Wednesday, November 2, 2011

slow learning curves (adoption)

I came into adoption a bit "dumb".  I didn't know anything about international adoption, domestic adoption, and the issues surrounding both.  I had a simple thought in mind, to provide a family for a child that would not be able to be raised in one.  I have learned so much since we started the adoption process almost two years ago.  I have been challenged in so many ways and met so many wonderful people in the process.

One thing I did early on was to seek out voices of adults who were adopted as children.  I read a book and found some blogs.  I'll admit that at first I was completely scared off.  I read my first adult adoptee blog and the pain was so raw that I closed it immediately and didn't go back for weeks.  All I could feel was the pain my two daughters that we just adopted might feel one day and for the first time, I thought, did we do the right thing?  I realized that by adopting our daughters we had given our daughters a family, but had also added to their pain and hurt.

I did go back to that blog eventually and others like it.  I asked questions, some I think may have been hurtful in my ignorance.  I started to try to listen more and talk less.  And I've learned a lot and I continue to learn so much, especially the more I listen.  My hope is that in the process of listening I will grow and change and that as my girls grow we will be able to talk about their adoption and why they were adopted in an open and transparent way.  I know I will never be able to understand what it is like to be adopted but I hope that I will have learned that whatever they feel they will know that what they feel is okay, that they will never be rejected by us, and we will always be ready to listen.

So, because this is adoption awareness month, I wanted to point to a huge issue I never knew anything about before I started reading adult adoptee writings.  The fact that in most states adults who were adopted domestically as infants cannot access their original birth certificates!    I wanted to add my voice to the growing number of people who are standing with adult adoptees and demanding access to their original birth certificates.  Please read this link to learn more.   And if you are interested in reading adult adoptee writing, here is one of the many good places to start.

3 comments:

varouna said...

It's true. I'm an adoptee and I can't access any of my original records - but I was adopted in the mid-70s when open adoption wasn't even an idea. I have some medical background, but I wish I had more - or that I was able to access more.

Amanda said...

Thank you!

Varouna,

Did you know that as adoptions have become more "open" records have become more closed? :-) It's an odd trend, but true. Opening and closing of records is a bit different than communication in adoption (aka "openness" in adoption).

What state were you born in? I might be able to tell you where to start if you're interested in accessing your original birth certificate.

varouna said...

Amanda - I have heard that, it is kind of weird. I was born in CT. I called dcf a few years back when I had a medical issue and they actually sent me a bit more medical information. All I could think was, why didn't they give that to my parents? They also told me what I'd need to do if I wanted to meet my birth parents, or at least try to.