NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH

November is National Adoption Month. Adoption is an integral part of my life; it made me a mother for the first time, and second. Even before it did, I knew, for as long as I can remember, it one day would.

This month is used to bring awareness to the many children waiting in foster care; there are so many waiting for a family and I urge you, should you have even the slightest desire to adopt from foster care on your heart, talk to someone today.

Others use this month to bring awareness to newborn adoption, or international adoption. Some share information, statistics, stories. Some share profiles of families who are hoping to adopt. Some have initiated a flip the switch initiative, encouraging adult adoptees to find their place in adding their narrative to the month, to share their experiences and feelings.

It's sometimes an interesting balance, thinking of actively bringing awareness to something I live and breathe every day, but don't always think of directly. I want to join in, but I'm often unsure of what approach to take.

At the beginning of the week, I got an email of my four-year-old's school calendar for the month. She has a full schedule, studying Europe, Fall, gratitude and families.

Ah, families.

I didn't waste a second composing a response to her teacher. I shared with her that my S was adopted, as was her sister, and she loves to talk about adoption when families, and the way families are created, are discussed. I gave a brief overview of the way she pronounces her birth mama's name and the city she was born in. I offered to send in any books, should she want to share them with the class. Mostly, it was a plea to somehow, if at all possible, incorporate even a slight mention of what is so normal to my daughter, but isn't necessarily on the radar of other preschoolers.

 She told me she shared about our family in class, and today she took one of her favorite books about adoption to read. I know that her heart was so happy

In years to come, will I do this? Maybe, but not always. It will always be up to my children how much they want to share and with whom they want to share it. Right now, though, in this class, at this time, creating a little awareness was what I needed to do in the best interest of my daughter.

I realize that's where I fit into adoption awareness month. I will share, here and there, what I feel is appropriate and perhaps helpful to others. I'm not an expert, but I don't mind questions. I don't mind sharing experiences, though my daughters' stories are, and forever will be, theirs and theirs alone.

Adoption is not the answer for every unplanned pregnancy, every orphan, every foster placement or every couple, or family.

Adoption is many things, but there are many things it is not.

Adoption is not shameful. It is not an easy way out.

It is not irresponsible.

It is not selfish.

It is not second best and it is not a last resort.

At its simplest, adoption is love.

And love is what makes a family.

Meeting S

Meeting LB

I hope you'll check back. If you have an adoption connection, or question, comment away.

I share this in an effort to educate and perhaps help. This is our life and our experience, and it will look different than someone else's. Comments that are neither kind, nor constructive, have no place here.

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