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.

I recently heard from a woman, on social media, whose grandmother was an adoptee. She shared that her grandmother passed away with unresolved pain and unanswered questions, directly associated with her adoption.

She added how healing it would have been for her grandmother to know that she wasn’t alone. It’s this very sentiment that fuels the work I do today.

We’re not alone. Adoptees should never feel isolated. Yet, for years, far too many have.

Today, adoptees are uniting and rising! I believe we’re at an exciting and transformational turning point.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book, The Tipping Point, Gladwell defines tipping points as moments of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.

I feel this very energy within the adoptee community. There’s a power—a sense of overcoming—that’s never been felt before.

Gladwell goes on to describe what he calls, The Three Rules of a tipping point. They are: 

  1. The Law of The Few
  2. The Stickiness Factor
  3. The Power of Context

The Law of The Few basically states that social tipping points are dependent on the involvement of people with a particular and rare set of social gifts.

The Stickiness Factor refers to how memorable a message is.

The Power of Context deals directly with the conditions and circumstances of the environment in which the tipping point occurs. 

As adoptees, we check all three of these boxes. We possess all three rules. We have a particular and rare set of social gifts born of our adoption experience. We hold great empathy, compassion, and a knowledge of just how damaging harmful words, deafening silence, and isolation can be. We each have memorable and powerful stories to share. Our messages stick and transform. And, we’re living in a time when we are no longer willing to live void of authenticity. We’re no longer willing to survive in the shadows.

Adoptees are ready to thrive.

We can no longer be told how to live, what to think, how to feel, who to be, and who to love.

We can no longer accept harmful words to be thrust upon us. Words that imply that we were not wanted or loved. Words that suggest that adoption is somehow second best, and thus so are we.

We cannot be expected to sever the memories of our first families—or the pulsing sensation of DNA that lives within us—because to sever us from our own biology is equally as traumatic as is the initial separation from our biological parents.

We cannot feel ashamed to share our feelings, our dreams of reunion, our questions of why and how, or the longing we hold to see another human being that looks like us.

Adoptees are willing and ready to help educate so that we can help eliminate the suffering. We just ask that the world listens and hears us.

Right now, adoptees are joining forces and stirring up a tipping point—that magic moment when our voices will spread like wildfire.

When our truth lights up the shadowy parts of adoption, it positively impacts the future for every adoptee.

Nothing can hold us back. Nothing can contain us.

Not anymore.

We’re mobilizing and gaining momentum. With respect and inclusion, we’re making change. We’re change makers!

Adoptees have an incredible ability to love. And, we do. We love! We just can’t be asked to live only a part of our story anymore. We hunger to live a fuller story. A story shared out loud, without apology or fear.

We want to be heard—respected for the feelings and thoughts we’ve held inside for so long. We want to free these things. We want to free ourselves. And, in the doing, we want to help free others.

It’s been a long week of travel, from one side of the country to the other. Yet, I’m more encouraged and inspired than ever before. I’ve fueled my resolve to do my part so that no adoptee ever feels alone again. I want nothing more than to know that the adoption experience is one of connection and inclusion. I want to ensure that adoptees are valued and understood.

The tipping point has arrived, dear adoptee.

You have a home here, a safe place to land.

You have a voice.

You have a purpose.

Join us.






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2 thoughts on “The Adoptee Tipping Point: Rising Up and Educating Future Generations

  1. A very good article. I hope adoptees will feel empowered to
    demand change around access to open birth certificates.
    Also I hope empowerment is not
    gained at the expense of birthmothers or adoptive mothers. It’s time we all came together in support of one another

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