Saturday, October 2, 2010

what is an advocate? please comment!

please tell me, what does this lil question mean to you, how would you answer it...
what is an advocate? 
there is no right or wrong answer

many people advocate for all different sorts of things related to adoption
some advocate for abolishing all adoption practices, 
some advocate for adoptee rights, 
some advocate for family preservation, 
some advocate for children in foster care, 
some advocate for same sex couples to be able to adopt, 
some advocate for open adoption, 
some advocate for birth father rights, 
some advocate for post placement rights, 
some advocate for themselves because they are hoping to adopt, 
some advocate to rally support, either for or against, 
some advocate to tear down others views, 
some advocate to tell their story, 
some advocate to raise awareness regarding agency practices,
some advocate for respect for birthmothers,
... the list goes on.

so i ask you again, what is an advocate?

i have another question for you to ponder for me:
what is adoption? 
again, no right or wrong answer

one last question.

in regards to adoption, what would you advocate for? why? 
please feel free to message me your answers privately if youd rather not leave a comment here. deshawood at gmail

these thoughts will be compiled anonymously and used by me in preparation for a class im teaching on nov 6th 2010 at 1130 am, in federal way washington, at the families supporting adoption NW regional conference. "SHARE THE GIFT!"
on a related side note, this makes my heart happy. 
mrs international 2010 - adoption advocate
our devine miracle 'miss magic' 


Katie BQ said...

When I think of myself as an adoption advocate, I refer to sharing my own story and also being sort of an apologist for positive open adoption. Even when I do tell my story, it's always to give the overall message that adoption can and ideally should be happy, positive, and constructive for all involved parties and then more specifically to try and convince people (usually prospective adoptive couples/families) to believe and trust in open option. I preach, preach, preach TRUST in adoptions because I think there is such a prevalence of fear out there. So I guess since I see that as a problem, I tend to focus my efforts on overcoming that tendency to give in to the fear.

I usually try to accomplish that by telling my story and saying "see? it really can work! believe it, trust it.".... rather than outright preaching it, because people don't respond that well to being told how they should think.

This also leads to my biggest frustrations in adoption advocacy (and the reasons I drop out of it for long spans of time) because if I feel like I'm not getting through to people and not helping to dissipate the fear, I get frustrated and sad. And take it personally because it's all very personal to me, whether I like it or not.

So there are my rambling thoughts about advocacy.

Karine said...

what is an advocate? I would say an advocate is a person who shares something, even defends something that they believe in. Something they live by or stand by.

what is adoption? "Adoption is more like a marriage than a birth: two (or more) individuals, each with their own unique mix of needs, patterns, and genetic history, coming together with love, hope, and commitment for a joint future. You become a family not because you share the same genes, but because you share love for each other" by Joan McNamara ( I couldn't say it better myself!)

in regards to adoption, what would you advocate for? why? I do advocate for OPEN ADOPTION, because to me, open adoption is about love and the child. Giving that child the best of both worlds. More people to love him/her and to be apart of his/her life. More understanding of how special they are and how Heavenly Father has a plan and purpose for all of us and some of them come through the gift of a birth mothers love.

CCmomma said...

To advocate to me, means to STAND UP and OPEN YOUR MOUTH for WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN! I advocate for all forms of adoption. I mean that too. I don't just blab about our agency or LDS adoption or open adoption- i advocate for ALL of it! I talk with Teens about adoption as an option opposed to abortion. I talk with the person in line at the grocery store about the MIRACLE of adoption and how wonderful birth parents are. When someone says silly things about our choice to adopt- i correct them with kind words and tell them that the appropriate way to ask that ? to others is (blank). I tell them why saying things like " did her mom not want her?' is totally offensive to some but to me when people say that i always retort candidly that it was the exact opposite. She wanted her very much but knew that ... (you get my drift)
I think being a TRUE adoption advocate starts in your heart! You have to LOVE GOD, Then LOVE who He made YOU to BE (flaws, infertility, mistakes and all)- that way you can truly love OTHERS and share your LOVE of adoption with ANYONE. I can tell you- i have never had a horrible conversation about adoption. That is b/c when you leave someone with your testimony of GOD's Hands in your adoption experience- they can't really deny the spirit or the message you have imparted b/c IT"S your personal experiences! It's awesome- I feel like i breathe adoption into every conversation (it's just part of my DNA now:). Advocating for Adoption is what i do. I sold off my business to do this- for free b/c I KNOW it's way more important than making boutique products. And I LOVE IT!

MrsPerrbear said...

What is an advocate? Any of us can look up the definition of this word, and see that it means to write or speak favorably of a certain topic. And you are right, there are people who push both the pros and the cons of adoption in general. For me, being an advocate means that I eat, sleep, breathe, and live it...through my thoughts, my blog, my discussions with friends, with strangers on the street, with anyone who will listen, and even to those who won't. It means that I use my "one voice in a million" to share my story, my opinions, and my views on what adoption can be...not neccesarily what mine is. Oh, and BTW...you HAVE to google the new Natasha Bedingfield song "Strip Me"...its my new Advocate theme song.

In regards to adoption, what do you advocate for and why? I advocate for EDUCATION. I cannot stress it enough. Adoption is not something that we are all taught about in a normal course of life, and it is so hard to just "know" all the ins and outs until you are right smack in the middle of it. And in cases like mine, when you don't get the education needed until it's too late, life can turn ugly. I speak, write, scream, so that NO ONE will ever find themselves on the loosing end of a battle that never had to be fought in the first place. I firmly believe that successful adoptions are built on trust, love, and communication, but without proper guidance and direction from the appropriate professionals, all the love and communication in the world won't change things. While I FIRMLY believe that adoption was the best option for me and my family, my lack of education regardings my options within adoption (and especially post placement)has causen an irrepairable rip all the way through me. I am broken because of my situation. My family is broken. There is no fixing any of it, until the other half of my adoption connection chooses to educate themselves, which they have already expressed they have no interest in doing. I advocate so that others who find themselves in my situation, or those who are considering to adopt, can hopefully learn something about ethics, and decency. I have seen successful open adoptions. I believe with my whole heart they are possible. I know of birthmothers who are fine. I personally know one who feels content in her role with her adoptive parents, and cannot understand why I am crushed, and she is uplifted. How she can be undamaged, and I am a living, breathing trainwreck. I push every day so that people involved in the adoption community will educate themselves ahead of time, as much as possible, so that no more lives will suffer the way mine has. I love adoption...in theory, in practice, in general. It is a merging of many hearts, for one great love, and one big decision. It can make or break us. But without education, there is no way to truly know all of the options. I encourage people to read, ask, go through some of the amazing blogs out there, and only then, begin making plans.

Mary said...

I would like to add something about International Adoption. I adopted a little girl from China 6 years ago and although I love her with all of my heart, she does not leave my side for more than 2 seconds. Her 2 brothers love her more than anything else in the world and consider her their own sister and are very over protective of her. She is 7 now and should be over the scare of adoption and what trauma she suffered. I nurtured her from the second I got her from the nannies. I cannot even walk my dog outside while she is watching TV without her being there calling me. I am not saying that i would not go and get her from China again if i had to, but it takes a lot of love, patience, kindness, understanding, counseling, which she is getting now to make this work. I love her with all of my heart and should. She is my baby girl!

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