Over the past few days, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of attention my blog has received due to my mother’s guest piece on why she is not pro-adoption. Red Thread Broken has had 15,000 visitors in the past week. With more than two thousand shares on Facebook, my mother’s post quickly rose to the most viewed page on this blog, even surpassing my homepage by 3,000 views. I am constantly intrigued by the dialogue in the comments section and feel so lucky to have garnered such support, thought provoking questions, and an even larger adoption community.
Just yesterday afternoon, I was notified that my mother’s blog post was selected to be “Freshly Pressed” or showcased as an editors’ pick and community favorite on WordPress. The editor who contacted me wrote, “I found this post to be extremely cogent and compassionate — it does a fantastic job looking at a complex issue with nuance and calmness. The fact that it’s an adoptive mother writing on her daughter’s blog makes it an even more powerful statement. I’m thrilled to share it with our audience.”
When I first began blogging, I looked in awe of the bloggers whose pieces had been Freshly Pressed, singled out over 11 million new posts each week. I never intended for or imagined that my blog would be featured on the WordPress homepage. While I consider this a great honor, there is something quite odd to me about an adoptee blog being featured and spotlighted for an adoptive parent post.
I am so thankful for the many open conversations about adoption that my mother and I have had over the years and am so proud that she, too, wanted to share her voice via this platform. Though my blog’s traffic has increased significantly since the publication of my mom’s piece, she and I both recognize that her vocalized thoughts are not new. The same sentiments have been stated repeatedly by adoptees on blogs all over the internet (TAO has an extensive list here). That the highlighted voice being “Freshly Pressed” belongs to an adoptive parent reflects a much larger issue – that we have been taught to prioritize adoptive parents in common adoption discourse, often times over the adoptee.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the editor’s words, “The fact that it’s an adoptive mother writing on her daughter’s blog makes it an even more powerful statement.” Is it such a radical thought that an adoptive parent could come out with a critical view on adoption? I wonder if my mom’s voice carries more weight because there are relatively few adoptive parents who take a firm stance against the injustices in the adoption system compared to those who like to see and write only on a Hallmarkified experience. The question then becomes why these few voices carry so much more weight than the swarms of adoptees who have been saying the exact same thing.
More than a problem of only voicelessness, there is also the issue of how the adoptee opinion is perceived once heard. While my mother’s blogpost was described as “extremely cogent and compassionate,” I have been called bitter, angry, maladjusted, and assumed to have had a horrible adoptive family for expressing similar concerns. I have been told that my birthcountry “could give two craps about their children,” that I was “nothing more than a number,” and that I do not have enough wisdom to discuss adoption in this way. I have lifetime of experience as an adoptee, though, and I truly believe that we, adoptees, are the experts on the adoptee experience.
I am so thrilled that an alternative, multi-facetted essay on adoption is going to be “Freshly Pressed.” If my mother’s voice can captivate an even larger audience and promote some serious thought on adoption, I’m glad. While this past week has been extremely exciting and flattering for both of us, it has also reminded me of the power inequity and the issue of voice in the adoption community, and that we still have a long way to go.