“Don’t believe everything you think!” I saw this bumper sticker in front of me the other day and thought it was brilliant! I recently returned home from an adoption conference feeling like the worst adoptive parent in the world. Were my feelings justified? Not really. But I, like you, occasionally buy into adoption myths. What are adoption myths? Why do adoption myths survive for so long? Sometimes our doubts get the best of us. The worst part is adoption myths keep up us from experiencing what we want. Let’s take a look at common adoption myths.
Five Adoption Myths Parents Believe
What lies and illusions are holding you back?
I am forgotten! This belief is one which can be felt by anyone involved in adoption, however is most commonly expressed by birth mothers who feel unseen. They fear they will be forgotten. This belief is triggered when contact or dynamics changes and/or evolve. What would it be like to believe you are never forgotten? Imagine the picture from my window as I tuck my little ones into bed every night, I see my birth mothers’ beauty, courage and love in my kids eyes. Me forgetting you (my children’s birth mother), is as likely as me forgetting who my own hands look just like (my mother’s). Or, as unlikely as you forgetting your beloved child, you placed for adoption. It is simply far from the truth! Even when there is space and time between us, you are never forgotten!
I am unappreciated! I have felt unappreciated as an adoptive mom. I have been told my offerings were not enough by my birth mother. Likewise, I see birth mothers who feel their sacrifice is not being appreciated or acknowledged. Is it possible to live in a world in which we give and receive gifts with gratitude and love, and release attachments to how they will be acknowledged? Could we be open to feeling honored and appreciated without requiring “pinterest perfect” thank you packages or dreamy surprise sleepovers in return for our offerings? I have never EVER met an adoptive parent who has not been brought to tears as they reflect on the immense gratitude they feel towards birth parents who have selected them to love their child as their own. It is natural to appreciate anyone who offers you gifts of kindness. This feeling is intensified when someone does something you can’t do for yourself. Adoption is the ultimate gift of love. There are no words adequate enough to express thanks. Please forgive us (all of us) when we don’t know what to say or how to say it. Instead, remember the moments you truly felt appreciated because you still are!!
One of my children’s birth mothers used to get hit with this phrase regularly at school and other social settings were her peers did not understand or support her choice to place for adoption. I, on the hand, feel this phrase hit me (as an adoptive mom) when I think someone else might be better suited for mothering my special children. Both scenarios, and countless others like it, are unsupportive and need to be countered by truth. Making decisions out of the best interest of your child can be hard, but that is what loving parents do. Placing a child for adoption is one decision, in my book, gives you eternal merits for being a loving parent. Honoring the unique ways in which I parent and choose to create a healthy, happy family requires non-comparison on my behalf and others. Perhaps, we could all release this belief and offer ourselves more freedom to live, learn, and grow into the parents (and people) we hope to be.
This belief stops us in our tracks. It keeps us from trusting our intuitive natures. It keeps us from being open to creating more love in our lives. It keeps us from having the type of relationships we long for. The truth is we are never doing everything wrong, or we wouldn’t be who we are, doing what we are doing. We learn from the signals and lessons in our lives, and do better. Trusting ourselves and others will breed more confidence, faith, and joy. We can do great things!
Feeling unwanted, unchosen, and unloved is not only a fear for many of us it has been a repeated life experience. For this reason, this misbelief may be the hardest to dispel. That said, perhaps our greatest challenge is to create more opportunities to feel LOVE. Have you felt love in your adoption community? I have experienced an abundance of love from my adoption peeps!! I pray you have too! I believe love is one of the great things we share. We are forever connected through a precious child (who may have been unplanned) but was never unwanted, unchosen or unloved. We share a sacred love!! Love for a child, for each other, and for all those who choose to honor and share this love. Let’s spread this love all over the world!!!
Please remember you are never forgotten and unappreciated! You are magnificent and wonderful! Keep offering love and kindness, and it will come back to you. And above all, YOU ARE LOVED
Addie Mietus loves her life as a wife, adoptive mom of four, yogi, and energy worker. Her degree in sociology, experience teaching adoption education classes, and personal adoption experiences have kept her active in her adoption community for over 12 years. She is a creator and writer for Ahava Adoption Circles, a place for adoptive moms to gather and discuss post-placement adoption experiences.
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