top of page

Love-Glasses - Guest Post

Flip the script (trailer)

"National Adoption Month without adoptees is like having a shoe without laces. Like, you're missing the very fabric of the equation....and you might fall." - Angela Tucker

"Flip the script says "What if it was me, what if it was us, that got to do the talking and everyone just listened?" What would we stand to gain if we did that? And I would argue that we'd gain a lot." Amanda Woolston

{Part of my plan for #NAAM is not only to write on specific topics, but to also make a space for adoptees who wanted to share stories, à la #flipthescript. Though whenever we hear someone's story, we are indeed hearing only a single story, the reality is that we are often hearing a monolithic story about adoption. What would happen if we allowed a multitude of stories to exist openly and freely within the conversation of adoption? Stories from those who are most impacted by adoption: adoptees.

Like all humans living life, our stories and perception of our stories change, sometimes gradually, sometimes suddenly, sometimes over and over again throughout the course of our lives. Telling all of our stories together creates a more comprehensive, nuanced, and honest narrative not only of adoption, but of life itself, and what it means to be a human working to create meaning out of our experiences.

This is Jamie's story. Be sure to check out the resources for additional reading at the end}

Love-Glasses by Jamie Weiss

I was raised as an only child in a loving, Christian household. My daddy would say that I was the apple of his eye and even if I wasn’t exactly sure about the meaning of that, I knew that it meant he loved me very much and was so proud of “his girl”. My mama would cook me whatever my picky heart desired and she would read me books and sing songs to me despite the fact that she couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket. Their world revolved around me from the minute I came home. And no, it wasn’t from the minute I was born, because I wasn’t born to them. The first 5 days of my life were spent at the hospital with my biological mom until a stork came, picked me up, and flew me to my parents. (Ok, it was more like a lawyer and an airplane, but a stork sounds much more magical.) Though we were strangers, I felt so loved by my new parents, my extended family, and even by the neighbors who doted on me, since I was the only “youngin’” on our end of the street. Being surrounded by so much love, I viewed all of life through my love-glasses. I always believed people to be good and well-intentioned. I was optimistic (probably bordering on toxically positive), and could find the silver lining in just about any situation. My dad saw this as being naïve and he worried I would let people hurt me. And sometimes they did, but I still found a way to find the good in them – even if it was to my detriment. I didn’t think of myself as naïve or gullible, however I can now see that I was pretty accepting of things without questioning much. I was told that God loved me so I believed that God loved me. I was told that Santa Claus was real so I believed in Santa Claus (until an embarrassing age of 12). I was told that I was chosen and that adoption made me special so I believed I was chosen and special. Ahhhh… the world was a beautiful place to that innocent, unsuspecting, love-glasses-wearing girl.

But then I grew up.

I got married and had my own babies.

I searched for my first family and reunited with them.

And for some reason, my love-glasses just weren’t working as well as they used to so I took them off and traded them in for a magnifying glass.

Wow! The world sure did look a lot different now through this lens. All of the soft focus that my love-glasses had displayed transitioned into crisp details and jagged edges, especially when I began to inspect and rethink my life and how being adopted had changed it.

I had long been told by Christian friends how lucky I was to have been adopted by my parents. How wonderful it was that they chose me and how God has blessed me to be adopted. That my mom must have loved me so much to be able to give me to another family and give me a better life.

I was told that my adoption was a beautiful picture of what God does for Christians when they accept his gift of salvation and that all Christians are adopted.

That all sounded wonderful!

Until it didn’t.

That magnifying glass started to expose the mistruths and inaccuracies of all that I had long believed to be true about myself, about my family, and about adoption.

Taking a closer look, I began to contemplate.

Was I lucky to be adopted by my parents?

Well, maybe, but I did lose my whole family first.

If God blessed me by arranging for me to be with my adoptive parents, couldn’t he have just had me be born to them?

It doesn’t seem to me to be in God’s character that he would purposefully have me be born to one woman, just to turn around and give me to another one, all while causing trauma to both my mom and I.

