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.
Episode 6: Coming Out of the Adoption Fog with Sara Easterly
In this episode, which dropped at the start of National Adoption Awareness Month, Sara covers:
- What coming out of the adoption fog means and why it can be so painful for an adoptee (not to mention for others).
- Then, why so many adoptees tend to have an extended adolescence.
- On becoming a mother and confronting the buried belief that mothers are replaceable.
- Is a “good adoptee” necessarily a healthy person?
- Also, what can lie behind “you’re not my real mom!” and how its utterance can be used for connection rather than disconnection.
- A deeper look into simplistic messages about adoption from the church and viral videos and adoption agencies, and how they can be hurtful to adoptees.
- Sara’s best piece of advice for adoptive parents (asked of all guests).
I know you’ll enjoy this fascinating conversation with Sara Easterly. She held me captivated from start to finish.
Prefer to read? Here’s a transcript.
You’re going to love hearing from Sara and the other fascinating guests I have lined up for Season 1. I can’t wait to hear what you think.
Sara is an adult adoptee and the author of Searching for Mom: A Memoir, a gold medal winner of the Illumination Book Awards. She has contributed two posts that went viral here: “I Want My Real Mom!” and 8 Dynamics to Consider Before Oversharenting Your Adoption Story.
Sara is on staff with the Neufeld Institute, which studies attachment and child development. She is mom to two tenacious daughters and daughter of two amazing moms—both her adoptive mom and her birth mother.* Sara enjoys supporting mothers in their journeys and has a passion for helping the non-adopted better understand the hearts of adopted children.
* a previous version read one by biology and one by biography but was returned to Sara’s original wording.
Show Notes from the Sara Easterly Episode
- Website: SaraEasterly.com
- Facebook: Sara Easterly Author
- Instagram: @saraeasterlyauthor
- Twitter: @saraeasterly
- Book: Searching for Mom
- Sara’s guest post: “I Want My Real Mom!”
- Sara’s guest post: 8 Dynamics to Consider Before Oversharenting Your Adoption Story
- Neufeld Institute course called The Art and Science of Transplanting Children
Shareable images below courtesy Clemencia Deleon.
Ways to Tune In to More Episodes
- Subscribe on Apple Podcasts.
- Bookmark the podcast page on Adopting.com.
- Subscribe on Google Podcasts.
- If Spotify is your go-to, subscribe there.
- Subscribe on Castbox or wherever you get your podcasts.
- If you prefer YouTube, subscribe there.
Expect two episodes a month when you subscribe. My partners at Adopting.com release a new episode on the 1st and the 15th of each month, each one around 30 minutes long. Not too much, not too little. Just right.
Along These Lines
- Interview with Leah Campbell around adoptive parenting and living in open adoption, even when it’s hard.
- Shifting from shame and secrecy to truth and transparency, an interview with Rich Uhrlaub
- Interview with Carolyn Savage, telling her inconceivable story about pregnancy, adoption, and surrogacy
- Interview with Ashley Mitchell regarding a birth mom’s perspective and the necessity for better adoption education.
- On being wedged between the pain of one set of parents and the joy of another, an interview with Angela Tucker.
Lori Holden, mom of a teen son and a teen 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 of Adoption Institute.