May 8, 2013

The Lack of Critical Thinking About Adoption (Especially Among Christians!)

Critical thinking: “Disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence: “The questions are intended to develop your critical thinking.”

Society is informed about adoption on a continual basis from the very beginning of their lives. Statistics show that 90% of the population is directly connected to adoption in some way. Messages  abound about adoption. (I challenge you to try to sit through even an hour of TV or a movie or read a book that doesn’t at least touch on the edges of adoption.) 

Many are uncomfortable with blogs dedicated to adoption reform or healing for post adoption issues. Yet, consider that the public receives a steady education day after day about adoption from other sources. And they are perfectly fine with it, because it's all they've ever heard. 
With everyone indoctrinated from the get-go, and familiar misconceptions   reinforced over time -- it’s difficult at best to get anyone to understand adoption from the place of critical thinking. 

Photo Credit: mutsmuts, Creative Commons
It is my experience that people desperately want to simplify adoption and are ill at ease with people who acknowledge its complexities.      

I regularly receive mail from those who have read this blog and have sympathy for me. (I don't write it for sympathy. But hey, thanks!) I know people who are writing to me have good hearts and intend no harm. They are actually reaching out in love, I believe. 

Those who contact me for this purpose seem to believe struggles would evaporate if I would just listen to the resource they point out.  

I have not blogged about this up to now because I believe people who do this only mean well and I don't want it to seem like an attack. At the same time, it happens so much I'm just ready to speak to it. And I trust everyone reading will know it is not an attack but an attempt. 

What am I attempting? To give an opportunity to critically think and understand something more than what you've heard all your life. 

Here we go:

A typical email (all names but mine changed) I regularly receive sounds like this: 


I’ve been reading your blog for a while and wanted to let you know my heart is so touched by what you have shared. I am praying for you, Deanna. I am not sure if you know this but there’s a lady named Samantha Sue Nostruggle who is a Christian writer and speaker, and she overcame exactly what you describe in your blogs! Samantha was initially hurting because of her adoption. She also thought of finding her birth family but then she accepted God as her true Father. Her mindset has been renewed! And now she even thanks God for all this that she went through! It’s amazing!! She also accepted the family of Christ as her family and she doesn’t even have the desire to search anymore. She doesn’t think about her birth family at all. She knows her true identity! She lives in total peace.  Her book is sooooo amazing!! I couldn’t even put it down once I started reading. I also included a link here to one of her videos where it explains what she felt like the moment she discovered she was adopted and how she got through that and now it doesn’t even bother her anymore. She is free. The whole time I watched the video I thought of you and wished you and your adoptee friends could watch it. I believe it would really help you. Please watch it if you have time! Again, I am praying for you.  

Your friend in Christ,

This is a composite of a letter I pretty much receive on a weekly basis…sometimes several times a week. I also get lots of article and video links about happy, grateful adoptees who see no need for change in the system or perceive adoption as something void of significant loss. People send me video links chronicling the creation of "forever families" with a warning for me to get a kleenex before I watch. I am thankful for people who care enough to read and write to me with concern, and yet I realize how great the lack of critical thinking is out there.

First of all, consider that I have accepted God as my Father, from a very young age. It’s my foundation, and something I’ve never struggled with for a moment. (This is because I don’t put the imprint of any human being onto my God view. I've never blamed God for what people do.) 

Second, the desire for adoption reform is not a lack of peace, but a desire for what is best for children and families as well as correcting injustices.

Third, why are natural family things supposed to be unimportant for me, yet remain important to my non-adoptee counterparts? 

Because I speak of the reality of post adoption issues as well as the need for reform does not mean that I:

  • Do not accept God as my Father.
  • Have not received God’s love.
  • Don’t know my identity in Christ.
  • Am not grateful.
  • Have no peace.

On the contrary, what is does mean is, I know how to critically think.