Our stories are unique but they have the power to connect people from all walks of life, especially in adoption.
We all have a story to tell, and sharing our story with others is powerful. Brené Brown, a well-known author and research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work said, “Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do”. What is brave about “owning” or sharing our story? What effect does sharing our story have on those around us? It shows the vulnerable parts of us and it’s that vulnerability that connects us to others. Our stories are unique but they have the power to connect people from all walks of life, especially in adoption.
If you are a birth parent, birth grandparent, adopted person, or adoptive parent, you have a story to tell about your adoption journey and it takes bravery and vulnerability to share it. Brené also says to “love yourself” in sharing your story. Your story may not be perfect or what you expected it would be – it rarely is. But it is yours, all the same. There is beauty and hurt and love and loss. It is all part of what makes your story unique and how you can use your story to encourage others.
No matter your role in the adoption, your story is important and deserves to be told. Everyone who has an adoption story has experienced loss. The losses in adoption are compounded by a misunderstanding of the grief involved. Sharing your story can help make sense of the grief that comes with this ambiguous loss. Additionally, sharing what adoption really looks like helps create a more comprehensive, positive view of adoption to society. Everyone views adoption with a bias, so by sharing your experience, you can help correct common misconceptions and, therefore, create a world that supports and sees value in adoption.
Your story may not be perfect or what you expected it would be – it rarely is. But it is yours, all the same.
You are not alone. As Kelsey, a birth mother, writes, “God created us to be in community with each other. We are not meant to carry our burdens alone.” No one has your same story, but sharing your story has a way of connecting people in a unique way. When we hear someone share their story, it inspires us. Author Annie F. Downs highlights this in her book, 100 Days to Brave, stating, “There is something superpowerful about putting brave on display – in your life, in the lives of the people you love, in the art you see or read or hear. When we see brave out in the world, it inspires us, doesn’t it? I think that’s why not only do we need to share our brave, but we need to actively look for it as well.”
Remember back to when you were first hearing about adoption. You may have heard someone bravely share their story and it may have encouraged you to see beyond your doubts and fears. We can see that there was hope where there seemed to be none, there was beauty through the pain, and there was healing from loss. Sharing our story helps others be brave to share theirs.
There is no right way to share your story. If we’ve learned anything over these past few months, it’s how to be creative in the way we connect with others. Be creative in the way you share your story. Maybe public speaking excites you or maybe you prefer a small group or one-on-one. Maybe you enjoy writing and want to share your story in a blog or newsletter. Maybe it’s starting by sharing with a family member or friend about your adoption experience. What does being brave and sharing your story look like for you?
Sharing our story helps others be brave to share theirs.
New Life Adoptions has a variety of ways for you to share your adoption story. You can also share through organizations like Bellis, BraveLove, or through your personal social media. We are here to help you find a way to share your story.
How will you be brave today? Will you be brave in sharing your story? The way you share it will be unique, just like you.