The new "thing" in the world wide web is lists. 5 signs your relationship is failing. The 15 healthiest towns. Tonight I read "10 Things I want my daughter to know about exercise." It got me thinking. What do I want my children to know about their adoptions. Why is it so important to me that I blog about it, talk about it, and dream about it. So I started thinking.... What are the 10 things I want my children to know about their adoption.
1. Your Birthfamilies love you. Each member of each family shows their love differently. Some adults never learned to show their love the same way we show love in our family and because of that sometimes their love is hard to see.
2. There are no stupid questions. There is not a single question we (your parents) are unwilling to answer. We might need a night to think on it and like a lot of hard questions might not know the answer. We will never be able to tell you how someone else feels or what someone else thinks, but we can at least think about it with you.
3. Its OK to feel sad about being adopted. Being adopted means that an adult that cared about you and made a choice not to raise you. This doesn't mean they didn't want you or didn't love you. Its hard to understand how someone could love you so much that they would choose not to get to see you every day- but it is true. Being adopted still means that your life is different than what it would have been had you been raised by your birthfamily. I sometimes myself get sad thinking about you Baby Girl you don't get to spend as much time with D as you want and that your birthsibilings do not get to share in your day to day life.
4. There are people that are uneducated on adoption and its not your job to educate them. There are people that are uneducated on a whole host of topics. It is your choice to educate them or not. There are things about my life I share with very few people. That doesn't mean that I'm ashamed of those memories/stories but rather they are things that I like to protect.
5. There are going to be times you might wish your birthfamily chose to raise you. There are going to be times you wished we gave birth to you. You may wish we chose to keep the birth name your birthfamily gave you. Growing up I often wished my life was different especially after my Mom became sick. In the end the things I wished I could wish a way made me who I am today. Without the things that made me different from others I wouldn't be me. Its OK to try on a different name or wish you lived somewhere else as long as you stay true to yourself- we love you.
6. I sometimes hear people commenting on your physical attributes that make you look different than your mom/dad which often are fishing expeditions to find out if you are adopted or to learn facts about your birthfamily. Baby Girl your blond hair looks just like the blonde hair your mom and dad had as kids. It is also the blonde hair D and J had. You have the same blue eyes your Mom-mom and mom have. People see what they want to see. When it comes down to it you may not look like us but sorry darling you still are like us and looks dont' make a family (though I have to say our family is made up of lookers). The way you talk makes me giggle sometimes because it could have been a recording of one of us. In the end we are all human and your birthfamily and our family have so much in common- the biggest thing being how much we love you.
7. You are not the only one. Maybe in your class at school you are the only one that is adopted but I can assure you there will be others in your class struggling with topics regarding family. The family tree for example isn't so easy for a child with divorced parents. The genealogy project maybe hard for the child whose mom doesn't talk with her family any more. The interview with a grandparent might make another student sad because their grandparents have passed away. Come talk with us and we can help you work thru times where you might feel alone. We are here to help you find out how others have handled these projects. We are willing to help you include your birthfamilies if its something you want to do.
8. We will not end contact with your birthfamily unless you choose to. It is our job as your parents to keep the flame alive so to speak and foster the relationship between you are your birthfamily. At some point we will turn the relationship over to you. Once we turn the relationship over to you it is your choice as to how contact continues.
9. It was love at first sight. Adoption was in our cards from before we got married. Although it is true we found out we couldn't conceive a child biologically we always knew we would have children. We started the adoption process as we continued to learn about why we could not conceive. In the end our desire to become parents was achieved the day we met each of you. Until the day you choose to become a parent I dont think you will fully understand what it was like to lay eyes on you that first day- but it was love at first sight.
10. We are not perfect. Not at all. We have learned a great deal from you. Starting with the adoption process, navigating the world of openness and jumping into becoming Mom and Dad. We still learn each day and realize that we have made mistakes. We do our best each day and when we have misteped we try to do better next time. We expect the same from you. Like all relationships Birthmother/Child; Mom/Child; Birthfather/Child; Dad/Child; Siblings; and so on we need to remember that the other side of the relationship is another person capable of mistakes. We need to try to be understanding and be open to forgiveness. From every corner of your family- you are loved.
What topics did I miss? What do you want your kids to know?