This week is NAW2016, National Adoption Week, and naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about what adoption means for me. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this year is the first time I hear about it, and I wonder how many other people, like me, never did before.

We adopted Ben just over two years ago, after a quick eleven months assessment and training. At the beginning of it all, I thought adoption was just a way to get a family, and to have a child when nature failed to give me one. Today I know that adoption is the whole of my life: it’s my son, my awake time, my reading choice, my conversation topics, my night dreams, my frustrations, my happiness, my everything… Adoption is the million little particles my soul is made of.

This week I’m opening the newspapers and all I can see are the cutest smiles of children in need of a forever family. The headlines read like “this child just want a mummy and daddy”. And maybe, just maybe, this is true, but this is not the entire truth.

It angers me to see how the media, and the adoption agencies, are using these children to drawn an unrealistic picture of what adoption is. What angers me is the subliminal message “adoption is wonderfully easy”, because adoption is not only made of cuddles, hugs, and kisses.

Adoption is more like a series of summer thunderstorms: loud, violent, unpredictable, damaging; followed by calm, peace, rainbows and new grass. And then the cycle repeats.

There is no luck in adoption. I used to think of myself as lucky to have found my wonderful quirky son, but the more I grow to love him, the more I have to admit that the only fortunate scenario would have been for my son to be born in a caring family, a family who could have looked after him and keep him safe.

There is no forgiveness in adoption. The trauma, sense of abandonment, and sadness never completely leave our children. They might grow up to be happy, accomplished, and fulfilled, but the hard places where they come from can never be completely forgotten.

So, yes, I get angry when so much noise is made around adoption for only one week a year. I get angry that next week many of us will be left isolated and unsupported. I get angry when conveniently the radio doesn’t mention FASD, attachment issues, RAD, and all the other realities weaved into adoption. I get angry that many schools are not equipped to help our children, and are not willing to listen and learn. Angry that post-adoption support is hard to access, and angry when the nation #SupportAdoption only because is a trendy hashtag on social media.

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