Today’s blog is thanks to my friend, Ande Stanley and her The Adoption Files.

I like to garden. I was looking at fruit trees at the local plant nursery. An employee was describing the benefits of grafted fruit trees over the non grafted variety.

This seemed a natural process to compare with adoption. We even have the images of family trees to grapple with; whose tree do we belong to?

We are frequently informed, both directly and indirectly, of how much better off we are as adoptees, grafted onto this superior tree. So much so that there is no need, supposedly, for us to be curious about our origin tree. The tree that brought us forth, gave us life, and then lost a part of itself.

With grafts, a wound is left on the tree of origin. An incision is made on our next tree, a wound that closes around us to create a new fruiting branch.

We are on the tree, but not of it.

As I listen to the employee talk about extended life and new vigor and flowering and fruiting; about the cost of the tree and the benefits I would enjoy by planting this tree in my garden; I can’t stop thinking of another definition of the word graft: obtained by means of corruption.

So much corruption, deception, and coercion exists in adoption. Politicians routinely ignore this reality. There’s too much power and money involved for most to find an interest in backing the rights of adopted people. Always a loophole or a fabricated obstacle that can be employed to deny adoptees access to the truths of our origins. A way to perpetuate the graft.


Perspectives from the mouths of babes. Today’s story (as often is the case, not my own).

I keep thinking about the analogies the six year old in my care (guardianship) shared with me (a month ago and the other day) about the difference between a birth Mum and a guardian Mum.


#1 We were driving in the car chatting and she stated randomly that I’m not her ”actual Mum”

I asked her what does she think “actual” means, she said “real”

I asked what does ”real” mean to her (I ask her what these things mean to her, not to question her/doubt her, but to understand where her mind is at and also quite frankly, to keep any potential offence in myself at bay, so I know exactly what she’s saying and not just what I’m reading into things)

She replied “you know how you have real plants and fake plants? Well the real plant is the real Mum”

I replied “so does that make me the fake plant?”

“Uhhhhh” was her reply, we both burst into laughter, “it’s okay babe, I’m okay to be your fake plant”


#2 “You know how you can have a thick ladder? That’s an actual Mum, one who gave birth to a baby. Then there’s a thin ladder, who didn’t give birth… that’s you”

I could be thinking deeper into deeper than necessary, but this is what I hear.

• A thick ladder – you can climb up each step without hesitation, you trust it to hold your weight, it was created well for the job at hand •

• A thin ladder – you’ll be slower to climb it, making sure it’s sturdy enough to hold you, you’ll be unsure on each step wondering will this hold ?, it will likely need some reinforcements at some point to keep it functioning well and safely •

Oh the mind of this incredible and sore in her bones six year old.