Thursday, February 8, 2018

Helping Others Understand Adoption

I have a friend named Judy.  Judy is both an adoptive mom and a social worker and I don't think she's even aware of this, but I've heard her say two things regarding adoption that have always stuck with me.  I'd like to pass them on in case they're helpful to anybody else. 

The first example:

Judy recounted how she heard someone once tell her "But I just don't understand how you can love a child if they're not biologically related to you?"

Judy's calm but oh-so-wise response to the woman who expressed this concern was:

Judy:  Do you share your husband's genes?

Woman: (Somewhat puzzled) Of course not!

Judy:  But do you love your husband?

Woman:  Well, of course!

Judy:  But you don't share any genes with him- how can you love him?

Woman:  Oh . . .

That simple explanation was enough for this woman to "get it" and understand something she didn't quite relate to previously.

The second example is not something that Judy actually said but that one of her adopted daughters has told people in response to the question:

"How long have you known you were adopted?"

Her daughter's similarly rhetorical reply is "How long have you known you were a boy or a girl?"  In other words, when something is never questioned or hidden but just explained as an obvious fact, then there is no sudden "A-ha" moment of realization because it's as natural as having a belly button- you don't question how it got there- it's just always been there.

I share those examples in the hopes that they might be helpful in explaining adoption to others or in reassuring any prospective adoptive parents out there that if you share with your child that they were adopted from the very beginning, it just becomes a part of who they are, which can be beneficial in preventing less identity confusion or resentment from not knowing later on in life.

Social Work & The "This Is Us" Superbowl Episode

I admittedly only watched about five minutes of the Superbowl this year- but I was glued to my T.V. during the infamous This is Us Superbowl episode and gave strict instructions to any who were within the sound of my voice that there would be NO INTERRUPTIONS while I watched.  It was an  intense episode, to say the least.

One of my first reactions upon seeing Rebecca receive the news of Jack's death in the hospital was:  "Where's the hospital social worker?  Someone get her a hospital social worker to talk to- STAT!" (Beginning next fall I will be getting my practicum hours in a hospital setting- so, there's my plug for medical social work.)

My absolute favorite scene and new development was when Randall was talking to a distraught Tess.  He asked her how she felt about fostering and the way the writers presented things I thought for sure the Pearsons would be getting the little boy shown at the beginning of the episode as a  new foster placement (and I believe there was a hint of him in a previous episode as well).  But they didn't because, come to find out, Deja was back and TESS was the little boy's social worker in the future.  She ends up working with foster children- how cool is that?! 

The fact that they showed Randall as an old man made me wonder, "Will there be a This Is Us spin-off in the future- for the next generation- or will it continue to have multiple seasons?"

Here's the clip which warmed my heart: