I have written and re-written so many drafts for this post.
I’ve thought about how to say this for two days.
But it just is what it is.
It’s brain science.
If we are going to create real growth, change, and ultimately reform in the adoption community, we have to meet people where they are at.
Do we need to hold people accountable when their education, their actions, or their words are harmful? Yes.
But brain science tells us that when we do not meet people where they are at and sit with them there, it triggers both your brain and their brain to go on the defensive. When the amygdala, the limbic system, and the sympathetic nervous system are engaged, the brain’s prefrontal cortex goes offline. The prefrontal cortex is the main part of the brain responsible for logic, integration of information, and memory. The amygdala is responsible for Fight, Flight, Freeze, or Fawn. It takes only the amygdala to judge, critique, shame, and instill fear. But it takes a fully cross-communicating brain to sit in hard conversations actively listening. It takes an online brain to encourage, to lift-up, to give grace, to compliment, and most importantly, the ability to read through words and see intent instead of interpreting them at face value.
I submit to you that the greatest act of self-care for our brains and bodies any of us can do in this community is to meet people where they are at. This means us Adoptees need to let Adoptive Parents learn and take in all this information at their own pace knowing they weren’t given this information prior to adoption.This means Adoptive Parents and Birth parents need to sit with their Adoptees while we are angry or grieving in our lifelong journey of healing our trauma. Adoptive Parents this means you will have to spend money and time in supporting your Adoptees and in your education about adoption.This means Adoptees need to let their Birth/First parents grieve and process their grief and trauma. Or. Let them live in denial. This means Adoptees need to be OK with other Adoptees still being in the fog.
This means we need to stop policing each side of the Triad and just let people be where they are at without pushing them, or criticizing them, demeaning them, scoffing at them, or holding them accountable for things they haven’t learned or fully understand yet. I know we Adoptees want everything RIGHT NOW.
But real systemic, psychological, and physiological change takes generations. On average, 4-7 to be exact.
So. While our current culture wants us to move at the speed of 5G, real work moves in the time frame of relationships… and that involves meeting people where they are at and giving them a lifetime to learn. And I am going to be bold enough here to say: Adoptees if we are asking the other parts of the Triad to meet us where we are at, we need to let them ask it of us. We are all humans and have inherent worth. All of us. No matter where we are at.