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What's Really in a Name?

October 25, 2018

It is November, the weather is changing, and the leaves are changing color. It is also National Adoption Awareness Month. When I hear that name known in circles as (NAAM), my mind goes absolutely NUMB. Not another November with those adoption facilitators, the adoption attorneys, and adoption agency executives – who have found a way to promulgate their services. The ol’ ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing!! These people seem friendly enough, but in the end, they seek to do harm by flooding social media and other outlets with their phony humanitarianism. I want to bring awareness to those who have no idea what NAAM really, truly is. It is a celebration which is entirely one sided for a whole month, which doesn’t include anything about adoptees.

 

 

I'd like to quote a woman named Jane here, she says "I am not a fan of NAAM because as an adult adoptee I feel like a commodity, and I feel that it is not about me. It is about fulfilling the needs of others. In my perfect world there would be no National Adoption Awareness Month, it could be a Family Awareness Month, where all family bonds are celebrated and where the secrecy of relinquishment was obliterated". She is right. For many of us, NAAM is not a pleasant word. We are understandably - offended! Where are we in this process? Why aren't we celebrated? Well because, quite frankly, we don't make the private adoption businesses money! We truly don't matter, we just cause problems for the bureaucrats. We take the ugly mask off an even uglier pig. Where is our recognition? What about the 7 million children who are already children of adopted families who are now grown adults, and who still do not have the right to their very own "Original Birth Certificate". What about us? Why don't WE matter?

 

In October of 2015, it was President Barak Obama who deemed November as: "National Adoption Awareness Month". In part the proclamation states:

 

“All young people deserve a safe place to live, and with each passing year, more children know the warmth and comfort of a loving family thanks to adoptive parents.  People who adopt do so for a variety of reasons, but they are united in the kindness and devotion they show toward children -- the people who need it most.  During National Adoption Month, we recognize the selflessness of adoptive families, and we thank them for opening their hearts and their doors to young people in need of a safe, stable place to call home”.

 

Absolutely!! I 100% agree. What human being DOESN'T want children to have a safe place to call home? This proclamation feels like unfinished business, something is missing. I feel there should be an addendum, another part, for we the adoptees, for first mothers and first fathers. Inclusivity. Isn’t that where we are these days, all striving to be inclusive? You can't celebrate one side of the process and not the other. It's a loss-loss situation. 

 

We adoptees deserve to be heard, we deserve our own dedicated day, a day that really means what it says. We deserve to proudly wear our green ribbons, to not feel ashamed because we are different, because we have been ordained with a stigma, a stigma that will never leave us, which most non-adoptees just do NOT understand. Ask any adoptee how they feel when someone says to them:  "You should be grateful to have been adopted, you were chosen". We do not feel chosen, we feel abandoned. Most of us feel sad, we feel angry, we feel ripped away from the people that were chosen by god to bore us. Taken from a heredity, a history, some will never ever know their answers. We were given to a second family, to raise us, because someone felt the birth mother or birth mother and birth father, felt they weren't either worthy enough or wealthy enough to raise us themselves. Why should we have to FIGHT to have what is rightfully ours. We were not apart of this third-party contract. We are grown-ups. We are adoptees. We can make decisions and make choices. We are human, after all!

 

We need to stand together, we need to spearhead a campaign to raise “awareness” to be part of a movement. Let’s get on our soap box. Let’s wear our “green ribbons”, let’s wear our adoptee related apparel, let’s get to our congress people, let’s educate. Together we can make a difference. We cannot, and we should not be silenced any longer. Anyone with me? 

 

National Awareness Month for us at ARSS, will be dedicated to the conversations of Open Records, to education, to helping non-adoptees understand what it is REALLY like to be adopted, and or a mother who relinquished her child.

 

I have to include here many respectable organizations who have led the way in Adoption Reform. These fine organizations really deserve to be recognized for their continued "fight for adoptees rights": Bastard Nation, The Donaldson Adoption Institute, Adoption Congress, and many state and city level organizations. We are all fighting this fight so that we can obtain what is rightfully ours, the unconditional right to have our own original birth certificates and as Bastard Nation says, and I quote “without condition, and without qualification”. Right on. That’s what we need. #adopteesrightsmatter

 

(I want to add a caveat here: I understand not all adoptees feel as I personally feel. Everyone has different experiences, all through life.  Some may have had issues, maybe some have not. No matter what experiences we have had, we are all adoptees and we are ALL in need our OBC's, that, I am sure we can agree on!!) 

 

Please sign our Change.org petition which can be found here.

 

 

Respectfully,

 

Cathy