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Next month our country will observe National Adoption Awareness Month which was created specifically to encourage the adoption of children languishing in foster care. How can we support this important mission? Ensure that any posts, messages, etc. that you share keep the focus on foster kids. Resist the need to celebrate any adoption-related stories that dilute this focus. (Share those kinds of messages during the other eleven months of the year.)
While we acknowledge the need for a safe, loving, permanent family for these kids, it is tragic that these children cannot be reunited with their first families. These two realities coexist.
During the next two weeks, spend time thinking about your own family and how it has been shaped by adoption. Consider the ways in which you reassure your kids that adoption is a safe and open subject. Prepare them for the media blitz and mention that you wonder how they feel when they see and hear such messages.
Discuss how you feel when people mention adoption— especially when they speak in an uninformed our hurtful way— and share some of your strategies for coping with your own complex emotions. (Obviously, discuss in age-appropriate ways.) Possible threads to follow include:
Friends or family, etc., and how to educate them about adoption
Disparaging remarks about adoptees or birth parents
Conversations that lack an understanding of adoption complexity
Here’s what the Child Welfare Information Gateway reports:
Key Facts and Statistics
Listen to our podcasts on Adoption-attuned Parenting.
Read Adoption-attuned book reviews
by GIFT coach, Gayle H. Swift,
on her blog "Writing to Connect"