#50 – The camaraderie of adoption

April 22, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Posted in Adoption differences, adoption issues, Raising the adopted child | Leave a comment
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I spent this past week-end at a writers’ conference, and part of the time was set aside for attending authors to sell their books.  I took my non-fiction “Insight Into Adoption” and my two novels knowing my fiction books would outsell the non-fiction.  I was wrong!  “Insight Into Adoption” worked like a magnet for those attending who were adoptive parents!

Not only did that outsell “Randy’s Ride” and “Searching for Abby” (both based on adoption characters), but people hung around my booth, talking to each other – adoptive parent to adoptive parent.  A few of them mentioned they were writing or wanted to write about their own experience with their adopted children.  A common thread among the would-be authors was that they wanted to tell their story without scaring people off from adopting in the future.

These parents felt they wanted to be realistic about the problems they encountered, but they needed to be sure their bottom line was that the reader would know the positives greatly outweighed the negatives.  This is a tricky thing to do because you don’t know how the reader will react.

Many adoptive parents want to tell their own stories because they were surprised by what they encountered in adoptive parenting and sincerely want to help other parents out there.  In their hearts their love and loyalty is powerful for their children, but they’re afraid that recounting what they went through will discourage potential adoptive parents.  It’s hard to impart the love we all feel for our children.  Some readers may read the facts of the problems and not consider the motivation of love that pushes parents through these problems and enables them (and their children) to overcome the issues successfully.

I wanted to talk to many more people than I did at the conference, but found myself surrounded by adoptive parents – once they knew I was one. I was also taken with what we told each other, perfect strangers, things perhaps we haven’t even told our families or friends.  I heard fascinating stories.  We all knew there would be no judgment on the part of the listener, only compassionate head nodding and understanding.  Every one of them said they had changed as people in a way they would not have, were it not for adoption.  This is what they wanted to share with people – how much deeper and more meaningful their lives were after adopting.  Their eyes were opened to aspects of life that biological parents don’t encounter.  It was this gratitude which motivated them to share their stories.

Hindsight, I learned quite a bit at the writers’ sessions that were offered, but what made it a special week-end was the adoptive parents I met – and we already have plans to stay in touch.  Adoptive parents form a unique group – hard to explain to people who haven’t walked in our shoes.  We’ve all touched a sensitive part of humanity and this is what bonds us, one to another.

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