Yes, This Is A Thing

This celebrates a child leaving foster care because they have been adopted.

To be certain, any sort of celebration of adoption day is only for the adoptive parents… adoption day for adoptees is a loss. It’s a legal severing of an adoptee’s ties to their biological family and biological roots. It is the culmination of trauma, and is the start of new traumas. It also feeds the savior image of foster/adoptive parents, which is terribly insulting to adoptees and isn’t accurate. In the cases where non-kinship adoption is unavoidable, it should be done privately and discretely. The story belongs to the adoptee, only they never had the power to decide or say what they actually wanted – in most cases, an intact family into which they were born.

Children’s brains and emotional intelligence that aren’t fully developed yet. Their nervous system is screaming “yay permanency! Woot woot!” And the only way a kid knows how to celebrate is a party; or a certificate; or gifts; or social media posts; and whatever else they’ve seen other former foster youth or adoptees do.

What they ARE NOT able to process is 1) adoption DOESN’T guarantee a ‘forever home’ at all 2) what’s happening to them is trauma– not a celebration 3) even if they DO end up with a forever home, it may be an eternity of pure unadulterated hell (mentally, emotionally, relationally) 4) the “permanence” also means their actual biological family history and heritage and traditions, etc are now permanently gone and the list goes on and on. They’re unable to look at it from a 30,000 ft view and understand the gravity and finality of it all.

Really the issue comes down to NOT celebrating a child’s adoption publicly and not even within the family if possible.  This doesn’t mean to invalidate whatever feelings and emotions a child may be having – especially about getting out of the uncertainty of foster care and multiple placements.  However, adult adoptees will tell you that as they aged and could reflect from a mature perspective – being adopted is always fraught and traumatic – even in the best of circumstances.

Many adoptees spend much of their life in a “happy fog” trying their best to be grateful for this un-natural thing that happened to them – not in their control nor with their conscious approval – usually by adults and the legal system.  Best to go as minimal and low-key about it all as you possibly can, no more than privately within the immediate family, if celebrated at all.

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