January 21, 2013

Their Greatest Fear: Adoptees Grow Up
And Think (And Speak) For Ourselves

One thing many of the people who collaborated on our adoptions never considered was that one day we'd all grow up and have a mind of our own. Whodathunkit? People with brains...

And some of us...would be brave. 

Freaking brave.

We would go on to actually find our voice.
We would take courage and speak
We would change the world as we know it.

I recently became acquainted with a first mother/birth mother named Lisa who writes at Living Through Today. She left a comment on my blog and I then started reading hers. Her journey will turn your heart inside out, unless you don't have one. I read this post and needed a box of Kleenex.

Lisa & Brit, Photo Credit: Living Through Today


Lisa was led to believe that her daughter Brit's adoption would be a completely open one, with a mutual exchange of information and visits. But shortly after the adoption was finalized, everything changed.  Not only that, but as soon as they adopted Brit, they immediately underwent fertility treatments and got pregnant with twins. Once the twins were born they immediately became pregnant with another child. When it is all said and done Brit's adoptive parents will have four children under the age of three. The family structure and open adoption arrangement in the way it was originally communicated are all completely different from what Lisa was promised when she was encouraged to sign the adoption papers. My heart breaks for Lisa and Brit. And although I have so many thoughts about this situation, the one I have most is this:
Brit will not always be a baby. 
She is going to grow up.
She is going to have a mind of her own.
She is going to exercise it.
And it's going to scare the living heck out of those who tried so hard to control everything.

Get, get ready, get ready ready my friends, cause' this Pentecostal girl is getting ready to get my preach on!

Don't get too worried. My goal here at Adoptee Restoration isn't to preach. I do enough of that at church and in my travels as a speaker. But today, it struck my fancy to prepare a little sermonette in writing for my fellow adoptees.  Hold on those of you who are my heathen friends, don't click "x" in the corner just yet... 

Adoptees are the only people group who are treated as children even when we are adults. This is definitely true legally, and it's often the case with our families too.

They just hope and pray that we'll grow up and be okay with whatever everyone decided for us.
Or whatever they believe. 

But we are not content to let others make the decisions anymore.
We are the grown ups now.
We are not okay with them writing our narrative anymore.
We are well able to formulate our own opinion.
And we are darn good at expressing it. 

In fact, an army of us is rising up, to express it...together.

Laura Dennis

Recently my friend and fellow Lost Daughters sister, Laura Dennis wrote a post entitled, Be The Trump Card. Among other priceless insights, Dennis says:

"We, dear adoptees, can make the decisive difference in how our family and friends view our own reunion. Whether considering searching, or not. Whether found, or in long-term reunion. It’s all about the adoptee; we’re the children in this equation.

We're the tiny baby who didn’t consciously know what was happening;

We're the child who, of course, loved her (adoptive) parents!

We're the eighteen-year-old whose records opened up (in some states), but was unprepared for the opened emotional wound.

We're the adult who is still figuring out all of this adoption s....

Now, now, Be the trump card! ... That’s a mighty selfish statement!

Yes, it is necessary to explain our perspective on adoption (i.e. educate those who don't know or never tried to understand) to those close to us—kindly, gently, with emotional intelligence ... But with boundaries. With the knowledge that whatever we feel, however we want to shape our reunions, it is up to us, the adoptee.

We, dear adoptees, are the trump card in this equation."
Yes, yes, yes!!

[Deanna grabs her hanky, waves it and begins to run]  
I. Am. The. Trump. Card!!!!
I'm the one in the driver's seat now.
Not my first family.
Not the adoption agency.
Not a caseworker.
Not the lawyer.
Not my foster parents.
Not a judge.
Not my adoptive parents.


I. Am. The. Trump. Card.  

I am an adult!

I've got my mind made up, all on my own.
No man, woman or devil in hell can stop me! 
I can feel how I want to feel!
I can say what I want to say!
I can share my truth, because guess what??? It's MINE!!!!!!!

I. Am. The. Flippin. Trump. Card!!!!

My narrative is mine.
It's mine! It's mine! It's mine!
They didn't write it.
They can't edit it.
They can't silence it.

