You tell a small lie or you keep the truth out of something, and your intention is to go back and tell the truth. But then you forget, or you get comfortable in that missing truth part, and it just gets bigger and grows.
And so it was this energy that was accumulating. Nobody was saying anything about until I was like,
“I can’t do this anymore. I have to tell him.”
— Clemencia Deleon, birth mom in a kinship adoption —
Imagine you are 18 years old and parenting a 4 month old boy, a path you don’t feel prepared for or supported in at all. You have an older half-brother; he and his wife have been struggling to conceive. You end up placing your baby with them in what is agreed to be an open adoption.
But in practice, it’s not open. Sure you have contact at family get-togethers. You get to see him. But years later, his parents have declined to tell him that he was adopted and that you are his birth mom. As he grows older, you are pressed to either stay complicit with this lie of omission, or spill the beans without their permission.
In this new podcast episode of Adoption: The Long View, Clemencia Deleon tells her story of a kinship adoption gone wrong, her quest for emotional intelligence over the years, her moment of truth in finding her voice, and lessons learned to share with you.
Continue reading Clemencia Deleon: Truth-Telling & Emotional Intelligence in a Kinship Adoption
I’ve been always told that it was a gray market adoption. — Sara Easterly, adoptee, author, daughter, mom
I never really knew what that meant.
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.
I’m excited to say that Sara is the latest guest on my podcast, Adoption: The Long View.
Continue reading Sara Easterly on Coming Out of the Adoption Fog
There’s something temptingly tidy about the idea of adoption. A family with extra love and resources meets a child in desperate need of both. Being adopted typically begins at the intersection of grief and loss for our birth parents and great joy for our adoptive parents.
Adoptees are wedged between that pain and joy. — Angela Tucker, thought leader from The Adopted Life —
Angela Tucker is on a mission to center adoptee voices — which have been historically marginalized — because she considers adoptees the experts in the adoption experience. That’s a great point, and adoptive parents are wise to listen, to understand.
In this new podcast episode of Adoption: The Long View, Angela talks about what it’s like to be wedged between the great pain of one set of parents and the great joy of the other. She tells a story about what can happen to an adopted person when they repeat an oft-used adoptive parent explanation like born in my heart. She also reveals the one thing that can stop an adoptee in their tracks from being authentic and vulnerable with their parents.
Continue reading Wedged Between Pain & Joy: Angela Tucker on the Adoptee Experience