Canadian Adoption Magazine Seeks to #FlipTheScript

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A couple months after National Adoption Month (November 2014)I received an email from the editor of Adoptive Families Association of British Columbia. The editor explained how impactful the #FlipTheScript campaign was to their staff. After viewing the video, and reading tweets from adoptees they made a deliberate choice to incorporate more adoptee voices in their magazine.  The Spring edition of their magazine is now out, and it features the inaugural Adoptee Voice column in which I wrote a piece entitled “It’s Not About Gratitude.”

In the article I share a letter that I wrote to Deborah in my teens (years before I met her.) The letter is peppy, positive, forgiving – a charmer. As I re-read the letter in my adulthood I can see the letter for what it actually was.  Here’s a snippet of (the unedited version) my honest reflections from my column in Focus on Adoption Magazine;

Although this letter contains my heartfelt (teenage) truths there was quite a bit that was omitted. In hindsight I am aware that this letter was essentially an advertisement to my birth mother, carefully written, purposefully short in length and crafted with strategic emphasis on societally accepted themes.  I could’ve written this letter without the repressed emotions, but I held a realistic fear that a more honest letter may have sounded angry and thus deterred a response. If I hadn’t been trying so hard to write a letter that would please this woman for whom I’d felt a strong connection, I might have written about the sadness I still feel in knowing that there weren’t any hospital flower deliveries, pointlessly gendered pink balloons or any other trinkets that are so often a part of the celebration of new life.

Preview my full article here:

4 thoughts on “Canadian Adoption Magazine Seeks to #FlipTheScript

  1. It’s so excellent that this group is not just listening, but acting. Fantastic — and hopeful.

    The letter is resonant, too, but brings up so many thoughts and feelings I can’t quite untangle them yet. Thanks for sharing.


  2. It’s really wonderful to see that #flipthescript is influencing change, and with an adoption centric magazine! I hope to see change continue.

    My first letter to my mother – written in adulthood – bears striking resemblance “I want you to know I am ok, my adoptive parents were good to me. You were brave. I don’t need anything from you. I just have questions.” etc. If I had been able to be completely open and honest I could have spoken all of my emotions and needs without fear of rejection. It didn’t matter that I wrote the most neutral, positive letter I could think to write, she rejected me anyway. In retrospect, I wish I would have just been true to my own voice. I am working on another letter, but I doubt she’ll read it.

    As Audre Lorde said, “I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood.” I am still working on this.

    Thank you for your writing and activism.


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