In writing, I am met with diverse responses as I receive a mix of support and questions. Adoptees relate to my healing process while others inquire about issues I have brought to light. Then there are other responses. The ones that I am not as well prepared for; the reactions of disgust and reproach.
I have received numerous comments from strangers, friends and family, their views laced with an idealistic view of adoption. The remarks forcefully explain my experience as invalid, as they reiterate that adoption is purely beautiful. People’s assumptions regard me as negative and ungrateful instead of one with an attitude of bravery and speaking truth.
It’s as if adoption can only be viewed as all good or all bad, that there is no in between.
It’s black and white.
A rigid way of thinking.
Adoption, to me, is more of a variety of color than black and white.
Am I anti-adoption? No. Am I pro-adoption? No. I believe there are times in which adoption provides a place of safety, security and love for a child. I also believe there are discrepancies within the multi billion dollar adoption industry that need to be challenged.
Every adoptee’s story is different. Some would describe their experience as wonderful, speaking mainly of positive notions. Other adoptees had a horrendous experience and the negative memories outweigh the rest.
Regardless of views and opinions, listening to adoptee stories with open minds and hearts is vital in hoping to see change within a broken system.
Allow adoptees to share what they have an expert level of experience in: adoption.
Instead of approaching an adoptees’ words through the lens of black and white, see them as a vast array of colors. The stories together create a woven tapestry. Each hue is needed and necessary in creating a colorful pattern of knowledge, expertise and awareness. Without color, there is a refusal to challenge a current perspective and a lack of flexibility as it fades into a system of black and white thinking. Without color, adoptees are told their lives are invalid, their stories are untruthful, and their attitudes only display a sense of selfishness and anger.
Negative responses will continue. But, I have hope there will be more openness towards adoptees and their stories. Until then, I will keep sharing and keep elevating adoptee voices. Let’s empower each other and strive to bring color into the black and white.