The luxury of adoption avoidance

I've noticed in the past that there always a little time after the holidays when part of me wants to run away from adoption issues and hide in the cocoon of my family. I wrestle with myself - I tell myself one person can't make a difference, I convince myself that my kids are old enough for me to back away from it all, and tell myself that I'm too old, too. I always feel guilty when my thoughts head in this direction, but I can't help myself. Sometimes I just want to get away from the debate and dialog and thinking about adoption, and facing the reality of unjust laws and unethical agencies.

This year, it took the post I read today at Suz's to kick me back into gear. While Suz and gosh knows how many other first mothers and adoptees struggle through their sadness, particularly during the holidays, we adoptive parents generally can put it all aside and suspend adoption's presence in our lives for awhile.

Adoption didn't cross my mind too much this holiday, I have to admit, and I feel incredibly selfish admitting it. Certainly being offline and away from my normal sources of adoption reading played a role, as did my kids' disinterest in adoption issues at the moment. It didn't come up. I didn't think about it much, either. Even after we returned home and I was able to get back on the net, I found myself avoiding adoption blogs and forums and emails.

Avoiding adoption is a luxury only adoptive parents can afford, though, and I know that. My children and their mothers don't get a break, and neither should I. Plus, the very worst thing adoptive parents can do for adoption reform is to avoid adoption issues. We've got more power and voice than we deserve, and we absolutely have to use them.

The first thing I want to do with my voice is to say to each and every adoptee and first parent is that I hope the holidays were good to you, that the new year reunites you with your families if you, too hope for that, and strengthens your relationships if you've already reunited.

The second is to share my hopes for the entire adoption community:

I hope 2008 is the year that citizens and legislators realize that closed adoption records are an affront to human and civil rights, and do what's necessary to put it right.

I hope every mother, father and child who seek one another find help and comfort in their families, among friends, and in their communities.

And I hope adoptive parents stand up in droves in support of both.

When we adoptive parents feel the need or even right to step away from adoption issues, let's think twice. We are needed, and we can make a difference. I encourage you all to share what you're doing online or in your communities to support adoption reform. Let the world know - I guarantee it will encourage someone else to jump in and make a difference, too!!

Comments

imtina said…
For your voice and your stance of these issues, and for so many other reasons, I think you're awesome Margie. One voice, YOUR voice, matters a lot.
Suz Bednarz said…
Hmm, while I feel slightly bad that my post may have kicked you (hee hee), I am so glad you are still with us.

I have always said that we need adoptive parents as part of this change. We need their voices, ther beliefs and their pain to change a system that truly benefits all. Leaving one party out (or more) does nothing good in the long run.
Margie said…
Thanks Tina - and thanks Suz, do NOT feel bad, it's a kick we APs have to get once in awhile. You know, it's easy for us to become complacent, to think we don't need to stay focused. We end up with blinders on about adoption issues if we don't stay in the fray.

And it's just plain selfish - and I really do know that - for us to think we can just put adoption out of our minds. That's simply not right, we have to be aware of the issues.
and I try to put it out too. A month ago I was without computer for a while and I put it out of my mind for a couple weeks and it was brilliant.

I go in cycles.
I agree, it matters a great deal!! You do so much GOOD.
Margie said…
Gershom, I know exactly what you mean. You know, the computer was supposed to set us free, but it does that with a set of golden handcuffs that I sometimes wonder about. The fact is that the information shared out here is priceless - but getting to it is WORK, and it takes time from other things that are important to us, too. It's just hard to keep up, and sometimes I do a really bad job of it, LOL!!

I think it's about choices, too, which is why I've stopped the forums and closed my facebook. It was fun to see friends there, but it also added a lot of email and work managing all the contacts. If I didn't work it would be easy - but I do and it's not so I've just had to cut back and focus.
Thanksgivingmom said…
This post just made my day.

I know that without adoptive parents, especially those like you, change won't happen.

Thanks!
Celera said…
Count me in the group that thinks you're terrific and inspiring Margie.

But I think it's ok to take a break from working on an issue, even this one, from time to time. One of the best things you can do for the world, and for adoptees is to be a balanced person and a great mom. You don't have to obsess to make a contribution. Take a break once in a while, it won't hurt anything.

Still, I'm glad you're back!
Sarah said…
Margie - you're taking a "break" from thinking about adoption during the holidays is something many AP's don't have to do. Why? Because for many of us, we don't think/talk/do enough about it.
I know that for me, Christmas and my daughter's Birthdays will never be the same. While I have the joy of celebrating with them, their are two Mommies across two different oceans whose arms are empty.

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