There are so many things I want to write about when it comes to adoption and being an adoptee. There are many things I want to explore more in-depth and many conversations I’d like to have with anyone affected by adoption.
In the adoptee community, there are a number of “sides” and a great deal of “us” versus “them” when it comes to members of the triad. In general, you’ll find a number of groups, founded and administered by adoptees that had a terrible experience in their adoptive homes. Some are more militant in their anti-adoption stance than others, but all have something to share and teach us on the topic.
I’m not always comfortable in these groups because I feel guilty for having such a great life. When I write that out it sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? I’m sure it seems ridiculous to you to read!
Regularly I find opportunities to see how sheltered my life has been. I do in fact live in a bubble of white privilege and I know it. I also live in a cloud of adoptee privilege because my parents adopted and made a family for selfless reasons. I’m sure they wanted to fulfill their dreams of having a family and that’s what prompted them to go searching for me and then my brother. When my sister came along they thought there might be even more children to come. In the end, we were a family of 5 and that suited us all just fine. (Notwithstanding my desire for a ton of brothers and sisters.)
It will kill you if you let it and it’s something we can either accept or not. Most people have something they feel guilty about and when I meet someone who is oblivious to the feeling of guilt I’m wary and a little scared.
Carrying guilt for being a happy adoptee and a white woman in a racially divisive world and country isn’t helping anyone though and I’m working to move my guilt into a space of open listening and deeper questions and reflections on how I can use my status in both these areas to improve the situation for others who don’t have the privileges that I do.
Part of getting over the guilt in the adoption arena has been the process of listening to others before I jump in with my opinion. I believe everyone’s experience deserves exploration. Some people do seem to like to be in their drama and enjoy being victims, however, most do not. They are simply working through their feelings the best way they know how.
Creating a community around AdoptionConversations.com is important to me. In the coming months, I’ll be introducing a podcast, sharing my progress on my book about adoption and hopefully publishing in other venues where we can really get the conversation started. Until then, thank you for being here. I value your input – both privately and in the comments and I’m so glad we’re beginning this conversation together.