adoption, reunioN, reform, reality
The NaBloPoMo typewriter is taking the day off.
In N is for November, National and Not Blogging ,Suz Bednarz of WritingMyWrongs explains why she is not participating in Take Back November.
Individuals who actively live, drink, push or otherwise experience the social experiment known as adoption are familiar with the month of November as National Adoption Awareness month. The initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is intended to raise awareness about the adoption of children and youth from foster care. Sadly, the effort has turned in many cases from focusing on foster children to promoting infant adoption and the efforts of baby brokers, adoption agencies and other organizations that focus on the removal of such infants from their families of origin as opposed to those who focus on finding permanent homes for children in foster care.
In response to this, many bloggers and adoption activists react by proclaiming November as National Adoption beAwareness month. They actively blog and report on the negatives of adoption and the trauma it causes to mother and child. They share personal stories of the damage caused to them or their family and cite research from authors like Brodzinsky, Lifton and Verrier. The assumption is that they hope they can counter the positive sugar coated messages of adoption with the realities of it – from the perspective of those who lost from adoption as opposed to those who will profit from it.
I chose to opt out this November. I am not blogging about adoption. In fact, by the looks of my blog, I am not blogging at all. I can cite no single concrete reason other than I am tired of doing all adoption all the time. I have blogged about adoption for just under ten years. I have spoken at conferences, reunited over 100 individuals with their missing family members, spent many hours in therapy, cried, raged and more. When I first started blogging I did so for two reasons. I love to write and I was desperately in need of support and validation. I found blogging, adoption blogging specifically, gave me a place to get both needs met. I learned a lot, I made some good friends, offended a few people, was offended by a few people and in the midst of it all, I found my daughter.
I no longer know what I need or want from adoption blogging. I have a support network now. I have a wonderful husband that supports and understands me. I have a great therapist. I have a great job and two wonderful sons. In short, I am blessed with a darned good life – minus the loss of my daughter. I gave her the opportunity to be part of it, to understand it and she politely said the equivalent of “Thanks but no thanks. I don’t think about adoption, I don’t think about you and I wish you would return the favor.” Writing about adoption, commiserating, carrying on about it for days on end, reading the hate and nastiness of some in the adoption community brings me down. Way down into dark sad places I often have difficulty crawling out of. Some may suggest I am practicing the art of avoidance. I would disagree with them. I don’t believe I am actively avoiding or denying. I know what is there. I know why it is there. I know what I did to cause it.
I believe I am actively choosing to look ahead as opposed to behind, at least for the month of November.
Suz Bednarz surrendered her first born child to a closed adoption in 1986. She found her in 2005. Suz speaks at adoption industry events on the need for adoption reform and family preservation. She can be reached at bluestokking(at)gmail(dot)com or via her adoption-themed blog, WritingMyWrongs.com