I’m so excited to share that our Adoptees Connect Small Groups are growing! These groups being planted is literally a dream come true! It’s so overdue for our community and for adoptees everywhere.
I was thinking the other day how throughout my time on earth I’ve seen counselors and therapists off and on, all the way back to my childhood. Never once was adoption ever mentioned or spoke about until after I began to emerge out of the fog and that was in 2010. I truly believe that the only reason it was mentioned was because I mentioned it. Emerging out of the fog, I was 37 years old and I saw my first therapist when I was around 5 years old.
I sit before you today, my question is why aren’t more therapists, counselors, and professionals who work with mentally ill, addictions and the like bringing conversations up about adoption? It’s recently struck me that the lack of knowledge and understanding regarding the complexities of adoption is prominent in so many ways in these communities. Throughout my life, I’ve been in treatment facilities, detention centers, group homes, and recovery programs. Adoption has never been addressed and I’ve given a lot of years into seeking “help” from these communities. They failed me. Every one failed me. I was a statistic as an adoptee. We are over represented in jails, prisons, treatment centers and mental health facilities. These are the FACTS.
This world has failed adoptees, and they continue to fail adoptees. I’m not saying that there aren’t adoptee competent therapists out there, because I happen to know of a few, they are adoptees themselves. But in order to understand the adoptee perspective one has to be an adoptee. If you aren’t an adoptee you aren’t an adoptee competent therapist. I’ve come across therapist that say they are “Adoptee Competent” yet the only thing that makes them adoptee competent is that they have a tie to adoption. They more than likely are an adoptive parent, or someone who has a significant amount of information regarding adoption in general. For non-adoptees who are therapist, counselors or professionals in adoption, being “Adoption Competent” doesn’t make one “Adoptee Competent”. I’m not saying that non-adoptees who are therapists don’t understand some dynamics of what adoptees experience, but they don’t have the lived experiences we do. Only another adoptee understands another adoptee. Just like a divorce therapist would need to experience a divorce in order to fully understand what it’s like to be divorced.
I’m touching base on this to put an emphasis on how critical it is for adoptees to connect with other adoptees. I’ve never felt in my entire life more understood, more validated and less isolated than I have the last 8 years, connecting with my fellow adoptees. Connecting online in 2010 with my first adoptee ever was a surreal experience for me. I couldn’t believe someone else felt the way I felt. All these years I’ve thought I was crazy for feeling the way I do. I learned in time, I was not alone and I wasn’t crazy. Sadly, the world has left us high and dry in figuring this out on our own.
In order to make a way for adoptees, we will have to make our own way. Whatever visions we have for our community, we will need to bring to life for ourselves.
Adoptees Connect Small Groups hold a different value than connecting online with adoptees. Our hope is relationships are built in our communities in real life in our groups and every Adult Adoptee has a lifeline of someone who is also adopted who they can walk through life with so they feel less isolated and alone. When we have a “Safe Space” to share our feelings about being adopted, there are many benefits. We will feel less isolated, alone and judged. We can talk openly and honestly about our feelings. We won’t be silenced by those who don’t understand us. We can gain a sense of empowerment and control over our own stories and lives. In return we hope this “Safe Space” can help us experience less anxiety, stress, depression, isolation and fatigue.
Connecting with Adult Adoptees in real life can ignite real relationships with those who speak our same language. At Adoptees Connect we desire this for all our fellow adoptees near and far. As we continue to navigate Adoptees Connect Small Groups being planted in our cities, and communities we would love to share a current list of our groups that have been planted so far.
Please take a moment and celebrate with us. If you are interested in starting an Adoptees Connect Small Group in your area please reach out to us! We would love to share some information with you! What’s going on in our Adoptees Connect groups is life saving for many of us. If you’ve made it this far, we’re honored you are inquiring about Adoptees Connect, and if you are a group facilitator YOU ROCK! I love you all!
Love & Shalom,