Even if maybe that’s just the way it had to be, I’m pretty sure God didn’t preordain two unmarried teenagers to create a baby together. I mean even if I had to be born from another womb, couldn’t he have used a married couple and just sent an angel to tell them that I was not actually intended for them but for another couple and so they would need to give me up for adoption when I was born? But that just doesn’t seem like God either.

If adoption is as special and wonderful as everyone claims, then why did my family not want to talk about it or tell me the truth?

And yes, I had a great life but now that I know my first family, was my life really better than it would have been? Can anybody even really determine that? My biological parents are good people. What about the adopted kids who had a horrible home? If God blessed me with a better life, what happened to their blessing? Why were they abused and neglected in a home that was supposed to be better? Why didn’t God save them from that life and move them to one that really was better? Chosen? What?! I wasn’t picked out from a room full of babies. My parents didn’t choose me any more than they chose which potato chip to eat next. I was just the next baby to pop up. Why does everybody say I was chosen?? It sounds kind of nice to be chosen but also seems like so much is expected of you when you’re the “chosen one.” I mean, I was expensive, too, so I guess they wanted to get their money’s worth outta me.

Many of those questions plagued my thoughts as I compared my adoption papers with the stories I’ve been told by the various parties to my adoption. I saw that everything wasn’t always as it appeared. I read about mother-baby separation trauma and so much became clear about myself that it was hard to believe no one had ever addressed this issue with me.

I also began to dig deeper into what adoption means in the scriptures and it certainly wasn’t as it had been portrayed in my church lessons.

I studied the history and roots of adoption and how we came to have the industry as it exists today in the US and it was sickening, to be honest. Also shocking. How did I not know this stuff? How did everyone not know this stuff??? I had never really spoken publicly about my adoption and certainly never said anything “negative” about it, but I needed to share about my personal experiences and about this information I had learned that seemed to be so unknown to everyone.

So I did.

I gathered up the courage little by little, then bit by bit I started to share. Some of what I had to say was well received and the rest… well, that would get pushback, upset family members, cause friends to leave, have Church people mad at me, and even people in my own Sunday School class questioning my faith. Ouch!

I certainly have questioned many times if it is worth it to speak the truth. Every single time, God had made it clear to me that it is. That he has called me to share my testimony, to educate the world, and to support my fellow adoptees. But being attacked by the very people who you would expect to go to for support is crushing. I have not struggled with my faith in God, however I have become pretty upset and disenfranchised with the Church, as a whole, due to their role in the adoption industry and their inability to recognize their mistakes, apologize, and change course. I am dedicated though to the calling God has given me and to continuing to speak the truth. A recent quote I saw really nails it down for me –

Rather than worry about who will be offended if you tell the truth, consider who will be misled, deceived, and destroyed if you don’t.” - Author Unknown

While adoption is promoted as a family-building endeavor, in reality it is family-destroying. I can’t sit by silently and let that continue. So I keep telling my truth to anyone who will listen. It is vital that the church steps up, too.

They must take off their love-glasses and pick up their magnifying lens to reexamine all they believe and have promote in the realm of adoption.

They have to teach sound biblical doctrine and not allow the Bible to be twisted and misconstrued.

They have to acknowledge the trauma that is caused to adoptees and validate adoptees in their grief and loss.

They have to create and support programs that promote family preservation. There is a silent epidemic in our congregations. Adoptees are leaving the church, losing their faith, and even losing their lives due to the continued actions and inaction of the people who should standing with them in solidarity and standing firm in the truth.

Jamie Weiss is an adoptee from a private, domestic infant adoption and in reunion with her biological family. She is married and the mom of two daughters. Jamie is committed to being a voice for adoptees and fighting for adoptee rights.

Signed, Sealed, Adopted.

<Examining international adoption

What if we are more than our story>

Additional Reading:

Dr. Erin Heim, Adoption in Galatians and Romans

Who Are the Orphan and the Widow? Redefining James 1:27

International Adoption and The Lie We Love