Saturday, November 26, 2011

How Adoption Has Changed Me... Part I

A few weeks ago a friend of mine informed me she had read my blog start to present.  She suggested that I should share the blog with more people because she gained so much from it.  So I decided to read my blog start to finish to reflect back and see how this process has changed me... for the positive and or negative as well as to help me determine if I should share my blog more openly. I call this Part I because I feel like I'll need to continue to reflect on how Adoption has changed me. Adoption will continue to change me, my family, and the people around me.

I think the biggest thing that has changed is my awareness of adoption around me.  Birthmothers and adoptive families are all around us.  We might not know who they are but they are around.  I have become more open about our plans to adopt as our wait continues.  Why should I not share?  I'm not ashamed of it.  It will be obvious when I never was pregnant and now have a baby.  Its not a secret and it never will be.  Our agency urges families to be cautious with sharing that they are waiting; however I feel like it continues the history of secrecy.  I have a co-worker that has been talking to be about the adoption frequently (not in a have you heard yet sort of way).  Another coworker pulled her aside and told her that maybe she shouldn't talk about it because she could be hurting my feelings.  I actually appreciated her talking to me about it.  I've learned so much about cloth diapers from her.  Its nice to be treated like an expectant mother.  The quieter I am about the topic the more it will be treated like a secret that shouldn't be shared.

In the past few months in connecting with Adoption Bloggers I have gained a better grasp on understanding Birthmothers. I just read a post tonight in which a birthmother reflected on her feelings on infertility since creating an adoption plan for her daughter. Her sentiments about infertility are my exact sentiments about unplanned pregnancies. When I was in high school girls from my school would become pregnant and I'd think "that sucks." I'd also think of all that they would have to give up to raise their babies. When I watched Juno, and Teen Mom (we were still TTC) I thought that stinks but it so selfless. Now I realize that the heart break I have is not for the same reason but is still just as real for birthmoms. Birthmothers do not create adoption plans because they don't love their children, they create adoption plans BECAUSE they love their children.  Are their other reasons?  Like creating better opportunities for their future as well.  Yes, but from what I have read and seen its because where they are presently wont allow for their children to have all that they want them to have.  Due to my new understanding I am a stronger advocate of saying yes the waiting period sucks for me, but its heart breaking for the birthmother.  She deserves an opportunity to make sure she has made the best decision for her baby.  Will I be scared the adoption plan could fall apart- Yes.  However I also know that when my heartbreak ends their hearts are breaking.

Adoption friendly language.  I'm working on it (in fact I have a post I've been working on).  I struggle with the language.  I read another post by someone that spoke of the differences between the use of the past/present lingo.  Five years from now "My baby was/is adopted."  I feel like both are relavant and it depends on context.  I take pause when speaking still to make sure I'm using the correct phrases.  Its not easy for me.  In trying to formulate a letter to my family I think I've realize that what is most important to me is that my baby is first and fore most a baby, a son/daughter, cousin, grandchild, friend, etc.  Unless adoption is the topic the discriptor shouldn't be used anyway.  I also think to what I have learned in my professional life as whats called person first language.  When discussing a persons disability you state the discriptor then the diagnosis for example it would be "The boy with autism" not the "autistic boy."  We are all people first then there are atributes that describe us.  Same with disabilities unless the diagnosis adds to the conversation it shouldn't be used as a discriptor.  So rather "The boy with autism is playing on the computer" it is "the boy is playing on the computer.

In reading back- I've said a few things that made me cringe in re-reading them.  I've grown in this roller coaster called waiting.  I have not removed a single post because this blog is a reflection of my journey.  I struggle with the idea of sharing this roller coaster with more people.  If I shared this blog with more people there are a few posts I'd have to take down or edit to eliminate self identification as my goal never was to chastise people.  I'm learning as are the people around me.  I am not perfect and neither are they.  Maybe I will share my blog just not yet.

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