If you’re not a part of the adoption community, then you probably don’t know that November is National Adoption Month. I wrote about it when I worked for AdoptionBlogs.com.
National Adoption Month started as one day to finalize adoptions from foster care. It expanded… and is now an entire month to celebrate all types of adoption. Some bloggers will write posts this month lamenting the shift in focus. Some will argue that there is nothing to celebrate about adoption, because adoption is about loss. While adoption does include loss, there are significant gains made as well.
Apparently, May is National Foster Care Month, because Americans can’t help but make days, weeks, and months into something. (I remember making a calendar for my parents and finding out that there’s a National Gilligan’s Island Day or something like that. Maybe it’s a day devoted to bucket hats.) In any case, foster care now has its own month, in addition to a special focus during National Adoption Month.
A lot of people who read my blog are people who are intimately familiar with adoption. However, I know a lot of my friends and family members read this blog as well. It would be nice if you could all take a moment and think about how adoption, while seen as “other”, is really a large part of our society. If you’re reading this, then you know at least 2 adopted people. If you’re a member of my maternal family, then you also know at least one individual raised in foster care. If you’re from Jackson’s school, then there are at least 4 adopted kids in Elementary right now. These don’t include all of the people you may know who are adopted, are birth parents, or have been foster parents, and just don’t talk about it. Adoption is everywhere.
If you have children, it would be really great to talk to them about how different families are made. I get a lot of questions from kids, mostly centering on “How is he brown if you’re both white?”. I don’t mind this – kids are inquisitive, and I’d rather they ask then make something up in their heads. But it would be great if parents could introduce the topic of adoption and families to their kids. One great book is The Family Book, by Todd Parr. It’s for younger kids (1st grade on down), and I’m not up on all of the books for older kids, so I don’t have any suggestions there yet.
Consider adding a couple of books about adoption to your home library. Kids Jackson’s age are now beginning to comprehend that babies come from people, so Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, by Jamie Lee Curtis, and How I Was Adopted, by Joanna Cole would be good ones. If you are a family member with domestically adopted children in your extended family, or you have good friends who have adopted domestically, then I recommend The Best for You, by Kelsey Stewart, or perhaps Rosie’s Family, by Lori Rosove and Heather Burril. There are a number of books about children adopted from China and South American countries as well. I’m not as familiar with these, but Adoptive Families magazine has a great list.
National Adoption Month isn’t just for adoptive families. It’s for everyone. Take a half an hour or so to educate yourself about adoption. I’m sure you’ll learn something interesting.