Thursday, September 20, 2012
Adoption + Brokenness
Adoptive parents are often perplexed when our parenting journey doesn't go well, even perfectly. (Especially since we are expected, by society, to be GREAT parents since we waited for SO LONG to take on the role as mom or dad). We are, as we argue, a REAL family, and REAL families should have REAL joys and triumphs just like any other family, right? But we forget, we're also going to have some unique challenges because of adoption. It's the reality of our situations.
A birth parent once wrote on an online forum that adoption stems from something gone awry. Huh? But isn't adoption (newbie adoptive parent thinks) beautiful, and joyful, and tender, and blissful? Isn't the birth parent giving the child the "gift of life" and the gift of having a wonderful, loving forever family?
All adoptions stem from brokenness. Somewhere along the way, something went wrong, resulting in adoption being considered and decided upon. This is a heavy burden that those of us who have adopted, by those who were adopted, and by those who placed children for adoption, carry with us, whether we know it or not.
So because adoption is rooted in brokenness, there is no way that this brokenness doesn't find it's way up the stem and into the flower----sometimes in waves, sometimes in seasons, sometimes gently, sometimes heavily. No matter what, it's inevitable.
Adoptive parents are quick to defend adoption because without it, we wouldn't be parents. But defensiveness doesn't embrace possibility and without possibility, we do not welcome change, change of path, change of perspective, change of heart.
The truth is this: it is what it is. No amount of love, of commitment, of laughter, of education----none of these things, can fix the roots.
This isn't to say that all adoptees are flawed. This IS to say that adoption, at its root, begins with something or someone being broken.
Isiah 61:3 talks about how God can give "beauty for ashes." Brokenness can be beautiful in bittersweet, strange, and unpredictable ways. Many of us who have adotped feel feel this conflicting and ever-present sense that adoption, even the most positive and "ideal" adoption situations, begins with brokenness.
Parents, it's ok to say that adoption isn't perfect. It's ok to admit that our families were created because somewhere, there was brokenness present. It's ok to share that we are sad, hurt, confused, upset, or anything else because the brokenness exists. It's ok to talk about it.
Today, I want to challenge you to be honest about adoption----be it in your thoughts or prayers, with your partner, with your kids, with someone who asks about adoption, with a family member, with a fellow adoptive parent.
By getting real, you will become a better person, partner, and parent.