The things some adopted kids are afraid to talk about for fear of sounding ungrateful.
The things adoptees often get judged for saying.
Adoption is a complex thing for everyone involved. Even the kids.
It can be a wonderful thing when a family takes the plunge and brings a child into their home. It can be pretty rewarding. But sometimes families that are adopting children can face many challenges in the process.
What people often don't consider when talking about adoption, however, is that the children who are adopted can face many challenges too. For their entire lives. For example, adopted children are four times more likely to attempt suicide. For international adoptees, that rate is even higher.
Shaaren was adopted when she was 4 months old.
Last year she wrote an article for The Washington Post in which she shared her story and made clear that, for children who are adopted, coming to terms with that part of their lives isn't always all sunshine and rainbows (emphasis mine):
"At 4 months old, I was flown from my orphanage in India to my adoptive parents in Groton, Mass. I would never say I didn’t have a good childhood — I did. My life was enviable in too many ways to mention. But what’s also true is that adoption is a traumatic, lifelong experience that is rarely recognized as one. Unfortunately, there is no way to convince a non-adoptee that adoption is hard and that its effects continue into adulthood unless that person is willing to hear it. And in my experience, few have been.
In response to her piece, Shaaren says that she received a ton of angry messages from people who told her she should just be grateful, she should be ashamed of herself for feeling this way.
But, she says there was a silver lining too — in the form of letters from adoptees who felt they couldn’t share their own complicated feelings about being adopted until she started the conversation. Watch her talk about it in the video below.
So, what do you think — are you willing to hear her story?
And more importantly, are you game to help others hear her perspective too?