November is National Adoption Awareness Month in Australia, the UK, the USA, and Canada. As an adoptive mother of two daughters I would like to raise awareness of adoption by making it something to celebrate. Let’s drop any old-fashioned thoughts of adoption being taboo. Let’s farewell any negative stigma that still lingers from the generations before us. Let’s celebrate adoption for all its positives. Adoption is, after all, about love, family, giving a child a stable environment in which to flourish, and giving parents a child to nurture.
When my husband and I announced our decision to adopt a child, we received support from most of our friends and family members, but the odd comment hit us unexpectedly, giving us an insight into negative perceptions that still prevail.
“I never told you I was adopted,” said a friend, as though he had been wearing a yoke of secrecy around his neck for years, constricting his truth.
“But you won’t know where your baby comes from,” said another person.
“They won’t have your blood.”
“I’d try IVF.”
I am thankful I didn’t allow these comments to sway me, because adopting my children was the best thing I have ever done, hands down. Each year we celebrate ‘Gotcha Day’ for each of our daughters, to mark the happy day they joined our family, the day we ‘got them’. We put candles on a cake to commemorate the number of years since they were adopted, and we sing ‘Happy Gotcha Day.’ The girls blow out their candles and smile, just like they do on their birthdays. Like birthdays, ‘Gotcha Day’ is a day to memorialise, but rather than being thankful for the day they were born, we are thankful for the day we were joined together as a family.
I read about a woman in the States who placed a bumper sticker on her car, “Honk if you support adoption”. Apparently other drivers were honking her all the time. So, let’s honk our horns in support of adoption.