Yay! It’s National Adoption “Awareness” Month, in which almost nobody is made aware of anything about adoption except that it exists. Apparently people’s brains fall out every Halloween and they have to be reminded about adoption (and furniture and birds, for all I know).
I kid, of course. The one and only thing NAAM really wants us to be “aware” of is the fact that we should adopt because a Sad Child need us…only really it’s a baby and it doesn’t need us, we want it. This whole November mess was meant to be about moving kids out of foster care into permanent homes. Yet almost nobody considering adoption or even hearing the word “adoption” thinks about that at all. They think, as they have since adoption as we know it was invented less than a century ago, about a very pretty, very new, healthy white baby some woman is out there making Just For Them–possibly thanks to god, who in his infinite cruelty couldn’t find a better way to get that kid into their family where it belongs.
And that is the opposite of awareness. That is just more evidence that adoption, like most institutions that promise the impossible, wants your money. Those willing to spend that money always insist they are not buying a person, and in a way, they’re right. What they’re buying–what they’re willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars for–is the illusion that the person had and has no other family.
NAAM never offers up much awareness of how it feels to be adopted (unless the answer is wonderful, grateful, and impossibly un-curious about one’s origins). It certainly doesn’t want to make anyone aware of how it feels to relinquish a child for adoption (unless the answer is grateful, glad to get on with life, and a little sad, but only in a very giving, very distant, blurry-lensed way: awww).
In short, there’s nothing special about November. It’s pitching the same “awareness” we’re told about adoption the rest of the year. That is bullshit, and it needs to change. Some of us who have an actual awareness of adoption have been trying to change it for decades now. Very few people listen.
So here we are again this year to shout a little louder. November is a wild ride, so keep your heads, arms and legs inside the car at all times. See you tomorrow!