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  • Writer's pictureMary Ellen Gambutti

Lighting Up the End of 2021

We can light the way with stories!

We want to shed light on the issues around Adoption, the experiences of domestic and international adoptees, and maybe, in a small way, we might contribute to the voices of displaced people. These are human rights issues, after all.

This time, I welcome Author and Blogger, Paige Adams-Strickland, who has raised her voice in among adoptees for years with her published books, blogposts, and in podcast contributions. I am delighted to be a member of the Facebook group she administers with Lynn Grubb, Female Adoptee Writers.

Adoptee Voices

We have them, and we intend to use them. For decades and more other “voices” in the constellation have been heard loud and clear:

Agencies and others placing children:

“(S)He will not remember a thing.”

“Treat him/her as if they were your own child.”

“Their mind is like a clean slate.”

“No one will ever be able to find out.”

(To the birth parent(s)) “It’s the brave and right thing to do because you can’t.”

Adoptive parents and others associated:

“You were chosen.”

“You are special.”

“You should thank the Lord, your parents, etc.”

“It’s G-d’s will.”

“Your (birth) mother loved you so much she gave you to us so that you could have a better life.”

Sadly these narratives have held us back and created a setting of dependency, inadequacy, bewilderment, and grief more than feelings of pride, resilience, and positivity.

Now it’s our turn to have a voice. Adoptees around the globe are turning to social media and publishing outlets to share their points of view, talents and to support fellow adoptees. We have both public and private Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter accounts and groups where we can express our ideas, feelings, and solutions. We blog on Squarespace, WordPress, Blogger, and more. We have a growing assortment of memoirs and self-help books we’ve written. Some are mainstream / traditionally published and some are independently produced, but most are available on Amazon and Apple books. We even have YouTube videos and podcasts where we discuss adoption-related themes with fellow adoptees and trusted professionals. We are using our creativity in many forms of art, music, acting and even comedy to get our word out.

We are hearing a lot these days about the necessity to have “difficult conversations” with family members and good friends about all sorts of sensitive topics like race and politics. It counts for adoption as well. We need to have these (hopefully civil) talks with people outside the adoptee realm whenever possible about what it feels like to be an adopted person. We need to be able to express the thoughts and concerns we could never let out while growing up. We need to reach beyond the echo chamber of ourselves and inform the world.

Not everything we have to say is ugly and horrid, (but sometimes it happens), just as there is honestly no adoptee experience which consists of only prancing unicorns and flowers swaying in the breeze. Most of us are hovering somewhere in between. That’s reality.

Every day we adopted people are making changes and advancements. It’s a slow process, but state governments are coming around and accepting legislation to open sealed records, (although I wish it could happen faster!) Personally, if I find one person either within or outside the constellation of adoption that I can either support or educate, I do it. I have that conversation. I recommend books and videos. I tell them about some of the fine people I have met since becoming active in Adoptee-Land. I let them know where they can find more information and help if they desire. It’s one person at a time, but it’s something.

This is our time to be heard and respected. Let’s do this!

Paige Adams Strickland is an adoptee and writer, and educator. She is the author of Akin to the Truth: A Memoir of Adoption and Identity, and its sequel After the Truth,
on Amazon
Paige lives in Cincinnati and has spent many winter vacations in Sarasota, Fl. I was happy to have met her in Siesta Key several years ago when my husband and I were still living in Sarasota.

My essay "Peace in Knowing" is published by Spillwords! Thank you, Dagmara and staff

As all the holidays continue, I want to thank you for your support of my new website and of this blog. I appreciate your following me, with your free memberships and subscriptions, for occasional email newsletters.
Thank you for your interest in my forthcoming Memoir,
I Must Have Wandered: An Adopted Air Force Daughter Recalls

Have a peaceful Christmas

See you in 2022!

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