Need help figuring out adoption relationships? Schedule a complimentary consultation with Lori Holden, M.A.

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 pearson on the adoption split in This Is Us
adoption creates a split between a person's biology and their biology. openness is a way to help heal that split.

Randall 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.)

Lori Holden, mom of a young adult daughter and a young adult son, writes from Denver. She was honored as an Angel in Adoption® by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.

Find Lori’s books on her Amazon Author page, and catch episodes of Adoption: The Long View wherever you get your podcasts.

New Posts Delivered to You

5 Responses

  1. I followed the link for Rebecca and wow. Just wow. And yes to sending the book because the fear that is there about loving someone, raising them in that love only to lose them just makes my heart ache. The idea that by allowing them to explore all of themselves could result in them abandoning you and, thus, must be prevented is a primal one. But also one that has even deeper roots in loss.

    Your point for openness is spot on. That fear and misunderstanding can result in generational pain is a powerful counter argument for the rational about closed adoptions. It’s not without it’s own challenges, but to see the guilt and shame an adoptee faces out of love for their parents while struggling to know their history is something every parent should strive to rectify.

  2. I love reading your blog, because it teaches me more about adoption and openness, and even though we didn’t take this road, I have friends who did, and it helps me understand them a little more.

  3. I have been pleased to see This Is Us take on a more expansive approach to the topic of adoption. The foster situation gives an opening to cover so many other topics. I imagine that the topic of openness will come up when Deja wants to visit her mother in jail. I hope they do well with it. (Not so happy with other story lines I’m feeling are predictable, like Kevin’s arc…)

    You should send the writers a copy of your book! 🙂

  4. Oooh, I agree with a — send the writers a copy of your book! I can’t watch This Is Us (I have enough emotional stuff going on that to watch it for kicks, especially when it addresses adoptive families and we’d so hoped to be one), but the clips I’ve seen through your blog are gut-wrenching, and real. It wasn’t adoption related, but there was a secret regarding biology vs biography that reared its ugly head and my mom was very much Rebecca. Such a misguided way to try to hang on to someone by denying them that piece of themselves. Fear is such a motivator, but it rarely works out well to lie, or hide, or buff out certain truths. I love how your central tenet to your book ties in so nicely to This Is Us, and I totally think that your book would be helpful to the show! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New Posts Delivered to You

Be the first to know about each new post. 

(Just a few each month.)