Here we are again, November 1st. If you have anything to do with the adoption world, you know that this is the month that was chosen to focus on all things ADOPTION. For me, it is the month I was born into the world and when my story began.
In my life, my STORY has become my truth, my most precious gift, the weirdest book I have ever read, and the part of me that is also the whole of me.
During this month of NAAM, I hope to share some of my story through my writing here on my blog. It has been a long time since I sat down and shared my thoughts through my writing. I missed my brain and finger connection on the keyboard. I feel rusty.
November 2018, I had this grand idea to write EVERYDAY for 30 days about adoption. Then….. My dad fell. Then he moved into our home. Then he took all my time, worry, attention and love. Then, on July 17, 2019, at 93, he died and my story had a new chapter. I will write about this later this month. There is much to say about losing a dad when you are an adopted daughter.
Over the past 2 and 3/4 years, I have grown into a new adopted person. This is generally called, “Coming out of the Fog,” by those in the adoptee community. I did not just “come out” of the fog, I was grabbed and yanked out by the truth of my own story. This was a jarring experience. I am still, at times, jarred, but more steady and than ever these days.
I decided early on not to let the story of how I began define me. I decided to be open, be honest, be forthright, be genuine about myself. In short, I have chosen authenticity. I decided my story could help another, so I began to write. I began to speak. I began to look upward and not downward.
In the year of my reunion, 2017, I would have never thought that 2018 would be the year of such changes and metamorphosis in my life. And then, 2019 became such a year of professional and personal growth.
During 2019, I have spoken at 2 Nationwide Conferences (AAC an NACAC) and shared my story and thoughts. I have spoken to a local foster / adopt parent group. I have attended retreats for adoptees. I now have a close circle of dear friends who are also adopted. I co-facilitate and attend a monthly Adoptees Connect group in Las Vegas. I have been on he Adoptees On podcast.
I have not been shy about speaking up and speaking out with my adoptee voice. This is a voice I never knew was inside of me.
I will continue to build a Therapy Practice in Las Vegas for the adoption community so that the Adoption Constellation has access to Adoptee / Adoption competent therapy. Look out 2020.
And, all of this has taught me about myself. My inner strength. My deep compassion for adoptees. My desire for self compassion. My need for connection. My love of life, despite life’s difficulties.
What can you do to support adoptees during November (and beyond)?
- Listen without interruption or correction
- Support them, wherever they are in their journey
- Don’t say “well meaning” statements – such as “you must be so grateful, you are so lucky a good family took you in, who are your real parents?well, at least you she didn’t get an abortion…..” (Yes, I have heard all of these statements)
- Don’t make “Gotcha Day” shirts for your family to wear when a child is bring adopted into your family. That child is not a possession and they lost everything to be part of your family.
- Seek out Adoptee blogs and websites to
- Listen to Adoptees On podcast http://www.adopteeson.com
- Read Dear Adoption letters – http://www.dearadoption.com
- Be a friend to an adoptee – everyday.
- Come back and read this blog often
- Just listen (did I mention Listen?)