So, while I'm getting off the bandwagon and getting frank about my adoption experience and perspectives, I need to address another issue that I, and many other adoptees, face on a regular basis--
That good old premise, "The Christian thing to do..." And actually, surprisingly, I don't want to talk about it regarding adoptive parents, but rather as it applies to how adoptees who have a Christian background are expected to behave.
I have observed and experienced that adoptees who claim to be Christians or come from Christian backgrounds face an added burden of expectation atop the already existing expectation to unquestionably proclaim the Gratitude Gospel of Adoption.
It is as though an adoptee's faith, in the minds of other Christians, requires him or her to shut-up and sit down, to remain silent about the hardships of adoptee life--because that's "the Christian thing to do"--lest other Christians judge you as a faithless impostor should you question your adoption and the practice of modern adoption as a whole.
I feel it all the time. How many "Christians" have pulled away from me once they learn of my viewpoints regarding my adoption? Too many. I will say that, yes, I do encounter Christians here and there that truly open themselves to adult adoptees like myself--in fact I did just last night and felt refreshed by the PAP's humility and willingness to listen (Thanks, Ben). But people like him are unfortunately more the exception than the norm. It's easy to assume (there's that word again) that the handfuls of adoptive parents that comment or frequent adult adoptee blogs represent the majority, but that's simply not the case.
Ultimately, in my experience, the very ones who are supposed to be examples of love, patience, humility, compassion, and wisdom often shrink and slink away from me and other adoptees the minute we fail to uphold the beloved Gratitude Gospel of Adoption. We're lambasted if we even attempt to think critically about our own adoption experience and the current adoption establishment. I find it ironic that those who claim to follow a man who questioned the religious establishment of his time, condemn and avoid those who do the same.
They ask for our advice and insight but then when we speak candidly of our hurt, disdain, and criticisms, they react with condemning shock as though we've spoken blasphemy. (That is, IF they even ask for an adult adoptee's perspective.)
Adoptees of faith are expected to be at peace with dismissive answers like "It was God's plan" or "You're so lucky and blessed you were adopted," because there is an adoption subculture within modern churchianity that adoption is God's work and therefore cannot be questioned or criticized. As I like to say, what a load of Oscar Mayer. (See also Adoption & Choice: God's Plan or Man's Plan).
All adoptees have to deal with the Gratitude Gospel and the accompanying presumptuous, hurtful, ignorant comments (See also, "What not to say to an adoptee"). Adoptees of faith must further face yet another split of self, another push-pull conflict of identity as a result once again of the complex realities of being an adoptee. Not only must they deal with the inner turmoil of being caught between two worlds and two families within a society that dismisses their, our deep losses, sorrows, and griefs, but they must also somehow maintain a genuine faith in the midst of those who question not only their truth as adoptees, but their truth as adoptees of faith.
I'm not saying it's a tragedy or profound injustice, only pointing out that it's yet another way that adoptees must deal with burdensome and suppressive expectations, while our experiences and voices are yet again demeaned and rejected--and ironically enough, by those who claim to be the most loving of all.