Changing The Narrative: No Longer an Adoption Advocate

The last week has brought about the need for me to make a change.  I know you’ve heard me write endlessly about the privilege that I feel adoption is.  That I feel it is an honor to have been chosen to parent the children I call mine.  You’ve heard me wax poetic over and over about the beautiful brokenness of this process.

Last week, it was a lot more broken then it was beautiful.  Every day I see an adoptive parent, or future adoptive parent, act in a way that makes me cringe.  Sometimes, they’re doing things I myself have done.  Things that just come from being new at this.  There is a huge learning curve to parenting an adopted child, and to parenting in general.  I’m learning new things every single day.  This learning will never end for me.  I make mistakes.  I own that.  Some people don’t own their rather glaring mistakes.

I try to be incredibly intentional in the choices I make not only for my children, but for the children I am honored to be allowed to advocate for, the ones who still wait in institutions on the other side of the world.  For almost two years now I have held a volunteer position as an advocate with our adoption agency.  I gave myself the title of adoption advocate.  I even proudly put it in the side bar of this blog.  There it is, over there, on the right.

Today, adoption advocacy, I quit you.  I’m not going to stop advocating for the kids, but y’all, I’m done calling myself an ‘adoption advocate.’  That was a mistake, on my part, to give myself that title.  I wanted people to see what I saw in adoption.  I wanted people to move forward like I did, with the unwavering commitment to a child who has a completely unknown past.  I’m not saying I’m a saint, I’m just saying I am stubborn.  I wanted other people to be stubborn too.  I wanted people to do as much reading as I have, to understand the trauma, to spend hours and hours figuring out children’s hearts as if they were a puzzle, a puzzle that was worth making whole.

I understand why, for some, that’s impossible.  It’s a lot.  In those cases, it’s okay to say ‘I can’t adopt.’  I’m not faulting anyone for that.  I see the damage that starting an adoption, and then subsequently stopping it, does to the child.  It’s not okay.  In those cases, I wish it had never started.  No more pain.  No more trauma.  This is one of those cases where you’re all in, or you’re not.  We can’t keep doing this halfway.

So, for that reason, I’m going to stop referring to myself as an ‘adoption advocate.’  That was poorly done on my part.  If you are interested in adoption, if you’ve really considered ALL that it means, please feel free to email me.  But, I’m in this for the kids who wait.  I’m a waiting child advocate.  Family preservation first, always.  Then, failing that, adoption, but only into a family that understands the unknowns, the trauma, and the beauty that a child, EVERY child, will bring.

–FullPlateMom, who is moving on.

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