November is National Adoption Month. Along with church observations of Orphan Sunday and the newly founded World Adoption Day, this is a time when adoptive parents talk, tweet, and blog to share their experiences and celebrate the families they’ve grown through adoption.
You’d think that this kind of public campaign promoting adoption would be something that gets adoptees like me excited. Instead, I find myself feeling ambivalent. Too often, parents’ voices dominate the adoption conversation, both in society overall and in American evangelicalism. Their generally positive narratives—stories of welcoming happy kids with open arms, of fulfilling a biblical call to care for orphans— often downplay the complexities of adoption and the viewpoints of the children involved.
In response to National Adoption Month, adult adoptees started a social media campaign (#FlipTheScript) to incorporate their first-person perspectives. It is our hope that by telling our stories, more people will consider the complicating factors in adoption—not to discourage adoption, but to truthfully present the dual realities adoptees are forced to live within. For example, one adoptee wrote of her birth mother and her adoptive mother: “I love both of my mothers. Just like how parents can love more than one child. Neither love can be measured.” Lost Daughters, a writing group featuring the perspectives of adoptees, spoke to the importance of sharing their stories in this short video about the #FlipTheScript campaign.
I believe incorporating adoptees’ stories can also help balance the discourse around adoption for Christians, too. We can do more to recognize that tragedy is inherent within adoption. ...1
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