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.
Episode 7: Clemencia Deleon on Emotional Intelligence in Adoption
Clemencia has also become an integral person in producing my podcast, as she has added the transcript feature to each episode and she creates the shareable microcontent memes you see here. If you don’t already follow Clemencia on her social media channels, listed in the Show Notes below, make sure you do.
In this episode, Clemencia reveals:
- How to end up in a closed kinship adoption despite your best intentions.
- The connection between mother and baby and what can happen when it is wished away.
- How easy it is for a birth mom to lose her voice in an adoption, and the ramifications to the child and others when that occurs.
- What happened in her intense Moment of Truth, when Clemencia could no longer perpetuate the 10-year lie of omission.
- What might have prevented the situation in the first place.
- Her best piece of advice (asked of all guests).
Prefer to read? Here’s a transcript, thanks to Clemencia!
Shareable images below courtesy Clemencia Deleon.
Show Notes from Clemencia Deleon’s Episode on Emotional Intelligence
- Instagram: @EQClem
- LinkedIn: Clemencia Deleon
- Wrong Way Adoption Part 1: Kinship Adoption Gone Wrong
- Wrong Way Adoption Part 2: Kinship Adoption Back Story
- On topic: It’s 2020. Why Do We Still Suck at Adoption Telling?
- Books mentioned: The Primal Wound and The Girls Who Went Away
- Article mentioned: Don’t Split the Baby
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 around 30 minutes long. Not too much, not too little. Just right.
Along These Lines
- Sara Easterly on adoptees coming out of the adoption fog and “you’re not my real mom!”
- 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
- On being wedged between the pain of one set of parents and the joy of another, an interview with Angela Tucker.
- Interview with Ashley Mitchell regarding a birth mom’s perspective and the necessity for better adoption education.
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.