November is over – #FliptheScript

November is over at last! For many it is the month to celebrate adoption, to advertise, publicise and promote. For many adult adoptees it is a month that triggers, confuses, infuriates and challenges. This year my dear sisters at The Lost Daughters flipped the script, #FliptheScript, by deciding to tell it their way and to progress the initiative to tell adoption how it is for adult adoptees. Most of us see adoption in all its many colours. Not as a rainbow coloured wonderland in which everything is perfect, orphans are rescued and adults get to feel like saints and martyrs, praised and lauded by those who see their actions to adopt as selfless, unselfish, principled, courageous, respectable, saving one for god, in which love is everything and will save the day! We who know adoption from the inside, adopters without their public faces, people with their true motivations on show, we recognise adoption for what it is, without the advertising, the hype, the publicity stunts, the do-gooder messages and the false information. We know it for what it is – a way of making unrelated people into ‘families’, because of the desires, wishes, intentions, resolutions, commitments, promises and often uninformed choices of adults who believe they are doing the best thing for children and for themselves. We know it is big business. We know it is a business without principles, which overlooks moral values, the preservation of existing families and that it is hypocritical, false and pretends to be about children, when it is really about money-making, meeting the needs of a lucrative market and that it ignores the very basic reasons of created poverty, misunderstanding of American adoption practices and the desperation of those we deem to be poor. We know that Governments encourage and are complicit in allowing and encouraging the export of children, a valuable commodity in a ready and reliable overseas market, where every child has a price, but where every agency is deemed to be honourable, ethical and honest by those who use it. We know about ‘dirty diamonds’, the dishonourable dealings of politicians, celebrities, agents and the disgrace of improper assessments of prospective adopters, the risks imposed on adoptees because adoption is not about finding the best families for those who really need adoption and about the talk of politicians and legislators who still regard adult adoptees as ‘children’ in some way undeserving, second-class, deserving of stigma, illegitimate and incapable. We know that we are seen as bitter, angry and ungrateful if we speak about that other side of adoption. We know that non-adoptees find it hard to understand the complexities of adoption, the enduring nature of it’s effects, the many stages of adoption we live through, the trauma and the loss and grief involved in adoption. We know it is easier to see us as having no life before adoption, no biological family, no history, no connections, no roots, no foundations and to encourage us to forget our past, to tell us it doesn’t matter and is not important. Mothers like to tell us we were ‘loved and wanted’ even though we were abandoned, discarded, left behind, forgotten, dumped and sometimes for a second time if we achieve ‘reunion’. Today thanks to the social media there are no safe secrets, nothing that can’t be discovered, exposed and revealed for what it is. All it takes is time, patience and effort and those of us who have waited a lifetime have plenty of that!

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