According to the Children’s Bureau, “National Adoption Month is an initiative of the Children’s Bureau with a goal to increase national awareness and bring attention to the need for permanent families for children and youth in the U.S. foster care system.” However, as an adoptee, I think it’s important to use National Adoption Month to highlight the adoptee experience. It is essential that our government not only take steps to see permanent families for potential adoptees, but to take steps toward making family preservation a priority as well as making adoption a more ethical practice.
As an adoptee, I felt the way non-adopted people spoke to me about adoption was rooted in a false narrative which labels all adoptees as unwanted children, and furthermore promotes the idea that those who have chosen to take us in are to be regarded as our saviors. When I was younger and attempting to understand what it means to be adopted, I was confused about how I should feel. Strangers would tell me how much my biological mother must have loved me to give me up, and how generous my adoptive parents were to raise a child who wasn’t their own. I didn’t have the vocabulary to process all these emotions, and I think that has been the driving force of why I write. I’m trying to figure out exactly what it is that’s happening within, and sometimes it can be very painful.
So, for this National Adoption Awareness Month, I’ll be doing another installment of my #WordsHavePower campaign. I’ve also added the words from previous installments:
Artwork and photography for this project was made possible by the incredibly talented, generous, and just plain beautiful soul, Martha Wasser, of Amour and Ink Paper Company.