Today I was invited to speak before the Eaglebrook School community about the Finding Forever Project. At 8:30 a.m. a room full of middle school boys grew quiet and I was introduced by their teacher and my friend Jaye from Good Dirt Pottery. I was inspired to hear a bit of her story and to feel part of the community of potters she described. Watching it later today I kept coming back to the young boy at the end who asked about why I chose to adopt. “Normal people don’t adopt kids.” He seemed uncomfortable when he asked. I did my best to describe how I came to view adoption and my kids, but in retrospect I can’t stop thinking about him. Was he adopted? In foster care? Is he feeling not wanted or ‘not normal’?
His question brought me to a new place about this project. We as a culture don’t talk about the impact of being adopted. It has only come up in my children’s school as a result of some difficulty that they have when being asked to talk about their lives as small children. There is no sensitivity towards what it means if you don’t live with your birth parents. Many children in our community live with grandparents, aunts or uncles, in foster homes or are adopted. And yet it has never come up in the seven years that my children’s early life or part of their identity is any more unique than anyone else’s.
As we move forward to launching the opening, I feel a more pressing need around creating awareness, validation and acceptance for the kids in foster care and who are adopted. The fact is none of our stories is easy, they are all messy in different ways. And all of our stories are unique; ours alone. They deserve to be recognized and respected. I hope in some way we bring these kids the kind of dignity they should already have.
If you’d like to see the talk where I explain how this came about and why Finding Forever is so important, you can do so by clicking here.