Saturday, June 25, 2016

Adoption + Dory

I have to tell my side. I have to. I feel like everyone and their mother (literally 😂) has something to say about Dory & adoption. Please hear my perspective as both an adoptee and an adoptive momma. 

My family was able to go see Finding Dory the day it came out! What a blessing!

I will preface this by saying that I didn't do much research about the movie beforehand (which is honestly rare). We have much anticipated this film since Nemo, as it is one of our favorites. So when we got cheap tickets, we were in our seats, popcorn in hand. 

I'm sure you've seen all the reviews and {almost} panicky parents warning us to be careful what we expose our adoptive/foster children to. And while I agree, you will also hear me pleading with you to not shelter them from feeling the things we need to feel. They're a part of who we are. 

I use "we" because I am one of them. I am adopted. And I feel all those feelings. I felt them at 4 and 10 and now at {ahem} 35. And no matter how hard you try as an adoptive parent, you can not feel or even know or even partially comprehend the thoughts/feelings/emotions that we go through on a daily/weekly/monthly/annual basis. We don't speak of them. For many reasons, but they're there.

Here is my response to the many reviews and posts on Adoption + Dory. 

As an adopted person, I'm gonna be honest. Finding Dory was both an awesome and terrifying experience for me. I felt all the feels, right alongside Dory. I had all the "issues" come up that are mentioned in the reviews, and I am a grown woman who has now adopted 2 (almost 3) of my own.

During the movie at one point, my adoptive son was letting me hug him (which is rare on any given day). There's this one scene where Dory says all the hard stuff, "What if they don't want me to find them? What if I find them and they don't want to see me? What if they're mad at me. What if they think this is my fault?" 

And I was sobbing. These questions are real and hard and heart breaking and silent in our lives. No one dares say them aloud. And I'm not even from foster care. I don't have great or horrible memories with my birth family. But that doesn't mean I still don't wonder what life would have been like (even if I wouldn't change a thing).

I still think about these questions every day. And until they get answered, they will be asked. And I dare say most of us adoptees think these same thoughts are are quite possibly comforted that someone said them aloud. 

So far, my kids haven't really talked about any issues that came with this movie, but I'm certain it brought stuff up. I'm certain of it. So instead of shielding them from it, I will be here, ready to talk, ready to listen, ready to say, "this sucks feeling this way. I'm sorry you're feeling this way." 

And I will hug them and be comforted that a movie said my/our feelings aloud, and even though they're hard to hear, is actually kind of awesome. Yes. There are things to process. As an adult, and for my sweet,sweet children from hard places.

So, adoptive/foster parents, let's do that. In a non-threatening way. I would be more concerned about making sure my child can always say exactly how they feel (about adoption/foster and the myriad of emotions it wells up at the most random of moments in life). I would hear the hard things and love, love, love. I would save my tears for when they can't see so they don't try to keep their feelings from me.

Because who else are they going to tell? I want to be the one. And so I will try. 

#adoptionisbeautiful #itsalsoreallyreallyhard