This month’s blogger interview is with Kat of Sister Wish. Kat was adopted as an infant and grew up in an open adoption. She writes about her story, post-adoption issues, and current issues of adoptees. Along with Danielle of Another Version of Mother, she recently launched Open Adoption Project: Answers, in which they give their perspectives on various claims about open adoption from around the web. Read along as we get to know Kat a little better!
Tell us about yourself and your connection to open adoption.
I’m an adoptee who was raised in open adoption. My adoptive mom believed that I needed to know my biological mom and siblings well and that I should spend time with them and communicate with them often. As a child, I sometimes spent time with them at their home during the summers and once went to a trip with my biological mom and one of my sisters to New Mexico to visit my extended biological family.
How did you start blogging?
In the beginning, I was looking for an outlet of sorts. I always have a million thoughts floating around and I was feeling like I needed a form of expression. I researched blogging and read that to have your writing really mean something, it needed to be about something you knew about extensively. The thing I have lived my whole life knowing is adoption. I had never shared my entire story with anyone. So, I decided to just start writing and see where it went. Within a few days, I had over 50 pages written and I was still on early childhood. That’s the moment I knew my blog would be about adoption.
What influence has the blogging/online world had on your experience of adoption?
When I started blogging, I had never even Googled the word ‘adoption.’ I knew nothing about the online adoption world. I read that a blog should be promoted via social media, and I was familiar with Twitter so I thought I would start there and maybe a handful of people might read my blog. Using the connect page of Twitter, I searched ‘adoption’ and started following people that came up. Some followed back and that was my introduction into the online adoption world.
I remember the moment I realized that the label “adoptee” meant adopted person. I had never heard that word before. I learned more of the adoption terminology and then I really started connecting. I found other adoptees and for the first time, I felt validated. The connection has been amazing because it was quick and intense.
For me, blogging has really led me to a place of becoming educated. It started with me doing the talking and now I do more listening. In that process, I have learned about the need for adoption reform. I have learned that adoptees, including those in open adoption, do not have access to their records and birth certificates like other citizens have and therefore, adoptee rights have become a core part of my mission.
I have been truly fortunate to build relationships with some of my online friends in the real world and now work with fellow adoptees, biological parents and adoptive parents in the pursuit of open records. I attended the Adoptee Rights Demonstration in August and made even more connections. In such a short period of time, I have been fortunate to learn so much from so many.
Have your opinions or thoughts on openness in adoption changed over time?
Open adoption was presented as normal to me as a child. I didn’t feel normal at all but I never expressed how I felt. When all of the adults are acting like everything is not only normal, but even wonderful, it doesn’t leave much room for a child to express dissent. Now I realize that open adoption brings challenges for all involved and while the adults are working out how they can meet those challenges, the child’s needs must also be addressed.
As I child I thought I was the one who wasn’t getting it. Now I realize that it was the adults who weren’t getting it.
If you could go back in time and tell your childhood self one thing about adoption, what would it be?
I would tell myself to stop working so hard to make adoption okay for everyone else. I would validate to me, as a small child, that all of what I was thinking and feeling was okay and natural.
Pick a few favorites
Favorite blog post: Jealousy Over Pictures – I wrote this about the jealousy experienced in that moment of realization that my biological family actually had a life separate from me. I think this is one of those thoughts that an adoptee in open adoption may experience, but may be reluctant to express.
Favorite thing to do in your free time: Hang out with my family and my Lhasa Apso mix pup.
Favorite non adoption online diversion: Music. Indie / Alternative.
Favorite meal: French fries can be a meal, right? I’m going with French fries.
Thank you to Kat for answering our questions! You can check out past interviews with other bloggers from the Open Adoption Bloggers blogroll here. Have a blogger you’d like to see us interview? Let us know!
About the author:
A mother by open adoption, Heather Schade is the founder and editor of Open Adoption Bloggers. She writes at Production, Not Reproduction.