Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Raging About Adoption Education

Not long ago a blog I follow posted an interesting piece about raising adopted children. Her delima happened on a playground when she had to help her son out a bit when some kids started to rattle him about being adopted. She is a brilliant writer, funny and thought provoking with a touch of common sense that will sneak up and bite ya.

I commented on the post because as she often does, her words blew me away. Her compassion is rich, yet she is not afraid to point out what matters to her to anyone, regardless of the looks she may be the recipient of. Her simple post about manners in adoption sparked a 2 week debate from all kinds of people. Of course those in adoption. And those out of adoption. The point raised as to whether someone outside of adoption should make their own children aware of what adoptive families are like was the controversy. It was a fascinating read, and to be honest I looked forward to seeing the alert that someone new had commented. It was a good conversation, from all sides. I would have made you aware of it earlier, but there are things that have been pressing and I just have not had the proper time on this computer to say hello, how you been, sorry I've been gone and did ya hear about this?

If you have some time, this is the link to her post. And if you have room on your blog roll I would recommend adding her. She is a mom first, and everything else second. That is the point of view she gives. It is refreshing, and she will make you ponder things, that is for sure. I would love to know your thoughts on this if you have them.... Happy Summer!

Rage Against The Minivan ~ Parents, please educate your children about adoption so mine don't have to
  Oh and I know flamingos have nothing at all to do with this post, they just remind me of summer :)


LeMira said...

Hmm. . .I have a few thoughts on it after reading the post and all of the comments. First, I think it's great that she's posting about this because so many parents don't think to talk to their kids about it. We talk about what we know and about what our kids are exposed to every day. I don't think I would think to sit down and talk to my children about adoption if it weren't my life. I don't remember that conversation with my parents, although I knew not to ask the girl I grew up with those questions. Educating people is always good thing.

However, she does come across as "do this so I don't have to", I mean, it's in her title. I agree with some of the comments that once you are affected by adoption, you always will be, and you will have to be the voice because it is still so foreign to so many people. You can't pass that buck off to someone else. We all get tired of answering the same questions, but how are people going to be educated if we don't talk about it?

I do respect the way she talked to the children, though, and I kept thinking that when the day comes that I have to be the voice on the playground for my son, that I will be as compassionate and articulate as she was. She was really good at explaining without humiliating them.

I also like the sample dialogue she gives that parents can use with their children. I seriously think the controversy is with her tone and her title of the post. It does come off condescending in a way.

I admire her candidness and courage for speaking up and so openly. Her post does motivate me to get back to my adoption blogging, although I still wonder how I feel about having so much traffic at my blog. I don't like conflict, and so that's why I've avoided blogging a lot about adoption because it is so conflicting.

Thanks for letting me write a novel, Kelsey. :)

Kelsey Stewart, Author said...

LeMira, I LOVE your novels! And I love when you come to vistit the blog ... and a comment from you is always welcome!

I liked your thoughts, and you can obvioulsy see why the post received so many comments. Rage's voice is unapologetic and that is what I love about her. She speaks her mind, and then allows the reader to form their own thoughts.

I had conversations with my mother about adoption all the time. Not sure why, but we did talk about the topic when I was a child (long before she and I were in the triad). I am glad that she took the time to help me understand the complexity of it and later in life when I met people who were adopted it was not uncomfortable for me. Of course, I knew not to ask certain things, but at least I had an idea of what adoption was.

I sure appreciate you leaving your thoughts and hope that you DO return to blogging. Your voice is like a calm in a sea of mad waves :)

Julia - Finding My Way Softly said...

I am LDS, what lots of people call Mormons, and I think that in many ways our doctrine makes adoption questions fairly common. We believe that families can be sealed together for the eternities in our temples. Because those sealings are different from simply being married, because children can be sealed to their parents.

From the age of five, or even younger, kids are taught about families who join the church, after their children are born, being sealed. They also teach that children who are adopted can then be sealed to their new adoptive family, a year after the adoption is complete. Having adoption taught as a part of a core belief of our religion makes it easy to talk about adoption, without the entire conversation being only about adoption.

I had several friends who were adopted when I was growing up. MY youngest sister was adopted when she was 19, after being in foster care for all of her teenage life. My sister and BIL and opted their two oldest children, and then were able to have two more of their own. Several good friends have adopted high needs older children from Eastern Europe, and my second cousin adopted a newborn daughter from China.

With all of that exposure to children and adults who are involved in adoption, my kids don't see adoption as anything different from a scar, tattoo or hair color; they are interested in understanding but it is just an aspect of a friend or cousin.