Somebody shout noooooooooooooooooooooooow, and give  a praise up in this blog!!!!! [Insert B-3 organ music here]  

I am the trump card, and so are you, adoptee!!

They might have had a spaghetti fundraiser to adopt you, but you make your own pasta now!

They might have remortgaged their house to own you, but you own your own house now!

Okay, I know Bank of America foreclosed on it, but you get the point...

They might have flown to Korea for gotcha day, but your day to soar above is now!

Because...YOU. ARE. THE. TRUMP. CARD!!!!!!!

It's time to rise up!
It's time to soar!
You are the grown up! 
You're no longer four! 
Oops, the spirit of Dr. Suess came on me there...
This is not the day to keep calm and carry on! 
This is the day to raise your voice and make a change!
These are my favorite shoes to preach in. Like 'em? (My man likes 'em too.)

They fear you standing strong in your truth. 

Stand anyway.

Because my dear friends, it's time for somebody to be uncomfortable besides you. 
You've been quiet and shifting uncomfortably in your seat long enough, when the subject of adoption comes up.  

Afraid to speak what you really feel.

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston


I know it's not easy, but the ramifications of living your truth openly are better than the consequences you faced when you lived it secretly. 
That was easy for everyone else, but it was hell for you. 

And the time for hell is oveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeer!

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston


Shout! Shout! Shout!
Turn to your neighbor right now and and say, 'IT'S OVER!'
Slap somebody in your office cubicle, give them a high five and say, IT'S DONE!

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston

If not you, who?
If not now, when?
I said, it's time.
Did you hear me? I said IT'S TIME.
Can I get a witness in this blog?
I said can I get a witness up in this blog?

Turn to your neighbor and say: JUST CALL ME MRS. TRUMP!! 
Give your neighbor a high five and say: JUST CALL ME MR. TRUMP!

And I decree and declare to all who oppose adoptee rights: YOU'RE FIRED!!!!!

[Deanna wipes sweat here...]

In closing, I'm inviting the worship team as we prepare for the altar call...

Do you hear the sound?
It's the sound of freedom on the way for a whole bunch of adoptees!

Your TRUMP CARD ANOINTING IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston

Receive it! Take it! Take it now!!!

I'm fixin' to close in prayer now.
Bow your heads, but look at your screen simultaneously. Come on, you're adoptees, for cryin' out loud. You've made it this far! You can do anything!! 


I know some of this post was humorous. Well, yeah, a lot of it. And I have not intended it to be sacrilegious in the least. I've attempted to insert some comedy into what is a painful and tragic situation. Because sometimes we adoptees, we just have to laugh. Or we'll crack.Lord knows, we've done our share of crying. You've been there, the many nights we've wept on our pillows, just wishing somebody would understand. And except for the funny parts I've inserted into this post in an effort to make an adoptee's day a little lighter, it's all accurate...

Photo Credit: Lost Daughters
God, I believe with all my heart, it is our hour.
Something's shifting.
More adult adoptees are finding their voice. 
We are mounting up courage in our personal sphere of influence.
And we are believing for advances in adoption reform and adoptee rights.
Let Your hand be with us. May there be an acceleration of wrongs that are righted, and let healing come for adoptees everywhere.

Photo Credit: Lost Daughters

 I pray for my friends who have yet to take courage to be the trump card in their situations. May they realize that with You,nothing is impossible, for You are with them.  

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston

They can face their truth and express it, without fear.  It's not about the other people who made all the decisions anymore, for this is our season! 

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston
We know it will not be without challenge. At times, we will receive a response even from those we love deeply that hurts as we move forward into our new season. But we will not fear, for You are with us, and we are with each other. 

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston
 There is strength in numbers. 

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston

 We pray especially for Lisa today, that you would surround her with peace and give her favor. We need a breakthrough in this situation, and God, I ask you for understanding and grace. I ask you to make right what is wrong. Mend hearts. Help Brit as she grows up through this very complex situation. Even now Lord, I pray that this precious little girl will know You and sense Your guiding hand upon her life. I pray that you would also make her a very strong trump card.  Give her power in due season to stand and declare her truth.  

Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston
 We are so grateful none of us walk alone. Thank you for bringing us together. 
Photo Credit: Amanda Woolston

Together, we are strong.