I’m continuously looking for this paradigm shift – when adoptive parents, adoption agencies, and the mainstream media/society will finally accept and legitimize the trauma, pain, and challenges adoptees face. If we really strive to do what is best for adoptees, the perpetuation of a purely rosy, happy scenario in which adoptees must be grateful needs to come to an end. Our pain should not be shamed or condemned. Our narratives, wherever we fall on the spectrum of grief to happiness, must be respected.
To some people, this is old news (“The Primal Wound” came out in 1993.) To some, it’s a startlingly new concept. I’d argue, though, that “adoption as trauma” exists on a spectrum, as does trauma itself: some people recover well and easily, some people are forever wounded, and most are somewhere between.
A mainstream view is that adoption is a happy event: a child needing a family gets one. How, then, is adoption a trauma? That sounds so negative and scary, especially to an adoptive parent, and to an adoptee.
As an adoptive parent, I believe that adoption is all about gains and losses, joy and grief, a balance that shifts often throughout life. I also believe if we took a deep breath and viewed adoption as trauma—trauma that can be overcome, trauma that some people may experience to a small or large degree—we would be better able to…
View original post 902 more words