I just hung up the phone with a friend I met in Adoptionland. She’s an adoptive parent raising 4 girls, all of whom are adopted. She is attuned to their needs and actively pursuing ways to help them not only survive, but also thrive around their trauma.
She woke up to adoption truths after they adopted their fourth daughter. She describes it the same way we in Adoptionland explain ‘coming out of the fog’. For adoptees, it’s the realization about what happened to them. For mothers, maybe it’s also what happened to them, but for me it was what I had done. And, for the rare adoptive parent, it’s understanding what they had participated in. And, it’s soul crushing.
Her awareness is refreshing, especially when her perspective is in opposition to the dominant narrative surrounding adoption. One of the many topics we discussed today was the misconception that love is enough.
I have to believe that most adoptive parents deeply love their children. I know they hope that their love, in addition to a better life (ie.”stuff”) would be the necessary ingredients for their children to achieve happiness and peace. Sadly, this is far from truth.
What an adopted person needs to be whole and complete isn’t Jesus, or loving adoptive parents, or a private education, or family vacations, or prayers before bed, or a nurturing home. While each of those things have their place, the reality defies everything we are told.
What a child needs is their people.
When they are separated from family there is damage to their mental, physical and emotional well being, for the rest of their lives.
My mantra for the last 10 years has been, “Love Wins.” I believed this so deeply that I even put a sticker on my car. I don’t like stickers on cars, so that should indicate how committed I was to the idea. I no longer have that car nor would I ever apply another sticker because, see, love doesn’t win all the time. At least, not in adoption.