"Just Listen" was inspired by our friend and fellow adoptee, Stephanie Mays Staats.
There are many voices vying for space in Adoptionland. But, the loudest continues to be that of adoptive parents. They hold the dominant narrative and continue to carry the cultural perceptions of adoption.
Several months ago I had written a Facebook post that elicited emotional responses by those affected by adoption, including adoptive parents. I witnessed adoptees pleading their position while adoptive parents continued to dismiss and invalidate them. 'This isn't our experience, so it can't possibly be true..' They weren't listening. They were defensive and kept pushing back. It wasn't until another adoptive parent stepped in and told them to listen to these stories and stop talking, even when it's uncomfortable. She reminded them that the voices of these adoptees are the voices of their children in 10, 20, 30 years. It wasn't until she spoke that they retreated back to their corner.
In frustration, I reached out to my friend Annette and asked her to make a meme with those two words: Just Listen.
It's especially important for an adoptee to feel heard and understood. At the very inception our lives were determined by the decisions of others. We were voiceless. And for many, their lives weren't the happily ever after story everyone said it would be. Adoption isn't a fairytale.
We need a dominance shift. We need adoptee voices to be the most sought after and most powerful voice in adoption narrative today. We need real life stories. If we only listen to adoptive parents or industry workers then we will never hear truth in adoption. I pray that one day everyone will listen and truth will win. - Stephanie Mays Staats, Adult Adoptee
Adoptee Merch. is honored to participate in raising Adoptee Voices in our community and we're thankful for Stephanie's participation in helping make this happen. We're stronger together!
This t-shirt is everything you've dreamed of and more. It feels soft and lightweight, with the right amount of stretch. It's comfortable and flattering for both men and women.
• 100% combed and ring-spun cotton (heather colors contain polyester)
• Fabric weight: 4.2 oz (142 g/m2)
• Shoulder-to-shoulder taping