Adoption is something that affects almost everyone but that few people openly discuss. It’s almost weird how seldom people bring it up in conversation. Some may have had a bad experience with adoption, while others may just not find the right opportunity to discuss adoption. As an adoption advocate, I find that it is simply not a topic that many like to talk about. The reasons why can vary, but much of it has to do with what might happen if we dare discuss adoption. Talking about adoption is not only difficult—it can be downright emotional. Here are three reasons some people avoid the adoption topic altogether:
Unless someone has been directly affected by adoption, it is very likely that he or she just does not know much about the adoption process. Not knowing enough about a topic can make anyone feel uncomfortable speaking about it. People may also have misconceptions about adoption due to the media. I can’t count how many times I have heard someone make a bold, matter-of-fact statement to shut adoption talk down. People will make assertions such as, “Only Angelina can afford to adopt!” or “Maybe in a few years. I don’t think it’s for me.” These statements aren’t malicious, but they often come from a place of the discomfort of not knowing much about the adoption world.
Do you remember those late-night infomercial programs that used to air with the American man in some country abroad exclaiming, “For just pennies a day, you can support a child in need” as children played in the dirt in the background? I don’t describe this in jest, but rather to recall these late night messages that were used as tools to tug on the heartstrings of donors—and it worked. It is and should be painful to see children in need. These programs gave people an opportunity to throw their money at the issue and solve the problem. People scroll past pictures of children in crisis here and other countries because suffering is hard to look at. When we talk about adoption, we are forced to acknowledge that need and the emotion that goes with it. When we talk about adoption, the pain may be enough that we feel the need to do something about it.
- Call to Action
While it is hard to talk about adoption in general due to the pain of the need to provide homes to waiting children, it is even harder to feel compelled to act. Acting in the area of adoption is often easier said than done. It is understandable that not everyone can adopt a child or that not everyone feels called to adopt a child. Many feel that they would never be in a place financially to adopt. That is exactly where my husband and I were until adoption sort of “happened” to us when a relative asked us to adopt. We have adopted twice and each time felt inadequate in one way or another, but we were able to make it work. Some people may feel called to give money to charities but not find themselves in a place to do so. Others may feel a pull to advocate for adoption but feel like a hypocrite not adopting themselves. All of these factors contribute to people deciding it is best to simply stay out of the adoption conversation.
While talking about adoption can be painful, adoption is desperately in need of its time in the limelight. Not knowing much about adoption or not having adopted does not make anyone unqualified to talk about adoption. Even if you do not feel called to adopt, there are so many ways to support those who do. Just talking about adoption and educating others can make a significant impact. When my husband and I realized there were avenues available to us to be able to afford adoption, our view of adoption and its accessibility to us shifted completely. Talking about adoption more will educate you to a further extent, bring an important topic to light, and increase the chances of finding forever homes for children in need.
Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on <a href=”https://www.facebook.com/halfemptymom/”>Facebook.</a>