Tell It Like It Is

Today’s topic is talking about telling your child they are adopted. Now there are different ways to tell your child they are adopted and many possible outcomes. Today I am going to focus on the ways that I was told and the ways other people around me were told or not told.

My parents told me a story like a bedtime story about a man and a woman (using their names) who really wanted a baby, so they prayed and prayed to God in hopes that they would give them a baby. One day an angel called my parents and told them that there was a baby waiting for them, so they drove and drove and finally got to where the baby was, and it turned out that baby was me. My mom also liked to emphasize that I was grown from her heart and not her stomach. My parents also showed me some books that they were going to use as backups if I had not comprehended the story they made up. Those books were Sesame Street about a couple named Susan and Gordon who had adopted a baby and the characters on the street wanted to know how they had a baby without Susan being pregnant. The other book was Tell Me About The Night I was Born. This book really talked about the celebration of adoption, how special it is and how a loving and caring family is all you need.

This summer I had the pleasure to meet one of my mom’s friend’s friend who happened to have adopted a little girl at birth and when I met her the girl was 9 years old. What made her so special was the fact that her parents had not told her yet that she was adopted.  This was getting hard for her because a couple of her cousins had already mentioned to her that she was adopted. Her parents tried to cover up their tracks quickly, so she had still really had no idea. I had the chance to sit down and talk to her about it and she said that she was waiting for one of two things to happen.  First her daughter would flat out ask her if she was adopted or two, when the girl turns 13 her mom would sit her down and tell her. To me, being a teen is hard, you aren’t sure of yourself or what you want in the world and adding something that takes years for some to comprehend would just be an overload.

When writing this post, I talked to my mom a lot and she wanted me to say something that she learned in adoptive parenting classes.  She said that the longer you wait the more it seems like adoption is wrong or something to be embarrassed about. The adoptive parents class also talked about how telling kids early, helps with shaping the motto that families come in many different forms and this was just the way ours was formed. My mom also told me it is easier to tell children when they are younger before they start school. That way there is no way cousins or classmates could ruin the news or my moms fear of getting in a biology class and doing a genetics assignment and realizing I have nothing in common with my parents.

I know I haven’t covered all the different ways to tell a child they are adopted, but I would love to hear from everyone. In the comments section feel free to talk about adoption – how you were told, how you told or even if you just liked this post. I want to hear from you.

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.   – Richard Bach

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