The Adoption Split in “This Is Us” & How to Help Heal It

Did you tune in to NBC’s This Is Us last week? Randall brings up the Adoption Split.

And with this meme I reiterate a remedy I often talk about: openness. It’s with openness (not necessarily contact) that the grownups in an adoption can help their child integrate and heal.

randall on the adoption splitRandall Pearson, a transracial adoptee on the show, says, “My whole childhood I felt split. There were these people I lived with and then there were my birth parents who I never met. But I thought about them all the time…like a ringing in my ears. It quiets down sometimes…but then there are sometimes where it’s so loud.”

How to Help Heal the Adoption Split

The premise of my book is this: “Adoption creates a split between a person’s biology and their biography. Openness is a way to heal that split.”

Now. Who’s going to send a copy to Rebecca? (Randall’s fictional adoptive mom.)

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This post is part of #MicroblogMondays. Whazzat? A post that’s not too long. Head to Stirrup Queens to join the fun.

 

4 Problems with NBC TODAY Parents Adoption Article

Beware any article that paints open adoption as terrible. Beware any article that paints open adoption as wonderful. Open adoption — which occurs when people come together under less-than-optimal circumstances — is a mix of the sublime and the sorrowful.

I was encouraged when I saw a headline for a TODAY Parents article: “Open Adoption is not something to fear.” That statement, I believe, is true. If parents are entering into the lifelong responsibility of adopting a child, they need to be willing and able to give her, over her lifetime, all she needs to become whole and integrated. This means adoptive parents must be willing to identify and resolve their own fears and insecurities  about not being the Only in their child’s life. (As the author says, she was “scared to death” about having to share her child. But she worked through that fear, as adoptive parents need to do).

So I’m on board with the title.  But much of what comes after that is problematic. Here are the top 4 issues that jump out at me.

4 problems with today parents adoption article

1. The Word “Our”

The article’s subheading “Finding Our Birth Mom” violates two oft-invoked rules in cross-triad groups, groups that seek to understand the perspectives of adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive parents.

Continue reading 4 Problems with NBC TODAY Parents Adoption Article

Learning to Swallow

Did you know babies are born with an instinct that involves thrusting the tongue forward in order to latch on to a nipple? And did you know that at about 8 months of age, these infants gradually find a better way to swallow, one that retires action at the tip of the tongue in favor of action at the back of the tongue?

I never got that memo.

adult treatment for tongue thrust

News to Me

I had no clue I am a tongue thruster. Nobody ever told me. Not my pediatrician, not my dentist, not my first orthodontist when I was a teenager. Even my mom was surprised when I told her recently. Continue reading Learning to Swallow

Sacrificing Our Outrage

A sampling — a sliver, really — of outrage from my Facebook feed.

  • Why aren’t you outraged every single day?
  • This should outrage everyone who reads it.
  • Where’s the outrage about this guy??
  • After a week of constant outrage and fear, I’m physically and emotionally ill.
  • Study Finds People Are Morally Outraged by Those Who Decide Not to Have Kids
  • Anti-pot billboards’ awkward race commentary sparks outrage
  • Outrage As White Teacher Tells Black Student Her African Themed Prom Dress Is Too Tacky!
  • Vanity Fair outrage: Michelle Obama, not Melania Trump, makes International Best Dressed List and…
  • Stop Pretending to Be Outraged by Kathy Griffin’s Gross Video

Besides social media exposures to outrage, there are also real life exposures to outrage. I can’t remember a time of so much outrage. Can you?

pockets of outrage

It’s outrageous.

We’re Being Played

The Internet has elevated an old currency to an unprecedented level of importance: our attention. Continue reading Sacrificing Our Outrage

Open adoption & adoptive parenting