I have felt like I wanted to write this blog post for a long time. But, it was hard to articulate what exactly and how I wanted to express my thoughts. Finally, I am beginning to find a community of like-minded people on the internet! It is so awesome. A couple weeks ago, I decided to look for adoption-related podcasts. I love podcasts. So, it just occurred to me that I should see what’s out there about adoption. This is how I came across a podcast called: Add Water and Stir. Before I talk about the podcast, let me just give a glimpse of their About Us description:
The Add Water and Stir podcast focuses on promoting foster care and adoption within communities of color, especially within the African American community. We want to give voice and visibility to families like ours who often seem left out of mainstream adoption conversations. We hope to educate others as we talk about our struggles and triumphs of parenting adopted children. We also have a Wine Down segment where we talk about all kinds of non-adopted related topics as well. Subscribe and follow us on our parenting adventures!
It felt like I had just found a community that was designed for me! The two hosts: Adoptive Black Mom and Mimi are so wonderful. They each became first time parents through adoption. Most importantly, they have open discussions about privilege, power, and the intersections of different types of social identities. They are very self-reflective. An added bonus, they talk about Reality TV.
Anyway, through their discussions I have learned about a lot more blogs and resources. For example, I learned about the hashtag: #flipthescript. This hashtag was created by adoptees to challenge common-place and sanitized stories about adoption. I learned to question the use of what I thought was pro-adoption terminology. For example, I learned about using the term first parents, rather than birth parents. Birth parents implies that the sole purpose of the individual that gave birth was as a vessel for the reproduction of human life. I learned rather than to call it an adoption triad (first parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees), a more appropriate term was adoption constellation. This phrasing acknowledges the role of child welfare system in adoptions as well as the impact that it has on extended family. Also, I learned of a blog called Red Thread Broken, which focuses on international adoptions, but provided me with some important food for though about the larger adoption industry. Anyway, in a week I listened to their entire podcast feed. Now, I am all caught up!
It feels good to find like-minded people who have adopted on the internet. I don’t see myself or my views on life represented in the mainstream adoption narrative. For example, I was reading on forum about parents’ changing their child’s first name when they are already school-age. It wasn’t something where the person was concerned about the economic prospects of the child. But, it was more of a matter of taste in the name and the desire to want to have the opportunity to name a child. There was no discussion about what message a name change could send to the child about his/her background and cultural identity. All I could think of as I was reading it was that scene in Roots, when the slave master beats Kunta Kente so that he will respond to the name Toby. So, when I read things like that it makes me feel like I don’t really want to participate in those forums. It makes it hard to read what people say and learn from them. I am already stressed out with all the inequality, racism, classism, etc that is going on in the world. I don’t want to subject myself to more ignorance on forums. I don’t think my heart can take it.
So, I suggest that you check out their podcast. Also, you can follow their blogs at these locations: Adoptive Black Mom and Mimi Robinson. They also have a Facebook page if you search for “Add Water and Stir Podcast.”