construed as negative because Jackson’s birthmother might take him back.
  • My husband’s prior employer gave us a loan to pay for Jackson’s adoption. When we were late in paying back the loan (long story), the woman I was dealing with jokingly said that the company’s officers were talking about repossessing Jackson.
  • “I wouldn’t tell anyone he was adopted. I’d just let them think I had a black boyfriend.”

Four things that are hard about adoption:

  • So many people think that their experience is the only experience. That is, that all adoptions are alike, all birth parents, all adoptive parents, all adoptees are alike. That is so wrong, but some people just won’t listen.
  • Knowing what S and her kids are going through, and knowing that there’s nothing I can do to help them.
  • The patchwork of laws that govern adoption make adoption more difficult than it has to be, legally. And none of the laws seem to ensure that adoptions are any more ethical.
  • In adoption, there’s a huge lack of control, and information is always changing.

Four ways my adopted child/placed child has surprised me (or how your adoptive/first parents have surprised you if you’re an adoptee):

  • Jackson gets the fact that he has siblings who don’t live with him.
  • Jackson is proud of the fact that we share German heritage. (His birthmother’s mother is German and was born there. My mother’s mother’s family came to the US from Germany in the 1700s.)
  • Jackson seems to have taken all of the stuff that we’ve gone through in this adoption in stride.
  • Jackson hasn’t asked more about his birth father. I’m surprised because he usually doesn’t let us get away with anything if he wants to know more.

Four things I wish everyone knew about adoption:

  • Adoptions are like snowflakes – no two are alike.
  • Birth parents aren’t all drug addicts.
  • Adoption isn’t about saving children.
  • Adoption needs reform now!




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