I’m seeing a pattern, connecting dots.
I was at the library the other day and noticed that our adoption agency had fliers on the table. I picked one up.
Inside are questions: Are you worried about attachment? Does your child ask “why was I given up”? Is your child experiencing anger, depression, mood swings, isolation?
Also included are explanations of service: assessments, child counseling, family therapy, youth support groups.
I got an email last week saying that another of the agencies I respect, this one in the Pacific Northwest, is also offering lifelong counseling to those affected by adoption — and now also by donor conception. Open Adoption & Family Services says that “Origins Therapy serves adopted people placed through foster care, international adoptions, and domestic adoptions …Our licensed clinical social workers assist clients with navigating relationships, talking to children about their origins and issues related to identity, grief and loss.”
And then there’s the work that Family to Family Support Network is doing to help expectant moms considering adoption (and their counterparts, people considering adopting) better understand the complexities of adoption. #NotInTheBrochure
I suspect there are countless other dots, a rising number of adoptive families saying, “We need help. We thought we were done with adoption but it’s not done with us.” In response, organizations like these are acknowledging and addressing such needs.
And I’ve been tending Amy’s recent guest post and the ensuing discussion, which confirm what adoptees and birth parents have been saying for years — adoption isn’t a discrete event, like some adoptive parents may have thought, may have wished. It’s an ongoing, lifelong process that may, on occasion, need to be attuned to.
Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a young adult daughter, writes from Denver. Her book, The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption: Helping Your Child Grow Up Whole, is available through your favorite online bookseller and makes a thoughtful anytime gift for the adoptive families in your life. Catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.
Lori was honored as an Angel in Adoption® in 2018 by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.