Tuesday, June 28, 2016

the mirror holds the truth

I try to keep my circle of influence large when it comes to foster care and adoption. If the only people you listen to are other foster or adoptive parents – the perspective gets VERY skewed. I often tell y'all to seek out former foster youth (FFY) and adults that were adopted.

Please read this post. It was written by a FFY, adoptive mom, and current foster mom. She knows what she's talking about. I love the imagery. The connections she makes here are real and true – even if they are hard to read and/or believe.

She wants to remain anonymous. She's got very valid reasons for this. But she gave me permission to share her words. This is what she has to say:

**Steps on to soapbox**
I get a lot of PMs about adoption and foster care. A lot a lot. Sometimes it feels like half my friends list is seeking advice about kids they have or want to have.  And I am absolutely ok with that, by the way. I'd rather you come to me than have to sift through damaging facebook groups or read useless books.  However, in the moment, dealing your message individually, I find myself soften. I am empathetic to you as my friend. I hold back a bit about what I think of foster care or adoption and your possible participation in the industry.
So it's easier to make this general post about it. And I might do several posts on a few topics.
Here's one thought that keeps coming back.
You all see my kids as happy, and they are. But you don't see, and I won't advertise, all of the other STUFF. And there's a ton of it.
Many or most of you seem to be Harry Potter fans, so here's a Potterific explanation that occurred to me.
Remember the mirror? The mirror that was supposed to show your heart's desire?
After you adopt, and you love the kids and they love you back and everything is awesome and blah blah blah...
The image in the mirror still exists for them. It always will, and there is never going to be a time when your love somehow "overcomes" the image in the mirror.
You have to be ok with that to adopt. If you are the type of person who is competitive or territorial, adoption is likely NOT for you. If you are possessive or proprietary, adoption is likely NOT for you. If you depend on straight lines and logic and categories, adoption is likely NOT for you. If you need your efforts to be appreciated and need those you love to show gratefulness, DEAR GAWD adoption is not for you.
Because you will never, ever be able to change the image in mirror. And their pain needs to be honored and respected, which means any feels you have about it need to get swallowed. (emphasis mine)

So friends, before you message me and ask about adopting, really sit with this please.
You may be "mom" to them, they may love you with all their heart, you may give them the world... they may not even want contact with their first family...
But the mirror holds the truth. Never forget that.
(emphasis mine)

I am ok with it. I went into this with eyes WIDE open. My acceptance of it all is partly how the kids are so happy. I am secure in what I can and cannot provide.
Before you foster or adopt, make sure you are secure too. Please, please, please.
**steps off soapbox**


Thandi said...

Awww man. Don't watch HP so have no clue what she's saying. But I think I agree with the 'don't do it if you're not secure' aspect!(Hope I'm understanding her properly!)

Cherub Mamma said...

"The Mirror of Erised is an ancient, ornate mirror. It has clawed feet and a gold frame inscribed with the phrase " Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi." The mirror shows the most desperate desire of a person's heart, a vision that has been known to drive men mad."

The Mirror of Erised is a mirror, which, according to Albus Dumbledore, shows the "deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts." The name "Erised" is "desire" spelled backwards, as if reflected in a mirror. The happiest person in the world would look in the mirror and see a reflection of them, exactly as they were.

The writing engraved on the frame of the mirror is supposedly in a foreign and probably dead language, but if you look closely it says "I show not your face but your heart's desire" backwards, with the spaces rearranged. Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

In the books, Harry Potter only saw images of his dead parents in the mirror. My friend is indicating that any foster or adopted child would see images of their first family in the mirror - no matter how things are in their foster or adoptive home.

Mrs. Hall said...

good words!! yes. totally agree!!

Empty Arms, Broken Heart said...

I think the same could be said of parents who desired having biological children, but faced infertility issues and decided to adopt. It could be possible, while they love their children with all their heart, should they look in such a mirror it might show the children they never had, but so desired. Also, any parenting is done best without personal baggage, but the thing of it is, we all have said baggage. So it's best to just keep checking in with yourself personally and try to keep your baggage to yourself, not pass it along to your child. There's a lot to reflect on in this post.....