Glimpsing the future through others’ eyes

As a frequent reader of blogs written by adult adoptees,  I appreciated this recent post by Melissa at Grown in My Heart.  In a nutshell, she asks adoptive parents to read them with an open mind and heart, considering that our now young children, may think like many of them someday (in some amalgam way, anyway), and “that’s not such an awful thing.”  She asks all of us in the adoption community to be kinder to one another in the blogosphere.  Honestly, this could happen all over the internet, not just within adoption.  Ever log onto Facebook a week prior to an election?  Sheesh.  But I digress.  I recommend you read the full post, but I’m pulling a few quotes that really resonated with me.

You shouldn’t fear that your children could one day grow up to be a little or a lot like one of us. Rather, your focus should be to be there no matter what your children may feel, no matter what conclusions they may reach. The goal is not to groom a certain outcome in your adopted child, but rather to provide the environment and relationship that will enable and empower your children to become the adults that they will inevitably be. The point is not to control the situation and outcome but to provide the freedom for your children to find their own way.

Bingo!  I’ve always approached parenting this way.  Part of the joy for me is in discovering who BB is… everyday. 

Our vulnerable and candid expressions and accounts of life as an adoptee need not threaten you or make you fear for your child. Rather they should enlighten you and encourage you to educate yourselves even more deeply, even more openly. They should empower you to be a more informed and aware adoptive parent.

I suspect this is why I haven’t been threatened by the adult adoptee voice.  If anything, I have been guilty of assuming BB will share certain feelings that I read about… putting her in a box because I read what several transracial adoptees have felt.  Hubs has been good for reality-testing on that one, reminding me that just because many have felt that, doesn’t mean she will.  So, I keep reading, eyes wide open, learning, but not assuming.  No, BB will tell us for herself what she thinks of all of this.  In the end, she will be the authority on her experience, but I thank all of the adult adoptees out there giving me a glimpse of their experience as hers may be similar in some ways.

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4 Responses

  1. Melissa’s post ranks up there for me as one of my top ten favorites written by an adult adoptee. Having said that, I also appreciated Kristen’s comment… I think it is very important to listen to adult adoptee voices, and to critically think about what they say, but I understand where Kristen is coming from. When someone spews hate, I tend to give them a lot less time and energy.

  2. Wow… as an adult adoptee I don’t think I ever realized this before. My parents attempted to make me conform to their ideals. I never really felt like I fit, even at a young age. I felt disconnected to most family. Now I find myself most drawn to people who are like my own self… the person I want to be, a non-conformist, idealist, non-judgemental person…. with “person” being the most important word there.

  3. I agree totally. Adopted or not, our kids are their own persons with their own minds and feelings. We can never make them into someone they really are not. It is through learning about others and their experiences that we can help guide our kids but ultimately they will be their own individual selves.

  4. […] Glimpsing the future through Finding Our Future; Groucho’s Family; Growing Sunflowers … them with an open mind and heart, considering that our … We can never make them into someone they really are not. No Comments » […]

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