Some time ago, my friend Pamela Karanova shared an idea that really touched my heart.
October 30, 2020 would be known as Adoptee Remembrance Day.
At first, I was not sure what this day meant of what would be done, I just knew it would be important.
Then, as I began to read about the reasons this day was being started, I began to understand more fully what this day would mean to adoptees and, hopefully, to the many who love us. There is an Agenda for today. Please participate.
Here are some facts:
Adoptees are at a greater risk of attempting suicide – The odds of a reported suicide attempt were ∼4 times greater in adoptees compared with non-adoptees – National Center for Biotechnology Information
Children who are adopted die by *filicide by the very people who promised to protect them. (*the murder of a child by a parent, regardless of the genetic connection). In the article Mothers Who Kill Children They Have Adopted, author Katherine E. SUnder, M.A. writes, “The act of filicide creates multiple victims beyond the child that is killed” pg 52.
Here is a list of Adoptees killed in adopted families. Look at the faces. Say their names. all OF THEM WERE precious human beings whose lives were taken.
Adoptees are at higher risk of substance abuse due to the Trauma of adoption. “Children of adoption are inherently at a higher risk of addiction due to their adoptive status alone; additional trauma (abuse, post-traumatic stress from accidents or disasters, separation from family, etc.) amplifies this risk further.” Addiction and the Adopted Child
We must remember.
We must educate ourselves.
We must pay attention.
As a Therapist working within the foster care system and with adopted children and their families, I see all the sides of adoption.
I have seen children become part of families after being in the foster care system for years.
I have also seen children RETURNED to foster care after being adopted due to the parents inability to parent the child. Often, these parents will say, “Our lives were turned upside down by this child,” and “We thought our love would be enough.”
These re-relinquished or re-abandoned children become so hard to the world. They often have closed off their hearts in order to NEVER be hurt again. I have looked into their eyes and felt their unexpressed pain. I have been witness to their rage and their aggression. I have sat with them after they have heard the devastating news of “going back to the system.” Sometimes there are tears. Sometimes there is silence. Sometimes there is an uttered sentence, something like, “I knew they would give me back.”
We must do better for the children of today who are being adopted. We must find a way to LOWER the percentage of adoptees who choose to die by suicide than to live another day. We must find a way to keep children with their parents, to preserve the family and help the parents succeed.
ALL Therapists must view Adoption as Trauma. They must become Trauma AND Adoption competent, as well as compassionate.
We must find a way to support adult adoptees in their search for their own stories. Please, give us this dignity and open OUR records.
We must not continue to force society’s social construct narrative of “grateful and lucky and blessed and God’s plan” upon the adoptee. Just stop.
On this day, October 30, 2020, I, Janet Nordine, remember those Human Beings who were Adopted, and who’s lives have ended. May they finally have peace and know pure love.
We must remember.
We must Listen more closely.
We must Love bigger