I wrote and rewrote this post’s opening paragraph half a dozen times, growing increasingly dissatisfied with the introduction portion of my thoughts.
So I’ll just say it like this: Being stretched is good for me.
My life has been immersed in international adoption since my parents began the process to bring home my sisters from Peru in 1988. I was twelve when we traveled to Lima, Peru, where we lived for 5 weeks (my parents were there for 7) while the adoption of the 1-month-old twins was finalized. It was the first time I’d been out of the country and the first time I’d seen real poverty, and the experience ignited a burning love of other cultures immediately.
I paid attention as my sisters grew. I noticed the power in gathering with other adoptive families. I understood the importance of truthfulness in talking about your child’s history. I saw the challenges and celebrations in interracial families. My eyes were open.
And then I embarked on an international adoption journey, and I realized that my eyes were barely beginning to allow a crack of light to creep in. I realized this truth when I stumbled upon a raw and reality-doused blog, written by a birth mother (“first mother” is the term she and others may use). Included alongside her heart-wrenching posts was a link to another blog… and another… and another. All composed by women living invisible lives, it seemed – the lives of birth families. The side of the Adoption Triad who gets the least press, is most misunderstood, and is rarely recognized.
Today I have a lengthy list of links to some occasionally-controversial adoption-related sites. Whether we’re talking religion, politics, or parenting topics, I always seem to grow most when I venture outside my comfort zone. My beliefs or convictions are actually strengthened (rather than compromised) when I am stretched to become educated. Websites representing the other sides of the Adoption Triad give me new (and much-needed) perspectives – perspectives that would otherwise elude me, since I’m not a birth mom making an adoption plan or an adult adoptee.
I have so much to learn. And I want to, for my child’s sake. My eyes aren’t open – yet. But they are surely opening, one life lesson at a time.
**Being mindful of the Katelyn’s Blog vision, I’d rather not post specific site links here. However, if you are interested in some deep reading, please leave your email address in a comment. I am more than happy to share what I’ve accessed.