It’s National Adoption Awareness Month (NAAM). I’m not sure I’d go as far as wishing you a happy NAAM, but I just wanted to give my annual NAAM reminders to hold us all (yes, me too) accountable.
NAAM began as a way to raise awareness of children in foster care in need of homes. The family preservationist in me is hoping that ALL other options, including legal guardianship, have been explored, but I don’t know.
More recently, private adoption agencies and people in the adoption community have turned NAAM into National Adoption Month to promote adoption and remind the world that adoption is a blessing.
I don’t know everyone’s stories. I do know that the “adoption is a blessing” narrative is dominant in adoption discourse and it is not the topic on which people need to be educated. This is why adoptees have begun reclaiming the month. To share our stories and share all of the perspectives. Not just the stories from parents who cannot imagine their life without their adopted children.
Like I say every year, 11/12 months you hear the “adoption is a blessing” and “you are a saint for adopting” narratives. Use NAAM to listen to new and challenging perspectives. Learn something new. Sit in discomfort and recognize that adoptees lose A LOT upon adoption.
Consider how adoptees are a product of a system that refuses to listen to them. Do not get your information on what it’s like to be adopted from someone who has never experienced it. Do not only listen to those perspectives that make you feel warm inside. Challenge yourself this NAAM and help promote adoptee voices.
Below will be my episodes on NAAM. And check out the channel for the NAAM 2020 video being released on November 10, 2020! https://youtu.be/8vroTXz9UP8 *Original post on lillyfei.com, November 1, 2020. Reposted here with permission from the author.
Lilly Fei (⻜岗) is an activist, book lover, and PhD candidate. She blogs at lillyfei.com, and is active on Instagram and other social media outlets.