Tag Archives: podcast

The Elephant in Adoption: What Is The Truth?

An ancient tale from South Asia tells about six blind men who experience an elephant for the very first time. Each one projects his knowledge from a limited perspective to be the whole thing, certain that he knows The Truth about the elephant.

elephant in adoption

The man at the trunk thinks the elephant is like a snake; the man at the leg thinks the elephant is like a tree; the one at the ear thinks the elephant is like a fan. And so on. The men disagree about The Truth of the elephant, not having a common ground of understanding.

Adoption is fertile ground for something similar. From our limited experience of this vastly complex thing — Adoption, — we begin to think we have a handle on it and we know The Truth about it.

But the more we can become un-blind to the parts we don’t experience, the better grasp we have of the whole, and the better we can relate with others who have a differing experiences.

Like our children and their first parents.

Ep 304: Seeking Truth about Adoption via Parts Unknown to Many

I still struggle with being the special one, the chosen one. It’s a lot to live up to.

Janelle Ison, Ep 304 of Adoption: The Long View

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Damon Davis: How to Help Your Child Put Together Their Puzzle Pieces

It’s normal — celebrated even — to wonder about and ask Who Am I? After all, genealogy is cited as one of our top hobbies. Witness the existence of TV shows like Finding Your Roots, Who Do You Think You Are? and Long Lost Family. Each helps people answer that fundamental question, all while millions of others tune in to watch those discoveries be made.

For families formed through adoption, we must expand our view of “family,” and we must extend that ability to view things expansively to our children. Chances are high that they, too, will naturally wonder Who Am I?

Why wouldn’t they?

puzzle pieces to help an adoptee build their identity

If I’m going to connect with my biological family, it’s because I’m trying to find a piece of myself. It does not mean I’m trying to replace you.

Damon L Davis, adoptee & host of the Who Am I Really? podcast
Ep 303 of Adoption: The Long View

Who Am I Really?

This is not an episode about genealogy, but it IS an episode that centers on that basic question humans work out about themselves over their lifetimes. My guest Damon L Davis, explores this with his guests on his own podcast, Who Am I Really? — that last word added because Damon and many of his guests are adoptees who share their experiences of pulling all their pieces together. They talk about what drives them to do so — something we adoptive parents should be clued into.

You have to be supportive of the puzzle coming together. Otherwise, your adoptee is going to cut you out of the process. And that’s what you don’t want.

Damon L Davis, Ep 303 of Adoption: The Long View

Damon and his wife are parents via biology and via kinship adoption. I’m so excited to share the April episode of Adoption: The Long View with those who wonder how to help an adoptee build their identity.

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How Does It Feel to Be Adopted? Two Playwrights Set the Stage for Adoptive Parents

We talk often in this space about attunement in adoptive parenting, which is the multi-step process of intuiting in the moment what your child needs from you. Adoptive parents are better equipped to attune well when they are able to come at things from an adoptee’s perspective, through attempting to understand this key question: what does it feel like to be adopted?

Attuning in 3 Steps

That’s Step 1 for attuning — to understand as best you can the point of view of an adoptee. You won’t get this from listening to one adoptee’s story, or two, or ten, but to many.

As you DO listen to adoptees and their experiences of being adopted, you will begin to spot commonalities and patterns, and experience a-ha moments that can help you hone your ability to feel with your child, which is Step Two.

Doing so prepares you for Step Three: to respond in a connected way in those crucial moments where connection is called for but may not come easily.

It’s no wonder, then, that I am excited to share this episode of Adoption: The Long View. Episode 302 features the highly accomplished and acclaimed Maggie Gallant and Suzanne Bachner, two playwrights who help audiences better attune to the experience of being adopted.

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Episode 302: Playwrights Maggie Gallant & Suzanne Bachner

The plays of Maggie Gallant and Suzanne Bachner (some of which can be attended virtually) are gifts to adoptive parents. Why? Because absorbing experiences through theater is one way to feel alongside a character — in this case adoptees in starring roles.

When we cross the threshold into your home, our birth parent crosses with us, whether they are physically with us or not. And you have to honor that. You can’t shut the door. You have to leave that space and allow them to exist there.

If you can do that from the start and with openness and honesty and invite conversation, then you set yourself up for this potentially wonderful and healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Continue reading How Does It Feel to Be Adopted? Two Playwrights Set the Stage for Adoptive Parents