The Need for Authenticity in Adoption

Recently, I was posed a question on Instagram from Naomi Quick @livingout127. She asked, “As an adoptee and adoptive mom, do you ever find it challenging to hold in tandem the beauty and brokenness surrounding adoption?”

The answer is, “Yes, Naomi, I do.”

As an adoptee, it’s been difficult to see a beauty in the broken pieces of my story. It’s been challenging not to identify myself as those broken pieces. Being adopted can be confusing when so many around you say, “just be grateful.” Gratitude is hard to arrive at when it’s surrounded by unspoken grief.

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Adoptees, Let’s Get to the Wound

I used to avoid talking about my adoption. It was the last thing I wanted to share. I’m not sure why because the fact that I was adopted was evident. People could clearly see that I was not biologically related to my family members.

I used to avoid talking about my adoption. It was the last thing I wanted to share. I’m not sure why because the fact that I was adopted was evident. People could clearly see that I was not biologically related to my family members.

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Adoption: Love in an Instant, by Charity Grindstaff

Wow! What an incredible opportunity to connect with this community of fellow adoptive mamas and daddies, and those who are “potentials.” I’m honored and humbled to have been asked to contribute to a platform where so many others have given incredible advice, tips and encouragement.

I guess an introduction is in order, huh? My name is Charity, mom of two, one through birth in my womb, and the other through birth in my heart. That’s right, I’m a bio and adoptive mama to two very precious and very lively little girls. We live in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, close to Asheville, NC. We have lived here all of our lives. Ironically, my husband pastors a little country church in the heart of East Tennessee (yes, we drive 1.5 hrs to church on multiple times a week). We homestead—as novices who have no clue what we are doing— homeschool, run a small business (or three), craft, hike, and watercolor paint when there is free time.

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Child Welfare: A Journey Through Adoption, Foster Care, & Social Work, by Amanda Preston

Growing up my dream was always to become an actress. I loved the humorous aspects of the theatre and had the quirky acting personality of Amanda Bynes. The left-sided brain that I am, however, drew me towards a more practical career choice, and I ultimately decided to attend University to become a psychologist and make a great career for myself.

One day in my senior year of high school, however, I found myself reading the book Charla’s Children by Charla Pereau. It was an outdated and simple book that my aunt had gifted me about the life of a missionary who worked in an orphanage in Mexico and had adopted many of the children. Despite the insignificant appearance of this book, it changed my world. I knew, after reading that book, that I wanted to adopt children and somehow be involved with kids without families. Initially, I envisioned working in an orphanage just like Charla, though I wasn’t sure yet how I would get there.

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Episode 15: From Foster Care to Miss DC USA 2019, with Cordelia Cranshaw

Cordelia Cranshaw is Miss DC USA 2019 and is an Education Specialist for DC’s Child and Family Services Agency.

Her journey to where she is today has come with great challenge. As a former foster child, she was told time and time again that she would never succeed.

On this episode of The Greater Than Podcast, we share Cordelia’s story of overcoming adversity and finding self-confidence. It’s a powerful story of a young woman who wouldn’t give up and who now lives to serve and support others in the foster care system.

To learn more about Cordelia, follow her on Instagram @missdcusa.

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The Adoptee Tipping Point: Rising Up and Educating Future Generations

I traveled the country this past week, from coast to coast, to speak on behalf of people who are living the adoption and foster care experience. Sharing my own story, as an adoptee, and the wisdom I’ve learned along the way. It was a true honor to connect with so many amazing hearts.

I was encouraged to see adoptees rising up to share their personal viewpoints and their journeys. This is critical! Without adoptee voices, this adoption and foster care community is not fully represented.

I was equally encouraged to witness so many professionals, who work in the field of adoption and foster care, ready to listen and to hear the adoptee perspective. It struck me just how much they need adoptees to open up and bear light to what has, historically, been held in the dark.

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From Pain to Power: Transforming Your Relationship with Adoption

Adoption is hard. It’s so very hard. And, it’s beautiful. Adoption is heartbreakingly beautiful.

I understand the complexities of adoption.

I’ve lived them.

I live them.

Adoption never leaves you. For the adoptee, it’s a journey that spans a lifetime. Being adopted is an experience we didn’t ask for, or even cause. There are real and raw moments when it seems that the pain and confusion of adoption cannot be overcome. Asking why, often times, seems pointless when answers are hard to find. Adoption can seem unfair. Unjust. Adoption can hurt. You may wonder if you’ll ever move beyond the disempowering feelings.

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Fostering: Changing Generations and Rebuilding Families, by Katie Shira

CPS stood on my doorstep at 11:00 pm, with a sleepy one year old boy. We have been anticipating his arrival since we got the call, early this afternoon.

He’s had a rough day. A day not many of us can even fathom. Since we received confirmation he was coming, I have been eager to comfort him.

I look at him and I know, “This is going to wreck me.”

I scoop him from the social worker. Holding his innocence in my arms—losing a bit of my own. Committing to carrying the weight of his world, the good and the bad. Preparing to hear his story. Ready to give him all we have…

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A Letter of Love and Empowerment for Adoptees

This week has been a week of powerful connections. I’ve connected with incredible people doing the work of adoption awareness in Colorado, Australia, New Zealand, and beyond.

I’ve linked with adoptees who are brave and courageous, taking on the journey of finding themselves. Facing the fear of rejection and disappointment. Walking through that fear.

It’s a long and difficult walk. Adoptees have, for far too long, been told what to think, feel, and believe. We’ve been silenced, judged, and misunderstood. Adoptees are a population of people who have had basic rights taken from them: the right to freedom of information, the right to dignity of identity, and the right to know their full story—their history.

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Why I Became an Adoption Attorney, by Jessica Graves

My Adoption Story

“Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute, you didn’t grow under my heart, but in it.” —Fleur Conkling Heyliger

March 24th will always be one of the most important days of my life. On this day, almost 29 years ago, I flew from Seoul, Korea, to Michigan to meet my forever family.

As an adult, I know that many stories begin like this. However, as a child, I never thought about what adoption really meant. I’m not quite sure my schoolmates knew either. My classmates just knew me as the girl who always shared cookies, cake, or cupcakes and celebrated her adoption every March 24th. Each year, my mom or dad helped educate my friends and classroom about my “Plane Day.” We would even bring in little folded handouts to give to everyone.

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