Whilst continuing a full time job, Cheerio has become a student again.
I have been in class 4 weeks, and am taking two courses. Constantly, during lectures and reading, I find myself translating how ‘that relates to adoption.’
As life so often brings change, you may find this blog may change as well. My hope is that it will change for the better. That as I learn it will bring more clarity to the thoughts, feelings, experiences, struggles, and hopes of a mom going through life without her son. That it will increase awareness of the struggles thrust upon the ones who had no say in the matter – the adoptees.
This post is being prompted from reading one of my textbooks. In chapter one there is one sentence that just struck me, and I am compelled to write.
Please join me in Speech 101, using “Human Communication” – 4th edition (Pearson, Nelson, Titsworth, Harter).
“Human relations are vital to each of us. Human babies thrive when they are touched and when they hear sounds. . . Human relationships serve a variety of functions. They provide us with
affection (receiving and providing warmth and friendliness),
 inclusion (experiencing feelings that we belong and providing others with messages that they belong),
 pleasure (sharing happiness and fun),
 escape (providing diversion), and
 control (managing our lives and influencing others) (Rubin, Perse, & Barbato, 1988).”
[Above emphasis are my own.] Who really thinks about the “function” of our relationships? It’s not something we purposefully think about day to day. When I got to the second point of inclusion, I had to stop and underline it.
For those who are raised by someone other than their original parent(s), that ‘feeling’ of belonging cannot be manufactured from the outside. It is something that begins from within. Even if those around are providing messages of love and care, it cannot guarantee the individual receiving those messages will indeed ‘feel’ that they do indeed belong.
I’ve heard stories from adoptees who grew up always knowing they are adopted, and from those who find out later in life about their adoption. A common thread among them is that something didn’t “feel” right, that they didn’t “feel” like they belonged. That was true among those who were in loving positive adoptive families, as well as for those whose experience was the opposite.
Please read into the next paragraph with me.
“We learn about the complexity of human relationships as we study communication. We learn first, that other people in relationships are vastly different from each other. We learn that they may be receptive or dismissive toward us. We learn that they may behave as if they are superior or inferior to us. We learn that they might be approachable or highly formal. [While all families can produce negatives here – step back and try to consider how much greater the impact is to an adoptee who may already have a strong internal feeling of not belonging. Combine this with aparents who are unapproachable or are dismissive of the adoptee’s original loss. Even if the aparents do not treat the adoptee differently from other biological children, there are often afamily relations who do treat the adoptee as inferior.] People clearly are not interchangeable with each other.”
Did you catch that last sentence?
“People clearly are not interchangeable with each other.”
That sentence is what prompted this post today.
Pause, if you would, please. Ponder every single word.
The statement that “people clearly are not interchangeable” would include all people regardless of race, gender, or age. This would include babies then, would it not?
Since this statement is unarguably true, then why does society as a whole accept the adoption industry’s marketed idea that parents and babies are easily interchangeable? I think it directly challenges the erroneous myth -- “it doesn’t matter who is raising the baby, as long as they are loved.”
Yes, it DOES matter, because "People [parents / babies] clearly are NOT interchangeable!”