"It's my Job to Pay Attention:" New Conversations in the Shifting Paradigm of Adoption
|From a scrapbook my maternal|
aunt made me.
"Amanda, do you call your mothers by their first names?" she asked. "Do you really think of them by their first names, or both as 'mom'?"
"They are both 'mom'," I replied.
"Then why use their first names in conversation with me?" she wanted to know.
"For clarity," I replied. "I think it makes conversation easier to be clear."
She paused for a moment, "You focus on being true to yourself. It's my job to pay attention."
This is yet more evidence of the shifting paradigm of adoption. It is a shift that acknowledges adoptees as experts on the experience of being adopted, as the community with the key to solve problems adoptees face, and as irreplaceable members of the larger adoption discourse. The shift moves us toward honoring and recognizing the reality of every adoptee and their family, rather than demanding they define their family composition in ways that make others more comfortable. I love that this paradigm shift promotes empathy, creates a smoother foundation for understanding, and enables new conversations to take place between friends.