I’ve been always told that it was a gray market adoption. I never really knew what that meant.
— Sara Easterly, adoptee, author, daughter, mom
When the entire approach to a societal issue is steeped in shame and secrecy, we end up with lots of opaque-ish words like fog and gray market — and worse. When it comes to adoption, if you start scrounging around in a thesaurus you can find even shadier words like dirty and impenetrable, words that sometimes apply to policies and practices.
Many adoptees and first parents, especially those from the Baby Scoop Era, can attest to this opacity and to problems that germinate in darkness. People then either suffer in the dark or find their way into the light — or maybe both.
Sara Easterly is one who did both. She has been coming out of the adoption fog for years, and now carries a flashlight to help others living in adoption. Her insights are especially helpful for adoptive parents to hear.
How easily can a proud parent’s enthusiastic sharing become oversharenting? Sara Easterly is back to help adoptive parents remember to see even the most common things from our child’s point of view.
Aside: my interview with Sara for the podcast Adoption: The Long View was just released! It kicks off National Adoption Awareness Month, which centers on marginalized voices — adoptees and birth parents.. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts (here’s where I do).
Sara’s episode is sooooooooo good and juicy — all of the episodes are!
Deciding when and how to share our kids’ stories publicly can be tricky for parents to navigate, especially when it seems everyone around us is posting photos and stories of their children online. Kid-focused posts are usually met with adoration from mainstream culture, who cherish a refreshing break from the rest of the feed that is so often ranting, despairing, or arguing.
So many of you read and appreciated Sara Easterly’s last guest post. I was thrilled when Sara offered her thoughts what adoptive parents need to know about adoptees and the Covid-19 pandemic that affects us all.
We are all under stress, encountering disruption and disconnection as never before. Sara’s guest post addresses the fears today’s adopted children may be experiencing and the messages they need to receive from parents.
Sara’s insights come as an adoptee as well as a staff member and at the Neufeld Institute, which provides education and training for an attachment-based developmental model. Read on…