Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Your child may grow up to be a lot like me (and that's not such an awful thing)


As of this month, I will begin contributing on a monthly basis to the adoption resource website, "Grown in My Heart."

GIMH describes itself as "a place where all adoptive parents, adoptees, and first moms know they feel safe to air their opinions, regardless of differences. It is a group of women joined, somehow, by adoption."

(Now, I know some of you may cringe or wince at the name of the website. Understandable. However, the website truly does offer a diverse set of voices, some with which I can relate and others, well, let's just say, that challenge me--and that's a good thing, because the adoption community truly consists of a wide range of various perspectives and experiences. Besides, I need to be challenged so that I don't become stagnant and complacent, and so that I sincerely can deal with any flaws or shortcomings in my own thinking. I truly appreciate the eclectic range of voices and writers represented at GIMH. I also see this as an opportunity to interact with people that I might not necessarily have the opportunity to engage with otherwise.)

My first "article," Your child my grow up to be a lot like me (and that's not such an awful thing) just posted today. Here's a teaser excerpt:

You shouldn’t fear that your children could one day grow up to be a little or a lot like one of us. Rather, your focus should be to be there no matter what your children may feel, no matter what conclusions they may reach. The goal is not to groom a certain outcome in your adopted child, but rather to provide the environment and relationship that will enable and empower your children to become the adults that they will inevitably be. The point is not to control the situation and outcome but to provide the freedom for your children to find their own way.


I hope you'll stop by GIMH and give it a read, and who knows you may end up finding the site itself a helpful and insightful resource of diverse voices. Or you may end up finding yourself completely annoyed and irritated. And if that's the case, the great thing about the internet is that you don't have to go anywhere you don't want to...(*smilewink*).



9 comments:

Von said...

You advice looks like some all parents could do well to follow.

Melissa said...

Von, that's a sobering thought in some ways. I just might be choking on my own words one day soon, eh? (*smilewink*)

Linda said...

"a place where all adoptive parents, adoptees, and first moms know they feel safe to air their opinions, regardless of differences. It is a group of women joined, somehow, by adoption."

As long as you are touting the party line......

God help them if one of their kids grows up to be a lot like me! Bwahahahaha! And you know what? Some will.

Your post was great!

Reena said...

I'm not so sure about the "place to feel safe regardless of differences," part.

I agree that is seems like anyone who doesn't spout the traditional "adoption is completely wonderful," gets hit pretty hard.

Recently there was< I thought, a very interesting article on the site written by a First Mom-- the moon has testicles or something like that.

I felt that most of the aparents who commented were very closed minded, condescending, and downright mean. I felt this way as an aparent, I can only guess that adoptees and other first moms were even more enraged.

I felt so horrible for the author-- I tried to post to her blog, but she closed her blog-- I am guessing in response to all the ugliness she was expereincing from others who were not willing to even try and look at what she wrote from her perspective.

There have been a few other such incidences at that site that has really made me feel it isn't worth my time to read it.

If you are going to start writing though, I will check it out.

Also, Melissa, I can only hope that my daughters grow up to be as articulate and open to communicating as you are.

Melissa said...

Linda & Reena, I have noticed what you both have observed/experienced (discussions can get pretty heated), which in some ways makes me all the more eager to contribute.

On the other hand, though, I have encountered AP's who have changed over time, who have opened their minds & hearts to listen, and that's my hope--that with time, perhaps some will be brave enough and humble enough to consider our different experiences and perspectives as valid and valuable.

Even if only one AP makes a shift, then I'll consider it worth it.

Liv said...

I was interested in the post you were talking about, Reena, so I looked it up. Here it is:

http://www.growninmyheart.com/the-man-in-the-moon-has-no-testicles

This post obviously hit a nerve for many folks. I haven't gotten through all the comments, but it seems that these are exactly the conversations we need to have, though I do wish people would be able to respond in a way that would keep the conversation open and ongoing as opposed to attacking.

"Even if only one AP makes a shift, then I'll consider it worth it."

Melissa, that statement really struck me. I wish there had been bloggers like you available for my parents to read when I was growing up. Thank you for you commitment to speaking openly.

Reena said...

Liv,

I know the post is still up at "Grown in My Heart." I was referring to the author's actual blog from which that article came. The author had a blog and it is no longer available-- I can only guess that some AP went to her personal blog from the GIMH article and continued to post ugliness there.

Disagreeing-- is one thing. Disagreeing in a mean and deliberately hurtful way is something else entirely. I don't understand what people think they will accomplish.

They should also realize that meanspiritedness says a lot more about the person who is being that way than about the person or topic to which they are directing their meanspiritedness.


Melissa, "Even if only one AP makes a shift, then I'll consider it worth it."

A courageous beautiful spirit and heart.

Melissa said...

Liv & Reena,

"Disagreeing-- is one thing. Disagreeing in a mean and deliberately hurtful way is something else entirely. I don't understand what people think they will accomplish."

Exactly, Reena!

We know disagreements are inevitable, but as you so succinctly and precisely stated above, being deliberately hurtful and mean accomplishes nothing.

Yoli said...

Just read the Man in the Moon has No Testicles. How sad the way this woman was attacked. Some of the comments just raised my blood pressure.

Melissa, I read that site only for Raina's writing, now I will go back again because you will be writing for them.