Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Voice {Your Voice}

A while back I received this comment on one of my blog posts, "Do you ever wonder if people are sick of hearing about your adoption?" I deleted it because it was annoying more than anything else, but now, I wish I hadn't; negative comments are good.  They are refining.  And they mean your voice is having an impact.  

Here's my response.................

I never would have described myself as a confident person until I started teaching.  And even then, I was confident within the walls of my school; especially once I closed my classroom door and I led my students through simulations of the European Union, the Underground Railroad, the Electoral College (don't ask--I still don't really understand it--and I probably wouldn't trust anyone who says they do), Mt. Everest (oh...I loved my Mt. Everest simulation), WWII, and I could go on because I get all excited about history stuff, but I won't--because I realize not everyone does and maybe I've already lost some of you as it is.

And as confident as I was while I stood in front of my kids, and I talked at staff meetings, and I led professional developments, I still struggled/struggle with feeling confident, smart enough, decisive enough, in my every day life.  And, maybe if you know me that sounds crazy.  I'm sure we can all think of people we know that don't seem to be lacking confidence--but really.....they are.  I mean, aren't we all to a degree?  About something?

One of the on-going conversations my husband and I have is over me feeling "stupid." And it drives him crazy.  I let that lie trickle into so many every day moments and if I feel like if there is ever a tone to what Chris is saying to me, I immediately throw out the, "You know....I'm not stupid," card when there was no intent what-so-ever on his part.  It's me.  Believing this lie that strips away my confidence. A lie I've been letting control me since I was probably in 5th or 6th grade.

I was thrilled to uncover this confidence that had been lying dormant in me when I started teaching.  And for nine years I often wondered if I'd ever discover something else that I was truly, 100%, unabashedly confident about.

And then, we started the adoption process.
And believe me....while going through it I was not confident.  I thought I was making mistake after mistake.

Until......we met Georgia's birth parents. And then, this new confidence window opened up and I felt this rush of fresh, confident, air enter me and I had that same exhilarating feeling I always had when I was teaching. And as we traversed through the adoption waters and ended up with a fabulous open adoption my confidence in this area grew and grew until it became another area of my life that I could say I felt confident to the core in.

As I've written more and more about adoption I've met people....all over the country.....who are working their way through the adoption process, both adoptive parents and birth parents, or who are where I am now, and they're resting in an amazing relationship with their children's birth parents.  These people I've met are amazing, even though I haven't really met them face to face, heard their voices, given them a hug, held their babies, or sat on their couches.....they are amazing.

I've cried for them when they've told me that a birthparent match didn't work out, I've cried for them when they e-mailed me some of the first pictures of their new daughter--just hours old, I've been anxious for them when I've known they were meeting birth parents for the first time, I've smiled huge crazy smiles at my computer when they've told me they were ready to start the adoption process, and I've shared with them the parts about our adoption that are hard--that I don't really talk about with a lot of people.

But I have a connection with them.
A necessary connection.
And they've fueled the fire of my confidence when it comes to adoption, just like watching my eighth graders understand the Missouri Compromise fueled my teaching confidence fire.

They've made me realize that sharing my voice on this topic is important.  Because had I not, I never would have met them, I never would have realized that what I had to say or think might resonate with someone else.  I never would have gotten the support that I've needed at times from other other adoptive moms, and I never would have felt.........confident.........to keep sharing how important I think adoption is in our culture.

Here's what I've learned....our voices....and exercising them.....make us more confident. Exercising your voice is this crazy self fulfilling prophecy and ultimately so rewarding.

So my advice to you is this.....if you feel like you have a voice about something......share it, yell it, don't stifle it.  If it's something you wish you had known more about before having to confront it, something that you searched for advice on, something that you tried to find anyone to talk to about it....it deserves your voice.  Other people looking for guidance on the topic need your voice.  There are so many bad and ridiculous voices in our world--we need to out-talk them with good voices about noble things.  Things that elevate us as a society, things that are solid and edifying and healthy.

Our voices are important.  Even if you feel like you don't have perfect words to go with your voice, even if you walk away feeling like you could have said it better......it doesn't matter.  Your voice is important.  And I'll go on sharing mine for a good long time.

Because nothing......nothing.......has changed my life like adoption......even the really hard parts of it.  And in the years since our adoption, I'm so thankful for the other voices I've found that have helped me feel normal and.....sane.....as I learn more and more about it.

What's your voice about?
Share it.


  1. Amen!!!! So perfectly said!!!! I will talk something all.day.long if it's something I have such a huge passion for and btw I can't believe someone would actually say that to u....haha what in the world?????!

  2. I found your blog a few months back when it was featured on Kelle Hampton's blog. I've enjoyed backtracking through your blog to read your story, and always appreciate what you have to share about the adoption process, specifically an open adoption. My husband and I are just on the beginning path of adoption, and it does my heart good and helps allay all the fears and worries I have to read such positive thoughts about open adoption. Thank you for being passionate about adoption, and for sharing that passion on your blog.

    1. Ellie, so fantastic to have you! And 'meet' you. Adoptive mamas--whether you already are one or working on becoming one--make up a great club and they are a life-line through crazy water. So many prayers and thoughts for you as you start this exciting journey.

  3. I have been reading for a long time, but never commented. I am a mother of two through adoption and my oldest girl is Georgia's age. I love your blog because you talk about adoption. Because you have the voice that the naysayers have stifled in me. Because you can write about the things I was tired of being criticized for. Thank you for sharing your voice (and quite beautifully!) and sharing your story and sharing your family. You are absolutely right in that you are touching people ALL over.

    1. Thank you Bri. I'm so sorry that people were negative with you in regards to adoption--it's unfortunately such a reality--one that comes from little understanding on much of our society's part about adoption. One step at a time I believe us adoptive families and birth families can change that. I hope.

  4. Maggie. Thank you for your voice on adoption. You’ve helped me to not feel lonely through this process… especially during our recent struggles. And you’ve also helped me to keep the faith… again, especially during our recent struggles.

    1. Beth. Your comment here speaks to what an amazing person you are. I haven't really been able to stop thinking about you these last few days your strength is awe-inspiring even though the desires of your heart have not been answered yet. I'm so proud to call you a friend.

  5. Why would someone say something like that. If they didn't want to hear about it, then they didn't have to read it. I admire your story. Truly. I think everyone's voice is meant to be heard. You have no idea who is listening and all of the good that you can do in someone's life. I say keep talking!

  6. I love reading about your adoption. It's opened up a whole new world to me- one that I never knew much about. Keep doing your thing and don't let people make silly comments again.

  7. As the birth-grandmother of a child placed in an open adoption, I love your blog! Your voice and your story are important-I'm glad I came across them!

  8. I think you are incredibly courageous to share this intimate part of your life in your own unique voice. Haters will be haters. If someone doesn't want to read my or your blog, well, they don't have to. No one is holding a gun to his head. I presume. ;-)

  9. Keep talking! Keep writing! Open discussion about openness in adoption is so important!


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