As a doula, I’ve been fascinated by the birth and parenting experiences of adult adoptees, and how that experience shapes their personal narratives. While there are several memoirs out there that touch on the experience of becoming a parent as an adoptee, I’ve yet to find a comprehensive book that explores the various facets of the experience. As more and more adoptees start making their own families, these conversations will continue to become a larger presence, I think…and with wonderful possibilities for expanding what it means to be an adoptee as an adult.
One of my most poignant moments as doula came when I discovered that the spouse of one of my clients was domestically adopted. When I shared about my experience as an adoptee and how it has shaped my passion for supporting families of all kinds on the journey to parenthood, he shared a bit about his experience and what it meant for him to meet–for the first time in his life–someone genetically related to him.
Although it never came up in conversation again after that, I feel like we had established a connection and understanding that we wouldn’t have had otherwise…and when he first looked into his daughter’s eyes and saw himself, I too was overcome with the power of that moment. It stirred a hunger and longing in me that I had not felt in a long, long time. Since then, when I talk about it with adult adoptees, they too, recognize that hunger, and speak with reverence about the moment when they first laid eyes on their babies.
I’m looking forward to hearing what John has to say. I’m a huge fan of his blog and highly recommend it. I’ll post more reflections after the webinar next Wednesday! Here’s the details:
Adoptees and Parents, Adoptees as Parents
Presenter: John Raible
Date: July 13, 2011
Time: 12:00-1:30 PM CST
John Raible’s life experiences have given him much insight into living as an adopted person and adoptive parent. Now a researcher, writer, and educator, John was one of the first Black adoptees adopted by a White family in the early 1960s. He is also the single gay father of two grown sons adopted from foster care. Having turned 50 recently, John has spent a lifetime dealing with the ongoing effects of early trauma, adoption, and foster care. Dr. Raible will share his thoughts on the connections and disconnections adoptees have with parents-and as parents. He will build a case for how the blueprint for all oppression can be seen in the power imbalance between parents and children, and how this can play out in special ways when adoptees become parents themselves. Register online by clicking on the button below. Questions? Please contact Julia Decker at firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-746-5133, or Amy Fjellman at email@example.com