The Wait for a baby is such an adoption roller coaster. It can rapidly alternate between the highs of hope and the lows of despair. Statistics range from at least 40 and as many as 100 families waiting for every newborn placed for adoption. And don’t expect the recent US Supreme Court decision to change the availability of infants dramatically.*
Clearly, the odds are not in everyone’s favor. At least some of the people hoping to adopt a newborn will just not be able to. That’s a hard truth. What happens if and when you stop waiting to adopt? How do you get off the adoption roller coaster?
* According to researcher and sociologist Gretchen Sisson, only 9% of women denied a legal abortion will choose adoption for their baby; the rest will choose to parent. Therefore, the bulk of the increase of children available for adoption will likely be through the foster care system, for cases in which parenting a child they knew they weren’t prepared to parent becomes overwhelming or undoable.
Here are three things about music that developmental psychologist Gordon Neufeld, PhD, pointed out in a recent interview:
music helps us access feelings for which we have no words;
music enables us to feel the shape of a hole;
music joins people together.
In other words, music can be an especially magical force for people affected by adoption.
Shortly thereafter, musician Lissa Schneckenburger wrote asking Why isn’t there music for adoptive parents? — and letting me know she is filling that gap in her own creative way. So I watched and enjoyed some of her music videos and invited her to talk here about the same thing Dr Neufeld highlighted: healing through music.
I hope you, too, enjoy the music and thoughts of guest poster Lissa Schneckenburger.
It’s pretty common to hear snippets of song at our house, and not just because I’m a musician by trade. You might hear strains of made-up-on-the spot hits like “oh my sweet child, please pick up your shoes” or “go brush your teeth teeth, go brush your teeth” or my son’s favorite, “Mama is so proud of you.”
When Emma Stevens learns her birth mother wrote and signed a letter about her to the adoption agency, she knew she had to have that letter. Her birth mother had used a fictitious name at the maternity home and an assumed name on Emma’s original birth certificate. Emma takes bold measures to get ahold of that letter and start solving the puzzle that is her life.
Emma was adopted into a family that expected her to conform to their expectations of who she should be — but she did not arrive as a blank slate. Unable to see that her relinquishment and adoption were not her fault, her soul split into pieces. In order to put the pieces back together, Emma embarks on multiple journeys and adventures towards both solving the mystery of who she is, and healing from the pain of separation from her origins.