Words matter. I would submit that definitions of words matter all the more. This month, we focused on not just what finalization in adoption means generally, but it what it means to each member of the adoption triad. What we found is that, for the most part, it was reflection of loss instead of joy.

Some members of the adoption triad are putting on a smiley face in the celebration of finalization in adoption instead of smiling with joy.  Because definitions matter more than the words themselves. Ask any adoptee and they will tell you. Words spoken over them matter more than anything and the absence of certain words from people that should be all to familiar but are not are the ones the seem to crave the most. So what we call the day of the finalization in adoption is something to carefully consider and what defines that day for an individual family matters all the more.


Finalization In Adoption Is Not About Slogans And Cute Titles


We can all agree that finalization in adoption is a complicated subject to talk about. It isn’t so simple. Even the process of adoption is complicated and stressful at times. Maybe that is why there is a propensity to celebrate, to blow off the steam of the paperwork, the waiting, and the breath holding until the judge says it is final.

My dear friend and colleague penned words of reflection and inspiration for the day of finalization that I think need the airtime it deserves more than a dissertation on what to call and what not to call the day of finalization.


Not the End, Just the Next Chapter In Adoption


“This month we have discussed finalization in adoption and how it affects adoptees. Finalization feels permanent and not fluid. The word lacks the element of hope. However, there should always be hope in every adoption story. Hope is usually not a word that is associated with the end, but what if adoption was not considered the end? It would be beneficial to reframe the narrative associated with post-placement.

April is National Month of Hope. Which I find fitting because April showers bring May flowers. Although we endure the rain showers, we anticipate the beauty of what will come in May. The rain showers are a symbol of the hard work and dedication that is put into being a better person. The flowers symbolize growth and new beginnings. Adoption is a lifelong journey for adoptees. The ebb and flow of emotions and triggers are continuous and can be unsettling. Adoptees, please take the time out this month to identify areas in your life that need pruning.

Adoption comes with disenfranchised grief, fear of abandonment, imposter syndrome and so much more. Adoptees, I encourage you to work towards tangible goals and results. One of the biggest proponents in my healing process was joining an adoptee support community. Support groups are a great way to connect with like-minded individuals and support each other through life’s challenges. “Conversations With Adoptees” is a Facebook group that is for adoptees and led by adoptees.

Setting your intentions and earnestly working towards being a whole adoptee is essential. Journaling is a way to dig deep and get to the root of problems and potential issues.  My hope for all adoptees is that your April showers will bloom beautiful May flowers.”


Be Intentional About Finalization Day And What It Means To You

Without a child, there is no adoption to finalize. But that child is a person with sovereign feelings about  their adoption and what it means to them. They have challenges about their identity engrained in their thinking. So it begs the question then, what does finalization in adoption day mean to you, Adoptee? How you feel about it matters, and how you define it matters even more. I hope you take this time to define the day for yourself and how you would like to either celebrate, mourn, or mindfully reflect on what it means to be adopted into your family.