One concern cocktail, please

My friends are smart, really smart. They have taken up the slack for me more times thank I can count, which happened again this week in a FB group I belong to that was discussing Jessica O'Dwyer's article for the New York Times Motherlode blog, An Adoptive Parent Won't Take the Blame.

I understand where Ms. O'Dwyer was trying to go with this article, but don't believe she actually got there. Yes, I agree that adoptive parents may not be the cause of corruption in all intercountry adoption programs, but sure are catalysts in some and enablers pretty much across the board.

So I said to my smart friends in this FB discussion that I do feel guilty about having been involved in adoption injustice, and that it motivates me to get involved and do something about it. Martha Crawford of What a Shrink Thinks pointed out that these feelings are actually something called Concern, which Martha described as an Empathy - Responsibility cocktail. She mentioned someone called Winnicott, whom I with zero psychology knowledge do not know, but you may.

Yes, empathy and responsibility are closer to what I feel about being an intercountry adoptive parent than breast-beating guilt. They are healthy and encourage engagement, care and action, much more productive than denial or inactive guilt. They are nothing to be afraid of, nothing to deny; in fact they are something we all can embrace.

Amazing what naming your demons can do for you. I find this so helpful that I think maybe I should start taking psychology classes.

Or get a therapist.


WP said…
I feel that guilt/responsibility as well. I didn't know then what I know now, and for me I was somdeepmin my own adoption fog that I really wasn't prepared to "see". But now that I do, it's not something I can be silent about.

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