What is National Adoption Awareness Month?

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Each year, November is recognized as National Adoption Awareness Month. While all adoption-related issues are important, the particular focus of the month is the adoption of children in foster care. (Full disclosure, I am a therapist who works with children in foster care – it is my passion) But, it has gotten away from the original focus.

President Gerald Ford later made the first National Adoption Week proclamation, and in 1990, the week was expanded to a month due to the number of states participating.

As an adoptee community, many whom I associate with, both in person and online want to make the month of November about the experts in adoption – THE ADOPTEE. We are the experts, well, because we have lived adoption….. many of us, like me, EVERY SINGLE DAY OF OUR ENTIRE LIVES.

For all the beautiful pictures of families adopting children and agencies placing newborn babies into the waiting arms of new adopting parents, there are as many more adoptees in the world who want and need to be heard. It is, at times, difficult for Adoptees to see these pictures, because many struggle with the reality of removal from biological families and relinquishment by biological families. The loss of identity, history, and the struggle to find self in the few details of pre-adoption life that are available.

Please be sensitive to those who are adopted.

WE are the ones who understand what it FEELS like to be adopted. WE are the ones who have struggled to figure out life as adoptees. WE are the ones who have grieved the loss of our identity and our heritages. WE are the ones who are told we should be “grateful, lucky, blessed, thankful….” to be adopted.

We are the Adopted. The Adoptee Army. We will spend November 2018 working to be heard and better understood. Will you listen? Really, will you?

I hope you will return to my blog EVERY DAY in the month of November for insights into being an Adoptee.

Please, just listen.

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Robyn Gobbel, LCSW

Parenting. Adoption. And Adoptive Parenting.

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