Reflecting on this Election Cycle through Community and Connectedness

This post was written by Adoptions Together Founder and Executive Director, Janice Goldwater.  Janice founded Adoptions Together in September of 1990 in response to what she identified as serious gaps in the child welfare system.  She is a licensed clinical social worker and mother of 4 children.  She and her husband adopted her youngest daughter at the age of 11.  

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Adoptions Together was founded upon the principles of inclusion, human connection and respect for the inherent value of each and every human being. Because we are social animals who survive through relationships with one another, human connection is the fuel that sustains us as a species.  Babies with no human contact will not survive. In fact, this lack of human contact results in a medical diagnoses called failure to thrive. Children raised in strong families and connected communities have a significantly stronger potential and much better outcomes in life. As a society we are so much healthier and more effective when we work together. 

This past election cycle has been a most painful political experience for many. Using principles of divisiveness to motivate change, specifically the blatant messaging of hate and disrespect for targeted groups is horrific. We have not had a public discourse based on this level of disconnection in many years.  The outcome of our election confirmed that there are many within our country who are not feeling connected and we must all take note of this.

Many of us experience persecution daily. Many of us carry the scars of our history of persecution in our DNA. The negative rhetoric that targets individuals based on single variables, such as religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or lifestyle is both terrifying and dangerous. We see the devastating effects of targeting all over the world. As a species who survives through connection, it is one of the most effective ways to undermine, dominate and control a diverse society.

So how do we support ourselves and our family during this difficult time? Brain science teaches us that the best thing we can do when we feel scared is to create a dialogue and the language to help make sense of what is going on around us. Slowing our bodies down, turning off the media, taking this moment to connect with our children and families in an attuned way can be really healing. Focusing on our love, deep connection and strength together enriches the connection that our brain craves. Through our empathy for their feelings and attunement to them, our children will learn that they are strong, we are strong and no one can take away our dignity. We can pull together with even more awareness and focus on our connection and value as precious human beings.  We can connect with our neighbors who understand our feelings, make the unspeakable speakable and give our children (and ourselves) the tools to stay strong and connected.

This divisive rhetoric stresses the ties that bind us together, but compassion and connection reinforce them. When we sit together, listen to one another, and see ourselves in others, connections are formed and strengthened. As always, our Adoptions Together team is here to support you in any way we can.

 With love and gratitude,

Janice

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