November is National Adoption Month. Every year the month of November creates awareness of the need for adoptive families for children in foster care. Since its formation in the 1990s, National Adoption Month has grown into an all encompassing recognition of adoption, whether domestic or international. New to this busy month, which already houses National Adoption Day, is World Adoption Day today.
Typically this month features voices from the adoption triad that are educational, enlightening, and engaging. But if we are to be honest, adoptive parents and adoptive organizations have weighed in heavily in the past. Now, more than ever, adult adoptees are using their voices in this growing conversation and I for one am grateful. Adoptees voices go largely unheard and can so often be dismissed by adoptive parents and the greater adoption community. I believe this is wrong. We must hear and receive adoptee experiences and allow them to be our teachers, for the hope of our own children.
So today as we celebrate World Adoption Day, may we listen to all voices in the triad, giving prominence to those who may have been heard the least. As an adoptive parent I encourage other AP’s to visit Twitter to listen and learn silently from #FliptheScript, an adoptee focused contribution during this month of awarness. Listen humbly, even if it doesn’t match with your experience, because learning shouldn’t always line up with what we already know.
Below you will find the World Adoption Day video. I didn’t particularly care for the video as it has a few problems for me. Specifically it seems to underplay the value of first/birth families by saying things like, “You were born for this tribe” in clear reference to the adoptive home. I am so sensitive to the insinuation that we as adoptive families is where it ALL happens. We as AP’s, and those considering adoption, must always remember that adoptive families are not the heroes, nor do we swoop in to create a storybook feel good narrative. Raising awareness is fine, negating the life story of adoptees before adoption – NOT. What do you think of the video? Will you participate in World Adoption Day?