A Google search for "adoption quotes" quickly confirms there are plenty of them floating around. Most appear to affirm and celebrate adoption and the families it creates. Some sanitize the loss and tragedy of relinquishment or abandonment; others compare adoption to pregnancy or indicate that love is enough. Even others put down biological connections in order to justify adoption's goodness and rightness.
The absence of words that describe the complex nature of adoption is noticeable. For in only celebrating adoption, we may be inadvertently dismissing and silencing others' experiences of loss and grief. And furthermore, a picture of adoption is painted that declares adoption as something only wonderful or easy or inspirational.
And that's far from the truth.
And language is powerful.
In scanning the available quotes and words, I found few that I can truly stand behind. I don't believe it's necessary or kind or right to put down genetic connections just to make adoption more okay or respected. Nor do I think platitudes and positive spins give the full truth of what adoption entails, but rather they may actually hinder adoptees in processing the events and feelings of their own lives. And while I do wish adoption, adoptees, adoptive parents, and first/birth parents were better understood, I don't think the existing adoption quotes do us justice.
So at the suggestion of a friend, I've started putting together my own words and have created images of word art about the truths and complexities of adoption. As I joked on my Facebook page, I understand that these quotes won't be the ones found hanging on office or home walls, but they are ones that speak to the truths and complexities that encompass adoption. And if they help change the narrative of adoption to include all views and voices and stories which includes discussing the complex realities, and if they might offer support and perspective to another person in the adoption community, well, then I'm all for getting these words out there.