Two more weeks until November; just a few more days until National Adoption Awareness Month officially begins.
November can be an emotionally loaded month for those of us in the adoption community. Feelings can run the gamut; a true testimony to just how deep and diverse the adoption experience is.
An experience ripe with joy, sorrow, loss, gain, blessing, and pain. There’s a coming together and a coming apart. There’s a shattering and a healing. There’s community and isolation. There’s calm and rage. Contrasting views and perspectives. That’s adoption.
Those contrasting views and perspectives can even be felt within the heart of one, single individual. Take me, for example. I experience the waves of joy and of grief every November. As a mom-by-adoption, there is a joy that fills me up as we approach the coming month. I want to celebrate my family and our story of adoption. It’s a beautiful story and worthy of sharing.
Yet, as an adult adoptee I also carry the weight of November. I sense the heaviness of loss that has followed me along my life-journey. Loss doesn’t feel celebratory. It feels more like mourning. And, that’s okay.
I used to be ashamed of that feeling. Guilty that I felt a sense of loss by being adopted when everyone told me just how much I had gained. Guilt leads to shame. Shame leads to isolation. We turn off our feelings, become numb and turn away. I’m better alone, we tell ourselves.
Only, that’s a lie. We’re better together. Birth parents. Adoptees. Adoptive parents. Foster children. Foster youth. Foster parents. Social workers. Adoption Advocates. We are better when we’re united. We’re better when we can say, without reservation: Don’t hide. Don’t be ashamed. Feel what you need to feel. Let it out so that healing can begin.
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